Is the wobbling in your upper arms a source of concern for you? Or when you look in the mirror, do you find yourself gently pulling back the skin on your face, wishing that it would stay in place? In addition to being unpleasant, loose skin can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem. This sagging and loss of definition can occur practically anywhere on the body, although the face, neck, belly, and arms are most affected. So what are the general methods one can use for skin firming?
First, we will look at the causes that can lead to saggy skin.
CAUSES OF SAGGY SKIN / LOOSE SKIN
It is possible to develop loose skin in a variety of ways; once you have it, though, it is tough to reverse. Skin sagging happens gradually as a result of the loss of elastin, collagen, and other structural fibers in the skin as we age. However, various internal and environmental causes can accelerate the aging and sagging of your skin. Which are discussed below;
- Age. Skin laxity, also known as the loosening of the skin, usually begins to manifest itself between the ages of 35 and 40 years.
- Collagen Loss. The skin contains structural proteins such as elastin, collagen, and proteoglycans, as well as fibrils. All of these elements work together to stretch your skin without breaking it. Collagen is the most prevalent structural protein in the body, comprising 7–80% of the skin’s makeup. Elastin is less abundant yet more flexible than collagen. Aging has come to be linked with Collagen. It helps maintain the skin’s young appearance by supplying structure to the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. The body naturally loses collagen as we age. As a result of this steady loss of volume and elasticity, the skin loses its form and begins to sag.
- Sun Exposure. Sun has a big chunk of being the culprit in damaging the skin. The sun releases two forms of ultraviolet radiation that reach the Earth: UVA and UVB, both of which destroy DNA in the skin. UVA is the more damaging type of ultraviolet radiation. The use of ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin cancer and accelerate the loss of collagen, which naturally begins to decline by around 1 percent every year starting at the age of 20. It was discovered in a study involving 298 Caucasian women aged 30 to 78 that UV radiation is responsible for 80 percent of obvious face aging indicators, like saggy skin, vascular changes, and wrinkles. Have more concern about what other damages can be caused by skin exposure? Find them out in our dedicated article here.
- Sagging Due to Weight Loss. Yes, you read it right. If you’ve lost weight, you may find that you have saggy skin around the areas with the most fat accumulation. This is because when the body accumulates weight, the skin expands. According to one research, when a person is overweight for an extended period of time, it can cause damage to the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers. This impairs the skin’s ability to reattach itself following weight loss.
- Pregnancy. After pregnancy, it is usual to have some degree of sagging, loose skin. Women who are pregnant with multiples, such as twins or triplets, may have more sagging skin around the belly than women who are pregnant with a single child. Maternal age might also be a factor.
- Alcohol Intake. The most common explanation is that alcohol dehydrates us and leads us to excrete significant volumes of water. This would inevitably dehydrate the skin. It would also disturb our bodies’ general water balance. Regular drinking binges wreak havoc on the skin.
- Genetic factor. Another issue that results in sagging skin is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. It is a hereditary category of disorders characterized by defective collagen function. It has the potential to harm the connective tissues that support and shape the skin, joints, bones, blood vessels, and organs.
SKIN FIRMING TREATMENTS FOR SAGGING SKIN
Excess skin often forms folds that rub against one another, which is referred to as chafing. Friction damages the skin’s surface layer (epidermis), causing rashes, inflammation, and skin tears that can encourage infection. Chafing most frequently occurs on the thighs, groin, underarms, or stomach, although it can occur in any location with excessively loose-hanging skin. Skin folds collect a great deal of perspiration and debris and are generally difficult to clean. Moisture, heat, and uncleanliness can all contribute to the growth of fungal skin diseases.
Saggy skin can be treated with a variety of methods, ranging from topical creams to invasive operations, depending on the level of structural damage that has to be repaired. Although you cannot stop the sagging process with aging, you may surely slow it or lessen the amount of drooping that occurs. here are some non-surgical ways to skin firming.
TOPICAL SKIN FIRMING METHODS
1. Skin Firming Products
While firming creams should not be relied upon exclusively, they can make a noticeable impact in tightening loose skin. Certain products even help to conceal the look of cellulite.
- Moisturizer Usage. The most fundamental guideline of skincare is to hydrate your skin on a consistent basis. Skin that is dry and dehydrated is less elastic, making it more prone to wrinkles, fine lines, and drooping as it ages. The main ingredients that cause firming if skin falls into 2 categories, antioxidants and cell regulators. Even though your skin is oily, this does not necessarily imply that it is adequately hydrated; rather, it is just generating an excessive amount of oil. When the skin is dehydrated, the sebaceous glands typically go into overdrive in order to compensate for the lack of moisture in the skin. Individuals with sensitive skin should seek a moisturizer with gentle ingredients. By using a high-quality moisturizer on your skin, you can plump it up and tighten up the loose skin, decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, to ensure that these improvements remain, you must moisturize daily. Choose a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid 0.1%, retinol, Vitamins. Consultation with a dermatologist may be prudent to ensure you make the right option.
