I have more cords in my neck than a 12-string guitar. What can be done?
Those cords (aka sinews) connect your neck muscles to your jaw and shoulders. As we age, the muscles in our necks contract, making the sinews pop out more. You can conceal the cords with turtlenecks and scarves, but that’s not your only option. “Botox relaxes neck muscles, making the sinews less obvious,” says Fredric Brandt, MD, a dermatologist in New York and Miami. The usual strategy: A single needle is inserted into the platysma muscle—the one under your chin that stands out when you frown—producing a relaxation effect that’s noticeable in three to five days (average cost is $400; results last up to six months). A second option is Ultherapy, an in-office treatment that uses ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen production and tighten and lift the skin ($2,500 to $5,000; results last up to two years). While either procedure will make a difference, Brandt says doing them in combination will give you the most notable result. For less dramatic (and less costly) at-home improvement, he suggests a neck cream that has glycolic acid, peptides and/or retinols to smooth the surface of the skin. They won’t alter the physiol-ogy of your neck, but they can make the skin there look smoother and tauter. Try Dr. Brandt Time Arrest V-Zone Neck Cream ($60; sephora.com) or L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Face, Neck & Chest Golden Balm ($20; drugstores).
My hair was really silky—until now. Suddenly it’s a dull, wiry mess! Is the gray taking over? Or is the culprit all the dye I’m using to cover the gray?
The cuticle of gray hair is four times as thick as the cuticle of pigmented hair, and that’s what makes the grays coarse, says Jason Backe, master colorist at the Ted Gibson NYC salon and a celebrity colorist for L’Oréal Professionnel. “Plus, because the surface of gray hair is not as smooth as that of pigmented strands, it doesn’t reflect light, which can make it look dull,” he notes. Factor in harsh chemicals from permanent dye, and your hair could be on the road to destruction. The solution? If just a few of your strands are gray, switch to a demi-permanent color like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Dialight (ask your coloristabout it). For abundant grays, take a different tack by adding a clear gloss treatment to your color routine. You can get one at the salon ($50 and up) or try Rita Hazan Foaming Color Gloss in Ultimate Shine ($26; sephora.com) at home. Backe also suggests complementing the gloss’s strand-smoothing effects with stylers designed for coarse hair. Try Kérastase Paris Sérum Oléo-Relax ($40; kerastase-usa.com).
When I smooth concealer under my eyes, the skin acts like Silly Putty, stretching off to one side or the other. Then it stays there.
Age, genetics and even too much sun can add up to a loss of collagen and elasticity in the delicate under-eye area, says Brandt. Until some genius comes up with Spanx for eye bags, he suggests using an eye cream that has peptides and retinoids to stimulate collagen production in the -under-eye tissue. Try Dr. Brandt Flaws No More R3P Eye ($80; drbrandtskincare.com). He also says you may see positive results from the at-home fractional laser PaloVia ($499; palovia .com), approved last year by the FDA to treat lines around the eyes. “Like lasers used in doctors’ offices, this device uses tiny beams of light to stimulate new collagen production,” Brandt explains. Finally, how you apply concealer can make a difference. “Choose a cover-up the same shade as your foundation,” says Kimara Ahnert, a New York make-up artist. “And to get maximum coverage with minimum tugging, apply the concealer with a brush, then tap it in rather than rub. This will help both the concealer and your skin to stay put.” Good options: Pen concealers with a liquidy texture, like Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen ($37; sephora.com) or Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer ($8; drugstores).