Sagging skin is a common beauty skin problem, but there are things that can be done to minimize the chances of having loose skin.
What causes skin to become loose?
According to the National Dermatology Association, there are many reasons why our skin loses its elasticity. If you've lost a lot of weight, you might find you need to tighten and firm your skin. Other factors such as age, dehydration, poor nutrition, certain habits, excessive sun exposure, gravity, stress and smoking can all damage your skin, as well as make your skin lose its suppleness.
The key to firming our skin is to repair our connective tissue, our overall skin health and our lymph systems while eliminating excess fat, cellulite and building a strong musculature underneath.
There are many ways you can naturally tighten and firm your skin.
These include not losing weight too quickly, staying properly hydrated, eating the right foods, skin treatments and lifestyle changes. These will leave you with tighter skin.
Don’t lose weight too quickly and start building muscle
Your skin tightens slowly, so help the natural tightening process by losing weight safely and gradually. Make sure your exercise program includes some weight-lifting and weight-training, so you don't lose the lean muscle.
Healthy skin is well hydrated skin
Hydration improves flexibility of your connective tissue. Water is the best choice for hydration because it's cheap and has no calories or added ingredients. Drinking eight glasses of water a day will keep skin hydrated. Hydrated skin will remain flexible and allow our protective barrier to remain intact.
It is not just water that will help you stay hydrated; indulge in fruit juices, herbal teas and coconut water for extra nutrient kicks.
Does alcohol affect skin?
Alcohol, along with caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda, has the opposite effect. A drink will dehydrate you and deplete vital skin nutrients, making your skin appear dull.
Follow a skin firming healthy diet
There are many foods that help the production of collagen, which works to tighten your skin.
Consume nutrients that promote elasticity.
Antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins all help to improve collagen production within your body. You can buy supplements, multivitamins or you can eat lots of fresh fruits and raw vegetables that will provide vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants.
Soy products contain genistein. Genistein, a natural plant-hormone, has been found to boost the production of collagen, the protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity that depletes with age. It helps to block enzymes that break down skin.
Vitamin A as Beta-Carotene is an antioxidant. Vitamin A helps our bodies produce collagen, according to scientific studies conducted by the U.S. government and a major university. Foods that contain vitamin A include:
cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, egg yolks, kale, low-fat dairy products, mangoes, milk, palm oil, papayas, peaches, pomegranates, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes.
The B Vitamins are safe, inexpensive and important both to the lymph system and to connective tissue. They are found in the following foods:
avocados, broccoli, cheese, currants, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, milk, nuts, oily fish, organ meats, yeast, beef, pork, whole wheat, potatoes, corn, carrots, chicken, liver, wheat germ, kidneys, brewer’s yeast.
Vitamin C promotes the development of strong connective tissue. It forms collagen and new blood vessels and it slows the erosion of cartilage. Vitamin C eliminates free radicals, caused by ultraviolet rays. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that stimulates the synthesis of collagen. Studies have shown that vitamin C minimizes lines and wrinkles. Foods high in vitamin C include:
bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, goji berries, kiwi, leafy greens, particularly kale and spinach, oranges and citrus fruits, papaya, pomegranates, watermelon.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are among the best sources of vitamin E. Selected food sources of vitamin E:
wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower oil, safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanuts, corn oil, spinach, broccoli, soybean oil, kiwifruit, mango, tomato.
Zinc is an essential cofactor in the production of connective tissue, cartilage and bone. Zinc is an antioxidant and, along with copper and manganese, it helps neutralize free radical activity. Foods containing zinc include:
beans, cheese, egg whites, lamb, lentils, mushrooms, oysters, pumpkin seeds, sardines, tofu, whole grains.
Manganese enables the body to utilize the B and C vitamins and it acts as an antioxidant. Manganese contributes to building collagen. In the 1930s, researchers discovered that our bodies require small amounts of dietary manganese each day and overdoses can be very dangerous. Food sources of manganese:
almonds, avocados, brown rice, coffee, eggs, leafy greens, liver, spices, tea, walnuts, whole grains.
