In addition to fine lines, wrinkles and pigmented areas, another symptom of aging skin is sagging. While gravity does play its part, other factors are also at work.
Over time, the skin’s supporting structure breaks down, causing our faces to lose its youthful look of definition, plumpness, and resilience. Our skin cell turnover (rate of renewal) also slows down. Combine this with genetic influences, hormonal decrease, weight changes and sun damage and skin may start to sag and hang – the start of jowls. Some clinicians contend that once skin starts to slacken, pores can look larger, as if they’ve been stretched out of shape.
Is there a fix?
A good moisturizer will give temporary results by plumping skin, so it’s important to find one that works well with your skin and use it regularly. Look for lighter formulations that won’t clog pores. Formulations containing the following topical actives may help:
- Retinol (over the counter Vitamin A) will exfoliate dead skin cells allowing healthier ones come to the surface. Retinol can also increase the rate of skin cell turnover.
- Alpha or beta hydroxy acids (AHAs or BHAs) such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and malic acid will exfoliate dead skin cells allowing healthier ones come to the surface. This makes it easier for moisturizers to penetrate the skin.
- Vitamin C creams or serums will stimulate collagen production and also strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. The same is true for other antioxidants including coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid.
- Pro-Xylane, a patented ingredient developed by La Roche Posay that helps to re-establish the communication of young skin as well as increase the moisture binding ability of cells in the skin’s extra cellular matrix.
- DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) is a naturally occuring substance that facilitates the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and stimulates the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, which is important in cell membranes. Studies have shown that it can tighten the skin.
If you are worried about sagging skin, then you may want to consider the following products which contain topical active ingredients that may benefit:
|Credentials Face Firming Complex with DMAE
DMAE has been shown to tighten skin. While it can’t fully reverse sagging skin on the face, it has been shown to help halt its progression. And, some individuals report a cumulative effect with using DMAE over the long term. Antioxidants help to maintain skin integrity while a novel moisturizing ingredient helps to keep skin hydrated.
Honey and glycerin soothe and nourish dry skin. Soy delivers antioxidant benefit in addition to stimulating collagen production. This is a great moisturizer for more mature skin types that will help to improve the appearance of your skin. Learn more…
|La Roche Posay Substiane
La Roche Posay spent seven years researching Pro-Xylane. Studies have demonstrated an increase in skin density and firmness, as well as in the production of skin support fibres such as collagen. Suitable for all skin types. Learn more…
|Green Cream Retinol Cream
Retinol has been shown to increase cell turnover – the production of new skin cells as well as helping old cells to communicate more effectively. May not be suitable for sensitive skin types. Learn more…
Vitamin C Products
If you’re a regular newsletter reader you’ll know by now that topical Vitamin C is a top anti-aging skin care ingredients. Its potent antioxidant abilities in fighting free radicals that lead to skin damage, ability to boost collagen production and even skin tone make it an essential component of any skin care regimen.
In addition to La Roche Posay’s Active C and Redermic lines, consider UltimaSkin Potent C Serum (12% Stabilized L-ascorbic acid), Neostrata’s Total Radiance Concentrate (10% concentration in single dose capsules) and high concentration (20%) in Neostrata Skin Brightener.
|Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids
Though not sexy new ingredients, alpha and beta hydroxy acids are one of the mainstays of great looking skin. Both the Reversa and Neostrata lines contain great alpha hydroxy products. Studies show that concentrations above 8% are most effective, but because of the potential for irritation, test on your skin first. May not be suitable for sensitive skin types. Visit Reversa store or Neostrata store.
Oilier and acneic skin types may benefit more from beta hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acid) which are oil soluble and therefore very effective in penetrating pores clogged with oil thereby preventing breakouts and blemishes. Again, may not be suitable for sensitive skin types and should not be used if you have an aspirin allergy. Effective products include Effaclar AI, Effaclar K, Neostrata Blemish/Spot Gel
Sensitive skin types may have difficulty tolerating exfoliating agents so it is wise to do a skin patch test first. And it is best not to use more than one exfoliating agent at a time.
Can you shrink a pore?
You can’t actually shrink pores, but their appearance ecan be minimized by keeping skin clean and protected from the sun. A good facial cleanser and daily sunscreen is a must. And products that contain retinol, as found in Green Cream, can help to minimize their appearance.
Prescription and surgical options
If you’re looking for a non-invasive treatment, infrared and laser treatments that help stimulate the development of new collagen are available to help tighten skin’s fibrous bands. Treatments are pricey and several sessions will be needed but results are visible and can be impressive.
If treatments are not for you or out of your budget, then ask your doctor about prescription topical Vitamin A. It speeds up the skin’s renewal process, has been proven to work for acne and wrinkles and can also help to improve the look of enlarged pores at a much lower cost than any treatments. A non-prescription, over the counter option is a retinol preparation as found in Green Cream.