Sagging skin can be a side effect of the aging process — part and parcel to the fine lines and wrinkles that develop over time as skin loses elasticity and collagen production declines. Excessive exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, smoking cigarettes, and a poor diet can all diminish elasticity. And you may also find yourself experiencing sagging skin if you’ve lost a large amount of weight — generally 100 pounds or more — as the stretched-out skin doesn’t always have the ability to bounce back.
There’s no miraculous cream or drug that will instantly remedy the situation outside of surgery, Dr. Jennifer Capla, a plastic surgeon in New York City, tells WebMD. This means face lifts, tummy tucks and other cosmetic surgery procedures are sometimes the only way to truly get rid of extreme cases of extra skin and/or wrinkles.
In more moderate problem areas, however, there are other ways to tighten skin and restore it to the best condition possible — especially before deciding to go under the knife. Let’s take a closer look at some of these methods and how you can start bettering your skin today.
Lifting weights can tighten sagging skin. | iStock.com
Maintaining a workout regimen that includes weight training and muscle-building exercises in addition to cardio can be helpful to tightening sagging skin, as muscle creates a firmer, tauter appearance. According to Healthy and Natural World, strength training creates a layer of muscle underneath the skin, which causes it to become tighter. Three times a week is recommended to reap the benefits.
A healthy diet will promote supple and tight skin. | iStock.com
While you’re working out to build that muscle, make sure you’re feeding your body properly with adequate and quality sources of amino acids and protein. Collagen and elastin are two things that are needed to keep skin resilient and tight — and these ingredients are generally found in protein-rich foods such as grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, wild fish, eggs, nuts, and bone broth. You can even take supplements with collagen protein powders that dissolve into everything from your morning coffee to your post-workout smoothie. Of course, a good range of fresh vegetables and fruits is essential, too.
Try a skin-firming lotion
The right lotion can help firm and tighten your sagging skin. | iStock.com/robertprzybysz
Moisturizing is a key part of helping to tighten and improve the appearance of your skin. There are a number of skin-firming lotions on the market that fit all price ranges. But look for formulas that contain ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, to help not only hydrate the skin but also increase collagen and elastin formation.
Exfoliate to help keep your skin looking young. | iStock.com/dashek
Aside from a skin-firming lotion, you can also do much good for your skin by exfoliating it effectively. Regular exfoliation and dry brushing helps remove dead skin cells and increases circulation. You can also look into a sea salt scrub or a bath with sea salts, which can help with blood flow to the skin and help tighten its appearance over time.
Get a massage
Who doesn’t love a massage? | iStock.com
Yes, we are telling you to get a massage. Not only do they do wonders for your stress level, they also help increase blood circulation, which will yield benefits to your skin and its appearance. Plus, the products used in many spas and massage boutiques are infused with essential oils that hydrate and nourish the skin. It won’t be an overnight effect — nothing is — but it’s a good step in the right direction.
Always make sure you are drinking enough water. | iStock.com/fizkes
Moisturize your body from the inside out, and drink your way to tighter-looking skin with a good dose of H2O every day. It helps create a more radiant skin tone while also improving elasticity. Six to eight glasses of water are recommended at a minimum. But you may need more than that in the summer if you’re sweating it out in hot yoga classes or spin sessions.