Loose or sagging skin occurs when internal or external factors affect the key molecules that help keep the skin elastic, firm, and hydrated.
Most people start to experience skin laxity, or loosening, between the ages of 35 and 40 years. Skin laxity that occurs with age is mostly due to a loss of collagen networks, elastin fibers, and hyaluronic acid — a molecule that helps the skin retain moisture.
Weight loss, especially significant or rapid weight loss, and pregnancy can also loosen the skin by stretching skin molecules or changing the structure of the skin.
Several other health and lifestyle factors can also contribute to loose skin, including:
ultraviolet (UV) light damage
certain medications, such as steroids and corticosteroids
skin products or detergents that contain harsh chemicals
In this article, we discuss popular techniques for tightening loose skin and ways to prevent the skin from sagging.
Regular exercise may help skin age well.
Exercising regularly is an important way to stay healthy and age well. Some types of exercise may also help reduce the effects of skin aging.
A 2015 study found that endurance exercise might lessen the effect of age-related skin changes in mice and humans. The authors noted that endurance exercise reduced skin changes by improving tissue metabolism, primarily by stimulating the release of a hormone called interleukin-15 from skeletal muscle.
Women who have loose skin as a result of pregnancy should talk to a doctor about the best way to engage safely in physical activity and which exercises to avoid.
2. Firming products
Many different firming gels, creams, patches, and other products are available for the topical treatment of minor cases of loose skin.
People who wish to purchase a firming product should look for products containing retinoid compounds. Retinoids are potent antioxidants that may boost collagen production.
However, experts do not consider firming products to be effective overall, and their penetration of the skin may not be deep enough to help lift sagging skin.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most firming products offer subtle results at best, mostly by acting as a moisturizer. People who do observe results with these products may need to keep using them to continue seeing results.