- Aging, genetics and sun exposure causes the skin to lose its elasticity over time.
- Skin tightening home remedies are often suggested to improve signs of aging.
- Natural remedies are only effective on a temporary basis and if proven ingredients are present.
- Effective home remedies can delay the need for professional cosmetic treatment, but cannot fully prevent loose skin from developing.
Skin tightening home remedies are commonly recommended as an alternative to more expensive, painful or risky procedures. For many, home remedies offer a simpler alternative to other treatments, as individuals can use simple methods from the comfort of their own homes.
However, It’s important that an at-home skin tightening remedy demonstrates a proven efficacy, or effectiveness, in treating the causes of loose skin.
What Causes Sagging Skin?
Skin laxity, or looseness, occurs as a result of the aging process, genetics or overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, also called photodamage. Over time, collagen and elastin production, two proteins responsible for giving the skin its elasticity, is diminished. As a result, skin begins to loosen and sag.
How to Tighten Loose Skin
A variety of products, procedures and treatments are available to decrease skin laxity and stimulate the production of new collagen. Skin tightening methods can be categorized as:
- Topical treatments, such as creams and lotions
- Noninvasive procedures: treatments performed at your dermatologist’s office that do not cause damage to the skin and result in little to no downtime
- Minimally invasive procedures: treatments that require sedation or anesthesia, cause some damage to the skin and result in some downtime
- Surgical procedures, or plastic surgery: procedures that provide the most dramatic results, but at the cost of extensive side effects and downtime
Over-the-Counter Skin Tightening Home Remedies
A number of over-the-counter (OTC) cosmetic products are formulated with ingredients proven to stimulate collagen production and decrease skin laxity. Effective skin tightening creams, lotions and toners include a combination of:
- Vitamin B3, or niacinamide, which serves as an anti-aging agent
- Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, to increase collagen production
- Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, to smooth and moisturize the skin, aid in wound healing and protect the skin from sun damage
- Retinol, or vitamin A, a compound proven to stimulate collagen production
- Tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, that functions in much the same way as Retinol
- Peptides, combinations of amino acids that encourage collagen production and firm the skin
- Hyaluronic acid (HA), an ingredient that hydrates your skin and improves elasticity
- Salicylic and glycolic acid, ingredients used to exfoliate the skin to help other ingredients to be better absorbed.
OTC skin care products are effective for treating mild skin laxity and cellulite (dimples and lumps). When used as part of a skin care routine, OTC creams and lotions can moisturize your skin and help protect it from photodamage.
Natural Home Remedies
Adding home remedies to your skin care routine can be cost effective compared to other skin tightening techniques. DIY solutions can also serve as a stopgap method before moving onto other cosmetic products and treatments.
A note about home remedies for skin tightening
Beauty gurus and proponents of DIY skin care solutions often suggest DIY home remedies as a method of tightening skin. For some, the all-natural and holistic ingredients represent what they perceive to be a more wholesome alternative to ingredients such as fragrances, dyes and parabens commonly found in commercial skin care products.
While some of the following ingredients do offer some skin tightening benefits, effects are likely to be minimal and temporary. Natural ingredients to look for when making a home remedy are those that provide:
- Vasoconstriction, which is the constriction of veins to improve blood circulation
- Protection from the sun
Be wary of setting too high an expectation for any ingredients believed to provide:
- Antioxidative properties
- Wound healing
- Anti-aging properties, such as increased production of collagen
Virgin coconut is rich in antioxidants, compounds that protect your cells from being damaged by harmful molecules called free radicals. Topical coconut oil has been found to promote faster wound healing and increase collagen turnover, which can tighten your skin. Coconut oil can also help protect your skin from photodamage.
Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D and E. Topical application of avocado oil onto the skin can increase collagen production and assistance in wound healing.
Daily application of argan oil to the skin has been demonstrated to improve skin elasticity. Argan oil also has a hydrating effect on the skin and helps to protect the skin’s ability to maintain moisture.
Coffee is loaded with caffeine, an antioxidant that breaks down fats responsible for causing cellulite to appear on the body, such as on your thighs. At the same time, caffeine defends against free radicals and functions as a vasoconstrictor that improves blood flow. As a result, coffee scrubs are believed to have an anti-aging effect that works as an exfoliator on your skin while reducing the visibility of cellulite.
Aloe vera gel contains properties that inhibit enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, or MMPs, which are responsible for degrading collagen fibers. With MMPs inhibited from breaking down collagen fibers any further, the visible effects of aging, such as skin laxity, are also believed to slow. As a result, applying aloe vera gel to your skin may have an anti-aging effect.
Egg white face masks
Eggs are full of protein and albumin, an antioxidant. Retinol, or vitamin A, is also found in eggs and has been proven to increase collagen production. As a result, egg white face masks are commonly suggested as a natural home remedy, although their efficacy has not yet been proven.
Fruits and vegetables
Many proponents of skin care home remedies recommend placing mashed or sliced pieces of fruits and vegetables on the skin as a natural skin tightening method.
Practitioners make frequent use of cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, papayas, bananas and lemon juice for their high water content and antioxidants qualities. Consistent use of fruits and vegetables is believed to temporarily tighten skin and reduce other skin conditions, such as inflammation.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants thanks to its abundance of polyphenols, a type of micronutrient. Brewed tea bags can be placed on your face or around the eyes, or cut open and mixed with honey and other ingredients to create a face mask, to protect your skin from sun damage and slow the breakdown of collagen.
At-Home Skin Tightening Machines
While DIY skin tightening machines are not as powerful as the equipment found in your dermatologist’s office, they are an effective solution to tighten skin and decrease the visibility of wrinkles.
Skin loses its elasticity due to age, genetics and damage from the sun. Over time, collagen and elastin fibers are broken down and cause fine lines and sagging skin to appear.
Cosmetic products—such as creams, lotions and toners—and skin tightening procedures have a proven efficacy in restoring skin elasticity. Home remedies offer a solution for those preferring a more natural approach, however, the efficacy of skin tightening home remedies is temporary at best.
For best results, at-home skin tightening remedies should make use of cosmetic products and natural ingredients with a proven history that encourages collagen production and reduces the effects of harmful free radical molecules.
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