Sagging of skin - why does it happen, and what can you do?

By Dr. Bhavika M, Dermatologist
Published May 09, 2023

Wouldn't it be great if we could live in the skin we had in our 20s forever? Sadly, the changes that come with age are unavoidable. 

One of these universal changes is sagging skin. Loose skin can be seen over the face and neck, stomach, and even the arms and legs. 

Why is my skin sagging?

Well, to understand that, you need to know why youthful skin looks so tight. The reason is a substance in the skin called collagen. Collagen is a protective protein that supports the skin. It is one of the main building blocks that acts as a scaffold for the upper layers of the skin. 

The plump and youthful look of skin depends on collagen. Sadly, with age, the collagen levels in the skin also reduce. So, the support on which the skin depends is lost. Eventually, the skin starts sagging and looking loose. 

What can I do now?

Of course, you want to get your skin back to the way it looked earlier. But that might be easier said than done. Stimulating collagen production or simply supplementing it is no mean feat. It is not easily absorbed into the body directly. 

Here are some things that you can start with:

Setting the base right

You must be tired of listening to this repeatedly. But here is a quick reminder! A good cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen form the foundation of skincare and are non-negotiable parts of your daily life. No excuses!

Exercise with a twist

The word exercise probably made you think of walking, jogging, or going to the gym. While all of that is very important, we are talking about something a little different - facial exercises. 

Facial exercises have been used for over half a century now. It mainly involves massaging the face using oils to stimulate collagen growth. While this claim is not yet scientifically proven, many women feel more relaxed after this practice. It also improves blood flow to the face that gives a natural glow.

This massage is done with the fingers or using jade rollers. The cool surface of the jade roller combined with the slow, rolling motion helps reduce water retention, tone the skin, and even soothes the skin.

Firming creams

You would have seen advertisements for products that fight against the X signs of ageing and promise radiant skin. It is tempting to believe that one product can reverse changes occurring over several years. But is it realistic?

Anti-aging or skin firming creams do contain ingredients that can tighten the skin. But to what extent they get absorbed into the skin is very variable. It depends on which products you use, how you use them, the duration, your age, skin type, and many other factors. 

Before you start using any creams, consult your dermatologist. They can suggest the right kind of products as per your requirements.

Medical treatment

Ever wondered why actresses never seem to age? Much of it is the magic of dermatologists and cosmetic treatments combined with self-care and a disciplined lifestyle. 

Contrary to popular belief, it will not make you look blank and expressionless. When performed well, procedures such as botox, thread lifts, ultrasound procedures, and fillers can take years off your skin. Ensure that you consult a surgeon or dermatologist who is well-trained and authorised to perform these.

While loose skin is one of the most difficult changes to reverse, there is a lot you can do to support your skin. So don’t fret, and get started today!