Loose skin is an inevitability of aging, and scores of “miracle products” and other remedies in the health and beauty markets are intended to address this concern. Efforts to combat loose skin range from things as simple as skin creams to as intensive as surgical intervention, with many other options in between.
If you have been looking at ways to address unsightly loose skin, whether as part of anti-aging efforts or perhaps after a significant weight loss, you may be wondering, “Does red light therapy tighten skin?” The good news is that it can help significantly, and we will look at everything you need to know about red light therapy below, along with an overview of some of the other popular options to tighten loose skin. First, we will walk you through why it happens and what happens beneath the surface when our skin loosens over time.
What Causes Loose Skin?
The skin care industry is an incredibly lucrative one, projected to approach the $200 billion mark in the coming decades. Across all generations, we spend significant amounts of money on everything from cleaners and toners to chemical peels, facials, fillers, and more.
One reason the market is so big is down to the way our skin changes as we age. Starting around our mid-30s and into our 40s, our skin loosens due to a loss of collagen networks and elastin fibers.
In addition to this natural aging process, there are other external factors affecting the laxity of the skin as well. We may experience skin loosening as a result of sun damage or artificial tanning, smoking or excessive alcohol use, or as a side effect from medications. Steroids and corticosteroids are known to affect the skin in this way. Women in particular may experience significant changes to their skin during menopause.
Rapid and significant weight loss can cause the skin to loosen, and some women experience skin loosening due to pregnancy.
In order to tighten skin, we typically focus on collagen and elastin production; in recent years there has also been an increased interest in hyaluronic acid to treat skin conditions. This is a substance our bodies produce naturally, and it is believed to stretch and flex the skin, targeting wrinkles and lines.
How Can We Boost Collagen Production to Tighten Skin?
The nutrients we put into our bodies affect collagen production, so dietary choices play an important role in our skin. For example, Vitamin C is critical to collagen production, and a Vitamin C deficiency can play a role in how our skin ages.
Vitamin C-rich foods will contain plenty of citrus, strawberries, broccoli, and other healthy fruits and vegetables. In addition to paying attention to the foods we eat, we also need to focus on hydration as a critical component of collagen production. Consider that more than half of collagen’s total weight is water, so you can imagine the effects of dehydration on collagen production.
Paying attention to what we put into our bodies is a great way to increase collagen production and address loosening skin; beyond that, there are also a number of other steps we can take to tighten skin, such as these five examples below.
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is an effective way to tighten skin thanks to its targeted approach to our cells. Wavelengths of red light and near-infrared light focused on target areas in brief intervals stimulate our skin cells. Once absorbed into tissues, the red light interacts with skin cells to repair, regenerate, and enhance their overall functionality.
It is within these cells in our bodies that collagen is produced, so red light therapy gives those cells a much-needed boost for collagen production. Red light therapy is a safe, natural, and effective way to tighten skin, giving it a more youthful tone. This type of treatment, when used consistently, also produces longer-lasting results than many of the other options here since it effectively addresses the problem from the inside out.
Red light therapy is not intended to tighten skin overnight, but with consistent use, most people will start to see impressive results within 4 to 6 weeks. By coupling red light therapy with other measures, such as a healthy diet, plenty of water, and regular exercise, you will see a dramatic change in your skin.
Exercise is another way to target loose skin, and of course, its benefits extend well beyond your skin complexion to your overall health. By exercising regularly, you will experience everything from improved sleep and higher energy levels throughout the day to reduced risk of heart disease.
Exercise improves our tissue metabolism, so it is another way to address our skin issues from the inside out. One important way to target sagging skin, especially after weight loss, is through strength training, effectively building muscle to help “fill in” areas where the skin is loose or sagging.
By combining exercise with red light therapy, you will benefit in more ways than one. Red light therapy boosts cellular activity in a way that enhances skin and helps with energy levels and performance. Many athletes will use red light therapy before a workout for this reason.
Plenty of creams tout abilities to tighten skin, though the results are mixed. Usually, the effects of firming creams are temporary, and you will see better and more long-lasting results if you focus on diet, hydration, and exercise combined with red light therapy treatments.
One challenge associated with creams is that many contain retinol, which can be problematic for those with highly sensitive skin. Some products are also incredibly expensive and out of reach for those on a limited budget.
Collagen supplements are another popular treatment for aging loose skin, and they have been shown to improve skin’s elasticity with consistent use. Beyond tightening skin, collagen supplements are thought to have many other benefits, from improved joint health to prevention of bone loss and enhanced heart health.
With collagen as the critical piece at the center of skin issues, these supplements are the obvious top choice to tighten skin, especially considering the other ways these supplements are reported to enhance overall health. However, some people experience some unfortunate side effects with collagen supplements (diarrhea, other digestive issues, and the possibility of rashes), so they are not the best choice for everyone.
Plastic surgery is for extreme cases where loose or sagging skin may not be addressed effectively by diet and lifestyle changes. This may be the case when an individual has lost an extreme amount of weight (100 pounds or more).
Not everyone is a candidate for a cosmetic surgical procedure. Plastic surgeons will evaluate your overall health to ensure the benefits of such a procedure outweigh the risks. They may consider such factors as whether you have maintained your weight loss for six months or more and if you have underlying health conditions that could complicate surgery. They may not perform surgery to remove excess skin if you are a smoker, which impacts your body’s ability to heal wounds or causes high blood pressure that would complicate surgery.
There are many different procedures to remove excess skin and tighten the skin in different areas, such as an abdominoplasty (commonly known as a “tummy tuck”) or a brachioplasty, where excess skin that hangs from the upper arm is removed.
Elective cosmetic surgeries can be costly and are generally not covered by health insurance, so as a remedy to tighten skin, these are not always the most viable options.
Red Light Therapy to Tighten Skin: It Works for Everyone
Red light therapy is a safe and affordable way to address skin issues, and best of all, it can be done in the comfort and privacy of your home! Hooga’s Red Light Therapy Devices are one of the best tools to enhance cell activity and collagen production, resulting in a better and more youthful appearance without the risks, side effects, or expense associated with other skin-tightening methods.