If there’s one certainty in life, it’s that we’re getting older. Every day. Every minute. And while there are plenty of things to celebrate when it comes to getting older, for most of us, sagging skin is not one of them. So, is there anything you can do to tone up loose skin? Absolutely! Learn what ingredients plump skin and discover the best anti-aging and firming skincare creams that produce real results.
1. Why does skin start to sag?
Besides time, our skin ages for a variety of other reasons—sun exposure, genetics, lifestyle choices—and because of these variables, it can age faster for some and slower for others. However, the hard truth is this: around age 25 is when most people start to see their first signs of aging. These signs can express themselves in different ways: uneven skin tone, wrinkles, rough skin texture, loss of volume and even sagging.
The latter, skin sagging or loosening of the skin, usually starts a little later in the aging process, between the ages of 35 and 40. The firmness of our skin depends on two structural proteins: collagen and elastin. Our collagen, the most abundant protein in the skin and its structural support, starts to noticeably deplete, which leads to the laxity of skin. Essentially, collagen is what makes skin firm, plump and youthful, and its slowdown is an unavoidable by-product of getting older—but there are ingredients and firming skincare products that can boost production and decrease the destruction of the primary structural components of the dermis that improve skin tightness.
2. Do anti-aging products really work?
Yes! Many skincare brands and third-party companies do scientific tests, conducted in laboratories, that show measurable data of improvements in skin’s firmness and hydration and can also measure reductions in fine lines and wrinkles. However, not all anti-aging products are created equal. Products under the anti-aging umbrella—treatments, moisturizers, and serums—often specialize in specific aging concerns, and some are more effective than others due to ingredients, active concentrations, and formulations.
The efficacy of the product comes down to other factors, too. Everyone’s skin is different, so you need to select the right anti-aging product for you. Generally speaking, anti-aging skincare is targeted to treat drier complexions. So, oily complexions may find some anti-aging serums or creams a touch too heavy. You’ll want to select a formula that’s right for your skin type (dry, normal, combination and oily) and then pick one that targets your specific skin concern. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results from one of these anti-aging products; these improvements take time, so give the product a minimum of a month to start seeing meaningful results.
TOP ANTI-AGING PRODUCTS
When should you start using anti-aging cream?
The best defense is a good offense. Many experts agree that you should start the road to prevention as early as your mid-20s when your collagen production starts to slow down. And the first step in reducing signs of premature aging is with a daily sunscreen. You should also consider adding a firming antioxidant vitamin C serum that can limit free radical damage caused by UV light.
3. What ingredients plump skin?
Sunscreen is an important anti-aging product that everyone should use, every day, to prevent premature aging, but there are over-the-counter ingredients you should look for in your skin tightening skincare regimen. Some products offer immediate (yet temporary) benefits, while others may take longer but provide long-lasting effects. Here are the ingredients to look for when choosing a skin-tightening cream that works.
We know that the loss of elasticity is directly linked to a loss of collagen, so it makes sense that you’d want to add this ingredient to your regimen if firmer skin is your goal. Vichy’s LiftActiv Peptide-C contains collagen peptides (chains of amino acids) to target specific skin cell receptors to stimulate the biological action that speeds up collagen production.
Derived from vitamin A, retinol can be helpful to smooth and firm skin’s texture. It’s also been proven to inhibit enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. Our Pure Retinol Serum contains .2% Pure Retinol to reduce wrinkles, even deep ones, for 100% of participants in our 5 month clinical study.
This powerhouse ingredient doesn’t just brighten skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines; a firming and tightening vitamin C serum also helps the surface of your skin appear smoother by activating cells called fibroblasts to synthetize new collagen.
What natural ingredients tighten skin?
If you’re looking for clean firming skincare products, consider these with clinically proven ingredients that are naturally derived.
This is a naturally occurring sugar that comes from plants such as buckthorn, poison sumac and silver birch trees. You’ll find it in Vichy’s firming, tightening and anti-wrinkle cream for dry skin because of its strong regenerating properties. It’s clinically proven to thicken the epidermis (after eight weeks of use) and ramp up the production of elastin and collagen.
For a quick boost of firmness, look for products that contain caffeine. You’ll often find it in firming and tightening anti-wrinkle eye care formulations because it stimulates blood flow, which, in turn, boosts circulation.
4. How to tighten skin
Whether you’ve developed loose skin because of weight loss or aging, once you have it, it can be difficult to reverse. The areas of the face that are most affected by skin laxity are on the cheeks and the neck. One of the most common questions is: can you tone up loose skin without plastic surgery or laser treatments? Absolutely. There are a few things you can do that will help firm up loose skin in more moderate areas.
Exfoliate more often: As we age, cellular turnover slows; the process is extended by up to 28 to 45 days by the time we hit 30. It’s important to clear away this buildup of dead skin cells because it makes our skin look dull and makes it harder for our anti-aging skincare to penetrate and deliver those tightening ingredients. Address the issue with a gentle daily exfoliation or with a face peel two to three times a week.
Use skin-tightening skincare: Use a skin-firming serum and moisturizer with some of the skin-tightening ingredients mentioned above. You should also consider looking for a richer formula for your bedtime regimen. Nighttime is a restorative time for your skin, so give it extra TLC by using firming anti-wrinkle night care.
Facial massage: Either use your fingertips or a tool like a Gua Sha (a small flat jade or rose-quartz stone) to massage the face to promote tissue drainage. Regular facial massage with an oil or a firming anti-wrinkle serum will promote lymphatic drainage and increase circulation.