Best for: Pre-event primping
In a less-than-ideal start, I accidentally applied the protective film from the Talika Bio Enzymes Anti-Aging Neck Mask
($11), thinking it was the mask. After that initial mishap, the "second skin" easily stayed put for 30 minutes. The results were, in a word, impressive. The direct-hit hyaluronic acid and collagen formula had clearly nestled into my deep neck lines, plumping them and making them less visible.
Bottom line: While the groves didn't vanish completely, I'd absolutely use the mask before a big event. "Deep wrinkles are very hard to eradicate even with lasers," confirms Debra Jaliman, MD, board-certified NYC dermatologist, Assistant Professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. Psst...Here are other secrets for putting your best face forward in photos.
Best for: Overall texture improvement
My first thought was that Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Firming Treatment Mask
($65 for 5) had a strong smell I couldn't put my finger on. Maybe a result of the botanical-infused formula? My second thought was how much I enjoyed the two-in-one component as it treats both your face and neck. That said, the paper-thin sheet came loose from my neck several times during the 15-minute treatment. It helped to smooth the mask in place and lay down without hunching over my computer typing this review.
Bottom line: My neck wrinkles remained deep valleys, but my skin's overall texture looked smoother and brighter. Here are more tricks for naturally glowing skin.
Best for: Resuablitity
File Frownies Neck Treatment Mask
($15) under: another mask that's at its best when laying horizontal. The biometric membrane carrier patch (fancy!) did try and make an escape while I was scurrying around my apartment, but laying down so that it didn't budge was probably an overdue moment of self-care anyway. Though I hadn't chilled the mask, I was pleasantly surprised by the cooling sensation it infused along my throat when applied. I took it off after 20 minutes (you can leave it on for up to 30) and noticed that the area was plumper.
Bottom line: The reusable mask—three to five uses in total—definitely softened the wrinkles around my neck and kept my skin hydrated long after it'd been removed. And here, find out which products you should actually chill in the fridge.
Best for: Erasing "crinkles"
The brand made famous by their 15-minute laser and light facial is making it easy to treat your self at home with its Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Neck & Chest Sheet Mask
($58 for 5). I easily applied the neck and décolleté overlay, which proved to have impressive staying power, and kicked back for a half-hour episode of Watch What Happens Live
(10 minutes longer than the suggested time allotment, oops). The double duty mask, infused with a whopping 19 skin conditioning extracts, works to soften, brighten, and tone on contact.
Bottom line: Buh bye, crinkles! Well, not exactly, but close. It worked to visibly minimize the lines in my neck, while brightening sun spots on my chest. I was so impressed, I drenched my face in the leftover goop. "Masks can improve crepiness and discoloration, but gradually over time and with consistent use," confirms Dr. Jaliman. Don't miss these 50 everyday habits that erase years from your appearance.
Best for: Defying gravity
First of all, major points for the innovative ear straps that secured the Dr. Jart+ Neck & Chin Lift
($12) mask in place for the full 30 minutes. That plus the industrial strength adhesive—and grippy dots for traction—locked this thing down (I didn't even mind that it resembled a post-surgery bandage). Unlike the others, which were wet with serums and other formulas, this volufiline, collagen, and adenosine-laced sheet was dry, and therefore less messy.
Bottom line: "Blown away" is really the first thought I had. My skin did look tighter and smoother. The neck lines did diminish quite impressively. And not that I was ever worried about a double chin, but that tiny bit of skin hanging down did seem to suddenly defy gravity. Please excuse me while I go buy out Sephora's stock ...
Best for: Dewy skin
Firming wheat proteins line the targeted Rodial Neck Mask
($10) treatment that stuck pretty well to my neck. I instantly felt the promised cooling effects and was thankful for the hydrating hyaluronic acid, since a sleepless night had left my skin tired and wilted-looking.
Bottom line: My epidermis definitely appreciated the moisturizing qualities and looked healthier after use. My skin was also especially dewy, which lasted well into the next day.
Pro tip: Exfoliate before you apply the mask so it's penetrated better into the skin since your pores open up and products get absorbed easier, adds Dr. Jaliman. Don't miss these best skin-care practices by age.
Best for: A quick fix
Five-minute results coupled with the all-in-one face and neck shape and the melon scent made me a fan of Patchology Firm 5 Minute Flashmasque For Face and Neck
($30 for 4) before the wait time was up. Soy proteins and peptides in the serum-smothered mask work to improve the appearance of dullness and the loss of skin density that comes with age, according to the package.
Bottom line: Five minutes is almost less than a commercial break! My determined neck lines remained, but my skin was noticeably brighter, and an added bonus was that redness on my face has been minimized. (No surprise there since soy is known to help maintain a natural glow).