Your skin naturally loses its elasticity as you age. You may feel like a victim of gravity when your once taut and tight skin gives way to sagging. Thankfully, there are several methods available to firm up your skin and restore its youthful appearance.
These include tips you can practise at home and professional skin sagging treatments. To help you better understand your options, we’ll first explain the science behind sagging skin.
What Causes Sagging Skin?
Collagen is an essential protein that maintains skin elasticity and firmness. With the ageing process diminishing collagen production, your skin becomes less firm and droops.
What can also happen with ageing is a decline in your muscle mass. In fact, after the age of 30, your muscle mass decreases by 3-8% every decade. As your muscles gradually shrink, your skin loses its support and gradually turns saggy. Sagging caused by low muscle mass is usually most apparent on your arms and legs, where muscle was most defined.
Exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) radiation, can have a significant impact on the appearance and health of our skin. UV radiation penetrates the skin’s layers and damages the collagen and elastin fibers that provide the skin’s strength and elasticity. These fibers begin to break down and become less efficient, leading to sagging skin. While moderate exposure to sunshine is necessary for the production of Vitamin D, overexposure can lead to skin damage and sagging.
Over time, repeated sun exposure can also cause the skin to lose its natural moisture and become dehydrated, further contributing to the development of sagging skin. Additionally, UV radiation can lead to the formation of free radicals in the skin, which can damage cells and cause wrinkles and other signs of aging.
If you were pregnant before, you would have noticed the significant changes it made to your body, including skin sagging. During pregnancy, the skin stretches to accommodate the growing baby, resulting in a loss in skin elasticity. This stretching has the greatest impact on the skin around the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and buttocks, resulting in sagging skin.
The hormone relaxin, which is produced during pregnancy, also plays a role in skin sagging. Relaxin relaxes the ligaments in the body, allowing the pelvis to expand during childbirth. However, it also affects the skin’s elasticity, causing it to lose its firmness and tone. Moreover, the weight gain during pregnancy puts additional stress on the skin, leading to skin sagging.
Weight loss is a common goal for many people, but it can come with some unexpected side effects. One of the most common complaints of those who have lost a significant amount of weight is skin sagging.
When you lose weight, the excess fat that is used to hold your skin depletes, leaving your skin unsupported. This can result in loose, sagging skin that can be both unsightly and uncomfortable.
Smoking can cause a great deal of damage to the skin, leading to premature aging and sagging. This is due to the fact that smoking affects collagen synthesis, which is responsible for maintaining the elasticity of your skin. As a result, the skin begins to lose its firmness and sag.
Smoking also affects circulation, causing blood vessels to narrow and reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Reduced oxygen coupled with the harmful chemicals contained in cigarettes can discolour your skin and make you look pale make your skin dull.
How To Improve Sagging Skin
All hope is not lost, you can still improve the appearance of your sagging skin through several lifestyle changes and cosmetic treatments. The following are some ways you can implement.
Drinking water and staying hydrated is an essential part of maintaining a youthful appearance and overall health. Besides transporting nutrients and fluids to the body, drinking water also helps maintain good skin tone, firmness, and elasticity, as well as reduce the risk of various skin conditions such as acne and dryness.
Exercise has multiple benefits and one of them is improving sagging skin. Exercise enhances muscle mass and provides the body with increased muscle tissue that can help support sagging skin. Strength training exercises in particular, are best in building muscle while also improving your posture.
Additionally, exercise increases blood flow and oxygenation to the skin, which can improve its overall health and appearance.
On top of protecting the collagen in your skin from being depleted, quitting smoking altogether can be beneficial to your overall skin health.
Stopping smoking can have a big impact on your appearance. When you stop smoking, your body can repair and renew collagen and elastin. It will also promote skin cell turnover as your blood circulation gets better. This will improve the colouration of your skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and prevent further skin sagging.
Limit Sun Exposure and Use Sunscreen
Sunlight exposes you to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays penetrate deep into the skin’s layers, causing collagen and elastin fibers to break down. When this happens, your skin gives way to sagging.
Protect your skin with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30, and avoid unecessary sun exposure when possible. If you have to be outdoors for long periods of time, you can consider wearing sun protective clothing as well.
Moisturising plays a vital role in maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. A good quality moisturiser can help to hydrate and plump up the skin cells, resulting in firmer, more elastic skin.
When the skin is well moisturised, it can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, moisturisers containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol can help to stimulate collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity.
Use Facial Exercises And Tools
Facial massage can help improve circulation, increase collagen production, and promote lymphatic drainage, all of which can help firm and lift sagging skin.
