MYTH BUSTER: What nobody understands about skin firming and loss of elasticity
One of the questions we get asked most is: how do I get firmer skin/stop my skin from getting saggy? We also get a lot of people asking about anti-ageing skin care products to address concerns about saggy skin on the face and neck. So we thought it was about time we took on some of the myths about skin firming products. Because a lot of us are getting it wrong. We need to understand what causes a loss of elasticity and sagging skin, and what we can do help our skin regain its firmness.
What do we mean by sagging skin?
When we talk about sagging skin, we mean skin that seems to have lost some of its elasticity and perhaps isn’t as taut as it used to be. Maybe you have excess skin on your jaw or chin or under your eyes. It may look like your skin has become a bit hollow and even that there are folds in your skin where it is sagging.
Why do you get sagging skin?
As you age, your skin changes. Under your skin is collagen and elastin, both of which keep your skin looking and feeling tight and plump. Collagen is a natural filler under your skin. As your collagen levels decrease, it can make your skin feel hollow and the skin saggy. This is coupled with the elastin, the fibres that make your skin resilient, stretch and bouncy, also deteriorating. The result is sagging and dull skin.
What causes sagging skin?
Although your collagen and elastin levels naturally decrease as you age and your cell renewal levels get slower, there are also other factors to sagging skin. Sun damage over time can attack the collagen in your skin, so when your skin ages and the collagen production naturally decreases, your skin cells can’t produce as much as quickly to replace those cells destroyed by sun damage. Smoking, diet and lifestyle can also affect collagen and elastin levels. If you lose a lot of weight in a short space of time, as you get older your skin doesn’t have the natural resilience to bounce back, so you can be left with sagging skin. Free radicals caused by the skin’s exposure to pollutants every day can also be a problem.
Can you tighten loose skin?
Naturally your skin will age and produce less elastin and collagen. You can give your skin a helping hand to stimulate collagen production and help to firm sagging skin. Keeping skin healthy will help to tighten loose skin. You can also protect your skin against further damage by using the right sun protection and antioxidants to fight against free radicals. Changes to diet and lifetsyle, such as giving up smoking, can help sagging skin.
Can you really build back skin elasticity and firmness?
It is possible to encourage collagen and elastin production, which will help with skin elasticity and firmness. Also changes in diet and lifestyle can also help with skin firming. If you have had extreme weight loss, your skin may not regain all of its elasticity. As you age, you will naturally experience changes to your skin, like fine lines and wrinkles, which is totally natural. What you can do is build back some of the elasticity and firmness to have healthy and happy skin.
How can you stimulate collagen production?
You can help to stimulate collagen production over time by using specific skin care products. At Jersey Beauty we don’t believe in turning back the clock or anti-ageing miracle products but we do know that healthy skin as you age can have increased levels of collagen production.
One of the most powerful ingredients for collagen production and skin tightening is retinol - a form of Vitamin A. This powerful active ingredient has remarkable results for many people using products with a high concentrate of Retinol.
The Truth About Retinol
Retinol is derived from Vitamin A. It is extremely potent and is really normal to experience some irritation, redness and sensitivity when you first start using the ingredient. It is an amazing ingredient to stimulate collagen production, increase elasticity and leave your skin feeling refreshed. However, you need to choose the right Retinol skin care product and follow the instructions.
Retinol and Sensitive Skin
Retinol often causes sensitivity and redness. So if you already have sensitive skin you may need to think carefully if retinol is right for your skin type. We wouldn’t recommend retinol for sensitive skin or skin with acne.
When you are using retinol, your skin will be more prone to sensitivity and will need extra care. We don’t recommend using harsh exfoliators when using retinol. You should also think about using a skin care product with a buffer cream that helps you to slowly build up your tolerance to retinol.
Finally, when you’re using retinol your skin will be more sensitive to sun exposure. Make sure you use a high SPF sun protection when using retinol, even if it appears to be cloudy outside. Not protecting your skin can actually lead to sun damage, which damages collagen, undoing some of the positive effects of the retinol!
Our favourite skin care products with retinol
The premium retinol choice is Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair. This is a great product for those new to using retinol and also for those who have used retinol before and build up a tolerance to it. It comes with a buffer cream and a plan for how to slowly introduce your skin to retinol and its powerful effects or you can use the serum on its own. It can increase collagen production by up to 180% leading to firmer skin and skin losing that hollow and sagging effect.
For those who want to try retinol but aren’t quite ready to invest in Overnight Retinol Repair Viola Retinol Serum is a lower priced option. This is a pure serum that is applied to the face and neck and can be used by any skin type.
Using Retinol Around The Eyes
The skin around your eyes is not quite the same as the rest of your face. It is thinner in layers and is easily damaged, That is why products like Viola Retinol Serum and Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair aren’t suitable to use around the eye area.
That’s not to say you can’t use retinol on the eye area. Dermalogica have a special formula, designed specifically for the sensitive eye area, with a lower concentration of retinol, combined with Vitamin C and powerful peptides to help with sagging skin around the eyes.
Dermalogica Age Smart Eye Reversal is a great choice for the eye area and also addresses darkening circles and eye bags.
Is retinol the only thing that firms skin?
Absolutely not! Some of us may not be able to use retinol for a number of reasons, often due to skin sensitivity. There are some great non-retinol lifting creams. Let’s look at a couple:
Guinot Serum Liftosome has a pro-collagen active ingredient to encourage increased collagen production. It also has hyaluronic acid which holds up to one thousand times its weight in water and is great for hydrating skin, getting deep into the skin to lock in moisture.
Guinot Longue Vie Cou has 56 active cell ingredients to help to firm skin on the neck and chin and can be used morning and evening. This product is specifically aimed at the neck area which we can often neglect, leading to a lack of hydration and deepening wrinkles in the long term.
Dermalogica Biolumin C Serum is a great preventative serum - with an ultra stable Vitamin C complex to prevent against collagen and elastin damage.
Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?
When it comes to ‘anti-ageing’ products, including retinol, we often speak to customers who make the mistake of trying to get instant results using lots of different products at the same time, and often when they don’t need to use them. For example, if you are in your twenties, you probably won’t need to use retinol, unless you have a specific skin concern that would benefit the use of this active ingredient. When you are looking for products for ageing skin, overusing products or using more than one retinol product at the same time can actually have a negative impact on your skin. Make sure you follow advice given when buying retinol based products and also use a strong SPF sun protection when using retinol.
Skin Firming - Our Verdict
When it comes to skin firming, there are some great products to help to boost collagen production and elastin levels in the skin, that can help with firming skin and tightening sagging skin. Shop at Jersey Beauty now for your favourites