In my mind, lingerie and self-care go hand and hand. There is something so important about spending those extra minutes (and, sure, dollars) on yourself, whether it be rocking a luxurious new bodysuit or perfecting your eyeliner so you can take on the day. As I am 100% addicted to both lingerie and beauty products, it is only fitting that I would find a way to combine the two. Enter: the décolletage. Although literally translated it means “a plunging neckline”, “décolletage” refers to the neck and chest, and happens, ahem, to be considered to be one of the sexiest parts of a woman’s body. It also happens to be one of the most overlooked parts in my routine; I can’t be bothered to moisturize my chest when I’m dealing with keeping my face under control (thanks, hormonal acne, I thought we broke up in high school?). As summer starts to heat up, it is inevitable that I will be showing more skin, so I’m going the extra mile to make sure my décolletage looks better than Marie Antoinette’s (homegirl knew how to slay a low neckline). If your skin needs a helping hand, follow along; your new bras will thank you later.
Every time you shower, be sure to thoroughly cleanse your chest and neck with gentle soap to remove the build up of dirt, sweat, and oil to keep acne from making an appearance. Two-three times a week, exfoliate the area with a gentle scrub (I like the Heribivore Coco Rose Body Polish) or chemical exfloiant, like fruit acids. This will keep the skin supple and ready to absorb other products, promotes circulation and helps fight signs of aging by increasing cell turnover. To prevent wrinkles, pat gently with a towel to dry, never rub.
The skin on your neck and chest is very thin, and it very important to treat it with care. Just like you would never skip moisturizing your face, it is essential to moisturize your décolletage daily. Pick a nice thick lotion or cream, and be wary of fragrance if you’re sensitive. If fragrance doesn’t bother you, this luxe crema from Tocca feels amazing and smells fantastic. Warm the lotion up in your hands first, and then massage it in upward strokes starting from your heart, as this lifts skin and increases blood flow. Moisturizing is essential for keeping skin firm and youthful, and feels lovely. What’s not to love?
Not to sound like your mom or Baz Luhrmann, but: wear sunscreen. Yes, even when it’s cloudy and -3 degrees. The skin of the neck and chest is some of the most delicate on the body and a light sunscreen of at least SPF 15 will protect you from skin cancer and signs of aging, a win-win. I love this one from Supergoop (one of the few I’ve found that doesn’t feel like slathering on cake icing). Just do it.
Once a week, have a self-care day and treat yourself to a mask. Mix plain yogurt and raw honey in a bowl, and spread on your neck and chest. Use a clean brush if you want to feel extra fancy. Go ahead and rub some on your face too, both ingredients are super hydrating, and honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to sooth irritation. After a day in the sun, use aloe that has been stored in the fridge to calm any sun damage, it also feels wonderful. And if a chest pimple appears, don’t panic, DON’T SQUEEZE, simply cover the spot in some tea tree oil or honey with a Band-Aid. After all this love, you’ll probably want to flaunt your dewy décolleté, I like a subtle dusting of bronzer or sophisticated shimmer for a night out (or a whole lot of body glitter, you do you).
Take care of yourself!
Like the rest of your skin, your chest will look better the better care you take of your body. Stay hydrated and eat plenty of green veggies for all over radiance. While you’re at it, stand up straight! Good posture might be the easiest décolletage “fix”, a double duty whammy of confidence-boosting and chest wrinkle-prevention. Also, regular exercise (and a good sports bra) can help firm and tone the décolletage. And lastly, while beautiful skin is important to overall health and wellness, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Stay on top of your breast health, get to know your girls better, and get thee to a doctor if you have any concerns. Your body is the best instrument you’ll ever own, treat it as such.
After you’ve invested some time and self-care effort into this delicate, lovely, and oft-neglected swath of skin, I’m betting you’ll want to show it off. Nothing says “dreamy décolletage” like a new bra. Go ahead, keep treating yourself.
By Isabella Cacciatore