When you encounter loose skin as you age, it begs these questions: Can you tighten loose skin? Will loose skin eventually tighten? Does loose skin ever tighten?
The aging process inevitably causes our skin to lose elasticity through the years. As the skin grows weaker and becomes more susceptible to the effects of gravity, it stretches — producing the signature appearance of jowls and drooping cheeks in older people.
Folding excess skin (due to tight clothing and irregular sleeping positions) can also cause fine lines and wrinkles and become more pronounced with the loss of collagen. We also find loose skin after pregnancy or drastic weight loss because of rapid volume loss.
Thankfully, there are some ways you can tighten loose skin to look younger. Facelift surgeries have been the only solution for the longest time, as plastic surgeons cut away all the loose skin with a scalpel. However, if you are one of those who are looking for more natural and noninvasive ways to combat skin laxity, you will be glad to know all about these six powerful tips.
Six Answers to “Can You Tighten Loose Skin?”
1. Minimally Invasive Procedures
Minimally invasive procedures have become more prevalent in recent times. Often costing less than traditional plastic surgeries, these procedures also take less recovery time with reduced pain and swelling. Utilizing local instead of general anesthesia, you don’t even have to take a day off work. Some examples of these minimally invasive procedures that can help tighten loose skin are dermal fillers and thread lifts.
Dermal fillers are a minimally invasive procedure injected beneath your skin. Most of the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and loose skin, are due to volume loss. Dermal fillers solve this problem directly by adding volume back to the skin to replace lost fat, lifting wrinkles and folds to smoothen the skin’s surface to tighten loose skin.
Hyaluronic acid is the main component of dermal fillers — a natural compound that stimulates the skin’s production of elastin and collagen. These essential connective proteins improve skin elasticity, giving you that plump and youthful look. The results can last up to five years.
Thread lifts are another cosmetic procedure you can get as an alternative to facelift surgery. Instead of removing the loose facial skin, it achieves the desired effect of tightening skin by inserting medical-grade thread material into your skin by putting tension (pulling it from multiple points, like fastening your belt).
The threads are equipped with “barbs” to take hold of the skin. In addition to this, facial threads trigger the body’s healing response, causing collagen production in treated areas. Because of how minimally invasive thread lifts are, it is improbable to have any adverse effects. However, we advise that you ask your doctor about which of the different options available will be best to use for your desired outcome.
If you have been consistently asking, “can you tighten loose skin by working out?” This section is for you. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising at least four to five times a week can help the skin age more gracefully.
The effects of skin aging, especially on the face, may also be reduced by certain forms of exercise — these are the types of movement that force you to contract your facial muscles to keep their shape.
Another approach is to engage in endurance exercise. This simple take may reduce the effects of skin aging, and it is backed by a 2015 research paper. According to the research, we release a hormone called interleukin-15 from our skeletal muscles after endurance exercise. This hormone is responsible for improving tissue metabolism, according to scientists.
You may be asking: “how to tighten loose skin postpartum?” or “can you tighten loose skin after pregnancy?” The best answer you can get as a pregnant woman with excess skin is to see a doctor. Only a licensed healthcare expert can give you the safest ways to exercise. They can also give you the medical route if it significantly impacts your postpartum life.
Your diet is the most determining factor for loose skin in terms of skin health. By simply focusing on what you eat, you can have anti-aging and anti-sagging effects. However, you may achieve youthful skin by also taking nutritional supplements. Here are but a few of the best ones the market has to offer:
A hydrolyzed form of collagen
According to several studies conducted in the last 15 years, high-quality collagen supplements have anti-aging properties. Most of the products available today can increase your collagen levels.
Collagen is an imperative connective tissue protein found in the skin. We drop our collagen production as we age, causing around an 80% reduction in skin thickness and health after hitting 75.
Hyaluronic acid increases collagen formation (which is why Yastrid encourages everyone to use it), strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier and stimulating the proliferation of skin fibroblasts. The latter are cells that enhance the production of connective components and aid in wound healing.
According to recent studies in the past two decades (timeframe of the researches are around 30-45 days), women who drink supplements that contain oral collagen peptides saw a clear improvement in the quality, firmness, and softness of their skin. However, take note that the dosage should be no less than 10 grams per day (in supplement form)
The researchers compared this finding to women who did not take collagen supplements. After a month of consistently taking the supplement, researchers also found that those who took them had more hydrated skin.
If you do not want to take the collagen supplement route, you can take antioxidants instead. Antioxidants, any substance that stops or reduces oxidation, have been shown to help minimize age-attributed aging problems like sagging and wrinkles. Doing so reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can trigger processes that lead to the breakdown of collagen.
