Sagging skin is one of the most dreaded manifestations of aging, and it can sometimes feel like there isn’t a lot we can do about it. They’re natural parts of life, after all. But whether you’re only just beginning to show some signs or you want to be proactive with prevention, there are things you can do it minimize the appearance of sagging as much as possible. Here’s how to protect yourself from sagging.
The Primary Cause of Skin Sagging
Collagen is a protein in skin that keeps it firm and gives it structure. The gradual loss of collagen (which begins around age 25) can be attributed to causing sagging and wrinkles by decreasing elasticity in the skin. Consistently, studies have shown that collagen degrades as we age because “the enzymes responsible for collagen degradation increase gradually over time in the skin.”
Not only is loss of collagen to blame for sagging, but also loss of fat in the face. Fat that keeps skin plump and round along the cheeks, mouth, forehead and temples becomes less evenly distributed due to loss of volume. This ultimately leads to that droopy look all along the face. Meanwhile, some places, the jowls and under the chin, can gain fat. The natural passage of time obviously contributes greatly to aging, but there are other factors that can have a big impact, like sun exposure, smoking and pollution.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself from sagging on a daily basis:
1. Protect Yourself From UV Rays Every Single Day
Sun exposure contributes greatly to the visible signs of aging. Most experts consider protecting yourself from the sun is the absolute best thing you can do to prevent signs of aging.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation degrades collagen in the skin. This is why people who have perhaps indulged in tanning throughout their lives tend to have more sagging than someone who has practiced sun protection.
In addition to degrading proteins like collagen, sun exposure can cause “age spots,” which are basically darkened spots on the face that make overall skin tone look uneven.
Applying sunscreen religiously, wearing protective clothing and hats and generally limiting time in the sun can all help mitigate these problems and help to prevent the visible effects of skin aging such as sagging. But not any old sunblock will do. You have to make sure it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (UVA rays cause aging, while UVB rays cause the typical redness associated with a sunburn).
Image Skincare’s PREVENTION+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer will defend against both types of ultraviolet radiation while also protecting against blue light. Blue light is the light emitted from screens like cell phones and computers. This light can cause oxidative stress (an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals). And this can eventually lead to collagen degradation because free radicals target and damage cells throughout the body, including skin cells. Consequently, Image Skincare’s SPF moisturizer also contains an antioxidant blend to target these environmental stressors.
2. Choose Potent Anti-Aging Ingredients
There are a variety of powerful anti-aging ingredients that can help dramatically minimize the appearance of aging with regular use of products that contain them. Vitamins A, C and E are often counted among the top ingredients that can minimize signs of aging like sagging, as are peptides, plant stem cells and botanical extracts like green tea extract.
Image Skincare’s The MAX Stem Cell Serum combines several potent anti-aging ingredients that can help improve the appearance of collagen-deprived skin. Peptides are composed of amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and they can help combat the appearance of sagging. Plant stem cells have also shown incredible promise in mitigating the visible signs of aging. Both of these ingredients in the MAX Stem Cell Serum team up to essentially “freshen up” collagen-diminished skin This serum also contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (a very powerful and stable form of vitamin C), which has shown the ability to reduce signs of aging in studies.
Although you may also be able to find these ingredients in moisturizers, when they’re concentrated in a serum (as is the case in The MAX Stem Cell Serum), they are far more efficient and potent. That said, it’s important to follow up a serum with a cream, and Image Skincare’s AGELESS Total Repair Crème is an excellent choice. It is specially formulated to target loss of visible firmness thanks to retinol, a vitamin A derivative, which is known for its amazing short-term and long-term effects on the skin.
3. Focus On The Eyes Separately
The eyes need some extra TLC if you want them to look as youthful as possible. You may have already learned or noticed on your own that the skin around the eyes is generally much thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your face. The eye area is extremely delicate, and it’s best to approach treating it with kid gloves. And it is because of this delicacy that the eye area is often the first area on your face where you will begin to notice sagging.
Droopy undereye circles are a common problem faced by many aging men and women. This is why we recommend focusing on the eye area separately in order to give it the highest fighting chance against the ravages of time. Plant stem cells, vitamin C and peptides in Image Skincare’s AGELESS Total Eye Lift Crème combine to help support the appearance of firmness in collagen-deprived skin and address laxity of the eyelid while also reducing the look of puffiness and fine lines.
It may seem like the same ingredients in your eye cream are also in your regular moisturizer, but the truth is that the formulations are far gentler in the eye cream. Always make sure to gently dab or pat the cream onto the affected area instead of rubbing or swiping. Tugging on the delicate eye skin can increase sagging and worsen skin laxity.