When you see a “face-lift in a bottle," “skin-firming lotions” or "tightening treatment", you might want to pause for two seconds, as these products often are stretching the truth a bit. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Almost with no exception, when a product claims to plump and tighten skin, its effects, if any, are usually due to film-forming agents which can usually make the skin “feel” tighter. Despite its effect being only temporary, the sensation is often enough to convince the consumer that it is working.
Sagging skin is caused by several factors, now let’s take a look at why the skin sags as well as how you can truly firm up your skin naturally and effectively.
What causes skin to sag?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), as you age, you will experience a gradual loss of elasticity that leads to sagging skin.
When we take a closer look at our skin, it’s important to realize that the health and firmness of our skin largely depend on two structural proteins: collagen and elastin, where they act as the support fibers in the body that allows your skin to bounce back into place.
Imagine the skin as a bed, where the dermis is like the mattress. Within dermis, the collagen and elastin act as the springs inside the mattress. In particular, the content of collagen is about 70-80%, which is in charge of skin tension. Elastin accounts for 10-20% which is mainly responsible for maintaining the elasticity of the skin.
The hyaluronic acid and other intercellular substances, which are distributed between the collagen and elastin, provides a lubricating function, just like the stuffing in the mattress, affecting the lifespan of the mattress.
When the springs get old and damaged, the mattress will begin to lose its elasticity. Due to environmental toxins and pollutants, UV rays and the aging process, these fiber and protein would naturally break down. When it happens, our skin may appear tired and sagged.
Now, if you are looking for the long-lasting tightening strategy to keep your skin firm and plump, here’s what you can do to help prevent or improve sagging, at least to some degree:
1. Complete Sun Protection: Avoid, Block and Physical Sunscreen
One of the biggest aggressors to the skin is exposure to UV rays from the sun as this is what leads to skin cancer as well as accelerating the loss of skin elasticity.
UVA rays usually cause tanning, not burning as they penetrate deeper into the skin, where wrinkles are formed and thus contribute significantly to photoaging and premature sagging by causing the breakdown of both collagen and elastin.
Years of sun exposure can even increase the risk of skin getting attacked by free radicals (from toxins, pollutants and even the food you are consuming) which further deteriorates the synthesis of collagen and elastin.
As a rule of thumb, the easiest way is to avoid direct contact with sun longer than 15 minutes. Secondly, block your skin from the sun with long sleeves, hat and / or sunglasses if avoidance of the sun is not quite possible.
The third alternative for sun protection would be using broad-spectrum, physical / mineral sunscreen against UVA and UVB.
To make the protection to its fullest, you should also apply it to your ear, neck, chest and anywhere else that will be exposed to sunlight.
2. Look for active ingredients that can help neutralize free radicals
Instead of seeking out a tightening cream, here are the types of ingredients you should look for to help your skin really appear firmer: Antioxidants and Skin-restoring active ingredients
These ingredients are capable of neutralizing free radicals and improve skin elasticity and texture. Also, they will defend against environmental attack and help renew the appearance of firmness, some examples are listed below:
- 1. Brown seaweeds (e.g. rhodophyta, marine bamboo, brown algae)
- 2. Coenzyme Q10
- 3. Vitamin C
- 4. Retinol & retinoids
- 5. Niacinamide
- 6. Green tea extracts
- 7. Broccoli sprout extracts
Know more about: Greenvines’ FAITH Formulation Standard
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Marine Bamboo is an enriched fraction of fucosterol and phyco-carotenoids extracted from the brown seaweed, Himanthalia elongata. In the algae, these marine substances are involved in the fight against the negative side effects of aging and sun.
It also protects against collagen destruction and promotes collagen and elastin synthesis in aging cells.
Know more about our antioxidant powerhouse: Resilience Facial Oil.
Formulated with a skin-mimicking, light-weight oil complex, containing lipid-soluble vitamins, antioxidants and the award-winning Marine Bamboo that leave the skin feeling contoured with an iridescent glow.
References for this information:
- Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, April 2016, pages 63–71 and March 2015, pages 271–280
- Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2015, pages 21–26
- Dermatology, May 2014, pages 314–325
- Dermatoendocrinology, July 2012, issue 3, pages 308–319