Has your skin begun to look a bit loose and saggy in certain areas, perhaps at the jaw line or on your neck, just under the chin? It happens to all of us sooner or later, as time, gravity and sun damage take their toll on the skin. However, while previous generations had two choices – live with sagging skin or have a surgical face lift – we have more choices today, ranging from effective topical treatments to laser treatments. While none will give the same night-and-day results as surgery, they can significantly improve skin laxity.
Topical Treatments For Minor Skin Laxity
Over the past few decades, research has shown that some topical skin care treatments can actually promote an increase in collagen production, helping to slow, or even reverse -- to some degree, collagen loss in the deep, structural layer of the skin called the dermis. Since that collagen loss is a big factor in causing skin sagging, these treatments can improve minor skin laxity, restoring some of the volume and elasticity lost to aging and sun damage. Here are the ingredients to look for in an effective topical skin tightening product:
Retinoids – These Vitamin A derivatives have been shown to increase collagen production in the skin. In over-the-counter products, retinol is the most effective retinoid in terms of tightening sagging skin, while prescription- strength products generally contain tretinoin, the most potent retinoid. Retinoids also work to improve skin texture by increasing the rate of skin cell turnover in surface skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids – AHAs, when used in fairly potent concentrations, also stimulate enhance collagen production and increased skin cell turnover.
Vitamin C – High-quality vitamin C creams and serums have been shown to stimulate increased collagen production and offer some protection against sun damage.
These ingredients can, when used regularly and in the proper concentrations, improve minor skin laxity over time. However, if you choose to use topicals to improve sagging skin, see a skin care professional for high-quality products. Drugstore products rarely specify just how much of an active ingredient they contain, so it can be difficult to tell effective products from those that will just waste your time and money.
Dermal Fillers To Improve Sagging Skin
Dermal fillers can be a great way to give sagging skin a lift. Injected into the skin, dermal fillers can be used to replace facial volume, plumping the skin for a smoother, tighter look. Additionally, since most of the dermal fillers in use today are made hyaluronic acid – a hydrating chemical made naturally by the body – they tend to improve skin hydration, improving its elasticity and texture.
Laser Skin Tightening Treatments
For skin laxity ranging from mild to moderate, laser skin tightening treatments can offer significant improvement. A comfortable, non-surgical procedure, laser skin tightening uses light energy to penetrate deep into the skin's collagen layer, heating it to firm existing collagen for immediate skin tightening results and stimulating increased production of new collagen, which leads to more skin tightening over a period of about 6 months after treatment. For most people, optimal results require a series 4 to 6 of sessions, done approximately 4 weeks apart, and laser skin tightening can be done on the face, neck, arms, thighs, and abdomen.
So there you have it, a selection of non-surgical fixes for sagging skin. They won't make you look 25 again, but not even surgery can do that. However, they can produce subtle, natural-looking improvements in the condition and appearance of your skin.