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15.03.20 - Skin Conditions

4 Reasons You Have Loose Skin on Your Face and How to Tighten It

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

As you reach your more mature years, the key components that contribute to your skin's firmness and volume begin to deplete. Fine lines and wrinkles are a common symptom of this, but so is sagging skin. There are myriad cosmetic procedures available to tighten and firm your skin, but those can be costly and are not without potentially irreversible side effects.

Fortunately, there are skin tightening treatments you can try right in the comfort of your own home. While they may not be as immediate as a facelift from a plastic surgeon or even one of the newer forms of non-invasive laser treatments, these at-home solutions can provide you with a smoother, more radiant complexion over time.

Here, we'll be detailing the best ways you can tighten loose skin on your face via a wholistic approach.

Why You May Develop Loose Skin on Your Face

To understand why you may be faced with sagging skin, it's important to know the three main building blocks of your skin's outermost layer:

  • Collagen, which is a protein that maintains your skin's smoothness and elasticity.
  • Elastin, which is a protein that allows your skin to return to its regular form after being stretched or contracted.
  • Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that attract water, providing moisture for the skin.

As you age, your body begins to produce fewer of these key building blocks. For instance, your skin's collagen production decreases by 1% once you enter your 30s. Elastin and GAGs also decline with age. This breakdown of your skin's outermost layer can lead to loose, sagging skin — particularly below your jawline and chin (jowls) and on your neck.

A decline in the production of collagen, elastin, and GAGs is natural with age. But there are a number of factors that can accelerate that process and culminate in premature ageing:

1. Sun Damage

Excess time in the sun without proper protection can speed up the ageing process. Photoaging refers to the premature ageing that's caused by UV rays. UVA rays, in particular, can penetrate deep into your skin, damaging collagen fibers and promoting the growth of abnormal elastin. As a result, your skin will become less resilient and firm, and wrinkles and sagging will become more apparent.

2. Weight Loss

If you've lost a substantial amount of weight in a short amount of time, you may experience loose skin on your face and other areas of your body, such as your stomach and arms. When your skin is stretched out beyond its natural capacity, it damages the collagen and elastin fibers. That's why a sudden change in your body composition will bring with it excess skin.

3. Smoking 

Smoking cigarettes can be detrimental to your overall health, but it can especially be harmful to your skin. A 2007 study from the Journal of Dermatological Medicine found that "tobacco smoke extract impairs the production of collagen" and also degrades existing collagen and elastin fibers. The constant pursing of your lips to smoke a cigarette can form wrinkles on your upper lip ("smoker's lips") and create sagging in your jowls.

4. Poor Nutrition

The food you eat, and the manner in which it's prepared, can have an impact on your skin. In 2015, a pair of dermatologists at Baylor College of Medicine discovered the link between nutrition and the development of what they dubbed "sugar sag." A diet rich in sugar and fried foods can lead to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can inhibit the function of collagen and leave skin looser and dimpled.

Skin Tightening Without Surgery

There are several ways you can rejuvenate your skin without plastic surgery or other expensive procedures. A combination of well-formulated anti-ageing skincare products and mindful habits can yield favorable results over time.

1. Develop an Effective Anti-Ageing Skincare Routine

Any skincare routine you develop and follow should have a purpose. Once you've identified that purpose, it's important to research the best ingredients to target your specific concerns. In the case of ageing skin, focus on incorporating at least one of the following ingredients:

Retinol

A much-coveted anti-ageing ingredient, retinol accelerates the turnover of dead skin cells and promotes collagen production. Retinol is a retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A. It can be purchased over the counter and is well-suited for most skin types, in contrast to most other forms of vitamin A that are prescription-only and might be too abrasive, especially for anyone with sensitive skin.

The YORA Defence Face Concentrate contains retinol plus lipochroman®. This combination of actives will help fade fine lines and protect your skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals, resulting in a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another sought-after anti-ageing ingredient, namely since the collagen synthesis process is reliant on this antioxidant. A downside to using pure vitamin C is that it's prone to oxidation, limiting its shelf life. Fortunately, more stable C-compounds are being developed that will not only last longer but also help the skin absorb it better.

YORA's Conditioning Face Balm is made with a combination of vitamin C, Suberlift™, and CoQ10 (another powerhouse anti-ageing ingredient). This formula gradually erases the appearance of fine lines while preventing the formation of new ones, in addition to protecting skin from free radicals that can bring forth a loss of elasticity.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that aids in cell turnover, making it a popular ingredient for exfoliation. But glycolic acid has also been proven to stimulate the production of new collagen. A study in a 2001 issue of Dermatologic Surgery found that regular use of glycolic acid increased collagen gene expression.

A gentle daily cleanser that can also help your skin remain supple and firm is the YORA Clarify Face Cleanser. It's formulated with glycolic acid plus salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that is also useful for anti-ageing. Other ingredients include calming witch hazel and soothing aloe vera.

2. Wear Ample Sun Protection

Every daytime skincare routine should include sunscreen all year round. Protecting your skin from UV rays can save your skin from burning, wrinkling, sagging, and even developing melanoma skin cancer. Seek out broad-spectrum formulas that are rated at least SPF 50. Cosmetics and other skincare products infused with an SPF are best used in conjunction with a daily sun cream that's specifically created to shield your skin from harmful rays.

On especially sunny days, supplement your efforts with a pair of UV protection sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. If you use skincare products containing retinol or vitamin C, regular sunscreen use is a must as those ingredients can make your skin more photosensitive.

3. Try Facial Massage and Exercise

Rejuvenate sagging skin through facial massage. A 2017 study featured in PLoS ONE found that you can "significantly" reduce sagging and minimize the appearance of wrinkles by regularly massaging your face with an oscillating device. For enhanced results, massage a well-formulated firming lotion into your skin with the device.

Meanwhile, you can also do facial exercises to help firm and tone your skin — as you do for the rest of your body. Further research is still needed regarding the long-term effects of doing this, but a 2018 study published in JAMA Dermatology concluded that daily facial exercises "seemed to improve mid-face and lower face fullness."

4. Take Care of Your Whole Body

What you put into your body will eventually manifest itself on your skin's surface. Cultivate a diet that's rich in omega-3 fatty acids and CoQ10 to give your body the nutrients it needs to nourish your skin. Do your best to cut out refined sugars and fried food to avoid an accumulation of the AGEs that will sag your skin's top-most layer.

In addition to eating well, also make sure you're taking good care of yourself overall. Avoid smoking (or take the necessary steps to quit), get plenty of rest, and exercise a few times a week. Take a wholistic approach to self-care and your complexion will ultimately reap the rewards.

A Wholistic Approach to Skin Tightening and Firming

In many cases, it's no longer necessary to go under the knife to eliminate the appearance of excess skin. There are now a number of non-surgical skin tightening procedures available that have little to no downtime, such as Thermage (which is a radiofrequency treatment) and Titan (which utilizes infrared).

But similar to surgical facelifts, Thermage and Titan procedures can be quite costly. Plus, there's a probability that the results of either treatment may be insignificant relative to the price of each. They're not permanent solutions, either, as regular treatments will be required to maintain results.

That's why at YORA we recommend a wholistic approach to skincare, especially when it comes to anti-ageing. Laxity and wrinkles are an inevitable part of your skin becoming more mature, but there are ways you can halt those signs of ageing from appearing sooner than you'd like.

Regularly practicing mindful habits and using well-formulated skincare products containing the best actives for your concerns will give you the healthy, radiant complexion you desire.

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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