Perhaps the biggest skin concern associated with aging is a loss of firmness and elasticity in the skin, especially around the eyes. As we get older, our skin loses some of its ability to regenerate. As a result, the skin is no longer able to bounce back from being stretched out. A loss of volume also leads to sagging, deepening creases, and other signs of aging. An increasing number of men and women are turning to various cosmetic procedures like non-invasive injectable dermal fillers to slow down or even reverse this aging process.
When Does Skin Start to Lose Elasticity?
Subtle signs of aging and decreased skin elasticity typically first appear in an individual in their mid-twenties. Depending on individual lifestyle, skin type, genetics, and other conditions, the process can even start as early as the late teens. Tiny elastic fibers in our skin called elastin allow it to bounce back after stretching. As we age, these fibers start to break down, which causes our skin to start sagging. It is also normal to lose subcutaneous fat around the eyes, cheeks, chin, nose, and temples. Without the presence of fat which adds volume, the face can appear sunken or skeletal and pores can appear larger as well. Treatments to combat this effect include Botox and facial fillers like Restylane, Sculptra, Radiesse and more.
What Causes Loss of Skin Firmness?
While the loss of skin elasticity and volume is a natural part of aging, certain factors can aggravate or accelerate the process. Excess sun exposure, not drinking enough fluids, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking can all contribute to premature skin aging. Extreme weight loss can also cause the skin to droop and sag. This normally occurs when a person loses the weight so quickly that the skin does not have time to keep up with the changes. Losing weight gradually may help prevent this result to a certain extent.
Is There a Skin Care Treatment to Combat Loss of Elasticity and Firmness?
A dermatologist or dermatology provider can recommend skin treatments to restore skin elasticity and firmness, ranging from injectable fillers, laser treaments and surgical procedures. For instance, Thermage skin tightening is a treatment method designed to tighten and rejuvenate the skin's appearance while combatting decreased skin elasticity in deeper tissues of the skin.
While these treatments can help restore a more youthful appearance, the best treatment is prevention. A healthy diet and lifestyle combined with a dermatologist-recommended skin care regimen can prevent or at least slow down many of the signs of skin aging, especially when started early.