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Crepey Skin Causes & Potential Remedies
By Jill Levy
February 5, 2023
Crow’s feet, dark circles under the eyes and loose skin (also called “crepey skin”) are some normal ways that the skin can naturally appear as you get older. While it’s nearly impossible to avoid developing any signs of outward aging once you reach your 40s and beyond, there’s a lot you can do to help keep your skin looking firm, evenly toned, and bright in your later years of life.
So, what steps can be taken to help keep your skin from looking loose and to help get rid of wrinkles and fine lines? Let’s look at various options for boosting your skin’s elasticity and appearance— including supplements, foods, and topical products that can make a big impact.
Crepey skin refers to naturally aging skin that appears thin, loose and wrinkled. Compared to other types of wrinkles, crepey skin usually appears on larger patches of the skin.
If you’re older than 30 or 40 and you’ve experienced excess sun or environmental exposure, you may see excess crepey skin on places such as your face, neck and the back of your arms. That’s one reason why it’s important to guard your skin from excessive sun exposure.
What are some of the reasons skin can become crepey? Crepey skin is caused by a normal loss of collagen and elastin, which are proteins that provide skin’s elasticity and structure, helping to keep it firm and youthful-looking.
Skin can become thinner, looser and more wrinkly as a natural part of aging; however, certain lifestyle habits can tend to make it worse.
Causes of crepey skin usually include:
Normal aging, since collagen production naturally lessens as we age.
Excess sun exposure, which can negatively impact skin cells and contribute to wrinkles.
A dry atmosphere, or less moisture, which can affect the skin as well, making it dry and apt to wrinkle more easily.
Smoking, which can lead to over-the-top inflammation, which directly impacts the skin.
Excess weight loss and normal hormonal fluctuations, which can cause the skin to appear loose.
Here are some of the best ways to help crepey skin. (Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.)
One of the main causes of crepey skin is excess sun exposure leading to damage. Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day and limiting sun exposure when the sun is strongest can help prevent sun damage to the skin.
Drinking plenty of water and using a good moisturizer can help to keep the skin hydrated and plump.
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can provide the skin with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and resilient.
For example, leafy greens, nuts, berries, fish, avocado and bone broth (which contains collagen) are among the best foods for providing your skin with key nutrients.
Smoking can cause the skin to age prematurely and lead to the appearance of crepey skin; therefore, it’s essential to quit if you currently smoke.
Regular exercise can improve blood flow, which can help to nourish the skin and promote collagen production.
Getting enough quality sleep is vital for overall health, including skin health and healthy immune system functions.
Rapid changes in weight can affect the skin's elasticity.
If you’re already noticing signs that your skin is thinning or wrinkling, how do you get rid of crepey skin? Here are some of the options people often turn to to help.
(Of course, you should always consult with your healthcare professional concerning any of these options.)
Some dermatology procedures that help improve skin’s texture include:
Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that involves using fine crystals or a diamond tip to exfoliate the outermost layer of skin. This is done to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.
Microneedling: This procedure is done by a dermatologist using tiny needles to purposefully cause a small amount of inflammation in the top layers of the skin so that the skin repairs itself.
Chemical peels: Peels involve applying a solution to the skin to remove the outer layers of dead skin cells. Chemical peels can potentially help to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, age spots, and more.
Lasers: Laser skin treatments use concentrated beams of light to target specific skin concerns. Some of the most common types are fractional lasers, CO2 lasers, and Nd lasers, which are used to help improve skin tone and fine lines.
Dermal fillers: Fillers use injections of solutions to plump the skin and reduce sagging and lines. Botox, Radiesse and Sculptra are all examples of fillers which can be injected into the face or neck.
It's important to note that while these may improve skin firmness, they may not have an immediate effect and consistent use over time is needed to see visible results. Additionally, some approaches may work better for some people than others. You should always consult with a dermatologist before starting any new approach or skincare routine.
As part of your daily skincare routine, wash your skin once or twice (depending on its location), exfoliate regularly, and apply the products below which can help to hydrate, soothe and nourish the skin.
Exfoliators: Regularly exfoliating can help to remove dead skin cells, improve the skin's texture and promote collagen production. Use a gentle scrub or chemical exfoliant, such as lactic or glycolic acid.
Moisturizers: Keeping the skin hydrated can help to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of crepiness. Look for moisturizers that contain skincare ingredients that can help to improve skin hydration, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, coconut oil, olive oil and cocoa butter.
Antioxidants and Acids:
Retinoids: Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A that are known to contribute to healthy skin texture.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to guard the skin from sun damage and promote collagen production.
Peptides: Peptides are small chains of amino acids that help stimulate collagen production and improve skin firmness.
Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid can help to hydrate the skin and plump it up, which can make it appear firmer.
Niacinamide: Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, helps to improve the skin's barrier function, reduce signs of irritation and redness, and improve the overall appearance and “brightness” of the skin.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs): AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants that can help to remove dead skin cells, improve skin texture and allow other products to be absorbed into the skin more easily.
Sun protection: Wearing sunscreen every day can help to prevent sun damage to the skin, thus helping with the skin’s appearance.
In addition to paying attention to what you put on top of your skin, take care of your skin from the inside-out. What is the best home remedy for crepey skin? Try these strategies:
Protein and collagen-boosting foods: Eating foods that are high in protein and collagen-rich foods, such as bone broth, eggs and fish, can help to support the skin's natural collagen production. Protein foods provide amino acids which are critical to maintaining optimal skin and connective tissue health, helping to improve firmness.
Massaging: Gently massaging the skin with a nourishing oil or cream can help to increase blood flow and promote collagen production.
Supplements that provide collagen, protein, vitamins for the skin and antioxidants are most helpful for boosting your skin’s appearance and health. Here are some to consider:
Multi Collagen Protein Beauty Within: Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein (MCP) products are made with 10 types of collagen and a fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient that supports healthy skin elasticity. MCP can also help to improve trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), supporting overall skin moisture and plumpness. Our MCP Beauty Within formula also contains a phytonutrient beauty blend that features antioxidants to support overall skin health. Try our DIY beauty collagen drink that features this collagen powder.
Multi Collagen Protein Beauty + Sleep: As mentioned above, getting enough restful sleep helps to support collagen production and a healthy immune system, contributing to “glowy” skin. These convenient capsules provide not only collagen, but also magnesium to support restful sleep. This formula has been shown to support healthy skin elasticity and to improve the appearance of crow's feet after four weeks of use.
Bone Broth Protein: We offer many types of Bone Broth Protein formulas in different flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate and pumpkin spice, depending on your preferences. Our chicken-based BBPs contain ingredients such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and collagen cofactors that can help improve the appearance of skin’s luster and suppleness after 12 weeks of use.