Have you noticed more saggy skin lately?
As we age, often our skin doesn’t look as tight as it used to.
Find out what causes this and the seven ways you can help improve the look of your skin without having to undergo a facelift or other similar invasive procedure.
What is Saggy Skin?
Saggy skin—or loose skin as it’s often called—is skin that has lost its elasticity and can no longer snap back to its original position. It droops or sags on the skin (or other areas of the body) rather than holding tight to the underlying muscles and ligaments.
We usually notice sagging skin first on our faces. The skin starts to sag around the eyes, with the eyelids drooping more heavily over the eyes and the skin under the eyes loosening and sometimes, creating “bags.”
Next, we often notice the skin sagging around the jowls. It begins to pull down, creating those lines from your nose to the mouth and bagging under the chin. Sagging skin can show up in other places too, like under the arms and in the belly.
Why does this happen?
What Causes Sagging Skin?
As we get older, several changes take place in the skin.
First, the skin undergoes wear and tear. Exposure to the sun and the environment results in repeated assaults that the skin must repair. When you’re younger this repair system works efficiently so you hardly notice the process. But as we get older, this repair system slows down and the skin has a harder time keeping up.
At the same time, the skin loses some of the tools it needs to repair itself. Elastin and collagen are two important proteins that give the skin its strength and structure. The skin produces these proteins itself, but as it ages, production slows down. Levels decline. Other factors also contribute to this decline.
- Exposure to the sun (UV rays)
- Pollutants in the environment, including cigarette smoke
- Lifestyle factors like eating an unhealthy diet or drinking too much
Though aging, wear and tear, and the slow-down of repair are the main causes of sagging skin, there are a few other factors that may play a role. Weight loss is a big one. If you’ve lost significant weight, you may notice that you have excess skin that is now sagging.
Pregnancy, as well, stretches the skin and can leave you with sagging skin around the abdomen that doesn’t bounce back as well as you’d like.
7 Ways to Firm Up Saggy Skin
You can get plastic surgery for sagging skin. There are face lifts, belly lifts, eyelid lifts, and more that can help tighten the appearance of the skin. When the sagging is severe, sometimes these are the only solutions that will make a noticeable difference. If you have lost a significant amount of weight, for instance, you may want to look into these options.
If you aren’t ready to go under the knife, though, several natural methods may help to firm up the skin.
1. Choose a Quality Moisturizer
Many times the reason your skin starts to sag in the first place is that it’s not getting the moisture it needs. Extremely dry skin has a compromised outer barrier, which makes it more vulnerable to the elements. Damage occurs more quickly, and the sagging accelerates.
You can arrest the process by choosing a high-quality moisturizer that sends moisture into the deeper layers of skin where it can help plump up the skin. As it does so, the skin will appear more youthful, the fine lines and wrinkles will fade, and the sagging will be less noticeable.
The key is to keep the skin moisturized always. Apply a quality moisturizer morning and night. If your skin feels tight in the middle of the day, apply again. We recommend our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion, as they both contain natural oils and extracts that encourage repair and healing.
Both are enriched with potent antioxidants, ceramides, and nutrients that help replenish moisture loss, boost collagen production, and improve elasticity in your skin.
This may seem like an odd treatment option, but it can help, particularly if you have sagging skin on the body caused by weight loss or pregnancy. Choose muscle-building exercises that can help reduce the look of minor sagging. Good options include weight lifting/resistance training and pilates.
Exercise can help reduce sagging skin on the face too, if you choose facial exercise. Also called facial yoga, these exercises work the small muscles in the face, relieving tension and strain, increasing blood circulation, and creating a more healthy-looking complexion.
The important thing is to stick with both of these exercise routines—for face and body—on a daily/weekly basis. Consistency will get you results.
3. Consider Supplements
You’ve probably heard of those face-firming supplements out there. Do they really work?
According to one 2018 study, there is potential for these. In that study, participants received a supplement containing collagen peptides, vitamin C, H. sabdariffa (Roselle), and A. Chilensis (Delphynol) once daily for 12 weeks. The researchers evaluated their skin with high-frequency ultrasound and other methods.
The results showed a significant improvement in firmness and elasticity and an increase in dermal thickness (thicker underlying layers) after the study period. The scientists concluded that the supplement could improve the signs of skin aging.
4. Try Targeted Anti-Aging Serums
Some anti-aging serums are targeted specifically toward firming sagging skin. Those that have ingredients like retinol may help improve elasticity around the eyes and other areas of the face.
Some sensitive skin types may find that retinol products increase breakouts. If that happens to you, don’t give up. There are a lot of retinol solutions out there, and many contain time-released retinol or retinol encased in other ingredients that work better for sensitive skin.
Dermatologists and estheticians recommend using our Calming Moisture after exfoliating and retinol treatments to help calm, soothe, and moisturize red, inflamed, flaky skin. Gentle, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic, it provides immediate results while speeding recovery.
Another good ingredient for targeting sagging skin is vitamin C. It’s a well-known antioxidant that supports collagen production. If your skin doesn’t have enough vitamin C, collagen production drops.
Skin tightening creams also contain peptides and amino acids, as these help plump the skin and encourage connective tissue repair.
5. Massage Your Skin Daily
Like any other organ in the body, your skin needs the nutrients carried in the bloodstream. Massage can help improve blood flow to the skin, which not only brings the skin nutrients it needs but can also help remove waste products that damage the skin.
Massage may also stimulate the fibroblasts in the skin. These are cells that help produce connective tissues like collagen and elastin that keep the skin firm.
If you don’t want to massage your face with your hands, consider getting a facial massaging product. There is some evidence that a hand-held massaging device in combination with an anti-aging cream can help increase the effect of the cream on facial wrinkles and neck sagging.
6. Try a Coffee Scrub
Coffee is good for your skin for several reasons. It has protective antioxidants and tightening compounds that work together to help skin appear brighter and more youthful.
A weekly coffee scrub may help reduce the appearance of sagging skin. Try mixing ¼ cup of finely ground coffee grounds in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or olive or jojoba oil). Mix well and apply to the skin using circular motions.
If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test first to be sure the coffee grounds won’t be too harsh for you. Wash with lukewarm water and apply moisturizer.
7. Try a Nonsurgical Procedure
Several cosmetic procedures don’t cut the skin, but rather, treat it in a less invasive way to encourage tightening results. You may still need time to recover, however, as these treatments can cause redness and irritation.
Talk to your dermatologist about these:
- Chemical peel: This removes the outer layer of old skin, helping younger skin come forward. The result is typically smoother, less wrinkled skin.
- Ultrasound skin tightening: Technicians use ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen production in the skin.
- Radiofrequency treatment: Similar to ultrasound treatments, these methods transfer heat to the skin to induce collagen production.
- Pulsed light: These combine intense pulsed light (IPL) and radiofrequency (RF) to heat the outer and deeper layers of the skin. They stimulate collagen production.
While recovering from any of these treatments, be careful not to apply anything irritating to your already sensitive skin. You need hydration, but clean hydration without potentially harmful chemicals. Our doctor-recommended Restorative Skin Balm is ideal for this purpose as it’s 100 percent natural and petroleum-free. It’s designed to prevent moisture loss, speed healing, and protect skin while it heals.
Apply the balm immediately after the procedure for a faster and healthier recovery.
How do you treat sagging skin?
Featured image courtesy Michael Mims on Unsplash.