Learning how to get firmer skin may be a priority for you as you get older. Most people will experience a loss in skin firmness and elasticity over time, caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers. As we age, our skin structure begins to change, and our body produces less of the resources we need to maintain a youthful appearance.
However, sagging skin isn’t just a natural result of aging. People who lose weight rapidly will often experience skin sagging. This is one of the reasons why losing weight too quickly or fad dieting is not recommended.
Over time, the more weight you gain, the more your skin stretches to accommodate additional fat. One study found that carrying around excess weight for a long time can cause significant damage to our elastin and collagen fibers, making it harder for skin to revert to its previous consistency when the weight is lost. The same issue can occur after pregnancy, since the skin is forced to stretch rapidly over the abdomen during pregnancy.
Alongside weight loss and aging, various other factors can also contribute to skin sagging or loss of skin firmness. Years of sun exposure can accelerate the aging process, thinning the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). Certain types of illness can also contribute to a loss of skin firmness, such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a rare tissue disorder and an inherited (genetic) condition.
The good news is there are various ways you can improve skin firmness, repair sagging skin, improve your confidence, and increase your self-esteem.
The Benefits of Firmer Skin: Why Consider Skin Tightening?
As we get older, most of us will begin looking into how to get firmer skin. Skin laxity is a natural part of aging, which begins around the age of 35 or 40 for most people. The firmness or tightness of our skin is determined by numerous factors, including internal hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin levels. As you age, these factors are naturally diminished.
However, for many of us, skin laxity can become a significant problem much faster than we would expect. Lifestyle factors, from taking certain medications, such as steroids, to being exposed to damaging substances such as cigarette smoke, can accelerate the aging process.
As mentioned, even losing weight too rapidly increases your chances of sagging or loose skin.
Ultimately, loose skin isn’t dangerous or detrimental to your physical health, but it can have a significant impact on your self-esteem and could cause body image issues.
Using skin firming techniques can:
· Improve skin elasticity: Skin firming strategies such as taking daily collagen supplements, or using hyaluronic acid can improve your skin elasticity on a fundamental level. This can help to slow the aging process, and reduce your risk of further sagging.
· Reduces wrinkles: When your skin can snap easily back into place after you laugh, smile, frown, or exercise, you’re less likely to see wrinkles. Skin tightening treatments can improve collagen production, which helps to fill lines around your face and body, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
· Enhanced confidence: While we all experience skin sagging at some point in our lives, most of us won’t feel entirely comfortable with loose jowls or excess skin around our stomachs. Skin tightening strategies can help to preserve your self-esteem.
How to Get Firmer Skin: Can You Prevent or Improve Sagging Skin?
While you can learn how to get firmer skin after you notice sagging in various areas throughout your body, prevention can often be better than a cure. In many cases, sagging skin is caused by hormonal changes or a hormonal imbalance which could be corrected, or aging, which unfortunately, can’t be prevented. However, even if your skin is losing its firmness due to a natural part of aging, you can still take steps to make your skin more resilient, durable, and elastic.
First, let’s talk about loose skin from weight loss. One of the easiest ways to prevent sagging skin caused by weight loss, is to work on reducing your weight at a healthier, slower pace. Avoid crash diets and other dangerous techniques which could rapidly change the structure of your body, and even damage hormone production.
Now, let’s talk about aging. Some people have genetically younger or more mature skin, so some people will naturally see signs of aging at an older or younger age. Protecting yourself against the potential causes of rapid aging can be helpful. For instance, practicing good sun safety by wearing sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen will help reduce your exposure to UV light, which can break down the collagen in your skin.
Simple lifestyle changes can also contribute to the reduction and prevention of sagging skin. Eating a balanced diet filled with antioxidants will reduce the impact free radicals have on your skin. These free radicals can produce enzymes known as elastase in your body, which damage elastin production. Avoiding cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to pollutants are also great ways of protecting yourself against free radicals.
Even something as straightforward as staying well hydrated and drinking plenty of water can help preserve your skin elasticity. The body needs moisture to produce collagen and other essential enzymes, so drinking plenty can help your skin to appear more youthful, and firmer.
How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
Loose skin after weight loss is one of the main reasons people want to know how to get firmer skin. Losing weight can be an excellent way to preserve your health and reduce your risk of various chronic conditions, from diabetes to heart issues. However, the faster you lose weight, the more you’re likely to notice sagging around areas of missing fat.
When it comes to how to get firmer skin, there are various ways you can begin to tighten your skin, both during and after the weight loss process. For instance:
1. Use firming lotions and creams
Firming skin products are specially designed for the treatment of loose skin. While they may not eliminate all sagginess entirely, they can help to provide your body with more of the nutrients, enzymes, and moisture it needs to replenish itself.
Studies show that retinoids can be effective in stimulating the production of collagen, which could help your skin to appear firmer. Consider looking for products which include tretinoin, adapalene, and retinoic acid. You can also look for collagen-based creams and supplements, which aim to directly increase the amount of collagen in your epidermis.
Other ingredients to look for in skincare products include:
· Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid binds to water and can help your skin to look plumper, and more hydrated, which reduces sagging. These products are also excellent for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, while improving skin texture.
· Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays an important role in skin health. Deficiencies in this vitamin can increase your chances of skin fragility, making it harder for your skin to snap back into shape after weight loss.
· Glycolic or lactic acid: These substances help to remove the outer layer of your skin, to reveal the fresher skin beneath. This can help to revitalize your appearance, and bring healthier skin to the surface.
