If You're Dealing With Crepey Skin, Stop Doing These 3 Things
Let's get one thing straight: Crepey skin is not the same as wrinkled skin. However, both wrinkles and crepey skin can be caused by similar factors. This means whatever you're doing to treat your crepey skin may also help improve fine lines and wrinkles (major win).
That being said, what you add to your treatment regimen is just as important as what you skip. To come, a few skin care no-no's for those dealing with crepey skin. Bonus: They simultaneously help ease wrinkles, too:
Using harsh scrubs.
If you've been using harsh scrubs on your face or body, you might be making the fragile, crepey skin even worse. This doesn't mean you should avoid exfoliating in general; however, you should pick another way to slough off dead skin.
Your best bet? Alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs for short. "AHAs dissolve the bonds that hold dull, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin so the skin will gently shed, revealing smoother, brighter skin underneath," board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., once explained.
Glycolic acid, a popular AHA, is one of King's top choices for this purpose. "Studies have shown, for example, that six months of topical glycolic acid stimulated a 27% increase in epidermal thickness1," she adds. So look for AHA body and face serums rather than opting for harsh scrubs.
Going in the sun without SPF.
It's essential to understand the connection between the sun and your skin. See, UV radiation has the ability to penetrate the epidermis where it damages the skin cells, proteins, and elastic fibers that keep skin firm—and one of the main characteristics of crepey skin is a lack of elasticity.
For this reason, it's no wonder sun damage causes about 80% of visible signs of skin aging2. So, even though it may sound over-the-top, you should apply sunscreen on every part of your skin that sees the sun—including arms, legs, neck, etc.
Ignoring the power of collagen.
It's time to get to the root cause of crepey skin: collagen decline. As you age, your body naturally pumps the brakes on collagen production. In fact, research shows that your collagen levels begin to decline by 1% each year3, starting around your mid-20s. For those who experience menopause, collagen decline picks up around that time as well.
Once the degradation rate surpasses production, that lack of collagen may lead to sagging, crepey skin. That said, it is possible to replenish the lost collagen via nutrition. "Collagen-rich foods can significantly support skin hydration and elasticity," board-certified family physician and functional medicine expert Alejandra Carrasco, M.D., once told mbg.
And one of the best ways to internally support collagen production is through hydrolyzed collagen supplements. Research demonstrates that ingesting this form of collagen (make sure you use hydrolyzed collagen peptides) can promote your natural collagen and elastin production3.
Not all collagen supplements use this form, so shop smart. Here's a list of nine clean and effective options, recommended by a nutrition Ph.D., to make your hunt easier.
If you struggle with crepey skin and wrinkles (on the body or on the face), you should know that many treatment methods can check both boxes. It's always important to pay attention to triggers like UV exposure, tugging at the skin, and depleting collagen production. And if you want to dive deeper into the causes and best treatment options for crepey skin, this story has you covered.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.