Is your skin looking looser or thinner? Does it resemble crepe paper? If so, you’re not alone. Crepey skin is a common complaint, and it can make you look older than you are.
So, why does crepey skin develop? Is there anything you can do to keep from having it? Let’s find out.
Why Crepey Skin Happens
In a nutshell, crepey skin is loose skin. You might have crepey neck skin, or you might notice crepiness on your elbows or other areas of your body. Most people think this issue is one of the signs of aging, but there are other reasons why it occurs.
The biggest contributing factor to crepiness is exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, rays.1 Most people associate UV rays with the sun, but you can get them in tanning beds as well.
UV rays break down a substance in your skin known as elastin. Your skin needs elastin fibers in order to be able to stretch and snap back. Over time, though, exposure to UV rays can break down those elastin fibers.2 This can contribute to crepey skin.
Collagen Production and Crepey Skin
Elastin breakdown is a contributing factor to crepey or sagging skin. So is a lack of collagen production. Collagen is a protein that gives structure to your skin. If your skin cells don’t have enough, loose skin will be the result.
If the collagen levels in your body are normal, then your skin will stay strong.
One thing that can help collagen production is a substance known as hyaluronic acid. In order for the skin to retain moisture, you need a good supply of hyaluronic acid.3
Your body naturally produces hyaluronic acid. But as you age, that supply can be depleted. There is evidence that certain cosmetic procedures could help increase your hyaluronic acid reserves.4 This, in turn, could help stimulate collagen production.
Tips to Maintain Younger-Looking Skin
Now, there are some things you can do to help potentially avoid crepey skin and even the appearance of fine lines. Some of these tips are specific to skin care, but others can do wonders for your overall health.
Use Products With Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is one of a group of acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids. It’s an important ingredient in many skin care products.
Glycolic acid has been shown to be effective in moisturizing skin. It may also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and smooth the texture of your skin. This could help reduce crepiness.5
Retinol, also known as vitamin A, is another popular ingredient in skin care products. Retinol has been shown to be effective in reducing some of the signs of aging. Studies have shown that retinol can reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles in as little as three months.6
Watch Your Diet
Eating foods that are high in antioxidants, like vitamin C, and in omega-3 acids, may help your body preserve elastin.7 This might help you avoid crepey skin.
The reason antioxidants are important is that they inhibit the development of free radicals. These are molecules that can damage not only skin cells, but muscle cells as well.8 Eating foods that are good sources of antioxidants (like fruits and veggies) can help limit the damage to skin cells.
Crepey Skin Repair Procedures
Now, there are some cosmetic methods for crepey skin repair. One option is non-surgical skin tightening. This procedure typically involves the use of ultrasound or radiofrequency energy waves that help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.9
Other Ways to Keep Your Skin Looking Young
Here are some other tips to consider that could help you avoid crepey skin.
Minimize UV exposure – One way to preserve the elastin in your skin and potentially slow the aging process is to minimize your exposure to UV rays. This is why you should always protect your skin with sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.
Wear sunglasses outside – Repetitive facial expressions, such as squinting in the sun, could contribute to crepey skin. They work the muscles under the skin and break down elastin. Wearing sunglasses might help keep you from squinting too much and offers protection for the skin around your eyes.
Exercise – Exercising can give your skin a firmer, more youthful look by boosting circulation.10 If you’re on a weight loss program, exercise can help you avoid loose skin. Excessive, rapid weight loss may lead to crepey skin.11
Use moisturizers – Coconut oil and other moisturizers are great for skin care. They keep your skin soft, moisturized, and hydrated, all of which help reduce the chances you’ll develop crepey skin.
Talk to a Dermatologist
If you’re tired of crepey neck skin, fine lines, or other signs of aging, talk to a dermatologist about ways to get rid of them. These could include alpha hydroxy acids or diet changes.
Don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a professional. It could be the best decision you’ll ever make to help slow the aging process of your skin and improve your appearance!
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