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Encapsulated Caffeine: Your Neck's New Most Loved Skincare Ingredient


Many of us can’t deny the boost we get every morning from a cup of coffee. But did you know that caffeine can also provide a lift to the look of sagging skin -- especially the crepiness that shows up on our necks as we age?

Photo of coffee beans

Let’s back up. We spend a lot of time focused on what we see happening on our faces, but often forget about our necks until we suddenly catch a glimpse of looser skin and wrinkles that seem to come out of nowhere.

The truth is your neck skin is equally as important as your face. It even requires special attention. But it’s not as simple as just sliding your usual face cream down to your neck.

The sensitivity and fragility of the skin here require certain ingredients like caffeine and formulations to best address the signs of aging. Here’s what you need to know.

The benefits of caffeine as an anti-aging neck treatment

We know that caffeine is rich in antioxidants, which fight off free radicals that contribute to the thinning and aging of the neck. But did you know that coffee is the number-one source of antioxidants (even more so than tea and wine), according to the American Chemical Society? Sun, pollution, smoke, environmental toxins—antioxidants have been clinically proven to prevent and reverse damage from them all, according to studies.

Research has also found that caffeine easily penetrates the skin barrier and energizes the skin, which helps improve the overall appearance of skin, visually tightening and smoothing it.

“Massaging encapsulated caffeine into the skin helps reduce puffiness and bloat,” says Perricone MD’s Chief Innovation Officer Chris Caires.

“It also helps to ensure potency and delivery of the cream into the skin,” so that all other key ingredients go where they need to, in order to maximize their benefits. Encapsulating caffeine allows it to cross the skin lipid barrier even more efficiently.

The best way to get your caffeine fix? With Perricone MD’s Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/ Neck. It’s formulated with a patented encapsulated caffeine delivery system which tightens, firms and tones while delivering a healthy dose of hydration.

Photo of Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/Neck

How caffeine helps fight the neck’s aging

Not only does the neck have fewer fibrous ligaments than the face (translation: it sags faster and more dramatically because there’s not much propping it up), but the skin is thinner, making it more prone to damage. Our own bad beauty habits don’t help—even those of us who diligently apply anti-aging creams and sunscreen often stop at our chins.

According to Harvard Health, “with age, that fat [in our face] loses volume, clumps up and shifts downward, so features that were formerly round may sink and skin that was smooth and tight gets loose and sags. Meanwhile other parts of the face gain fat, particularly the lower half, so we tend to get baggy around the chin and jowly in the neck.”

Photo of a woman's neck

Credit: Yazemeenah Rossi

Another component in the aged appearance of the neck? Loss of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body that helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones. Think of it as the scaffolding for our skin. When you have a lot of it, it creates a nice tension to the skin’s surface. As it disintegrates, wrinkles form. And one area where that scaffolding is most important is the neck.

“Collagen provides the neck skin with strength & firmness. It’s the most abundant protein found in the skin, making up about 80% of our skin,” explains Perricone MD’s Director of Education, Rosalba Martone.

By our mid-20's, natural collagen production starts to decline by one to two percent each year. The breakdown of these fibers can be a result of smoking, environmental aggressors, hormonal imbalances and poor diet. But the biggest culprit is sun damage, which is responsible for over 90 percent of our wrinkles. When UV rays penetrate the skin, they begin a complicated process in which protein enzymes chew up collagen fibers. That’s why you may see more thinning, wrinkling and sagging on sun-exposed areas like the jawline, neck and chest.

Cutting-edge ingredients work together as an anti-aging powerhouse

In addition to caffeine, the ingredient list in Perricone MD’s Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/Neck treatment is designed to address the major signs of neck aging, such as wrinkles, creases, sagging and rough, crepey texture.

Photo of Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/Neck

DMAE helps smooth and contour sagging skin. According to research, the benefits of DMAE may include improving the appearance of skin’s texture, tone and firmness. One study even found that topically applied DMAE led to the appearance of an increased thickness of the epidermal and dermal skin layers, as well as the appearance of collagen-rich skin.

Peptides help fortify damaged skin. They are long chains of amino acids, the building blocks of healthy skin. When applied to the skin’s surface, peptides can help improve the appearance of damaged skin caused by collagen breakdown by smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

Encapsulated Caffeine creates an immediate tightening and smoothing effect (instant gratification) while working hard to deliver the other active ingredients to the places where they can best affect the epidermis.

Together, these skincare ingredients work to “address the most common signs of neck aging, including loss of firmness and sagging skin, loss of contour and chisel, and lines and wrinkles,” says Martone.

So, before you invest in a wardrobe of scarves and turtlenecks, try the Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/ Neck treatment. In a consumer-use study, 87 percent of users reported an improvement in the appearance of firmness in the neck area after just 45 days of use.