What Causes Saggy Skin?Posted on November 25, 2020
When you look in the mirror, do you see a tired and older-looking face? When you lose weight, does your skin on your body no longer spring back to its former shape? These are typical effects of lax or sagging skin — when your skin begins to lose its youthful resilience. If saggy skin is bothering you, read on to find out what causes it and what you can do to slow or reverse the effects.
What Causes Saggy Skin?
Saggy skin is a sign that your body is producing less collagen and elastin, two proteins that are critical to maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. The loss of collagen and elastin is a natural result of the aging process, but other factors can accelerate it. Drooping and sagging can also result from body changes that stretch the skin beyond its capacity to spring back.
Here are the main causes of saggy skin.
- Aging: As skin ages, it becomes weaker and less resilient. Skin that quickly stretched and bounced back when you were young loses that ability as you get older. The aging process causes a lack of firmness in skin’s underlying structure. The muscles that hold your skin in place, especially on your face, also begin to weaken.
- Sun damage: Exposure to harmful UV rays in sunlight is one of the most notable culprits of sagging and other signs of skin aging. By the time you reach your 30s and 40s, much of the damage from sun exposure will catch up to you. But you can minimize further damage by using sunscreen and staying out of the sun during peak midday hours.
- Weight gain and loss: It’s a wonderful thing to lose weight — both for your health and your self-esteem. But cycles of weight fluctuations can push your skin beyond its ability to remain firm and tight, especially as you get older.
- Hormone changes and pregnancy: Women face two natural forces that can loosen skin: pregnancy, which stretches the skin of the abdomen and breasts, and menopause, which reduces the body’s production of collagen and elastin.
- Smoking and over-consumption of alcohol: Smoking speeds the skin’s aging process in two ways: it decreases blood flow to the skin and infuses the skin with chemicals that damage collagen and elastin. Excess alcohol consumption dries the skin and injures collagen and elastin.
What Can I Do to Keep My Skin from Sagging?
You can’t stop the aging process, but you can slow its effects on your skin by adopting some healthy habits:
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
- Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Drink plenty of water
- Maintain a stable weight
- Use a skin cream that contains retinoids (which stimulate the production of collagen and elastin)
What Can I Do to Reverse the Effects of Saggy Skin?
Various cosmetic treatments are available to correct saggy skin, from non-surgical options that can minimize lines and wrinkles or tighten skin to surgical procedures that remove excess skin to restore a younger look.
- Botox: Injections to soften or erase facial lines caused by expressive muscle movements
- Dermal fillers: Injections to smooth facial lines and wrinkles by adding volume beneath them
- CoolSculpting: Non-surgical body-contouring that reduces areas of fat and tightens the skin
- Facelift: Cosmetic surgery to smooth and tighten the skin on the lower face
- Brow lift: Cosmetic surgery to tighten and raise saggy skin on the upper face
- Eyelid surgery: A procedure to correct droopy, tired-looking eyelids
- Tummy tuck: Surgery to flatten and tighten abdominal muscles and skin
- Breast lift: A procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts
Learn More About Cosmetic Treatments in Beverly Hills
Dr. David Kim and Dr. Eugene Kim at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery have developed an impeccable reputation for stunning, natural-looking cosmetic treatment and plastic surgery results, attracting patients from all over the world. Contact our practice today at (310) 746-5475 or send an online request to schedule a consultation.