Sagging skin is a common sign of ageing and it’s also one of the hardest to treat.
Understanding what causes loose skin, and how to prevent it, can help to keep your skin looking youthful, radiant and firm without needing to overhaul your lifestyle. Here, we explain the common causes of sagging skin and the simple things you can do to help restore firmness to your skin.
What causes saggy skin?
There are a lot of things to consider when we think about the changes our skin goes through over time. Sagging skin is often associated with fat loss on the face and body, as well as the depletion of proteins like collagen and elastin fibres that are responsible for giving skin its firmness, elasticity and ability to ‘bounce back’ as the body changes.
Managing loose skin requires a multi-faceted approach as there are both internal and external factors contributing to how quickly and severely skin laxity changes.
The most common cause of saggy or loose skin, and one that is unavoidable, is ageing. From our mid-twenties, the collagen proteins that provide structure and support to our skin begin to break down, and the rate of depletion increases the older we get. Without that support, skin loses firmness, and you can begin to see accelerated signs of loose skin such as a sagging face or loose neck skin.
Genetics also play a role in the speed of changes in skin quality, as do lifestyle factors with poor nutrition, UV exposure, smoking, dehydration and a lack of sleep all causing the skin to age faster.
Carrying extra weight for an extended period can begin to cause damage to elastin fibres. When you lose a large amount of weight, the fatty layer that sits below the skin surface begins to contract and the skin cannot always contract at the same rate leaving it looking loose. The more rapid the weight loss, the higher the likelihood of sagging skin.
During pregnancy, the body changes at such a rapid rate that the skin can’t always keep up. It’s particularly common after childbirth to experience sagging skin around the stomach and other areas that have fluctuated rapidly throughout the pregnancy.
Tips for preventing saggy skin
Since lifestyle factors that contribute to advanced ageing play a pivotal role in the appearance of your skin, maintaining good habits to support optimal skin health, and therefore appearance, is the best way to prevent sagging skin. These include;
- Practicing proper sun safety to prevent UV damage
- Maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet
- Staying hydrated
- Get adequate sleep
- Keep your skin moisturised
- Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol and sugar
Ways to improve skin sagging
Physical activity plays a pivotal role in caring for our overall health, including our skin. Maintaining a healthy weight through nutrition and exercise helps to prevent excessive or rapid changes that cause loose skin. Gaining muscle mass may also help to improve the appearance of sagging skin.
There is also emerging research that links both aerobic and resistance training with increased dermal structure and thickness improving skin elasticity and the appearance of loose skin as a result. Increased circulation during exercise helps to stimulate the production of hormones, proteins and other natural chemicals that help to keep skin strong and healthy.
Treating sagging skin with topical firming products can provide subtle improvements with consistent use however very few will significantly tighten loose skin.
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that work to speed up skin cell turnover ensuring fresh and healthy cells are making their way to the outermost layers helping to improve the appearance of skin texture and tone. Hyaluronic acid is also popular in firming products as it attracts and holds onto water in the skin for a more hydrated, smoother and firmer complexion.
Good skin starts from within so leading a healthy lifestyle and supplementing with high-quality, targeted ingestible products can help to improve the appearance of sagging skin.
Collagen, a natural protein found in the body, plays an important role in the structure and appearance of skin by providing a foundation for firmness, radiance and a smooth texture. As one of the building blocks of skin, collagen is what keeps skin from sagging. However, as we age, our natural collagen levels begin to deplete, accelerating as the years go on. Skin experts recommend supplementing with collagen for loose skin to help kickstart the regeneration and maintain that structure.
The best collagen supplement for sagging skin is one that contains Type I and Type III collagen, both of which are the main types of collagen found in the skin. Vida Glow’s Natural Marine Collagen is also hydrolysed to improve the absorption and efficacy of the peptides when consumed.
Lifestyle factors such as diet, UV exposure and environmental stressors can accelerate signs of ageing such as sagging skin by causing damage to healthy cells through oxidation. Antioxidants defend against these changes by strengthening your skin’s response to oxidative stress and fighting free radical damage.
A daily antioxidant supplement like Anti-G-Ox is formulated with a potent blend of actives designed to enhance skin health and resilience, protect against inflammation, advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and oxidative stress helping to prevent sagging skin.
It can seem like people treating sagging skin face an uphill battle however there are solutions to address loose skin and protect it from future damage. From lifestyle changes to supplementation that targets skin health on a cellular level, consistency is key when your goal is to tighten loose skin.