Antioxidants may boost collagen and elastin production. Some antioxidants that you might be familiar with are:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Vitamin A and D
- Vitamin C and E
- Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
Dietary sources of antioxidants are everywhere; you can find them in almost anything that you eat. However, taking antioxidant supplements and treating them as a “cure” to loose skin is not practical. Excess intake will not have any significant effect in treating skin disorders.
In fact, taking too many supplement pills can do more harm. You may experience vomiting and nausea. If you take them in excess beyond the recommended daily dosage, you may face more serious adverse effects.
In essence, only take whatever the label instructs you. Or, to be on the safer side, consult with your doctor.
A 30 or 45-minute massage can boost blood flow, activate fibroblasts, and promote mitochondrial synthesis. Every time you get a massage, fibroblasts (scar tissue cells) become activated.
By stimulating fibroblasts (even by a minimum degree), you will boost collagen and elastin production. This activation is essential as fibroblasts are your skin-firming connective proteins.
According to most research, getting a massage will also boost mitochondrial cell production. People with low mitochondrial activity have been linked to skin aging.
However, we may need more research to confirm the optimum massage to firm the skin. In a recent study in 2017, fibrillin and tropoelastin (along with procollagen-1) increased production after utilizing a gentle skin massage device for two minutes, done consistently for over a week (10 days).
5. Skin-Firming Products
A variety of firming gels, lotions, patches, and other everyday skin-care products are available as topical therapies for minor cases of loose skin. For everyone wondering, “Can you tighten loose skin that is not that excessive?” this section will help you the most.
If you seek an excellent firming product, opt for one with retinoid compounds as its active component. Usage of retinoids, which are potent antioxidants, has been proven and tested to boost collagen production.
However, there is no scientific proof that firming products are potent for people with substantial sagging-skin conditions (due to old age or extreme weight loss). Nonetheless, it will help if you start to notice any skin area that lacks tightness.
6. Non-Surgical Treatments
If you are serious about removing loose skin for good without surgical intervention by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, this section is for you. However, the outcomes of the listed approaches below tend to be mild. Thus, we do not recommend them for people with extremely loose skin. This approach may be costly, but it will help those who are consistently finding a way to answer:
- Can you tighten loose skin without surgery?
- Does loose skin tighten up after weight loss?
- Does liposuction tighten loose skin?
Nonsurgical techniques translate to no cutting or puncturing. That means you don’t have to endure swelling and redness. The entire procedure will only take a few minutes to complete in most cases.
Today, almost all non-surgical procedures to help you tighten loose skin are safe — regardless of your skin tone. Your doctor can also apply them to any part of your body, and you will have no problems whatsoever.
In real-life practice, doctors will likely employ a combination of non-surgical procedures using various devices. Doing so will provide you with the best outcome that can effectively heat the dermis to increase collagen and elastin synthesis.
Treatments That Do Not Need Surgery to Tighten Loose Skin:
Using ultrasound, doctors can deeply penetrate your skin. After your first treatment with this approach, you should see effects in as early as 60 days. The results will also slowly become more pronounced with subsequent sessions. In some instances, the treatment’s effects endure for a year or more, especially when paired with other solutions above.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin. Laser treatments concentrate on this outer layer. After a course of treatment, most patients see a difference in their skin within a few weeks. Laser treatments, by far to date, are most effective in tightening sagging skin on the upper arms and belly (this approach is not advisable, however, for facial skin).
Radiation Therapy Without Surgery
Using non-surgical radiofrequency, your dermatologist will use a device on your skin to activate the tissues underneath. Even after only one treatment, most of those who employ this procedure notice visible improvements. Some patients even claim that they began to feel a tightening of their skin within the first two weeks. The benefits and advantages may last for up to three years with proper skincare (sometimes it can last for five or six years if you are very careful).
“There is nothing permanent except change,” as the adage goes. But even when the effects of time etch our faces, there’s no reason not to take procedures to tighten all the loose skin and brighten our complexion to restore our youthful glow. You should never be ashamed of answering, “can you tighten loose skin?” It is your body, journey, and life.
A healthy diet and regular exercise will help, but taking supplements, maintaining a skincare regimen, and getting a massage every so often can take things to the next level.
By using several different nonsurgical and minimally invasive anti-aging treatments (although it may come costly to most of you), you can achieve tighter, more younger-looking skin. So to give you a straight answer to your quest: it is YES. Can you tighten loose skin? Absolutely YES.