Take a look at what causes loose skin on your stomach and what can be done about it, including 16 home remedies to tighten skin on stomach from a dermatologist.
Aging affects every human regardless of race or ethnicity. Skin aging is probably the number one skin concern in the world. As we age, our skin gets wrinkled and starts to sag. Aging is a genetically determined process that cannot be stopped. However, there are some ways to slow down this process.
A common concern during the aging process is loose skin on the stomach. Read on to learn 16 home remedies to tighten skin on stomach plus six additional treatments you can do with the help of your doctor.
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What causes skin aging?
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors control skin aging.
Intrinsic aging is the normal pre-programmed aging of all our body’s cells. This aging is dictated in part by our biology and our genes. There is nothing you can do to reverse this type of aging.
For example, after 30 years old, your skin cells are pre-programmed to produce 1% less collagen per year. The decreased production of collagen leads to wrinkles.
Extrinsic aging occurs after exposure to certain things that prematurely age the skin. These include ultraviolet radiation from the sun and tanning beds, pollution, alcohol, smoking, lack of sleep, and poor diet.
You can prevent most of extrinsic aging causes and slow down skin aging to preserve your youthful appearance for as long as possible.
What does skin aging look like?
Skin aging is characterized by certain findings.
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Saggy skin
- Brown spots or areas of discoloration
- Broken blood vessels or reddish complexion
- Dry, flaky skin
- The dull appearance of the skin
Why does the skin look aged?
All cells age and contribute to an aged appearance. Aging involves a complex interplay of various tissues, like skin, fat, muscle, and bone. It is not just aging skin making people look old, but also what happens underneath the skin.
- Your skin cells produce less and less collagen every year after 30. Less collagen means less structure for the skin and subsequent wrinkles.
- There is also a decreased production of elastin. Elastin gives skin elasticity, and without it, the skin sags.
- As we get older, our bodies produce less fat. The fat plumps our skin and gives us a youthful look. Without it, our faces look sunken in. Also, significant weight loss can shrink the fat layer, making you look more wrinkled.
- Muscle atrophies or shrinks with age. A thinner muscle layer will no longer bolster the skin, making wrinkled skin look worse.
- As we age, our bones shrink. Bones give our skin structure by acting as a scaffolding. Bone loss makes our faces look sunken in and causes wrinkled skin to look more wrinkled.
What can I do to stop premature aging?
Since you cannot change the course of intrinsic aging, the best way to prevent premature aging is to focus on preventing extrinsic causes. Here are some things you can do.
Sun protection to prevent sun damage
- Avoid tanning beds
- Limit peak hours of sun exposure 10 am-4 pm
- Limit sun exposure
- Do not get sunburned
- Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen at least SPF 30 daily
- Reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours you are outside
- Wear sunscreen when driving in the car
- Use lip balm daily with at least SPF 30 for lips and reapply every 1-2 hours
- Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection
- Wear UPF clothing with sun protection built into the fabric
- Use a broad-brimmed hat
- Breaks down collagen
- Dehydrates the skin
- Causes wrinkles around your mouth called “smoker’s lines”
- Damages your collagen
- Eat a healthy diet consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants (check out our post on making healthy smoothies to sneak in more healthy foods)
- Avoid sugars and high-carb diets because they can damage collagen
- Drink plenty of water
Plenty of Sleep
- Get plenty of rest to allow your body time to repair itself
Good skin hygiene for healthy skin
- Cleanse your skin twice a day
- Moisturize your skin twice a day
- Exfoliate 1-2 times a week
- Use lukewarm water to bathe
- Pat your skin dry, never rub
- Take short showers of 10-15 minutes
- Red light therapy is a great way to keep the skin healthy. Using a good red light therapy device a few times a week for 10-20 minutes a day has been shown to increase collagen production.
16 home remedies to tighten skin on stomach
Home skin tightening remedies do not replace professional skin treatments, but some natural remedies can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles in various ways. Some increase collagen production to reduce wrinkles, while others plump the skin to lessen the appearance of wrinkles.
To get the best results, be patient and consistent.
- Red light therapy – Red light therapy has been shown to increase collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles when used daily or a few times a week.
- Retinoids – Retinoids are a form of Vitamin A which are clinically proven to reverse some signs of skin aging. They stimulate collagen production, which will help lessen wrinkles and sagging skin. They also exfoliate dead skin cells to give the skin a more radiant look. Finally, retinoids will remove brown age spots.
- Egg white masks – Egg Whites contain the protein, albumin, which can help improve elasticity and tighten skin. It is also hydrating to lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Dry, dehydrated skin looks more wrinkled. Egg whites are frequently used in face masks.
