Live long enough and you’ll have to deal with crepey, wrinkly, saggy skin. Aging is the number one cause, but it’s not the only reason. Let’s talk about what causes sagging skin and look at symptoms and treatments for it.
What medical conditions cause saggy skin?
It’s not just getting older that does it – repeated UV exposure also causes saggy skin. The UV rays break down collagen, the connective tissue that keeps the skin firm. We’ve all seen someone with crow’s feet and wrinkles from spending a lot of time outdoors or in the tanning bed. The parts of their body that were less exposed are younger-looking (1).
Smoking leads to sagging skin because it breaks down collagen, too.
People with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare condition, don’t produce enough collagen so their skin is prone to sagging.
Then, there are other illnesses like a rare type of lymphoma that also affect the skin’s firmness.
What else causes sagging skin?
Did you know that frequent facial expressions can lead to wrinkles? No, don’t stop smiling just because you’re afraid of fine lines! Even losing or gaining weight rapidly can result in saggy skin. Think dieting à la The Biggest Loser or pregnancy.
We suggest maintaining a healthy diet and a positive attitude. Don’t worry, there are many effective treatments that will keep the skin firm. We reviewed the best at-home treatments for saggy skin below.
How do you cure sagging skin?
Can you repair sagging skin? Yes, there are several things you can do at home to firm your skin. Moreover, a dermatologist can do even more, ranging from non-surgical interventions to invasive procedures like a facelift.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association says that non-surgical skin tightening works best if the patient maintains a healthy weight, doesn’t smoke, and protects their skin from UV exposure (2).
But if you’re struggling with sagging body skin, you don’t need to wait until conditions are perfect to take action. The simple act of adding a supplement to your diet can start the firming process. That’s because oral collagen can reverse sagging skin.
NOW Supplements, BioCell Collagen Hydrolyzed Type II
Are collagen supplements a cure for sagging skin? According to a study published in 2018, collagen peptides taken orally firmed and thickened facial skin, thereby reversing the signs of aging. The participants were women between 35 and 65 who took an oral supplement daily for 12 weeks. The results were visible and measurable (with the aid of ultrasound) (3).
Therefore, adding more collagen to your diet may be the most important first step you can take. We highly recommend BioCell collagen which is clinically proven to make skin younger-looking and restore connective tissues to health (which helps with joint mobility). It’s a patented ingredient made from chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen type II peptides. Plus, it’s manufactured under exacting standards only in the USA and Germany.
Moreover, you only need two veggie capsules per day which provide 570 mg of collagen.
- 2 capsules provide 570 mg of collagen
- Contains patented BioCell collagen proven to rejuvenate the skin and joints
- Not vegan – although these are veggie capsules, the collagen comes from animal sources
Do topical treatments fix sagging skin?
Here’s the good news: over the counter products like retinol will gradually smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well as tighten crepey skin. The bad news is that they take weeks or even months of daily treatments to make a noticeable difference. Also, not everyone can tolerate the stinging, redness, and dryness that they sometimes cause.
But retinol is not the only game in town. Vitamin C is a building block of collagen which is why vitamin C serums are often paired with dermarolling.
A dermaroller features tiny needles on a roller. Hold the handle and press it gently against the skin while you roll out crow’s feet, acne scars, and dimpling skin. The tiny needles perforate the skin and allow a vitamin C serum to reach deeper and really make a difference. Even without the serum, dermarolling may help stimulate collagen production as the skin is forced to renew itself.
Sdara Skincare Derma Roller
We suggest a dermaroller with medical-grade titanium needles. The ones here are just 0.25mm in size, making them ideal for rolling the face. The roller can be sanitized with rubbing alcohol and reused again and again. Depending on your tolerance, use the dermaroller once or twice a week along with a vitamin C serum and a lightweight moisturizer.
- 25mm titanium needles for rolling the face
- Easy to sanitize with rubbing alcohol
- Ergonomic handle
- Needles aren’t long enough for rolling parts of the body with thick skin, like stretch marks on the hips
Seoul Ceuticals 20% Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum + CE Ferulic Acid
You aren’t limited to vitamin C serums for dermarolling. This product blends hyaluronic acid and ferulic acid with vitamin C for maximum effect. It’s a dupe for the SkinCeuticals serum which is much more expensive.
It’s potent enough that you should see an improvement within three weeks or less. Not only will it firm the skin, but it also fades discoloration, tightens pores, and brightens the complexion.
The formula is 98% naturally derived with 72% organic ingredients including sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), witch hazel, Centella asiatica, and vitamin E. It’s both healing and moisturizing and excellent for acne-prone skin.
- Affordable dupe of a SkinCeuticals serum
- Organic and natural, healing and moisturizing, with no artificial fragrance or parabens
- Promises to visibly improve the skin within 3 weeks or less
- Might sting a little bit when used for dermarolling
Can face cream repair saggy skin?
Mature skin needs moisture, so the simple act of applying face cream can make the skin look smoother and younger. Beauty doesn’t have to hurt as long as you don’t expect a rapid, dramatic improvement. Anecdotal evidence indicates that applying collagen topically leads to plumper skin. Check out the reviews for this popular moisturizer:
L’Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face Moisturizer
Participants in a study who tested L’Oreal’s collagen moisturizer enjoyed smoother skin after only one week. Their wrinkles were fading after 4 weeks. Of course, they were using this as both a day and night cream for maximum benefits.
L’Oreal also recommends the glycolic acid cleanser and hyaluronic acid serum before moisturizing. The glycolic acid exfoliates the dead skin while hyaluronic acid boosts hydration.
The formula is dermatologist-tested, but it is not paraben-free.