- Get Retinoids. To get the most out of your firming cream, look for one that has retinoids and collagen as it’s the best choice. The term “retinoids” refers to chemical compounds of vitamin A, which include the following adapalene, tretinoin, and retinoic acid. Their effects on skin cells include increasing their proliferation, maturation, and turnover as studied in research. Contact your doctor prior to utilizing retinoid products to determine the optimum dosage and duration of usage.
- Vitamin C. Antioxidants such as vitamin C can aid in the production of collagen while also combating free radical-induced skin damage and improving the benefits of other skincare products. Certain studies indicate that when used for at least 12 weeks, it can help minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
- Skin Rejuvenators. Acids that rejuvenate the skin, such as hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid, can promote the shedding of dead, drooping skin layers and the creation of new, firmer ones.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most firming products offer subtle results at best, mostly by acting as a moisturizer. Those who do notice results with these products may need to continue taking them to maintain those outcomes. Numerous firming gels, lotions, patches, and other treatments are available to treat mild instances of loose skin on a topical basis. Apply these treatments every day and be sure to follow a healthy skin routine, which includes wearing sunscreen on a regular basis.
When it comes to boosting the appearance of the skin, there are a few supplements that can help you achieve your goals.
- Collagen Products. Such products have gained so much popularity and it’s, for this reason, because it works to restore the collagen that has been depleted from the body. Collagen is available in a variety of forms, including a collagen drink. Take it on a daily basis and regularly if you want to see benefits. A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that women who took 10 grams of oral collagen peptides in a drink at bedtime had better skin collagen levels and structure after four weeks. After eight weeks, their skin was softer and more moisturized.
- Vitamins. One of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin is to consume a mix of these vitamins. Nutritional supplements such as vitamin A and vitamin C and E can help to protect collagen and elastin in the skin, while vitamin E can aid to protect the skin from UV damage while also increasing blood flow. When using supplements, it is necessary to stick to the recommended dosage on the package. The recommended dosage of each type of vitamin is listed as below;
Vitamin A The RDA for vitamin A is 700 mcg for males and 900 mcg for females. Vitamin C In typical, healthy conditions, males need 90 mg of vitamin C and women 75 mg. Vitamin D A healthy adult needs 20 mcg of vitamin D every day. Vitamin E A daily intake of 15 mg of vitamin E is recommended for a healthy adult. Vitamin K Adults need between 90 and 120 ugs per day.
Individuals with a health issue should see their physician before using supplements to avoid undesired side effects or interactions with other drugs.
Regular exercise is critical for maintaining good health and aging gracefully. Certain forms of exercise may also assist to slow the sagging process of the skin. Exercise can help saggy skin induced by mild weight reduction or pregnancy. Any type of exercise that increases muscular mass or tightens muscles can decrease mild skin sagging. Certain exercises may help in firming the skin.
- Weight Lifting. Increase muscular mass by exercising with weights, machines, or resistance bands. The scientists conducted research that endurance exercise minimized skin alterations via enhancing tissue metabolism, particularly by increasing skeletal muscle interleukin-15 levels ( an important factor for skeletal muscle growth). You can use dumbbells, machines, or your own body weight, but it is recommended to do 4 days of resistance exercise each week. Add 2–3 days of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost metabolism and develop muscular growth. Learn more about how to do resistance exercises here.
- Pilates. Pilates, also known as Contrology, is a kind of exercise that focuses on tightening and strengthening the body’s core, glutes, legs, and arms through controlled motions. It is advised to do pilates 2-3 times a week to start feeling the advantages (increased flexibility, balance, and strength) within 2–3 weeks.
- Facial Exercise. The easiest and cheapest method of all is to try exercising the facial muscles. Facial workouts tone and tighten the muscles of the face using different approaches. For example, jawline workouts reportedly lessen the appearance of a double chin, which is a difficult region for losing fat and sagging skin. While there is less clinical data supporting the efficacy of face exercises or “facial yoga,“ new research has emerged in recent years. Exercises for the face can help tighten the skin around the chin, jowls, and throat. Numerous proponents of yoga claim that particular movements might help reduce sagging face skin.
- A 2018 Northwestern University study found that 20 weeks of regular face workouts resulted in noticeably tighter skin and fuller upper and lower cheeks. Simhasana is an excellent position to practice for this (Lion Pose). Other adjuncts that can also be used for facial exercises are jade rollers and Gua sha. Gua sha is an ancient Chinese tool that helps promote lymphatic drainage
increase blood circulation and relax facial muscles.
