Conscious of having loose skin around your body? Don’t fret; it’s completely normal for skin to sag a little, especially if you’ve recently lost a lot of weight or had a baby. If you’re searching for ways to reduce the appearance of it though, know that surgery isn’t the only option.
There are a few other things you can do to get rid of saggy skin which may be making you feel self-conscious or even causing physical discomfort.
First of all, what causes loose skin?
Having loose skin around areas of the body such as the stomach, legs, arms or face is typically down to one of three reasons:1
- Recent weight loss
Despite the natural elasticity of skin, one of the biggest causes of sagging is rapid weight loss. When we gain weight, our skin has to stretch in order to accommodate any excess fat. If we suddenly lose all of that fat through intense exercise and dieting, it’s not uncommon for our skin to be loose afterwards. Depending on things like your age, skin health, genetics and how long you were overweight for, it can take time for skin to spring back. And, in some cases, it might always look a little saggy.2
Having a baby inevitably causes the skin to stretch, most notably around the stomach, but also in other places such as the face, legs and buttocks. While some women are lucky and have very little loose skin after giving birth, it’s completely normal to see some and want to get rid of it.
It’s a known fact that our skin sags as we age. That’s because our bodies produce less and less collagen the older we get. Collagen is a protein and a major building block of skin. It’s essentially what keeps it elastic.3
How to get rid of loose skin
While there’s no immediate way to get rid of loose skin without invasive methods, there are a few tips you can follow to help tighten it up. These include:
- Exercising regularly
Despite the fact that exercise may have been a contributing factor to your loose skin, it’s also a great way to reduce it, too. Want to know why? Once your body has burnt off any excess fat through exercise, it starts to develop muscle instead. It’s this extra muscle mass which may help reduce the appearance of looser skin. Weight training exercises, in particular, could be helpful as they focus solely on your muscles.4
- Moisturising your skin
As well as aiding with eliminating the appearance of any lines and making your skin feel soft, moisturising may also help firm up looser skin. Take a look at the creams and lotions in our skin ailments range and look out for things containing collagen, especially if you’re hoping to get rid of loose skin around your face.5
- Taking a supplement
To improve your skin’s elasticity, it might be worth taking a supplement. Collagen supplements are a particularly great option; however, you’ll find vitamin C is also suitable as your body needs it in order to produce collagen.
What are the health risks of having loose skin?
Beyond the emotional challenges of having lots of loose skin on your body, there are also some potential health risks. Firstly, folds of skin can become sore or even infected if you don’t clean in and under them regularly.6 Having looser skin may also affect your ability to move around as quickly.7
How to avoid having excess loose skin in the first place
Ultimately, the best way to avoid getting lots of loose areas of skin is to avoid shedding large amounts of weight in one go. If you do it gradually instead of over just a few weeks, you’ll give your skin more time to spring back to its original shape.8
If you’re worried about loose skin and its possible impacts on your health and wellbeing, it’s worth having a chat with your GP. Thinking about losing weight, but keen to avoid getting loose skin? A dietician or nutritionist should be able to help you work out a way to slowly lose weight while staying healthy.
Last updated: 8 June 2020