Fast Fixes for Crepey Skin

Eventually, a daily body lotion is no match for age-related changes like crepey chest skin, sagging knees or wobbly inner arm bits.

By Genevieve Monsma
gold crepe


Apply Moisture

“Thin, loose, crepey skin is a natural occurrence as you age, and it’s usually exacerbated by the loss of fat,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., a Manhattan dermatologist and the director of dermatologic surgery at Metropolitan Hospital. Slathering on the aforementioned body lotion does help a bit as it “plumps up the skin and can minimize the slack appearance,” she says, adding that, for best results, you should look for formulas laced with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which are extra plumping. Try CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.

Exfoliate Like There's No Tomorrow

A second at-home improvement strategy is to exfoliate. “Exfoliation removes the top layers of dull, dead skin cells to reveal the healthy, smoother-looking cells beneath,” Dr. Engelman explains. You can either use a body product laced with a chemical slougher, such as glycolic or lactic acid, or manually exfoliate your skin’s surface with a gritty scrub, dry brush, loofah, or traditional wash cloth. Dr. Engelman is a proponent of manual exfoliation primarily because “it helps to increase blood flow to the skin and reduce inflammation, which further diminishes the appearance of crepiness.” Try AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Lotion, which contains both alpha hydroxy and lactic acids; Dermadoctor KP Duty Body Scrub; Cane + Austin Body Retexture Pads with glycolic acid; and Goop G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush.

What a Derm Can Do to Help Crepey Skin

If your skin sagging or crepiness is more extreme, there are in-office treatments designed to tighten and lift the face, which also work well on the body. Marnie Nussbaum, M.D., a Manhattan dermatologist and a clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, has recently begun using a combination of radiofrequency and ultrasound on slack inner arms and upper knees with a device called the BTL Exilis Ultra. This combination therapy heats the lower layers of skin and triggers a boost in collagen and elastin production with the goal of tightening and firming the skin over time (results are usually visible in three months). “The beauty of this approach is its efficiency and effectiveness. It only takes ten to fifteen minutes, and most patients only need two to four treatments spaced one to two weeks apart.” Dr. Nussbaum has also found success using, a one-and-done collagen-boosting treatment that utilizes ultrasound technology to tighten slack, crepe-y chest skin.

There are in-office treatments designed to tighten and lift the face, which also work well on the body.

Mind Your Environment

Finally, it’s worth noting that, while treating sagging skin with lotions, exfoliators, or in-office procedures can provide improvement, avoiding external causes of collagen degradation is also key. Collagen’s biggest external enemies are sun exposure, smoking, and pollution. The best way to avoid the negative impact of smoking is not to do it (duh), while daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen and skincare with antioxidants can help minimize the effects of the other two. Try Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 and Beauty Rx Triple Vitamin C Serum.

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