You have finally achieved your dream. You have shed an impressive number of pounds. You are elated. You can’t stop looking at the slender you in the mirror. But before long, you notice that the skin around your stomach, upper arms and thighs is rather loose. How can you tighten the skin? Continue reading to find out more.
Loose Skin after Weight Loss – What Causes it?
If you have drastically lost weight recently, then you might have noticed a rather saggy appearance in your skin. Loose skin on your belly or in the upper arms is not at all slightly, but the question is, what causes loose skin after weight loss?
To understand what causes this problem, you first of all need to understand the structure of the skin. The skin is composed of numerous layers, namely epidermis, dermis and sub dermis.
The epidermis (the uppermost layer) is composed of frequently renewing cells but the other layers (dermis and sub-dermis) are relatively permanent and are comprised of elastic connective tissues, blood vessels and fibers that typically stretch or contract under different circumstances.
After weight loss, more so if it is very drastic, these elastic constituents of the skin lose the fat that typically keeps them stretched out. Rapid weight loss also doesn’t allow these constituents of the skin enough time to adapt to the new shape, that is to shrink (remember we said that the components in the dermis and sub-dermis layers are elastic and can either stretch or shrink).
That explains the phenomenon of loose skin after weight loss. Poor nutrition, smoking, dehydration, and prolonged exposure to sunlight can further exacerbate the effects of rapid weight loss on the skin; sagging that is, by impacting on the natural elasticity of the skin.
How to Tighten Skin after Weight Loss
Now that we know what causes loose skin after losing weight, it is timely to explain how to tighten skin after weight loss. I can see the excitement and eagerness to learn written all over your face :), so here we go.
Our opening remark is, if you have lose weight only for your skin to take on a loose appearance, don’t fret! The skin is an elastic organ and will gradually resume its taut shape as it adapts to your new body.
On the downside however, that process can take as much as couple years which is a lifetime for most people. With that in consideration, here are some ways to tighten loose skin after weight loss:
Every time that someone asks me how to tighten loose skin after weight loss, the first answer that comes to my mind is exercise. Yes you have probably been on a workout routine to lose weight and now you will have to further rely on exercise to take care of that skin sagging that accompanied your success.
In addition to cardio workout that you have most likely have been part of your weight loss routine you will also want to incorporate weight training exercises that helps to firm up the skin. You will especially want to incorporate those that strengthen the core, thighs and arms. Talk to your fitness trainer about it.
Here are two muscle toning exercises that you will want to try if you are struggling with loose skin n your belly after weight loss:
Arm crunch: Lie on your back with the legs straight at 90 degrees from the flat surface. Now move your shoulders and the upper back off the flat surface with your hands straight. Stay at the furthest point you can go for a second before moving back to the initial position slowly. Repeat 15 to 20 times ensuring that your legs and arms are straight all through.
Leg raises: Lie on your back with the legs straight at 90 degrees from the flat surface. Lower the legs slowly until they are almost touching the flat surface before pulling them slowly toward their initial position. Perform 15 to 20 reps.
Ensure adequate hydration: water is an important component for optimum skin elasticity. At least 2 liters of water every day is generally recommended.
Observe proper nutrition: as we have already mentioned, collagen and elastin are important to maintain firm and elastic skin. Foods rich in proteins such as beans, fish, milk, cheese, tofu, nuts and seeds are usually a great source of collagen as well as elastin forming substances.
Exfoliate your skin: Exfoliating the skin not only gets rid of dead skin cells but also stimulates circulation in the skin which is important to nourish the skin with oxygen and vital nutrients. A great yet inexpensive way to exfoliate the skin is to brush it with a dry body brush. Ensure that the brush is made of natural fibers.
You can as well use an exfoliating gel or scrub. You can buy a commercial gel or mineral scrub (or salt scrub for that matter) from your local drugstore or prepare your own by mixing brown sugar and honey.
Moisturize with oil: moisture is important for maintaining of healthy skin and moisturizing the skin with oil is a great way to tighten skin after weight loss. Simply apply some castor oil, almond oil or even baby oil immediately after shower when the skin is still damp. Some skin care experts also recommend adding some few drops of oil in your bathing water.
Skin tightening creams: This is yet another option that pops up in my mind almost every time some asks me to explain how to tighten skin after weight loss. There are skin tightening creams galore on the market such as Clarins Extra Firming Neck Anti-Wrinkle Rejuvenating Cream and Reventin Neck Firming Cream. Most such creams work by enhancing the production of collagen in the body.
Here are even more tips to help you tighten that loose skin:
- Avoid harsh soaps and cleaners especially those that contains sulphates such as sodium lauryl sulphates
- Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. Applying sunscreen is a great way to do that.
- Use arm water rather than hot water to bathe
- Eat plenty of fruits and raw vegetables
- Avoid smoking and drinking excess caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
Further Suggested on Skin Tightening and Firming
- Best Creams for Tightening Skin – For Stomach, Face, Body and Men
- Best Neck Firming Cream that Work & Causes Sagging Neck Skin
- How to Tighten Neck Skin – Creams, Exercises & Causes of Loose Neck Skin
- Best Skin Firming Lotion Including Nivea, Jergens, and Body Lotions
- Natural and Laser Tightening of Skin– Costs, Meaning, Exilis and RF
- Skin Tightening Treatments & Procedures like Radio Frequency & Titan
- How to Tighten Skin that Is Loose – Foods, RF and After Weight Loss