Foods such as green and black olives, fresh cucumbers, and fresh stalks of celery are rich in sulfur content are also important to collagen production.
How much fat is enough?
Fat intake should equal 30% of your total days calories. Be sure to feed yourself healthy fats (such as omega-3 fish oils or flaxseed oils). Try to eat mainly unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, olive and canola oils. Stay away from saturated fats (high fat meats, butter, cream, etc.).
Eat protein packed food
How much protein do you need?
In general, it's recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. Below are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for men and women.
Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
Adult women need about 46 grams a day.
One important exception is pregnant or lactating women. The recommended intake for them rises to 71 grams of protein a day.
Eat lean protein. Try to choose lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, skim milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese.
The USDA recommends that 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories come from carbohydrates.
There are two types of carbohydrates - starchy (complex) carbohydrates and simple sugars. Starchy carbohydrates are found in potatoes, rice, bread, wholegrain cereals, semi skimmed milk, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses. Be sure to feed yourself complex carbohydrates. They are the ones that have all the vitamins and minerals in them as well as protein.
By eating a balanced diet, you can provide everything your body needs to produce collagen. By including some of the foods mentioned here, you will see significant improvement in the quality of your skin tone.
Care for your skin
Avoid skin damaging toxins
Avoid harsh detergents like sulfates in soaps, shampoos and dishwashing liquids. Limit sun exposure, stay away from tanning booths, and limit exposure to hot and chlorinated water, since all of these elements decrease elasticity.
Skin brushing or exfoliating your skin will help you get firmer skin. Exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells, help keep pores clean and improve blood circulation, which will give your skin a healthy, more youthful glow. Exfoliation also helps your moisturizer and skin care treatments penetrate better.
Most store-bought exfoliants contain harsh chemicals and dozens of questionable ingredients that have unknown benefits. Try homemade exfoliators using ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Exfoliating treatments should be used two to three times a week, not every day.
Natural affordable exfoliating scrubs
Baking soda scrub
Make a paste of baking soda and water, gently rub it onto your skin and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Nourishing sugar scrub
Granulated sugar is another wonderful, natural exfoliant. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix well. If the mixture is a little loose, add a bit more sugar.
Coffee contains caffeic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects and can boost collagen production. It can serve as a skin stimulant. To make the scrub, combine 1 tablespoon of ground coffee with 1 tablespoon of water or olive oil. If you use olive oil, skip applying a moisturizer afterward, as olive oil will leave your skin super-moisturized.
Ground oatmeal absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while leaving your skin nourished and hydrated. It has been known to soothe and heal everything from acne to sunburn to dry, flaky skin. It is also ideal for those with sensitive skin. Combine 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, which boosts the face treatment's exfoliating properties, and 1 teaspoon of water or olive oil to make it into a paste. Gently rub it onto your skin in circular motions, let sit for five to 10 minutes and rinse.
Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin-brushing - dry meaning not in the bath - will change the health of your whole body by helping it get rid of toxins.
Benefits of dry skin brushing
•stimulates the lymphatic system
•cleans toxins from the lymphatic system
•increases cell renewal
•strengthens the immune system
•tightens the skin
•removes dead skin layers and other debris collected in its pores
Use the Right Kind of Brush
You'll need a soft, natural bristle, long-handled, bath-type brush.
How to Do Dry Skin Brushing
The body should be dry, and the brush should pass once over every part of the body except the face.
The best time to do skin brushing is before showering or bathing at least once a day.
Do not wet the skin.
The skin should not become red.
There should be no back and forth motion, circular motion, scrubbing, or massaging - one clean sweep does it. Use long gentle, but firm, stokes.
The direction of the brushing should generally be towards the lower abdomen.
Start at the feet and legs brushing upwards to your groin.
Then do your hands and go up your arms to the armpits.
Then brush upwards on your buttocks.
Brush down the neck, chest and trunk.
Brush your lower abdomen towards the center.
It is permissible to brush across the top of the shoulders and upper back as the best contact with the skin is made that way.
Brush the breasts very lightly, avoiding the nipples.
