What Causes Sagging Skin?

Over time, external factors such as ultraviolet sunlight and gravity take their toll and we inevitably lose volume in our faces, via fat, muscle and bone changes. Sagging skin in the lower face—or jowls—and thin, wrinkled skin on the neck are the two most dramatic signs of aging and are a natural part of the aging process.

As the skin ages, the deeper layers lose fat and important structural proteins such as elastin and collagen also start to decline. Studies show after the age of 20, a person produces about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. During the first 5 years of menopause, women’s skin loses about 30% of its collagen, and 2% every year after for the next 20 years. The skin also becomes drier and thinner, making it more difficult to maintain its form. As the skin becomes less resilient and full, it becomes more vulnerable to the effects of gravity.

Facial aging occurs not just in the skin, but in all the soft tissues. The skin loses its elasticity, and its support tissues elongate and sag. As this happens, fat also shifts from the upper part of the face, causing the face to droop.

How to Prevent Sagging Skin

As with most ageing processes, prevention goes a long way to helping skin keep its youthful appearance. Excessive exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, smoking cigarettes and a poor diet can accelerate collagen and elastin degradation in the skin. To help prevent premature skin aging, experts recommend the following tips:

  Protect your skin from the sun every day. Use a daytime moisturizer that includes SPF to get your antiaging, hydration benefits plus sun protection in one product. Supplement your daily moisturizer + sunscreen with a recreational sunscreen if you plan to be outdoors. Seek shade, cover up and use sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, SPF 30 (or higher), and water-resistant.
  Don’t smoke. Smoking accelerates collagen loss and premature aging. Topical retinoids and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E will help bring back a healthy complexion.
  Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Research suggests that a diet of too much sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging. Eating a diet rich in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is vital to preventing damage that leads to premature skin aging.
  Exercise regularly. Studies show moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system giving the skin a more-youthful appearance. Physical fitness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises are also great ways to relieve stress. Remember to use sunscreen every day to protect against aging sun exposure and stress when outdoors.
  Get your beauty sleep. Experts recommend 7-9 hours for sleep every night for the average adult. When you’re tired, it shows on your skin.
  Exfoliate and moisturize daily. Exfoliation with an alpha hydroxy or polyhydroxy acid (AHA, PHA) is one of the best ways to renew your skin. Serums and moisturizers trap water in the skin, helping to restore the skin barrier and prevent oxidative damage.
  Use a retinol product at night. Retinoids have been shown in trials to improve collagen and improve the appearance of uneven pigmentation over time.


NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE: Complete daily skin care to correct visible signs of aging:

  Cleanser: NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE Exfoliating Wash with Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs) including Maltobionic Acid known to exfoliate and remove debris from pores, enhancing skin texture and clarity. The foaming formula with a concentrated botanical complex of aloe, chamomile, cucumber and rosemary extracts helps refresh and revitalize.


  Serum: Applying a serum before moisturizing gives skin an extra boost and adds a layer of protection from the elements NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum volumizes the look of slack skin with AMINOFIL Amino acid derivative concentrated to target skin’s hydrating matrix for a more lifted appearance. Renews Tone with Gluconolactone, a Polyhydroxy Acid & antioxidant chelator that helps to gently exfoliate and promote a more even skin tone, and hydrates with low molecular weight (LMW) hyaluronic acid


  Moisturizer: The best anti-aging moisturizers have a combination of nourishing ingredients that help restore and protect skin from environmental aggressors.

For day: NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE Matrix Support with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with retinol and NeoGlucosamine® improves skin texture and uneven tone while helping skin to look firmer and healthier by targeting the skin's hydrating matrix to firm the skin's appearance and repair the look of fine lines and wrinkles.


  For night: NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE Retinol Repair Complex is a potent antiaging boosting repair cream formulated to target skin’s volumizing matrix and provide a lifted and firmer appearance, diminish the look of dark spots, and smooth lines and wrinkles. This concentrated complex delivers high-strength 0.5% pure, stabilized Retinol in a time-release delivery system along with NeoGlucosamine® to synergistically target skin’s natural volumizing matrix. These powerful ingredients are also known to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven coloration.


  Eye Cream: NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE Intensive Eye Therapy uses multiple ingredients to plump and smooth the appearance of slack eye skin. Our high-strength, hydrating eye cream with NeoGlucosamine® and rejuvenating peptides provides a firmer look while theCaffeine and Hyaluronic Acid formula helps deflate the look of puffy eyes andhydrates the skin.


  Neck & Décolletage Cream: Reduce visible signs of aging on the neck and décolletage for skin that appears firmer, lifted and more evenly toned. NEOSTRATA® SKIN ACTIVE Triple Firming Neck Cream is formulated with a complex of three ingredients, each with a unique benefit to deliver a lifted and firmer appearance. NeoGlucosamine®, NeoCitriate® and Pro-Amino Acid work together to firm the appearance of sagging skin and target the volumizing hydration matrix. This potent cream is enriched with a restorative fruit stem cell extract.


  Sunscreen: Everyone should wear sunscreen, every day, all year long. NEOSTRATA® Sheer Physical Protection Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 combines potent antioxidants with a Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) complex to help protect and support skin's moisture barrier against environmental aggressors. Formulated exclusively with mineral sunscreens: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide with a sheer, invisible tint in a light formulation aesthetic.


At NEOSTRATA®, we believe that visible results come from renewing the layers of the skin. We recognize that everyone’s skin is unique and we have created key collections which aim to achieve healthy-looking skin at every life stage.

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  • American Academy of Dermatology: Aging Skin. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/anti-aging-skin-care
  • American Society for Dermatologic Surgery: Sagging Skin. Available at: https://www.asds.net/skin-experts/skin-conditions/sagging-skin
  • American Academy of Dermatology: Caring for your skin in menopause. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause
  • Krutmann J, Bouloc A, Sore G, Bernard BA, Passeron T. The skin aging exposome. Journal of Dermatological Science. 2017;85:152–161. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2016.09.015.
  • Addor FAS. Beyond photoaging: additional factors involved in the process of skin aging. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:437-443. Published 2018 Sep 20. doi:10.2147/CCID.S177448
  • What causes our skin to age? American Academy of Dermatology: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/anti-aging-skin-care/causes-of-aging-skin
  • Ganceviciene R, Liakou AI, Theodoridis A, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):308–319. doi:10.4161/derm.22804
  • Zhang S, Duan E. Fighting against Skin Aging: The Way from Bench to Bedside. Cell Transplant. 2018;27(5):729-738.
  • Cleveland Clinic: Aging and skin care. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10979-aging-and-skin-care
  • Sydney R. Coleman, Rajiv Grover, The Anatomy of the Aging Face: Volume Loss and Changes in 3-Dimensional Topography, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 26, Issue 1_Supplement, January 2006, Pages S4–S9, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asj.2005.09.012
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