Remember making flower bouquets out of crinkled up tissue paper in middle school? Think of that when you think of crepey skin, which is what happens when your skin loses its collagen and elastin, causing it to really sag and look crinkled. “It resembles the appearance of crepe paper,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “This skin is often wrinkled and loose.”
But that doesn’t mean it is interchangeable with wrinkles. “Wrinkling is related to genetics, facial movement, and some sun damage,” says dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD. “Crepey skin is related only to sun damage; the sun is breaking down the elastin.”
Luckily, it's not something that we just have to learn to deal with; there are a number of things we can do and products to try to help get rid of crepey skin. We asked both Hirsch and Zeichner what they personally recommend. Read below to see their picks.
We preach it all the time: Always wear sunscreen. Zeichner suggests a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect against the sun’s harmful rays right from the start. Our pick is the new Supergoop! Super Power Sunscreen Mousse Broad Spectrum SPF 50. It comes in a mousse (yes, a mousse) formula that is super lightweight and hydrating.
Hirsch recommends looking for products that seal the natural moisture your body already has; look for ingredients that will attract and add more moisture, like hyaluronic acid. The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum will not only keep skin moisturized, but it also helps calm and soothe any other irritation.
According to Zeichner, retinol stimulates collagen and helps thicken the skin’s foundation. He recommends looking for products with retinol in them, like the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum. It not only helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, but it will also help brighten your complexion.
Zeichner says to look for ingredients like blackberry extract and dill; both have been shown to stimulate elastic fiber production. He likes the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream. You’ll notice fine lines will start to disappear and your skin to look healthier overall.
Skin Barrier Repair
According to Dr. Zeichner, loss of hydration and the resulting inflammation that comes from it worsens crepey skin. He recommends looking for purified petrolatum in your moisutirzer; products like the Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion have it. It protects the skin’s barrier, prevents water loss, hydrates, and plumps thin skin.
This is the analogy that Hirsch likes to use when explaining antioxidants and their benefits to patients: If you’re going away on vacation, you lock your front door. The second thing you’re going to do to protect your home is turn on the burglar alarm. Antioxidants are that burglar alarm; it’s the second level of protection your skin needs against skin aggressors. In this case, it will help against UV rays. She loves the SkinCeuticals CE ferulic serum. Its vitamin C helps neutralize the radicals penetrating your skin’s natural protective barrier and will also work in helping reduce the appearance of fine line and other anti-aging effects.