Long before flashing your midriff (and the rest) was a thing, formal dressing was often about highlighting the décolletage. The original erogenous zone, it has been catapulted back to the top of the style agenda following a series of noteworthy looks – on the red carpet and on screen – that made the décolletage the unmistakable focus. Like on the hit show Bridgerton, where elegant, swan-like necks and pillowy busts take centre stage in Regency-era dresses, but also at the Met Gala and Oscars, where everyone from Kate Moss and Bella Hadid to Adut Akech and Kim Kardashian showed off smooth, gleaming skin on generously exposed décolletages.
“The skin on our face is stronger than the skin on the neck and décolletage, and people tend to forget about these parts of the body,” says facialist to the stars, Joanna Czech. “You can see the ageing process faster on the décolleté, because there are fewer sebaceous glands, and the lipid layer is reduced by 30 to 40 per cent to that of the face.” For smooth, glowing skin in the area, all it takes is a little know-how (and subsequent effort). Below, Vogue speaks to the experts on how to make your chest look its best this summer.
Maximise your skincare
“The face starts with the nipples and ends at the hairline,” proclaims Czech – it’s her cardinal rule of skincare. “Treat the décolleté exactly like you treat your face and how you treat your body – it should get double treatment.” Simply take your facial serums, whether vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or retinol, down to your nipples, and any body creams or moisturisers over the top for deep nourishment and to treat any skin concerns. You don’t technically need to use products which are specifically for the area.
That said, there are some brilliant sheet masks that are cut perfectly to fit the area, and Czech is a big fan. “They offer instant results and can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and plump up the skin,” she says. One of her – and Vogue’s – favourites is 111Skin’s Black Celestial Diamond Lifting and Firming Mask for Neck. Her top tip is to use an ice cube over the mask for added cryo effect.