Aging is the biggest culprit behind skin that sags, wrinkles, and even tears. “Over time, your body loses collagen and elastin which results in less support for the skin,” says Shannon McAllister, board-certified dermatologist with Associates in Dermatology. Factors such as genetics, medications like prolonged topical steroid use, and sun exposure can also contribute to thinning skin.
“When you are in the sun, UV rays cause free radicals, which damage the skin and eventually lead to wrinkles, dark spots, and sometimes skin cancer,” says Dr. McAllister.
Thinning skin may be an inevitable part of the aging process, but taking small steps every day to protect your skin can go a long way to helping your skin retain some of its strength and youthful glow.
Solution 1: Apply This
A first line of defense for your skin is sunscreen. “It is never too late to wear sunscreen to protect your skin,” says Dr. McAllister. Apply sunscreen every day, even if you won’t be going outside. “You can get sun exposure through the window, or when you walk out to get the mail,” says Dr. McAllister. Using an antioxidant rich vitamin C serum in the morning is also a good strategy. Dr. McAllister recommends a serum that is at least 10% vitamin C, and ideally 15% to 20%. In addition to applying vitamin C serum, use a retinol. “Retinols help increase skin turnover and can also fill in fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr. McAllister. Retinols boost the production of elastin and collagen, but can have a drying effect on the skin. Start with an over-the-counter version and consider switching to a higher strength prescription version when your skin has acclimated.
Solution 2: Skin Treatments
For a more intense skin solution, you can consult with a dermatologist about the best options to pursue for your skin. Procedures that can help with thinning skin include laser treatments and microneedling. “Laser treatments induce heat- related injury, as the skin heals it contracts and tightens,” says Dr. McAllister. “Microneedling is a process that uses needles to make microscopic holes in the skin. As the skin heals, the holes contract together,” explains Dr. McAllister. It can take up to four sessions of microneedling to see a difference in skin quality.
By Tami Pyles