As we age and grow, it is inevitable that there will be changes to our body; we grow taller, we can lose muscle mass, and the texture and quality of our skin can change and alter.
Crepey skin is an issue that many older women find themselves facing – but just what causes this, and is there anything that you can do? We took a closer look.
What Is Crepey Skin?
Crepey skin is simply the result of your skin losing elasticity and becoming more like parchment paper than soft, supple skin.
It’s also called sagging or laxity, and the skin tends to look thinner, more wrinkled and may appear more like tissue paper in texture.
When stretched, skin of this type will not return to a normal tone as quickly as younger skin, and this is a result of the lack of elasticity.
It is something that primarily impacts older people, and can have a range of causes, including genetics, hormones, aging, weight gain, sun damage, smoking, and poor nutrition.
The first thing to know about crepey skin is that it is not something that happens overnight.
While some women start to see signs of it as early as their 30s, others don’t notice any significant changes until they are well into their 50s; this is dependent on a wide range of factors, as we will see below.
The Causes Of Crepey Skin
There are several factors that can cause crepey skin, which include:
Your genes play a big part in determining whether or not you develop crepey skin.
Some people inherit a predisposition for developing crepey skin, so if you see this on your parents, the chances are high that your skin may go the same way.
Hormonal imbalances can lead to crepey skin, particularly when combined with other issues such as thinning hair, irregular periods, and dry skin.
The most common hormone imbalance associated with crepey skin is menopause, where estrogen levels drop dramatically. Other hormonal imbalances can occur due to thyroid problems, diabetes, and other conditions.
Sun exposure over time leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration, all of which can make your skin look less youthful. This is why it is important to protect yourself from the sun, even in the winter months!
Smoking has long-term effects on your health, and one of these is on your skin.
Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that irritate the skin, leading to premature aging, and this can be seen in the skin all over your body, but especially your hands, which is where aging tends to show more readily.
Poor diet choices can negatively impact your skin. Eating too much processed food, drinking alcohol, and skipping meals can leave your skin looking dull and lifeless.
This can also reduce the elasticity of your skin, causing crepey, sagging skin to appear more prominent and apparent.
As we get older, our bodies begin to slow down. Our skin ages along with us, and this means that the collagen in your skin begins to break down.
Collagen is what gives your skin its structure and keeps it firm and toned. Without enough collagen, your skin loses its strength and becomes less able to bounce back after being stretched out.
Excess fat around the waistline can create pockets of pressure under the skin, which can lead to crepiness. This is because excess fat creates extra layers of skin, which makes the skin feel thicker and harder to stretch.
How To Treat Crepey Skin
While crepey skin isn’t necessarily a serious condition, it does tend to be something that many women are keen to address and reduce as much as possible. Fortunately, there are
many ways to treat crepey skin, including:
When your skin is smooth and free of dead cells, it looks younger and fresher. You can use exfoliating scrubs to remove old skin cells and reveal smoother, fresher skin underneath.
Keeping your skin moisturized will help keep it soft and supple. Make sure that you apply moisturizer at least twice daily, and try to avoid using products containing harsh ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or lanolin.
These can strip away moisture from your skin, leaving it feeling tight and uncomfortable. Instead, use a product designed for sensitive or older skin.
Spending time outside in the sunshine is great for your overall health, but if you don’t take precautions against damaging UV rays, they can cause damage to your skin – and especially the delicate skin of your hands.
Try to limit your time outdoors between 10 am and 4 pm, and wear sunscreen every day. If you do spend a lot of time outdoors, consider wearing protective gloves or covering up with a hat and sunglasses.
Antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, can play a large role in reversing the signs of aging, and this includes crepey skin.
Vitamin C helps strengthen the collagen in your skin, while vitamin E works to protect your skin from environmental factors that could make it look wrinkled and aged.
These work to increase the speed at which skin cells turn over, and the result is skin that is smoother, fresher, and more even, which can reduce the appearance and feel of crepey skin.
Try Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is an effective way to improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It’s available in both topical and oral forms and can be used alone or combined with other treatments to achieve better results.
While it may not completely eliminate crepey skin, it can significantly soften it and bring new life to your complexion.
Crepey skin (see also ‘Do You Have Crepey Skin? Well, Here’s The Best Retinol Body Lotion For You‘) is a natural part of aging, but there are steps we can take, and products we can use which can help to reduce the appearance and texture of crepey skin and ensure that you look and feel your best, no matter your age.