- Study participants had smoother skin after one week and fewer wrinkles after 4 weeks
- Lightweight moisturizer can be applied day and night for faster results
- Not paraben-free or fragrance-free
Does retinol repair sagging skin?
We wish there was a magic cure for a double chin, something where people would say, “doing this every morning can snap back sagging skin”, and it would be true. We hear all the time about how resistance training, pilates, and yoga reduce saggy skin. It’s true, it’s not a quick fix, but exercise does help. The increased muscle mass and blood flow probably have something to do with it.
However, retinol is an easier way to firm saggy skin. Retinoids are made from vitamin A which stimulates cellular turnover. The benefits are that retinol doesn’t just tighten the skin, but it also fades acne scars and age spots.
LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream
Beauty editors for Cosmo and Bustle are just a few of the experts who recommend this face cream with retinol for sagging skin. Unlike the early iterations of retinol products, this moisturizer is gentle and effective. It’s mild enough to use twice a day as it’s non-drying and lightweight. Yes, you can even use it around your eyes to get rid of milia, crow’s feet, and dark circles and it won’t burn.
There’s more to love. This cruelty-free brand avoids using petroleum, artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and gluten.
- Cruelty-free and contains no parabens, dyes, phthalates, petroleum, or artificial fragrance
- Mild enough to use twice a day, doesn’t burn or sting, non-drying
- If you have rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, please do a patch test first
Advanced Clinicals Retinol Cream
Using retinol face cream on your body gets expensive because of the quantity needed. Instead, choose this professional-grade retinol cream that spas use. It firms crepe-like skin on the neck, hands, arms, hips, and so on. The convenient pump-top jar holds 16 ounces of product.
This particular cream is infused with hyaluronic acid to prevent the dryness and flakiness that retinol sometimes causes. It’s also quite soothing with chamomile and aloe.
It’s cruelty-free, made in the USA, and backed by a satisfaction guarantee. Also, it’s paraben-free and fragrance-free.
- Affordable retinol cream in a 16-ounce pump-top jar
- Perfect for firming crepey skin on the neck, hands, etc.
- Infused with aloe, chamomile, and hyaluronic acid
- Fragrance-free, paraben-free, and comes with a satisfaction guarantee
- If you have sensitive skin, it’s smart to do a patch test before applying it over a large area
What dermatological treatments fix sagging skin?
You’ve heard of facelifts and Botox, but do you know about light therapy? Astronauts first discovered that red light stimulates skin healing. Now, you can do light therapy at home. It’s painless and significantly less expensive than repeated treatments in a dermatologist’s office.
Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite
It so happens that this device is FDA-cleared and safe to use even on sensitive skin. It offers both red and blue light therapy to firm and strengthen the skin and clear up acne.
There are 100 red LEDs embedded in the mask. These are the ones that boost collagen production. Then, the 62 blue LEDs kill acne-causing bacteria to get rid of pimples.
Each treatment takes 3 minutes. Place the mask on your face, tighten the strap if needed, and do whatever you like while you wait for it to shut down automatically. Firmer skin and improved tone will be noticeable within 10 weeks or less.
- Painless, non-invasive light therapy to smooth lines and wrinkles
- Promotes collagen production with results visible in 10 weeks or less
- Also gets rid of pimples
- Not as cheap an option as retinol cream, for example, but less expensive than other procedures
Admittedly, sometimes sagging skin needs more repair than can be done at home with supplements, topical treatments, and light therapy. In which case, check with a dermatologist about doing these procedures:
- Chemical peel – deep exfoliation that removes a layer of skin and requires repeated treatments but also erases hyperpigmentation and scarring
- Microdermabrasion or dermabrasion, which is physical exfoliation and may not be possible for persons with rosacea
- Laser resurfacing stimulates new collagen fiber growth but can’t remove sagging skin
- Botox injections prevent muscles from contracting and smooths the skin but the effects only last for a few months
- Soft tissue filler with hyaluronic acid or collagen temporarily plumps the skin
With all the cost and suffering due to extended recovery times, it might be best to avoid the problem of sagging skin in the first place. That’s why we highly recommend wearing sunscreen.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70
Sunscreen doesn’t have to be a chore. It doesn’t need to be greasy or chalky. Take Neutrogena’s dry touch sunscreen, for example. It has a high sun protection factor that filters out almost all of the harmful UV rays that break down collagen.
What’s more, it absorbs quickly and dries to a matte finish that wears well underneath makeup. If you go swimming with it, it stays on in the water for up to 80 minutes.
The only downside is that some people find that it stings the eyes. This is typical for chemical sunscreens. If it’s uncomfortable for you, we suggest using a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide instead.
- High protection factor to guard against premature aging caused by UV radiation
- Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
- Non-greasy matte finish wears well under makeup
- Chemical filters may make eyes sting
We hope this article helped you understand what causes sagging skin and find solutions for it today. If you’ve discovered an effective treatment that has resolved your skincare concerns, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave us a comment below.
|The best treatments for sagging skin||Why we love them|
|NOW Supplements, BioCell Collagen Hydrolyzed Type II||
|Sdara Skincare Derma Roller||
|Seoul Ceuticals 20% Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum + CE Ferulic Acid||
|L'Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face Moisturizer||
|LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream||
|Advanced Clinicals Retinol Cream||
|Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite||
|Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70||
1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wrinkles/symptoms-causes/syc-20354927 Wrinkles, by the Mayo Clinic
2. https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/firm-sagging-skin Many Ways To Firm Sagging Skin by the American Academy of Dermatology Association
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933363/ Addor, Flávia Alvim Sant’Anna et al. “Improvement of dermal parameters in aged skin after oral use of a nutrient supplement.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 11 195-201. 30 Apr. 2018, doi:10.2147/CCID.S150269