skin laxity

via Giphy

Even though we’re big believers in aging naturally and loving yourself as is (laugh lines show you’re living your best life after all) we also understand the struggle to keep unwanted wrinkles and premature aging at bay. Our makeup beat is too flawless to settle into fine lines so soon… So, if you’re someone who wants to stop skin laxity in its tracks, or simply get a proactive head start on your anti-aging skincare game, no judgment — we’re here to help.

For starters, it helps to understand what exactly skin laxity is, so we asked Gerald Imber, M.D., plastic surgeon and director of New York City’s Youth Corridor Clinic to put it in simple terms for us. “Skin laxity is when collagen and elastin break down and no longer support the skin structure, resulting in wrinkled loose skin that can turn into everything from saggy eyelids, to jawline jowls and double chins, to tech neck.”

Um yeah, no thanks. It’s also a bummer when you consider how many things cause it: gravity, smoking, sun damage, weight gain (or loss), or constant stretching of the skin. “The damage to collagen occurs by repeated actions — think about the repeated facial movements you make daily like squinting, smiling, pursing the lips, etc. — these movements break down collagen, while sun damage and smoke break down elastin,” he adds.

Okay now you have our attention, but before you freak out and stop smiling altogether, try these expert-approved treatments and products that help with skin laxity.

Regular Retinol and Sunscreen Use

“One of the best ingredients to stimulate collagen is retinol, which is derived from vitamin A and improves skin health and overall appearance,” says Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon Dr. John Diaz. “And since collagen and other essential structural proteins in the skin begin to decrease with age” (around 25, UGH!) “you may want to consider adding this crucial ingredient into your skincare routine,” he advises. Like asap. “A product such as Genetically Blessed by Honor MD, $185, delivers chemical-free vitamin A/retinol-like effects using botanical extracts and given its powerful stimulatory effects, it’s better to use it at night.”

As for morning maintenance, NYC dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin, Dr. Howard Sobel’s #1 non-negotiable product is sunscreen. “During the day, wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher with antioxidants that protect the skin against pollutants containing free radicals,” he insists. His top picks are Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30, $42, because it’s oil-free and is enriched with antioxidants and Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $13, which he calls “a good drugstore option for sensitive skin.”

Microneedling and PRP Treatments

According to Dr. Imber, the moment you notice any changes in your skin (fine lines, a shift in tone, or texture, or otherwise), seek treatment from a medical professional right away and don’t wait for it to get worse. He suggests a combination of microneedling and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Therapy, or Secret RF. “You need to focus on collagen-inducing treatments to strengthen the skin cells and monthly chemical peels and dermaplaning, to encourage new cells to the surface,” he explains. “And if you’re already experiencing skin laxity, Secret RF microneedling with radio frequency is an effective solution since it combines microneedling with heat — triggering collagen growth — and you can see results in as little as two treatments.”

Fillers and Low-Level Lasers

skin laxitySource: Evgenyrychko/ Shutterstock

While Dr. Diaz is a big believer in “less is more” when it comes to treatments, he is quick to point out that a conservative use of fillers (like Juvederm), can do wonders to fill in deep-set lines. “Studies have even shown that consistent use stimulates collagen production and results in less of a need for them over time,” he says. “Similarly, a low-level laser, like Clear + Brilliant can be used every 4-6 weeks to remove layers of dead and damaged skin, while stimulating collagen and new skin cell production.”

PDO Threads

“Elasticity is something that has to be repaired in steps,” explains Dr. Harold Lancer, world-renowned celebrity dermatologist and founder of Lancer Skincare. “Think of a leather couch, there is the skin (the leather) and the volume (the stuffing), so step one is always the firming of the skin (the leather), which is treated with PRF, ultrasonic methods, radiofrequency methods, and infrared laser methods. Then, add volumizing agents to fight the laxity issue. Always fix the leather first, because some of the bounce will return so you can reduce the amount of volume replacement needed,” he says. Going this route will also help you avoid an “overfilled” look. Once If you have taken care of these steps and still need a little boost, Dr. Lancer recommends using strings and PDO threads (suspension devices) to do the rest of the lifting that doesn’t add to the volume. Find out more about how PDO threads work to tighten and lift the skin here. We’ve read that some celebs use them all over their bodies!

Would you guys try any of these treatments? Let us know in the comments below!