If you have loose skin from a recent pregnancy, consult a physician before exercising since some exercises may be contraindicated.
Massaging saggy skin can assist to enhance blood flow and elicit an anti-aging response. Massage may increase blood flow and boost the production of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that assist in the production of connective tissues such as collagen and elastin, which help maintain the firmness of the skin. One study looked into the benefits of skin massage when used in conjunction with an anti-aging skincare product. The study demonstrated that regular massage with a hand-operated oscillating massage tool enhanced the cream’s beneficial benefits. According to 2017 research, utilizing a gentle skin massage device for 1 minute twice a day for 10 days boosted the expression of skin molecules such as procollagen-1, fibrillin, and tropoelastin.
NON-SURGICAL METHODS FOR SKIN FIRMING
When it comes to lifting saggy skin, these treatments provide a quick and effective option. These procedures are referred to as non-invasive since they do not cause any damage to your skin. Non-invasive clinical techniques for tightening loose skin are based on the premise of stimulating the creation of collagen and elastin by directing directed energy to the deeper layers of the skin. Following the procedure, you will not have a puncture hole, incision, or raw skin. You may have transient redness and swelling, but this is typically the only indication that you underwent surgery. Some of them include;
1. Chemical Peels
The removal of the outer layer of drooping or wrinkled skin on the face and neck can improve the look of loose, sagging, or wrinkled skin. Once the old skin is peeled away, the new skin is generally smoother and less wrinkled. While chemical peels are frequently performed on the face, they can also be utilized on other parts of the body, including the neck and hands. It is advised that the treatment be repeated every 4 to 6 weeks for optimal results.
2. Laser Resurfacing
This process is referred to as “laser peeling.” It is comparable to a chemical peel in that the outermost layer of old skin is removed. Also, the laser heats the layers beneath the top layer. This heat stimulates the creation of collagen. Laser surfacing uses one of two lasers: CO2 or Erbium. Co2 helps erase scars, warts, and wrinkles, while erbium targets fine lines. The results aren’t instantaneous, and recovery might take weeks. Several sessions may be required to attain desired outcomes. While the effects can last up to 5 years, wrinkles and creases will reappear due to normal aging.
3. Ultrasound Skin Tightening
Ultrasound is being used by dermatologists to deliver heat deep into the skin. Ultrasound penetrates the skin’s lowest layers. As a result, this stimulates the creation of collagen, resulting in smoother, firmer skin over time. There is no recovery time, and one will see an immediate change. Within 2–6 months of their initial treatment, the majority of patients feel mild lifting and tightness and report more substantial benefits with subsequent sessions. The treatment’s effects might continue for up to a year.
4. Non-surgical Radiofrequency.
Radiofrequency is a non-surgical procedure in which a dermatologist places a device against the skin to heat the tissue beneath. The majority of people who use these methods notice improvements after just one treatment.
This procedure is frequently referred to as Botox. Botulinum toxin is injected into the skin to relax wrinkles. While this isn’t the most comprehensive operation, it needs minimum recovery time and decreases the look of loose skin when injected in select locations where muscles act in opposition to each other.
SURGICAL/ COSMETIC PROCEDURE FOR SKIN FIRMING
1. Surgical radiofrequency
Radiofrequency uses tiny tubes inserted into minor skin incisions to heat up regions that need tightening. This technique is commonly used on the neck or upper arms and can provide results in 1 month. This operation is generally done under local anesthetic and requires 4–5 days of compression bandaging.
2. Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery should be used as a last option for sagging skin. When the extent of the damage is beyond the scope of all other therapies and is severe enough to induce complications. Surgical techniques to remove excess skin are maybe advised following weight-loss surgery. They are often classified as cosmetic operations and may not be reimbursed by insurance. These operations are classified as body shaping surgery. Several surgical treatments are frequently performed to restore and tighten sagging skin, including the following:
- Facelift/ rhytidectomy
- Neck lift
- Arm lift
- Thigh lift
- Upper and lower body lift
- Eyelid surgery
- Abdominoplasty/tummy tuck
- Body contouring surgery
In places such as the upper arms, body contouring surgeries may leave some degree of visible scarring. Additionally, they require extensive recovery time, ranging from 2 weeks to 1 month. One may elect to have one or more parts of the body treated.
Consult your physician about sagging skin if you experience any of the following:
- You’re emotionally distraught with your sagging skin.
- There has been a sudden or major change in the state of your skin, resulting in looseness, edema, or a rash.
- Your skin is flabby and hangs down, causing chafing, discomfort, or pain.
|For Face & Neck||
|For Arms & Legs||
Consultation with a board-certified dermatologist is the safest approach to learn about the benefits of skin tightening. With so many skin-tightening options available, you’ll want to consult an expert who is knowledgeable about the various procedures and can recommend the best one for your issues.