Why does our skin sag?
It's no secret that as we get older, so does our skin. Youthful skin is supple and firm, giving us a "glow" and vibrancy that starts to fade as we age. Aging skin on the other hand begins to acquire blemishes, folds, wrinkles, and sagging over time. Sagging skin in the lower face—or jowls—and on the neck are the two most dramatic signs of aging and are a natural part of this process.
Although this happens to everyone eventually, the good news is that you can breathe new life into your skin to help maintain its youthful firmness if you know a little bit about what causes our skin to be supple and smooth in the first place, and why it begins to lose these qualities over time so you can slow down this natural process.
Collagen: The Foundation Of Youthful Skin
Collagen is the foundation of youthful, elastic skin. It is a protein that the body naturally produces. Collagen is important because it is the main structural protein in our skin, which is what keeps our skin from sagging and giving us that plump youthful look.
As we age, our body's ability to naturally replenish collagen slows down. Additionally, harmful UV rays from the sun damage skin cells and break down the skin's elasticity. This is why the first thing most dermatologists recommend you to add to your skincare routine if you don't have it already is a good sunscreen.
With collagen not being as readily replenished by our body combined with damage from harmful UV rays, our skin's structure begins to breakdown and our skin begins to sag. This is one of the main drivers of sagging skin.
Loss of Volume Over Time
Aside from the slowing down of collagen production, the loss of volume in the skin also plays a big role in sagging skin. Volume loss occurs in our skin naturally over time as we grow and gain or lose weight. When you combine this with the loss of collagen, it makes it extremely difficult for skin to retract properly, causing it to sag and hang instead.
Gravity and Muscle Weakness
Although extremely subtle, the effects of gravity over time does play a small role in sagging skin. On top of that, our facial muscles—just like any other muscles in our body—naturally weaken over time, which only stands worse sagging skin. However, it should be emphasized that this has much less of an impact than the loss of collagen and changes in facial volume.
Simple Solutions to Sagging Skin
Now that we know what causes sagging skin, how can we slow this down? Now the most effective solution would obviously be to start looking at procedures. Some procedures to combat sagging skin include face lifts or fillers. It's no secret that either of these can radically transform the look and feel of your skin. The problem with these methods, however effective they are, is that not many of us want to commit to something as invasive or permanent like a face lift. But just because we don't want a face lift, doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to naturally slow down the aging of our skin.
Thankfully, many of the skincare treatments available on the market today work by stimulating and promoting the natural production of collagen. This is a great natural method of maintaining and restoring the skin's natural glow.
This research, which conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study investigated the effects of collagen supplements on skin aging and found collagen supplements allowed for "long-lasting and cosmetically relevant regeneration of the skin" (Bolke, et al. 2019). You can find many collagen creams, serums, and oral supplements are your local pharmacy.
Another way to naturally boost collagen and strengthen facial muscles is through the use of microcurrent technology. Microcurrent boosts collagen production by increasing the amount of energy that goes to the cells. With this increased energy, the body can produce more collagen!
Microcurrent also works to strengthen facial muscles by stimulating them with soft electrical currents. Topical creams cannot reach the facial muscles, so microcurrent is a great way to reach the muscles and strengthen them to prevent sagging skin.
1) Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102494