The Truth About How to Prevent and Tighten Sagging Skin
From wrinkles to mottled skin color, there are many frustrating signs of aging, but to many people, the most exasperating sign of aging is when your skin starts to sag. Whether it’s a saggy neck or jawline, the problem never seems to get better no matter what you use—it just keeps getting worse.
Cosmetics companies are well aware of how unhappy you are about your sagging skin, and will sell you creams and lotions claiming they can tighten, lift, and firm those problem areas. Unfortunately, those claims stretch the truth beyond what is possible from any skin care product. For example, there is no research showing that creams marketed to lift skin work as claimed (firming creams are a different subject, but we’ll get to those in a moment).
Knowing the research-based truth about how you can really prevent sagging skin and tighten what’s already begun to sag will save you money and help you take great care of your skin.
Causes of Sagging Skin
When we're young, our skin naturally produces many substances that help it bounce back into place and keep it from sagging. But as we get older and due to cumulative sun damage our skin’s ability to make these youth-preserving components decreases significantly. Another important factor is weight loss (especially repeatedly gaining and losing it). Together, these factors cause the rubber band–like elements in skin to fray and break, which results in the sagging you see.
Here’s what you can do to help improve sagging, at least to some degree. Remember, knowing the truth in beauty is the only way to help your skin.
Sunscreen is at the top of the list—that is non-negotiable! Sunscreen is a powerhouse youth-preserving skin care step, and it’s never too late to start. Sun protection is critical for youthful-looking skin, and you must apply it to your neck, chest, and hands, too.
Also, products like moisturizers and serums with antioxidants, peptides, and skin-restoring ingredients are incredibly important. These ingredients replace what your skin no longer makes to protect its suppleness and keep the rubber band–like substance in skin so it bounces back for as long as possible.
Daily use of a leave-on, gentle chemical exfoliant can make a huge difference—we can’t stress this enough. These ingredients noticeably and dramatically smooth and hydrate skin, as well diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, and help skin’s resiliency, improving its ability to bounce back. We have a wide selection of BHA and AHA products, so you can find the right one for your skin type.
Topically applied retinol products and niacinamide products can improve almost every aspect of your skin. Both ingredients are skin-transforming superheroes that address almost every imaginable skin concern—the appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness, uneven skin tone, and enlarged pores—and can revive the look of plump, youthful suppleness. The research about their effectiveness is truly impressive.
The products and ingredients mentioned above are the best anti-aging products to consider, but remember: None of them replace what cosmetic corrective procedures can do. We wish it were different, but knowing the truth will save you time and frustration. Skin care products help a great deal, but adding in-office procedures often picks up the slack, quite literally!
References for this information:
Archives of Dermatological Research, May 2017, pages 275–283
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, January 2017, pages 151–167
Journal of Dermatological Science, September 2016, pages 174–181
Experimental Dermatology, August 2016, pages 14–19
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, April 2016, pages 63–71 and March 2015, pages 271–280
Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2015, pages 21–26
Dermatology, May 2014, pages 314–325
Dermatoendocrinology, July 2012, issue 3, pages 308–319
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, November 2010, pages 135–142
Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, September 2008, pages 170–176
Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, 2006, issue 7, pages 2558–2562
Dermatological Surgery, 2005, issue 7 part 2, pages 860–865
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!