Legit Skincare Tricks For Firmer-Looking Skin
Because firming the skin on your face doesn’t have to mean a trip to the injector’s office…
We always advocate loving the skin you’re in, but there’s no harm in trying your best to minimize the stuff that annoys you the most, right?
Take loose skin, for example. Correct us if we’re wrong, but this has to be the sneakiest skin ager of the lot, creeping up on you until, wham, your jawline suddenly goes from firm and taut to, well, a little bit saggy.
So, why does your skin slacken as you age? Because collagen. As you know, collagen is one of the most important proteins in your skin, giving it structure and strength by acting like scaffolding to hold it all together. When you hit your mid-twenties, however, studies show your skin produces about 1 percent less collagen each year. Dang. This means your skin gradually becomes thinner, more delicate and more prone to the visible signs of aging such as lines, wrinkles, rough skin, uneven tone and the inevitable sagging.
Unfortunately you can’t press pause on the clock and stop your skin from maturing after the age of 25. But you can work to prevent all the other external stuff that accelerates the rate at which your skin ages. For starters you MUST protect your skin from the sun which is the number one cause of skin aging. Then, of course it’s sensible to get more sleep, reduce your stress levels, not smoke and drink less alcohol. You know the drill.
Once you’ve nailed some smart lifestyle choices, it’s time to think about your skincare routine and what it needs to help keep any tricky areas more firm and youthful-looking. Not sure where to start? Then here are our favorites...
When it comes to firming your skin, vitamin C is a no brainer. How so? Because it fights hard to neutralize free radicals which, if left alone, accelerate collagen breakdown and cause no end of damage to your skin. Consistent use of a topical vitamin C treatment (oh hi there, Vitamin C Facial Serum) not only keeps free radicals and all their nasty side-effects at bay, but because it’s highly acidic it also triggers your skin to produce more collagen to help heal itself.
As we said, no brainer.
Massaging your skin as you cleanse? Priceless. And if you’re worried about getting your technique absolutely perfect, don’t be. As long as you’re not too full-on, pulling and pushing your skin like your life depended on it, any kind of massage using your hands and the pads of your fingers will boost collagen production to help lift, tighten and firm your skin. As a sidenote, it will also improve blood circulation to flush out toxins and add that all-important glow.
If your loose areas are mainly around your chin and jawline (the dreaded jowls), concentrate on these areas specifically when you cleanse your skin, using Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser for an added antioxidant boost. Work it up and down your neck using the pads of your fingers, then place the palms of your hands on each side of your nose and smooth your hands up towards your hairline a few times to lift the cheeks. Next, pinch the bottom of your chin with your thumbs underneath and your knuckles on top, then repeat this action all the way up your jawline to your ears. Do this a few times every day.
Retinol is a winner for battling against free radical damage and stimulating collagen synthesis. It works by altering the behavior of aging skin cells to enhance cell turnover and make your skin appear younger-looking. Like most derms and skin experts, we’re always blowing retinol’s trumpet. But it works, so go figure.
Of course, you have to be patient and consistent with retinol because it takes a good three months for it to start offering visible results. It’s good, but it’s not a miracle-worker, OK? Try Retinol Facial Serum two or three times a week making sure to smooth it over your jawline and down your neck to help boost collagen and lift these troublesome areas.
Did you know your face contains around 50 muscles? Best start working them out then – especially since many of them rarely get used.
To help firm and tighten your skin, exercise your facial muscles three or four times a week for 10-15 minutes at a time. A great one for your neck and jowls is to tilt your head up to the sky, then pucker up your lips and push them forward as if you’re trying to kiss the sky. Hold this for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat five times.
If retinol and vitamin C aren’t enough for you, boost your collagen even further by making sure your skincare routine contains peptides. Peptides are similar to proteins in that they’re chemical compounds made up of amino acids – the building blocks of pretty much everything in the human body. When it comes to your skin, peptides act like little messengers to encourage your cells to produce more collagen and elastin. And just to reiterate, if you’re hoping to maintain the firmness of your skin, collagen is everything.
To up your peptide game and help firm and tone sagging skin around your eyes, our Eye Gel has totally got your back. And for an all-over skin lift, try Ocean Minerals Super Toner which is awash with peptides and the perfect way to refine, refresh and improve laxity. In our humble opinion, anyway.
LED Light Therapy
LED (light-emitting deode) therapy works by discharging various frequencies or wavelengths of infrared light to trigger certain reactions deep within the skin. Depending on the type of light used, your skin will react in different ways. Blue light, for example kills bacteria to help clear acne, but if you’re looking to boost collagen and firm your skin, a combination of red, amber and/or white light is going to be more up your street.
Red and amber lights are the shortest and target the top layers of your skin to boost circulation and stimulate collagen production which, note to self, makes them the perfect combination for firming and lifting. Meanwhile, white light, which is usually administered during in-office treatments only, penetrates the deepest and is thought to help reduce inflammation and help tighten your skin.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, in-office treatments can be costly because you’ll need up to 10 sessions to get the best results, with each one costing anything from $25-$85. In other news, however, at-home LED kits are available which are a tad easier on your wallet.
Otherwise known as methylsulfonylmethane (trying saying that after a few White Claws), MSM is a naturally-occurring sulfur compound that promotes circulation, fights inflammation and plays a major role in the production and composition of collagen and keratin. It also boosts your body’s antioxidant defense system (bye bye free radicals) so is a total shoo-in for maintaining firm, youthful-looking skin.
We believe very strongly in MSM and incorporate it in many of our favorite skincare formulations including Vitamin C Serum, Vitamin C Super Serum+, Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser and both of our eye treatments.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.