Ask the Expert: How Can I Prevent Saggy Skin?
Saggy skin got you down? We know, it’s a total pain that comes with aging. As we age, our skin begins to lose its buoyancy and can start to droop, which is known as “skin laxity,” or sagging skin. While there’s absolutely no shame in aging, we know that for many of you “droopy” and “saggy” are not words you want to use to describe your skin. If you’re looking for tips on how to address the appearance of saggy skin and prevent it from cropping up prematurely, keep reading. We tapped ethnic skin expert, founder of Kwan Dermatology, and Skincare.com consultant Dr. William Kwan to find out everything there is to know about sagging skin.
WHAT CAUSES SAGGY SKIN?
Whether it’s your arms, face, or décolletage, your skin can begin to sag anywhere on your body. But why does this happen? Well, it’s not just gravity doing its job. Dr. Kwan explained that there are two majors factors that come into play with sagging skin. One of the most well-known causes of saggy skin is, you guessed it: aging.
“We lose facial volume over time, which can lead to skin laxity,” says Dr. Kwan. And while natural aging isn’t something that we can control, there is another controllable factor that can cause your skin to sag, which is sun damage.
If you’ve noticed that your sun-kissed skin is starting to sag, Dr. Kwan notes that sun damage could be to blame. Sun damage can not only lead to physical effects like sagging skin, but can also cause some skin cancers. So, think twice before you ditch the sunscreen and instead break out the tanning oil to bask under UV rays.
CAN YOU PREVENT SAGGY SKIN?
While sagging skin is a natural sign of aging, there is one way to help prevent premature skin sagging. According to Dr. Kwan, taking preventative measures when exposed to the sun is one of the best ways to keep your skin from drooping. “Protect your skin from the sun daily,” Dr. Kwan said. “That way, collagen and elastin tissue don’t get degraded as readily, which means your skin will stay tighter for longer.”
SKIN CARE TIPS FOR SAGGY SKIN
Have you noticed that your skin is already starting to sag? Don’t lose all hope, because we’re here to help. Here are a few tips to follow to keep skin looking youthful.
TIP #1: PRACTICE SUN SAFETY
We know we already said it, but we can’t stress how important it is to keep your skin safe from harmful ultraviolet rays. Always make sure to keep your skin covered from the sun with protective clothing, and wear broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 whenever you step outside (don’t forget to re-apply, too!). Also, seek shade where possible and avoid peak sun hours—10 a.m. to 4 p.m.—when rays are strongest.
We know that sunscreen can get a bad reputation, which is why some people neglect to use it. So, if concerns of a greasy finish or sticky residue are keeping you from practicing sun safety and UV protection, then grab a lightweight and sheer formula. One of our favorite sunscreens with a grease-free finish is the SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50.
TIP #2: USE RETINOIDS
Retinoids will be your best friend when it comes to firming the look of sagging skin. Research shows that retinoids can be a proactive way to stave off the premature signs of aging. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), this is because prescription strength retinoids like retinol can help with collagen production. You can visit your dermatologist to get a prescription retinoid treatment, or you can grab a face cream formulated with retinol. Keep in mind, however, that there’s no such thing as a facelift in a jar. Moisturizers, especially those formulated with retinoids, can help plump up the appearance of your skin and help make the visible signs of aging appear less noticeable on your skin’s surface, but will have to be used repeatedly for results to continue. What’s more, creams and lotions cannot lift sagging skin.
TIP #3: FACE MASSAGE
If you feel like your face is beginning to sag, then try some facial massages. You can use your hands to give your face a gentle massage, or you can grab one of your favorite beauty tools to give your face the perfect pampering.
TIP #4: VISIT YOUR SKIN CARE PROVIDER
If your at-home products aren’t doing the trick to address the visible signs of sagging skin, then Dr. Kwan recommends visiting a skin care professional. Dermatologists and other licensed professionals can recommend both invasive and non-surgical options for you to choose from, so make an appointment to discuss what’s available for you.