Think about timing...
Crash diets are a no-no. “A healthy weight-loss programme should see a slow, controlled loss of 1kg a week,” explains Adam Ridler, master Pilates trainer. “Saggy skin is most common in cases of extreme weight loss over a relatively short period of time.” Your new mantra – take it slow!
Tweak your eats...
Frankly, it’s a no-brainer. “If you have a healthy supply of nutrients, skin health and quality will improve,” says naturopath Sarah Bowles-Flannery. Factor in Sarah’s must-eats, whatever diet you’re on:
Fresh veg - Aim to make 70% of your diet veg – think a rainbow of colour.
Fresh fruit - Especially those skin-friendly berries!
Quality protein - Eggs, lean organic chicken/meat, pulses.
Good fats - Oily fish, nuts/seeds, plus avocado and olive oil.
We like: Balducci Extra Virgin Olive Oil
We know we often talk about hydration, but we won’t stop! “It’s top of the list to keep skin looking good,” insists Sarah Bowles-Flannery. “Avoid the dehydrators and ‘nutrient thieves’ – alcohol, caffeine and sugar – and drink more water, green juices and smoothies.” Sarah’s smart tip? Adding collagen powder to your smoothies. Brilliant idea, as it supports your skin, nails and hair – results!
We like: Vida Glow Marine Collagen
Up your Bs and Cs...
Vitamins can do more than just give you a shot of energy. Pharmacist Shabir Daya says, “As far as slackening skin post weight loss is concerned, vitamin B complex and vitamin C may be of benefit. They work as coenzymes to enhance the production of enzymes that promote collagen and elastin, which leads to good skin tone overall”
How much to take? “I tend to recommend the highest potency because many of us believe that we are not deficient in vitamin C and yet studies prove otherwise.”
We like: Nature’s Bounty Super B-complex with Folic Acid Plus Vitamin C
Be well oiled...
Nothing makes skin look younger and less saggy than a well-intentioned oil. What to try?
For faces – pomegranate! Thanks to its high content of ellagic and punicic acids, it helps with skin-plumping. Ideal if skin is looking older, courtesy of weight loss. Warm a teaspoon of pomegranate oil in your hands, press on to your face, then massage. Do this daily – lovely!
For bodies – castor oil! We’ve been singing its praises for hair growth but it’s also a great body oil as it penetrates tissues. Massage in after your shower!
We like: Pukka Castor Oil
Get the needle...
Micro-needling is where a spiky roller is passed over your face, in the salon or at home. “The needles puncture skin slightly to encourage the body to produce more collagen and elastin in the area,” says Shabir Daya.
Try a new herb...
And make it gotu kola. “It has a wondrous effect on skin,” says herbalist Jo Weber. “It stimulates circulation, has a softening and moisturising effect and increases keratinisation, which helps strengthen skin”’
Try: Nature’s Way Gotu Kola Herb capsules
Amp up your algae...
We’ve been happily adding energising algae to our smoothies for a while without realising their skin-boosting potential. Time to start taking the best regularly.
- Spirulina A valuable source of vitamins A, B12 and E, it’s said to help improve sagging, tired-looking skin.
- Astaxanthin has been shown in studies to increase moisture and improve skin smoothness. It’s rated as one of the most potent antioxidants around.
Pimp your posture
Try Pilates. “You can’t shrink skin through exercise, but you can build your muscles,” says master trainer Adam Ridler. “Pilates helps create better posture, holding more length and better alignment through the body. By reducing slouching, it can help reduce the look of saggy skin – especially around the middle.” Try this…
- Stand with feet under hips, feet forward and knees straight, not locked.
- Balance weight so that it falls right through the middle of your feet.
- Gently pull your abdominal muscles in and up; engage your pelvic floor.
- Drop your tailbone down towards the floor to create a neutral spine.
- Open your chest, allowing it to drop down and open as your back expands.
- Look forward and feel your head and neck supported by your core.
Repeat through the day to keep yourself standing tall. Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears should all be in line.
Yoga teacher and holistic therapist Emma Heroise has a new take on tackling those first-sign wobbly bits. “I massage my body with an organic hair conditioner as it stays slippery on the skin and you can really get the circulation going,” she says. Here’s how to do it:
- Work the conditioner firmly over your tummy, knees, thighs and arms in the shower. Do it until you’re a little out of breath – it stimulates lymph drainage.
- Pat skin dry, then douse yourself in your favourite body oil.
- Drink warm lemon water for hydration.
Emma’s smart tip? “Massage with a sense of gratitude at losing weight. You’ll feel good, skin will look radiant and feel firmer.”
We like: Weleda Australia Arnica Massage Oil
Tone with yoga...
We’re all jealous of a well-honed yoga bod, and if you start practising when you begin dieting, your skin will love you for it. Teacher Emma Heroise has many favourite moves for toning, and says, “I love the boat pose – a great one for tightening the abs!” Here’s how you can do it too…
- Sit with knees bent, feet on the floor. Hug knees; lift chest.
- Place hands on knees or back of thighs and start to lean back with a long, straight spine until you reach the point where you need to lift legs to balance.
- Engage abs and pelvic floor, keep knees bent and lift shins parallel to the floor. Your arms should be lengthened out in front, also parallel.
- Stay for three to five breaths. Come down, hug knees and rest.
“That is a half boat,” says Emma. “Try it again and, if your spine is strong enough, lengthen from the knees so that legs are pointing up. Hold for three to five breaths and repeat five times. That’s a full boat!”
When going natural isn't enough...
For extra oomph, keep up with your skin routine but also try non-invasive treatment.
ON YOUR FACE…
“The main cause of sagging on the face and neck is volume loss, so volume replacement works well,” says dermatologist Dr Elisabeth Dancey. “Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers can achieve subtle results, plumping out the skin from below, increasing hydration and stimulating new collagen.”
Ouch factor: Minimal – numbing cream works well.
ON YOUR STOMACH AND ARMS…
“Non-surgical skin-tightening procedures can deliver excellent results,” says dermatologist Dr Tracy Mountford. “Very lax skin would require surgery but many tummies with mild to moderate crepiness can be effectively treated with radio frequency or ultrasound.”
Ouch factor: Skin will be numbed and you may feel some tingling, but for most it’s back to work after a treatment.