Raid your kitchen for the best facial masks
Natural firming masks helps to reduce skin pores, tighten loose skin, and help to get rid of face and neck wrinkles, wrinkles under eyes, forehead wrinkles, wrinkles around mouth.
It moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10-20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Make another mask by mixing 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 medium banana.
Vinegar as a skin toner: After you wash your face, mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water as a finishing rinse to cleanse and tighten your skin. Mix 1/4 cup cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water. Apply the mask to your face and let it dry.
Make a mask by mixing 1/4 cup powdered milk with enough water to form a thick paste. Thoroughly coat your face with the mixture, let dry completely, then rinse with warm water. Your face will feel fresh and rejuvenated.
Combine 1/2 cup hot — not boiling — water and 1/3 cup oatmeal. After the water and oatmeal have settled for two or three minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 small egg white. Apply a thin layer of the mixture to your face, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water.
Gently spread whole-egg mayonnaise over your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Then wipe it off and rinse with cool water. Your face will feel clean and smooth.
1. To cleanse your skin and tighten the pores, slather some plain yogurt on your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
2. For a revitalizing facial mask, mix 1 teaspoon plain yogurt with the juice from 1/4 slice of orange, some of the orange pulp, and 1 teaspoon aloe. Leave the mixture on your face for at least five minutes before rinsing it off.
Create a facial that both exfoliates and moisturizes by mixing the juice from 1 lemon with ¼ cup olive oil or sweet almond oil.
If you have dry skin that needs moisturizing, separate the egg and beat the yolk. Oily skin takes the egg white, to which a bit of lemon or honey can be added. For normal skin, use the entire egg. Apply the beaten egg, relax and wait 30 minutes, then rinse.
Moisturize daily to tighten sagging skin
Oil it up
Keeping your skin hydrated on the outside is as important as consuming water to hydrate from within. After showering, applying a coat of oil helps trap the moisture in your skin, which improves its elasticity.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E and has natural soothing and moisturizing properties for skin tightening. Some natural skin firming oils are avocado oil, grape seed oil, and jojoba oil. You can use these oils with other natural ingredients like Shea butter and natural vitamin E.
Add coconut oil to your nightly routine, moisturizing your entire body before you go to bed. Using olive oil as a skin moisturizer involves massaging the face, hands, feet, etc., before going to bed.
Massages are excellent for improving circulation, which goes a long way toward tightening skin. Ask the masseuse to concentrate on the areas you're trying to tighten. Massaging your face and neck with aloe vera will moisturize the skin along with tightening your skin.
They are great for skin tone.
Work out your arms and upper body with push-ups and pull-ups.
Work out your abdominal muscles with sit-ups and squats.
Work out your legs with jumping jacks and lunges.
Get your beauty sleep
Your skin rejuvenates itself while you’re sleeping. The more sleep you get, the more time your skin has to relax, refresh and rebuild.
Don’t Smoke/Avoid Being Around Smoke
Smoking is extremely bad for your skin. It decreases your elasticity a lot and causes wrinkles, too. You may want to avoid being around someone while they are smoking, as well. Even the toxins coming into contact with your skin can damage it.
Choose Organic Beauty and Grooming Products
Organic ingredients are those grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which is healthier for the planet and healthier for our bodies.
Make Your Own Green Skin Care Treatments
Not only will you save money and packaging, but you'll also get the satisfaction that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used in the process. You can whip up a simple, effective face mask using little more than bananas and powdered oats, make an antioxidant-rich tomato-and-yogurt cleanser, or create a acne-fighting toner with green tea.
In fact, dozens of scientific studies show that collagen repair is possible. You don't have to resort to a flurry of potions and lotions, chemical peels, or surgical face-lifts to get fresh, glowing skin.
So, before you do anything drastic for your loose, sagging skin, keep in mind that doctors will generally suggest that you wait two years to be sure that you've done all you can naturally to tighten up the skin. While you're busy doing everything that you can to help improve the look of your skin, keep in mind that you're doing helpful things to prevent aging.
Find this article useful? How do you tighten skin, so you can look as gorgeous and healthy and toned as you know you are?
Image credit : tommerton2010 on Flickr