It was Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe who once said, “If you don't fight gravity, you sag.” And for a long time, we all believed it.
While it seems to make sense, it’s not exactly true. The real cause of sagging lies deep within your skin.
What’s happening underneath my skin?
Collagen and elastin are the things you need to know about if you’re concerned about premature skin aging. Think of them as the connecting bridges holding your skin together, keeping skin firm.
As we grow older, the production of these constructive tissues slows down. This leads to a loss in density and mass, which causes the skin on your face to lose its plumpness and ability to stay firm.
On top of that, facial muscles start to weaken, and muscle tone decreases, also contributing to the sagging appearance of skin.
So, gravity doesn’t play a part?
Only a very small part. Gravity has a bit of a downward pull on loose skin, exaggerating the sag. But intrinsic aging — that is, aging in your cells — is relative to time, not gravity.
And this means you’re in control of how your skin looks. And it starts with strengthening your skin and the underlying muscles. Choose toners and moisturizers that promote collagen growth, with ingredients like retinol, alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) and vitamin C.
There are facial exercises to help strengthen the facial muscles to maintain a firmer appearance. Try holding the widest smile you can, while providing resistance with your fingers as you press down on your cheekbones as hard as you can. This exercise is great for strengthening the cheek muscles, reducing the appearance of jowls — drooping skin at the lower cheeks.
If enjoy the odd cigarette, this is a good reason to kick that habit. Smoking directly causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Make healthier lifestyle choices, like exercising regularly and eating healthily, to keep a youthful appearance.