All those folds and flappy cheeks. Cute, right? (Stop sniggering, you cat lovers.)
Now, imagine all that sagging skin on a human face. Imagine it on you.
Thought as much. In our life-long quest in search of the elixir of eternal youth, we realize that our struggle to keep our appearance looking young is real.
Bringing our focus to heavy jowls and dewlaps…
…what is it about facial and neck skin that makes it so easy for gravity to work?
Why does skin sag?
When there is a loss in the volume of the underlying structures of the skin – tissues, fat, and bone – the skin starts to sag. This means that even if you tighten your facial skin with elaborate botox procedures, if you do not restore it’s volume, your face will not look “full” and youthful.
Though you can’t do much about softened bones apart from eating calcium-rich foods and getting plenty of sun (vitamin D), by eating healthy, you can restore the (pleasant) chubbiness to your face.
Your best leeway is the first factor: tissues.
The connective tissue (a.k.a. glue) that holds our skin cells together are composed of collagen and elastin protein fibers. Collagen gives your skin firmness, while elastin gives it elasticity. Together, they hold our skin taut while also making it soft and supple. Loosen or remove these fibers and the skin can no longer support itself. This is a major reason for it to sag.
Under which circumstances can these fibers fall short in supply?
Ageing (the major reason), pregnancy, weight changes (shouldn’t have gone on that unhealthy crash diet), sun damage, and even genetics (definitely not your fault) can cause your skin to head southward.
What can you do to correct this?
Smear on a face mask
The key lies in ensuring that your skin has enough collagen to hold those cheeks and chin up.
Here are some common kitchen items you can apply on to your face and neck to stimulate collagen production and, thus, improve collagen levels.
Make a face mask using different combinations, say egg whites and avocado. Smear it on to your face and leave to dry. Wash off with lukewarm water after 15–20 minutes.
Collagen and elastin are proteins. It only makes sense to eat plenty of protein-rich foods to encourage their production. There are also several other nutrients you should be eating that can do your skin a world of good.
Slap on some (meaning lots of) sunscreen
As already mentioned, sun damage can cause your skin to age prematurely. UV light breaks down elastin fibers, and now you understand the consequence of that.
That’s what sun damage did to the window side (on the right) of this truck driver’s face.
Take care of your skin. Apply a good sunscreen (be especially generous on your face) each time you decide to step out.
Pamper yourself with a facial massage
You may add a Japanese Tanaka face contouring massage to your weekend relaxation schedule. Its rejuvenating technique will improve blood flow to your face and neck, activate your lymph glands for better toxin removal, and tighten your skin. Use coconut, almond, jojoba, or olive oil or cocoa or shea butter for the massage.
Stay well hydrated
Whatever the skin problem, it is always advisable to drink plenty of water to keep your skin moisturized. This will stall wrinkling and fine line formation that only exacerbates the appearance of sagging skin.
Yes, your health is in your hands and in today’s superficial world, appearance does matter. Nonetheless, tell yourself…