2. Try supplements
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help to both prevent and repair damaged skin. Focusing on foods which include plenty of antioxidants will promote collagen production and help you to eliminate free radicals. The best foods for antioxidants are often plant-based. Try getting plenty of vegetables and fruits of different colors into your diet.
If you’re struggling to access all of the nutrients you need from diet alone, or you have a deficiency, you can also consider supplements for Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, all of which are connected to good skin health.
Collagen supplements can also be a great option for replacing the collagen your body will lose naturally over time. They come in a range of different forms, and have been proven in some studies to improve skin elasticity.
3. Embrace massage
Massage is a powerful, natural way to get firmer skin. It stimulates the flow of blood around the body, and improves circulation, ensuring your skin can stay well-nourished and hydrated. Massage can also stimulate certain cells in your skin, known as fibroblasts, which are responsible for the development of connective tissues that keep the skin firm.
Massaging the parts of your body where you notice sagging can help to stimulate the healing process in those areas. It can also help to make other skin firming strategies more effective.
One study looked at the effects of skin massage compared to an anti-aging cream, and found regular massages improved the performance of the cream. You can consider investing in professional massage treatments, or use facial massage rollers and other hand-held products at home.
4. Continue exercising
Even once you’ve achieved your weight loss goals, it’s worth continuing your exercise routine. Consistent exercise will help to nurture and nourish your skin, improving circulation. It also helps to build muscle, which can replace the fat in your body.
Weight lifting and resistance training is great for increasing muscle mass. You can also consider using specific types of exercise, such as yoga and Pilates, which leverage carefully controlled movements to tighten and strengthen various parts of your body.
If you’re worried about loose skin around your face, facial exercises (often referred to as ‘face yoga’) can also be particularly valuable. Exercising your facial muscles can reduce the appearance of jowls, making your jaw, and neck muscles stronger and more elastic.
Facial exercise options to try include:
· Yawning or stretching your mouth as much as possible
· Practicing your kissing techniques by puckering the lips
· Filling your cheeks with air and releasing your breath slowly
· Grinning as much as possible, or laughing
· Saying the sounds “O” and “E” in an exaggerated fashion
These ‘face yoga’ type exercises help firm skin around the face and jawline, and can help slim your face and jawline while also tightening the skin.
How to Get Firmer Skin: Other Treatment Options
Outside of the options above, there are also other treatments you can consider if you want to know how to get firmer skin fast. For severely sagging skin, surgical or cosmetic treatments are often recommended, such as tummy tucks, lower body lifts, face lifts, and arm lifts. You can also speak to a cosmetic surgeon about various contouring procedures which improve body shape.
If you’d prefer a minimally invasive route, options include:
· Ultrasound treatments: Using high-intensity ultrasound waves, professionals can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and promote the production of collagen. A few treatments can result in modest changes in skin tightness and appearance.
· Laser skin treatments: Similar to ultrasound, laser treatments target the deeper layer of the skin, without harming the upper surface. Most of the time, multiple treatments are required. This strategy typically works best for the abdomen and upper arms.
· IPL: Intense Pulsed Light or IPL treatments use lights of various colors to heat the skin cells under the surface, causing an increase in circulation. While this treatment doesn’t always lead to excessive tightening, it can reduce the skins of aging.
· Radiofrequency: With radiofrequency, professionals use specialist devices to heat the tissue underneath the skin, promoting better circulation and collagen production. Radiofrequency treatments can be either surgical, or non-surgical, depending on your needs.
· Laser resurfacing: With laser resurfacing, the top layers of the skin are removed, allowing healthier layers of skin to come to the surface. This can lead to some swelling and discomfort initially, but may produce a better skin texture and consistency.
· Chemical peels: Generally recommended for facial skin tightening, chemical peels are minimally invasive treatments designed to remove the upper layers of the skin. There are various different types of peels available depending on the severity of your skin sagging.
· Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers (facial fillers) can create the appearance of firmer and younger-looking skin. Because they typically contain hyaluronic acid, when dermal fillers are injected, they keep your skin hydrated, soft, and supple. Your skin will have more volume and firmness, you’ll increase the natural levels of collagen in your skin, smooth facial lines and smooth out creases in the face.
Embrace Tighter, Firmer Skin
Many of us will start looking into how to get firmer skin at some point in our lives. Sagging and loose skin is a natural part of aging, and it can also often occur after many different lifestyle and hormone changes. While sagging skin isn’t physically harmful, it can impact your self-esteem, and your confidence.
Finding ways to improve skin tightness could result in a more youthful appearance, and a better overall quality of life. However, before you start making any changes to your routine, it’s worth learning a little more about your skin, and what the aging process might look like for you.
Your CircleDNA test can give you an insight into your nutritional needs, for preserving good skin health. Your DNA test results also include genetic skin profile reports, so you can learn your genetic skin traits. The results will explain what you can expect in terms of wrinkles, sagging, and fine lines. For example, you’ll find out if you have genetically younger skin.
Anyone can get firmer, more resilient skin by taking action and treating your issue with the remedies in this article.
- NCBI: Image analyzer study of the skin in patients with morbid obesity and massive weight loss
- NCBI: Retinoids: Literature Review and Suggested Algorithm for Use Prior to Facial Resurfacing Procedures
- NCBI: The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health
- NCBI: Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
- PLOS ONE: Effects of a skin-massaging device on the ex-vivo expression of human dermis proteins and in-vivo facial wrinkles