Everyone suffers from saggy skin to an extent, and there is always another person, website, or magazine trying to proffer pieces of advice, and tips to firm up loose skin, but how much of it is really effective? Friends and family may suggest giving up smoking, drinking more water, cutting out certain foods, wearing high SPF sun cream, and using moisturiser, but following all of this advice and not seeing your desired results can be disheartening. There are surgical options to remove or reduce saggy skin, but we understand that some people are averse to these, so at PHI Clinic, we pioneer non-surgical alternatives.
What causes sagging skin?
Sagging skin is a natural part of ageing, whether we like it or not. Intrinsic and extrinsic ageing both play a part in skin becoming loose and sagging as we mature. Intrinsic ageing is genetic, and includes natural loss of collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep skin plump and firm, and give it its ability to ‘bounce back’ from facial expressions. Extrinsic ageing is any factor that you can control that may damage your skin’s health, like smoking, sun exposure, or diet.
Smoking over a long period has a plethora of effects on your skin; nicotine actively destroys collagen in the skin by creating collagen-destroying enzymes, speeding up the degenerative process. As well as this, nicotine makes blood vessels near the skin contract, reducing the blood flow to skin, which makes it thinner and more likely to sag. UV exposure also damages skin, and is estimated to cause around 80% of the visible signs of ageing, including loss of elasticity, and a wealth of other concerns, like pigmentation, wrinkles, and changes in skin texture.
Internal and external hydration also play a large part in how skin ages; not drinking enough water can cause skin to become dry, and dry skin is weaker than hydrated skin, meaning wrinkles will appear faster. Skin should also be kept hydrated externally, through a skincare routine that includes moisturiser, as dry skin can become flaky and develop wrinkles more easily. Your diet is an often overlooked source of problems, especially when highly processed food is a core part of it; the amount of nutrition in processed foods is greatly reduced, as is the water content, depriving your body of the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
The leading cause of saggy skin on the stomach in women is pregnancy, for obvious reasons; during pregnancy, skin is stretched as the baby grows, and following birth, this skin takes time to shrink back to its normal size, but in some cases remains lax.
At PHI Clinic, we have a range of devices to treat sagging or loose skin all over the body. These include Ultraformer, which uses High Intensity Focused Ultrasound to firm skin, and M22, that combines various devices for a bespoke treatment perfect for you.