Loose skin can be frustrating and can impact self-esteem. While there are many ways you can develop loose skin, once you have it, it can be difficult to reverse.

Causes of loose skin can include weight loss, pregnancy, and the effects of aging. Common places people experience loose skin include the:

  • stomach
  • face
  • neck
  • buttocks
  • arms
  • legs

While you can help improve loose skin through cosmetic surgery, many options exist for people who would rather avoid medical procedures.

These options include:

  • exercise
  • firming products
  • nonsurgical procedures
  • weight loss
  • massage

Here are six ways you can tighten loose skin.

Building muscle mass through weight training exercises can help decrease the appearance of loose skin, especially if the loose skin is from weight loss.

If excess fat distends the skin for a long time, the skin can lose some of its ability to shrink with weight loss. Replacing that lost fat with muscle mass can lessen the appearance of loose skin.

If you have loose skin from a recent pregnancy consult a doctor before exercising as there could be certain moves you should avoid.

One form of exercise that has not proven to be effective for loose skin is facial exercise. While facial exercises have been popular since the 1960s, there’s little research to support that these exercises actually help tighten loose skin.

“While you can help improve loose skin through cosmetic surgery, many options exist for people who would rather avoid medical procedures.”

While the effects of firming creams are often subtle, they may help improve the appearance of loose skin, particularly crepey skin in need of hydration.

Often, results can be seen immediately but aren’t long lasting. Effective moisturizing can temporarily make lines and wrinkles appear less noticeable.

A good choice for a firming cream is one that contains a product called a retinoid. Retinoids prevent free radical damage in the skin that can negatively affect collagen.

Shop for firming cream.

You need collagen for the skin to appear young and healthy. Collagen also helps tissues to maintain elasticity, which prevents loose skin.

Shop for collagen.

Retinoids also can help with collagen production. Increased collagen production may help decrease the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming.

Shop for retinoid.

If you want to experiment with a natural remedy, try the topical application of grapeseed oil. It has been shown to tighten skin and improve skin’s elasticity.

Shop for grapeseed oil.

While there’s no magic pill to fix loose skin, certain supplements may be helpful.

Here are supplements to try:

  • Collagen hydrolysate. As we mentioned before, you must have collagen for healthy, youthful appearing skin. A 2015 study suggests that supplementing collagen may prevent the negative effects of skin aging. Shop for collagen hydrolysate.
  • Protein. Amino acids found in protein (lysine and proline) are essential building blocks for your body’s collagen production.
  • Vitamin C. Your body requires vitamin C for the synthesis of collagen. Shop for vitamin C.
  • Gelatin. Gelatin is cooked animal collagen. It’s often used in treats like jello and gummy candy. Gelatin is an excellent source of glycine, a building block for your own body’s collagen production. Shop for gelatin.

Stubborn fat under the skin can make skin appear loose. This type of fat is called subcutaneous fat.

If you pinch the problematic area and there are more than a few millimeters of skin, then there’s subcutaneous fat present. Losing that fat could firm the skin.

Massaging loose skin can increase blood flow and help evoke an anti-aging response.

One study analyzed the effects of skin massage in conjunction with an anti-aging skin cream. The study showed that regular massage with a hand-operated oscillating massage tool amplified the positive effects of the cream.

Alongside massage, you can also use a salt or sugar scrub to increase blood flow.

Many nonsurgical procedures can help with loose skin.

These procedures include:

  • Chemical peels. The removal of the outer layer of old skin can decrease the appearance of loose, sagging, or wrinkled skin on the face and neck. Once the old skin peels off, the skin underneath is usually less wrinkled and smoother.
  • Ablative laser resurfacing. This procedure is also known as “laser peeling.” It’s similar to a chemical peel because it removes the outermost layer of old skin. The laser also warms the layers underneath the top layer. This heat promotes collagen production.
  • Ultrasound skin tightening. This procedure uses heat to stimulate collagen production. Focused ultrasound energy is transmitted through the skin’s surface to heat deeper layers.
  • Radiofrequency treatments. This is another form of safe energy transfer that heats the skin to induce collagen production. This method focuses on the skin’s outer layer.
  • IPL/RF combination treatments. These treatments combine intense pulsed light (IPL) and radiofrequency (RF). The process heats outer and deeper skin layers to facilitate collagen production.
  • Neuromodulators. This treatment is often referred to as Botox. The toxin botulinum, known to relax wrinkles, is injected into the skin. While this isn’t the most holistic procedure, it requires minimal recovery time and reduces the appearance of loose skin.

These are all examples of minimally-invasive, nonsurgical techniques for reducing loose skin. There are also surgeries to remove loose skin. These are known as body-contouring surgeries.

Body-contouring can also be referred to as tuck or lift surgeries. They involve an incision and the removal of extra fat and skin. These surgeries usually require a hospital stay followed by recovery time at home.

If other loose skin tightening techniques do not provide the results you’re looking for, you may choose to consult with a doctor to see if body-contouring is the right choice for you.

Loose skin can be problematic, but there are multiple ways to minimize or reduce it.

Collagen is a huge factor in the skin’s elasticity. Boosting your body’s collagen production is one way to reduce loose skin.

You can also take actions to prevent developing loose skin, such as avoiding:

  • smoking
  • tanning
  • using skin products with harsh chemicals

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