- Clay masks – In addition to soaking up excess oil and unclogging pores, bentonite or kaolin clay may also stimulate collagen production.
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil contains antioxidants that scavenge up free radicals produced by the sun. These free radicals will destroy collagen. Coconut oil can also moisturize the skin, reduce inflammation, and help stimulate collagen production.
- Microneedling – Micorneedling is a device that makes tiny holes in the skin to stimulate collagen production. The minor skin injury by the tiny needles also helps with scars.
- Exercise – Exercise will build and increase muscle mass. Muscles act as a scaffolding for the skin. It gives it structure and plumpness, so the skin does not look sunken in and wrinkled. Exercise also improves blood circulation to help deliver more nutrients to the skin. Many use facial muscle exercises to tighten the skin on the face.
- Witch hazel – Witch hazel contains compounds that improve skin elasticity to help tighten the skin. It also helps shrink pores and reduce inflammation. Witch hazel can be drying, so add a good moisturizer to your routine.
- Hyaluronic acid – Hyaluronic acid is a humectant moisturizer that instantly pulls water into the skin from the environment. Pulling water into the skin, plumps the skin and makes wrinkles less apparent.
- Lactic acid – Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates dead skin cells to give your skin a radiant glow. It also helps thicken and tighten up the skin. Also, like other AHAs, lactic acid helps increase collagen production.
- Malic acid – Malic acid, another AHA, helps increase collagen production to lessen wrinkles. It also hydrates and exfoliates to smooth the skin.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful addition to your skincare routine that treats and prevents wrinkles. It is an antioxidant, which removes free radicals produced by the sun that destroy collagen. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production to improve wrinkles and skin tone. Also, it helps brighten the skin by removing dark spots.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant to help prevent wrinkles. It hydrates to help lessen the look of wrinkles.
- Aloe vera leaf – Aloe vera can help tighten skin by stimulating collagen production and improving the skin’s elasticity. It also helps moisturize the skin. Aloe vera gel also has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the skin.
- Almond oil – Almond oil is full of the antioxidant Vitamin E, which protects your collagen from destruction. It also may help stimulate collagen production and moisturize the skin.
- Olive oil – Olive oil is an effective moisturizer that lessens the appearance of wrinkled skin. It contains high levels of Vitamin A that stimulates collagen production.
- Massage – Massaging the skin with circular motions can increase blood flow and temporarily lessen the appearance of sagging skin.
What other treatment options are available for tightening the skin?
There are other treatment options for skin tightening that your doctor can perform. These can quickly improve the appearance of loose skin and eliminate wrinkles, not just on the stomach, but also on the upper arms and legs.
- Plastic surgery – Plastic surgeons can surgically remove excess wrinkled skin and tighten up the area. Because surgery is invasive, it does have more side effects but delivers results. Many choose this option if they have recently had a sudden weight loss.
- Radiofrequency treatments (Thermage) – Radiofrequency treatments are non-invasive ways to tighten the skin. Many prefer these options to invasive surgery. However, they will not deliver identical results to surgery.
- Lasers (Fraxel) – Some lasers can tighten the skin.
- Chemical peels – Chemical peels can stimulate collagen production to help tighten the skin.
- Ultrasound treatments (Trusculpt, Ultherapy) – Ultrasound treatments are non-invasive ways to tighten the skin. Once again, they will not give you the same results as surgery, but they are safer.
Skin aging affects everyone. It is a normal biological process. Unfortunately, no one likes it because it gives the skin a loose, sagging, wrinkled appearance. The good news is that some home remedies can help. If you are not getting your desired results, talk to your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about other treatment options.
Because home remedies to tighten the skin on your stomach are much easier and less expensive than cosmetic procedures, a great place to start is to pick non-toxic products to try. We have linked to some recommended clean products above.
Many products are for the face but will do their job on the body as well.
Look for products including at least one of the ingredients listed, or better yet, try a product containing more than one of those ingredients. Like this hydrating spray, which includes aloe vera, almond oil and licorice. Or this Sea Cucumber Gel, which includes aloe vera, coconut oil, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid (plus get 15% off with code: WELLNESS_TRICKLE).
If you are overwhelmed, ask your dermatologist or plastic surgeon what they recommend for your particular skin concerns.
Baumann L (ed) 2015. Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients. McGraw-Hill Education, NY.
Bolognia, J, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer, JV. (2012). Dermatology. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.
Draelos ZD (ed) 2005. Cosmeceuticals. Elsevier Inc, NY.