Do you look in the mirror and worry about saggy skin on your face? While it is a natural effect of aging, it still doesn’t remove the discomfort of actually seeing your skin sag at places it didn’t before.
Loose skin is such a visible sign of getting older and can certainly affect self-esteem. However, it shouldn’t act as a barrier for anything you want to achieve in life. There’s still so much you can do!
But if the appearance of lines and wrinkles still bother you, it would help to keep your skin healthy and vibrant as you age. Fortunately, today, there are many ways to help keep your skin firm and plump without having to resort to extreme measures.
Why Does Our Skin Sag?
As we age, many different factors, both external and natural, contribute to how our skin changes. Over time, our natural elastin and collagen production declines. Apart from this, hyaluronic acid production, which contributes a lot to keeping our skin plump and hydrated, also goes on a decline.
This is especially true when you reach menopause. During menopause, your body loses estrogen, making your skin prone to thinning, sagging, and wrinkling. Your body also doesn’t make as much collagen as it used to, making you lose the fat under your skin and reducing its elasticity.
That, combined with the dryness from hormonal changes, contributes to sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
We retain less and less moisture the older we get, and external threats such as prolonged UV exposure, smoking, alcohol consumption, and overconsumption of sugar can do more harm than ever before. In the midst of all these adjustments that our body makes, the threat of loose or sagging skin becomes more pronounced.
As such, it’s important that we stay on the lookout for the new don’ts that come with maturity. It also helps a great deal for us to put a bit more value into certain healthy habits that become even more vital to maintain throughout the years.
Again, there are many ways to counter the appearance of loose and sagging skin. It’s important to remember that prevention is the key when taking care of your skin. So be mindful of harmful habits and unnecessary environmental exposure that can damage your skin.
That said, incorporating these tips and habits into your daily, weekly, or monthly routines can help a lot in keeping your skin firm and hydrated.
Here are some ways to maintain plump and healthy skin, even past the changes your body goes through over time
TO DO AT HOME
While physical exercise and subsequent weight loss may result in saggy skin, it can also be the main factors in helping firm up skin. Replacing lost fat with muscle can help tone and lessen the appearance of loose skin. Weight and resistance training help build muscles to fill up the void of sagging skin, making it appear tighter and fuller
View the top workouts for mature women by clicking here.
Diet plays a significant role in overall health and firming up the skin is just one of its benefits. Consuming food and supplements that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and protein while low in sugar and saturated fats may help reduce the appearance of loose and saggy skin.
Antioxidants are substances that help to protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause cell damage, hurting your skin. While not all antioxidants boost collagen production, they will help the collagen that is already present in your body to maintain skin structure and elasticity.
Avocados are a great source of fatty acids and vitamins to help skin hydration and cell regeneration. It also promotes collagen synthesis - the process of creating connective tissue - to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Another superfood for your skin can benefit from are Chia seeds. Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and are known to be the building blocks of healthy skin cells. Their high antioxidant content helps lock in moisture while protecting against environmental damage.
Find out more superfoods to keep your skin smooth and by clicking healthy here.
3. Facial Massage
Facial massages can help tone your facial muscles. The more you massage them the stronger they become, giving a firmer and tighter look. A study shows that facial massage improved upper and lower cheek fullness.
Use a gua sha tool or a jade roller to contour the face. It’s been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to reduce facial tension and eye puffiness. It’s used with the intention of smoother lymphatic flow on your skin. That means draining waste fluids away from tense areas on your face.
4. Limit Alcohol Intake & Quit Smoking
Smoking is generally bad for your health but also greatly affects the skin. Nicotine reduces the absorption of nutrients in your skin by disrupting blood flow. That means, much-needed nutrients don’t reach your skin, leaving it dull and thin.
Furthermore, the toxins in tobacco damage collagen and elastin that keep your skin firm and supple. Years of smoking can lead to deeper wrinkles and significantly reduce skin elasticity.
Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can make your skin dry. It’s well known that drinking alcohol keeps your body dehydrated and that also shows on your skin. Dehydrated skin is more likely to develop wrinkles and creases.
TO DO AT CLINICS
Non-invasive to minimal invasive treatments may also help manage loose and sagging skin. It is best used with a combination of a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding smoking and tanning procedures. These also require less recovery time and without the risks of actual surgery.
This is basically a procedure that includes a wand that delivers heat deep into the skin to promote collagen growth. Minimal invasive procedures include inserting tiny tubes to firm up the skin in specific areas. This helps you see results faster, often in a span of a month.
2. Laser Treatments
Laser treatments usually focus on the outer layer of the skin. It essentially helps boost collagen production and improve overall skin tone. This usually includes multiple appointments before observing visible results and is often applied not only to the face but to the upper arms and the belly as well.
3. Laser Resurfacing
Not to be confused as another laser treatment, Laser resurfacing is one of the most effective procedures for tightening loose skin. It also helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles by removing the upper layer of the skin and heating the deeper layers. However, it does require a recovery time of 5-7 days for the skin to properly heal.
Ultherapy is basically the use of ultrasound technology. It works on the deepest layers of the skin. It takes some months to see visible effects on your skin. For more dramatic results, it may require more than two or three treatments. The results however are not permanent and tend to last for 1-2 years since the skin continues to age so repeated treatments are needed continuously.
Cosmetic fillers work by using substances to smooth wrinkles and creases by literally filling up the tissue underneath. They are injected directly into problem areas, most commonly under the eyes and around the mouth. The oldest and usually used substance is collagen. Though there have been many alternatives such as hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethylmethacrylate beads and even your own fat from thighs or belly.