This technique involves using gentle pressure and circular motions on the face, focusing on areas with sagging skin. The massage can also help relax facial muscles, reducing tension and stress, which can contribute to the appearance of sagging skin.
Regular facial massages can be an effective and affordable way to improve the appearance of sagging skin, especially if done in conjunction with non-invasive skin treatments.
Facial Gua Sha
Facial gua sha is a traditional Chinese technique that has recently gained popularity in the Western world. It involves using a flat tool, typically made of jade or rose quartz, to massage the face and neck in specific motions.
One of the benefits of facial gua sha is its ability to stimulate circulation and increase blood flow, which can help to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Additionally, facial gua sha can help to improve lymphatic drainage, which can reduce puffiness and swelling in the face.
Regular use of facial gua sha can also help to promote collagen production, which is essential to improve the appearance of sagging skin and promote a healthier complexion.
Consume A Collagen Supplement
Regular consumption of collagen supplements is a great way to provide your skin with the necessary nutrients to boost its collagen production, improve skin elasticity and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. These supplements contain essential amino acids, such as proline and glycine, that help in the formation of collagen fibers.
In addition to improving skin health, collagen supplements have also been found to improve joint health, hair, and nail growth. So, if you are looking for a natural and effective way to improve sagging skin, collagen supplements are worth considering.
Avoid Rapid Weight Loss
When you lose weight rapidly, your skin does not have time to adjust to the new shape of your body. As such, your skin starts to sag. With dramatic weight loss, you may also lose muscle mass, which can also contribute to skin sagging.
Aim for slow and steady weight loss to allow your skin to adjust to your body’s new proportion. Incorporating strength training to your workout routine can also build muscle and minimise sagging.
Consider Minimal To Non-invasive Skin Tightening Treatments
Minimal and non-invasive skin tightening procedures leave your skin intact, without the need for surgery incisions and wounds. They are generally safe and require little to no downtime, making it ideal for busy people.
Here are some minimal to non-invasive skin tightening treatment you can consider:
Non-invasive: Ultrasound therapy, also known as ultherapy, is a non-invasive treatment that has gained popularity for its ability to tighten and lift skin that is saggy. The treatment works by using ultrasound waves to penetrate deep into the skin, triggering the body’s natural healing response and promoting the growth of new collagen and elastin fibers. The procedure is safe and requires no downtime or recovery period.
It is a highly effective option for those looking to improve the appearance of saggy skin without undergoing surgery or other invasive treatments. With ultherapy, patients can expect to see noticeable results within 2-3 months of treatment.
At SL Aesthetic Clinic, one of our ultrasound-based skin tightening treatments is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). We provide HIFU Sculpting Treatment to lift, tone and tighten loose and saggy skin on your brow, neck, chin and decolletage.
Non-invasive: Non-ablative lasers are used to tighten skin all over your body by delivering heat deep into the skin layer, to stimulate collagen growth.
They are especially effective for tightening sagging skin on the abdomen and upper arms. Non-ablative laser treatment can penetrate your skin without damaging the surface layer.
Fotona VectorLift is one of our most popular laser treatments in SL Aesthetic Clinic. The treatment focuses on brow lifting and upper eyelid tightening to combat sagging.
Minimally invasive laser resurfacing: Minimally invasive laser resurfacing requires a small downtime of about five to seven days. It is an effective way to tighten saggy skin as quickly as two to three weeks after your treatment.
Ablative laser energy is used to destroy the outer layer of skin while heating up the deeper layers to stimulate collagen production. This results in skin tightening and improved texture as the damaged outer layer heals, and new collagen lends volume to the skin.
Non-invasive: Radiofrequency (RF) devices generate heat by emitting safe levels of low-frequency electromagnetic waves. The heat stimulates the growth of new skin cells in the deep layers of your skin.
Apart from skin cell regeneration, RF treatment also promotes collagen and elastin production which will enhance the strength and flexibility of your skin cells. As a result, your sagging skin regains its firm shape and wrinkles are reduced.
At SL Aesthetic Clinic, our RF treatments use monopolar capacitively coupled radiofrequency energy to penetrate deeper than lasers, into the dermis and subcutaneous tissues to stimulate collagen. Examples of RF treatment are Thermage FLX and RF microneedling.
Non-surgical And Minimally Invasive Treatments For Sagging Skin
Incorporating healthier habits such as exercising and quitting smoking may improve the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles over time. While these habits are excellent for your overall health, they may not be enough to tighten sagging skin.
For quicker and more visible firming, you can consider going for a skin tightening treatment. SL Aesthetic Clinic is based in Singapore with multiple locations islandwide and we want to help you look better and regain your confidence. We offer skin tightening treatments and are experienced in providing combination treatments where necessary.
Book a consultation today.