Skin Firming Creams 101: Can You Actually Firm the Appearance of Your Skin?
Ever wonder about those products that advertise skin firming benefits? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’re taking a look at this popular cosmetic claim to find out if you can actually firm the appearance of your skin!
It’s no secret that our skin becomes visibly less elastic and plump as we get older, causing us to lose that firm-looking skin of our youth. And, while everything from the ticking hands of time to environmental factors like UV rays and pollution can all contribute to the visible signs of skin aging, most of us are less concerned with the cause and more concerned with addressing the effect. This is why so many products are available that advertise lifting and firming benefits for your skin.
What Causes the Skin to Look Firm?
We bet when you were younger you never looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow, I really love how firm my skin looks today.” Fact is, like plumpness, a lack of wrinkles, and an even skin tone, firm skin is just one of the many visible signs of youth that we take for granted until it’s gone. What helps the skin appear firm when we’re younger is a system of fat, collagen, and elastin. As we age and subject the surface of our skin to external aggressors like the sun, these substances can begin to break down and subsequently cause the skin to appear older and less firm. What’s more, at a certain age we actually stop producing elastin and collagen, making it even more important to take the necessary steps to help reduce the chances of these proteins from breaking down as best we can.
So what’s a gal—or guy—to do? While wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen each and every day is a great start, incorporating products into your routine that can help to firm the appearance of your skin is a key component to helping you achieve younger-looking skin.
How to Find the Best Skin Firming Creams
Take a walk down any skin care aisle in your local drugstore, department store, or take a virtual walk online, and you’re bound to see tons of skin firming creams claiming to lift the appearance of your sagging skin and make you look years younger. But, how does one find a cream that can help to visibly firm the appearance of your skin?
- Don’t look for a “quick fix.” Products that claim to give you the same results as in-office procedures are likely telling tall tales. There are no products available that provide a face lift in a bottle or fillers without needles, so do yourself—and your wallet—a favor and put those puppies back on the shelf.
- Don’t buy into products that claim to produce collagen and elastin. Only your body can produce collagen and elastin and at a certain point in life this production slows down. There’s no product available that will reboot this natural occurrence, so again, back away from the box.
- Do look for products formulated with antioxidants and use them as early as your 20s. Instead of waiting for the visible signs of aging to crop up on your complexion, take a proactive approach and utilize products that can help to address the effects of those external aggressors early on. While wearing broad-spectrum SPF daily—and reapplying as directed—is key to ward off the visible signs of skin aging (including the dreaded loss of firmness) you’ll want to layer it over a product formulated with antioxidants. “We have oxygen in our environment, but environmental factors—like smoking and the sun—cause free oxygen radicals,” explains board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Lisa Ginn. “When oxygen separates and looks for a mate, it likes to link to collagen. Antioxidants provide a substitution mate when you put them on the skin,” she says. “The free radicals bind to the antioxidants instead of your skin.”
- Do look for products formulated with anti-aging powerhouse retinol. While you can apply your antioxidant product during the day, retinol should be saved for your nighttime skin care routine as the ingredient can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight—making it ever-more-important to use broad-spectrum SPF in the morning.
Remember to have realistic expectations when you start using anti-aging products in your skin care routine. Most products offer visible differences over time, especially when it comes to the visible signs of skin aging, so be patient and stick with the routine!