- Effective skin tightening masks are made with established anti-aging and anti-wrinkle ingredients to help stimulate collagen production.
- Skin tightening face masks are available for all skin types.
- DIY face masks can be made with natural ingredients but are likely to be less effective than commercial masks and other cosmetic alternatives.
Genetics, aging and photodamage degrades the collagen and elastin in your skin, two proteins responsible for giving your skin its elasticity. Aging also slows down the production of new collagen and elastin causing sagging skin, wrinkles and fine lines.
Face masks can help tighten your skin and enable you to appear younger by rejuvenating loose or aging skin. Choosing the best kind of face mask, however, depends on your skin type and the right combination of ingredients proven to be effective at encouraging collagen production and tightening skin.
How to Get Tighter Skin
Facial masks and other cosmetic products combat loose skin by using anti-aging ingredients to increase skin elasticity and protect the skin from further damage. Effective ingredients are those demonstrated to:
- Stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin
- Hydrate your skin to keep it from drying and forming wrinkles
- Exfoliate dirt and debris from your skin to help other ingredients better penetrate the surface
- Protect your skin from overexposure to the sun
Skin Tightening Mask Options
Face masks are similar to other skin care products, such as topicals, in that they’re a method for delivering anti-aging ingredients to your skin. However, the specific type of mask delivery plays a role in its effect on your skin.
- Cream masks moisturize and hydrate
- Charcoal and clay masks absorb oil and remove debris from the surface of the skin
- Sheet masks extend the length of time that ingredients can penetrate into the skin
- Gel masks deliver a hydrating effect by helping skin retain moisture
- Peel-off masks remove dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin.
Specific face masks may be made with a number of different ingredients to hydrate or exfoliate the skin. For the purposes of improving skin elasticity, ensure you are using a face mask that includes ingredients demonstrated to tighten the skin, such as anti-aging compounds and antioxidants.
Retinoids, such as retinol and tretinoin, are derivatives of vitamin A that protect cells within your skin from being damaged by harmful molecules. Retinoids stimulate the production of new collagen and glycosaminoglycan, a component found in your skin’s connective tissue helps it retain moisture. Face masks made with retinoids can tighten skin and improve signs of aging.
Vitamin B3, formulated as niacinamide, is commonly added to skin tightening masks for its proven anti-aging properties. Niacinamide reduces the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines and improves skin elasticity.
Vitamin C, in the form of L-ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, molecules that damage your skin cells and cause signs of aging. L-ascorbic acid also encourages collagen production to increase skin elasticity and improve the look of wrinkles, fine lines and skin texture.
Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, is an antioxidant commonly added to cosmetics alongside vitamin C. Both vitamins function together to repair the skin and protect against photodamage. It also helps smooth the skin and maintain skin hydration.
Alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) are chemical exfoliants that remove dirt, debris and dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Exfoliation allows other ingredients to more easily penetrate your skin to increase their potential efficacy. In addition, AHA and BHA exfoliants may tighten skin by encouraging cell turnover, although the exact process isn’t yet understood.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural substance that helps skin retain moisture. As you age, production of HA decreases, causing your skin to become dry, lose elasticity and form wrinkles. Face masks made with HA help your skin retain its moisture to limit and protect against skin laxity.
Best Skin Tightening Mask for Your Face
Choosing the wrong mask for your skin type can render it ineffective or irritate your skin. The first step in choosing the best skin tightening mask for your face is to find one intended for use on your specific skin type. Then, ensure the mask is made with ingredients shown to be effective at tightening the skin.
|Type of mask||Intended skin type|
|Cream||Normal to dry skin|
|Charcoal or clay||Oily or combination skin; acne-prone skin|
|Gel||Dry, swollen or sensitive skin|
|Peel-off||Any and blackheads|
Before applying a skin tightening mask to your face, first apply it to a small area to gauge your skin’s reaction, particularly if you have sensitive skin. This is especially prudent if you are using a mask with exfoliating ingredients, as they may be too abrasive for your specific skin type.
DIY Face Mask to Tighten Skin
Effective homemade skin tightening face masks require a combination of ingredients proven to have positive anti-aging effects on the skin, such as antioxidants and moisturizers.
While DIY face masks may be made with more natural ingredients than commercial alternatives, professionally-formulated products are made with tried-and-true ingredient combinations in concentrations tested to be effective. As such, your skin may not be as effectively tightened using a home remedy than it would using a commercial product.
Egg white face mask
Eggs are rich in protein, vitamin A and albumin, an antioxidant. Proponents of egg white face masks claim they are effective for exfoliating, tightening loose skin and shrinking skin pores.
To make an egg white face mask:
- In a small bowl, beat 1 egg white until stiff.
- Add 1 tsp each of fresh lemon juice and honey.
- Apply the mixture to your face with a makeup brush.
- Leave the mask on for 20 minutes.
- Wash the mask off with cold water.
Clay face mask
Clay is believed to have an exfoliating effect on the skin, and may be able to increase the number of collagen fibers within the skin. As a result, clay is often used in homemade skin tightening masks.
To make a clay face mask:
- Mix 2 parts liquid (water for oily skin, milk for combination skin or jojoba oil for dry skin) to 1 part green clay.
- Add 1 tsp honey; add more liquid as needed.
- Apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.
- Wash the mask off with warm water.
Optional: Add a few drops of an essential oil based on you skin type and concerns.
Face masks are only one possible method to tighten loose skin. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription topical skin care products, such as creams, lotions and toners, are professionally formulated to deliver the proper combination of ingredients in the correct concentrations to effectively tighten skin and stimulate collagen production.
Additionally, the ingredients found in effective topical cosmetics hydrate skin to make it appear more plump and firm while protecting it from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, which is responsible for increasing skin laxity via photodamage.
Skin tightening home remedies use combinations of ingredients believed to have antioxidative and anti-aging properties, such as argon and olive oil; caffeine, green tea and cucumbers; bananas and lemon juice. However, like DIY face masks, natural remedies are of questionable efficacy and may not have results comparable to professional products.
Skin tightening procedures and surgeries provide the most dramatic and long-lasting results by triggering fibroplasia and stimulating collagen production. The downsides of cosmetic procedures, however, are possible side effects, recovery time and cost.
Face masks are cosmetic products that tighten loose skin by encouraging collagen production and hydrating the skin. When formulated with ingredients proven to have anti-aging properties, face masks are a viable option for increasing skin elasticity.
Numerous skin tightening mask options are available depending on your specific skin type. Peel-off and sheet masks are intended for any type of skin. Cream masks are effective for those with normal to dry skin. Gel masks are appropriate for dry, swollen or sensitive skin and clay or charcoal masks are best-suited to individuals with oily, combination or acne-prone skin.
DIY face masks can be made by combining ingredients believed to have antioxidative and skin tightening effects, but the efficacy of homemade solutions is questionable. Viable alternatives to skin tightening masks are OTC or prescription topicals, cosmetic procedures or surgery.
- Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H. C., Roeder, A., & Weindl, G. (2006). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clinical interventions in aging, 1(4), 327–348. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/
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