Most of the time, waking up to discover that we have something new is a good thing. Maybe the fruits of your latest shopping spree were delivered to your door or you’re finally seeing some sprouts pop up in that herb garden you planted.
But sometimes you wake up to the unpleasant surprise of an unwelcomed squatter too: a new wrinkle. Facial aging has a way of sneaking up on you until one day you look in the mirror and say, “Hold on, what’s my cheek doing all the way down there?”
As frustratingly mysterious as skin sagging and a loss of skin firmness might seem, today is the day when you get answers to your questions.
Why Do We Lose Firmness in Our Skin?
Let’s start by talking about why our skin is firm when we’re young in the first place. It’s largely because of a protein in our skin called collagen. Collagen fibers are firm and resilient, so this is what gives our skin a youthful plumpness and smoothness.
Throughout our lives, the collagen in our skin is constantly breaking down and being replaced by newly-created collagen, as is the case with pretty much everything in our bodies. Here’s the problem, though: when we’re young, our skin stays firm because we’re producing new collagen at around the same rate it’s breaking down. As we get older, our collagen production slows down but the collagen breakdown doesn’t. The result is a gradually lower and lower amount of collagen in our skin, which leaves the skin thinner, less firm, and more wrinkled.
What Can We Do to Prevent a Loss of Firmness?
Your naturally slowing collagen production is a part of aging that happens to all of us. Still, it might surprise you to know just how much of your loss of firmness could be caused by other factors. In particular, certain habits like excessive sun exposure, smoking, and missing out on sleep can make your collagen break down more quickly than it already does.
After you get done thinking back on every afternoon you spent soaking up sun and regretting it, you might realize that this is actually good news, because most of the typical loss of firmness is preventable. Start with these strategies to keep your collagen where it belongs.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Sun exposure is usually the top culprit behind premature aging, so that should be priority #1. Get into the habit of using sunscreen in your morning skin care routine, as well as reapplying if you’re heading outside for longer sessions like a workout or an afternoon in the park.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleep might just be the most underrated healthy habit there is, and it’s as helpful for your skin as it is for the rest of your body. Collagen can break down more quickly when you’re not getting enough shut-eye, so get yourself onto a healthier sleep schedule.
Use Preventative or Anti-Aging Skin Care Products
Aging prevention is a top-level skincare priority, so of course, there are tons of products out there that help you maintain and rebuild firmness in your skin. For example, products with peptides and growth factors can stimulate your collagen production, and retinols can increase your cell turnover so your brighter, younger skin cells are front and center.
Get More Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been known to even out your skin tone by reducing age spots, for example, but now researchers are finding that it can stimulate your collagen production too. At the same time, it helps to fight off free radicals from sun exposure that contribute to your collagen breakdown.
For that reason, start working more vitamin C into your diet and into your skin care routine. Both oral and topical vitamin C seem to benefit your collagen.
Can You Maintain Skin Firmness with Clean Beauty?
As you might know, April is Clean Beauty Month, so we’re putting natural, chemical-free and low-chemical skin care products in the spotlight. If you’re one of the many who’s joining the clean beauty movement, you should celebrate: you don’t have to give up your youth. There are plenty of clean skin care products that are also powerful weapons against a loss of firmness.
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Glow Serum
Hyaluronic acid is a star in the anti-aging world, and one of the most effective ways to get it is through a serum that your skin hungrily soaks up. Try Peter Thomas Roth’s Hyaluronic Glow Serum to start rebuilding your youthful firmness and hydration.
La Roche-Posay Active C 10 Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate
Remember that vitamin C we talked about? This Active C 10 Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate is the perfect way to put your new knowledge to use. It’s an ultra-light wrinkle cream that stimulates collagen while also giving you a more even skin tone.
Babor ReVersive Pro Youth Eye Cream
The area around and under the eyes is one of the first places to spot signs of aging because the skin in that area is already so thin. For a paraben-free, phthalate-free way to restore firmness and youth around your eyes, try Babor’s ReVersive Pro Youth Eye Cream.
Keeping Your Youth Intact
I’m a firm believer in the fact that you should judge your aging not by a number but by how young and energetic you feel. Skin doesn’t always follow that philosophy, though. Instead of assuming that a loss of firmness is inevitable, use some of the tips and products above to take control and keep your skin up where it belongs.