The delicate skin on your neck can reveal your true age-no matter how young your face looks. But does it really need one of the dozens of specialized formulas available? And how do you choose the right one?

The skin on your neck contains so little fat and few sebaceous, or oil-producing-glands, making it particularly susceptible to premature aging. Along with your hands and décolleté, it's one of the first places to dry out, wrinkle, and show signs of sun damage. To make matters worse, most of us don't take adequate care of our neck-using harsh cleansing agents and skipping the moisturizer and sunscreen - leaving us with skin that reveals our true age or even makes us look older. To decide whether you need a special treatment, examine the state of your neck today:

My Neck Looks the Same Age as My Face

You likely don't need a special moisturizer. Just treat your neck the same way you would your face, making sure to use a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Your neck can handle a heavier moisturizer than your face without getting too oily, so you may want to use your facial night cream on your neck all the time to give it an added layer of moisturizer. Just be sure to use it in combination with sunscreen.

My Neck Shows Some Discoloration, Fine Lines, and Wrinkles

You're the best candidate for a neck cream. Look for a moisturizer with retinoids to stimulate exfoliation and skin regeneration in order to minimize fine lines. Choose a cream containing Vitamin C to even skin tone. Look to a collagen-rich moisturizer to plump up skin, reduce the depth of wrinkles, and prevent future sagging.

My Neck Has Lots of Loose Skin and Wrinkles

Unfortunately, neck creams may not do much for you. You may need to look for a more drastic solution like Botox injections, liposuction, or a neck lift. While a neck moisturizer may help even some discoloration, it doesn't do much for loose, jowly skin, though several of the $100+ creams claim miraculous results. A neck moisturizer will help will even skin tone and may plump skin a little, just be realistic in your expectations before you open your wallet.

Lifestyle Changes to Help Your Neck

No matter what state your neck is in today, you can try these tips to reduce further aging:

  • Avoid yo-yo dieting that can lead to "turkey neck."
  • Sleep on a lower pillow to keep your chin from crunching into your chest.
  • Straighten your posture so that you're looking up, not down.
  • Slather on moisturizer at night and sunscreen during the day. 

Sources "Mature Skin." American Academy of Dermatology. Web. 2010. "Botulinum Toxin." Plastic Surgery Association. Web. 2010