Treatments & Remedies that are not proven to work
There certainly are many methods to firming up skin, but not all are effective. Some don’t even work at all, according to studies and are all just hype.
1. Cucumber/Egg masks
While it may temporarily shrink your pores and give your skin a tight feeling, there have been no studies to support that cucumber or other topical at home food masks help firm up your skin. As much as home remedies like these sound simple and easy to use, chances are they aren’t likely to work since the skin is very complex and need a wide spectrum of ingredients and actives in correct percentages to start producing more collagen.
2. Facial exercises
The idea of facial exercises is similar to overall exercise for the body: to help shape and tone the muscles for firmer skin. However, there is little evidence to suggest the effectiveness of these exercises. The studies that do exist on this method do not involve ample sizes to convincingly determine proper results.
3. Skin tightening supplements
A wide range of over the counter supplements claim to firm up skin. But more often than not, these claims are exaggerated or simply unsupported. For example edible collagen, have not actually been proven to firm up the skin and you can simply not replace lost collagen in the skin by eating it. The same goes for topical collagen. Moreover, many of the collagen supplements that are available on the market contain harmful ingredients like artificial flavors, sugars, non-organic oils etc that are best avoided.
Alternatively, your best option in this path is to consume a wide variety of antioxidants and avoid sugar which break down collagen fibers. Having a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables helps you achieve this. Using natural skin care products with ingredients that are packed with a vast amount of antioxidants and nutrients can also give you visible and lasting results.
View the 10 common skincare ingredients that are not working by clicking here.
At Home Skincare & Ingredients that are proven to work
Firming Skin Care:
Firming creams and serums may also have significant effects on the appearance of your skin. Make sure that your products contain well-studied actives and antioxidants in higher concentrations to see significant results. Just keep in mind that it takes around 3 months to see the skin tightening effects of OTC skincare, and you need to be consistent to retain the results. However, it’s also important to know that the only goal of skincare is not to reverse the effects of skin damage, but also prevent further damage and collagen breakdown. See the below list for the best ingredients to treat sagging skin.
Retinol is a popular derivative of Vitamin A known to speed up cell turnover, making way for smoother and fresher skin cells. This may lead to many believing that retinol thins the skin. But the opposite is actually true. Retinol works deep and stimulates the production of collagen, making skin thicker, giving it more volume and a fuller and firmer appearance. Just make sure that you use a time-released version to avoid common side effects associated with Retinol. Also make sure to only invest in skincare products that list their percentages.
Goal Percentage: No less than 0.3% for beginners. 0.5% is a high strength that works for most skin types. After a while you can also use 1% if the skin can tolerate it.
Find out more about Retinol by clicking here.
Hyaluronic Acid is known to help lock in moisture in your skin. To combat loose skin, it's essential to keep it moisturized so it can appear fuller and firmer. As we age, our skin loses its ability to retain moisture, resulting in wrinkles and fine lines.
Research has shown that applying hyaluronic acid topically has helped reduce skin roughness and increased skin firmness and elasticity compared to those who didn’t.
Goal Percentage: You need at least 1% to see a significant difference of the pure form (not diluted). 2% is considered high strength and gives more results. Anything above may irritate and damage the skin.
Find out more about hydrating ingredients by clicking here.
Birch Tree Sap
Fairly unknown still but well-studied. A tree sap with low molecular weight that easily penetrates the skin to deliver all of the actives and nutrients exactly where they need to be. The sap on it’s own contains 55 bioactive nutrients for skin such as enzymes, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids and works as the optimal carrier for strong actives eliminating any irritation or side effects. Works as water replacement in formulas.
Goal Percentage: Anything over 50% in formulas have shown to have powerful collagen building properties as well as slowing down the rate of collagen breakdown. You can however still reap some of the wonderful properties of birch sap in lower concentrations.
Find out more about Birch Sap by clicking here.
Vitamin C: Depending on what you are looking for as low as 0.6% has been proven to be effective and have antioxidant and firming properties. A low dose can also repair and nourish the skin and enhance the effects of other vitamins in a formula. If you are looking to get rid of stubborn hyperpigmentation however you might want to consider a 10%-15% solution, unless the vitamin is combined with other skin lightening ingredients like Mulberry or Roseroot.
On a side note, skin studies have shown that when Vitamin A (retinol), C and E are formulated together they have very powerful antioxidant effects, up to four times more compared to when used on their own.
In conclusion, while skin does lose its natural elasticity over time, how we integrate the right parts of nature and nurture into our routines can contribute drastically to just how much time and age can have a negative effect on our skin’s texture and appearance.
Making conscious decisions about our habits as well as the products that we use matters a lot in keeping our skin in tip top shape, regardless of age. As you now know, there are multitudes of ways that you can help yourself look your best even as the years pass--but one of the simplest and most convenient ways to do so is to be extra particular about what type of products you use for your skin.
If you’re one of those people that loves keeping things convenient and simple without losing out on top-tier efficacy, we invite you to incorporate NOOMI’s BirchTech Hybrid, a one-step night routine treatment that delivers on providing you with full-spectrum ingredients, so you get results and can look your best with little to no effort. It’s always made fresh so that the actives are at their peak when they arrive at your doorstep.
Please note that we do however always make small batches for efficacy and sustainability reasons, which means that we only have limited quantities and not always have the product in stock, but we are doing our best to keep all of our current and new customers happy.