There I was, quietly minding my own business in downward facing dog pose, when I noticed something strange; the skin on my arms appeared to be slipping. Up until this point I’d never really wondered what is was that kept my skin attached to the rest of me but I’d always kind of assumed that, whatever it was, it wouldn’t just stop working.
Obviously, everyone knows about wrinkles, the lines around the eyes and mouth that appear as we get older and we all know that there is plethora of treatments that women are quite happy to pay billions of $ for each year. However, the sagging skin on the body, for me at least, came as a bit of a shock; it doesn’t look like an elephant’s backside just yet but it has certainly drawn my attention and made me question the wisdom of being in downward facing dog in front of other people.
The baggy skin issue occurs because, as we get older our bodies produce less collagen and elastin which are basically our natural ‘plumpers’. So, what can we do about it? Well, fortunately there are things that we can add to our diet that will promote collagen production:
Look for foods containing Omega 3 such as oily fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon etc), green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds as these will encourage your body to form more collagen.
Also seek out foods that are rich in vitamins A and C as both are required by the little biological factories that we call our bodies to increase collagen output. Orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and look to fruit to up your vitamin C intake, especially papaya, mango and pineapple (yum! what a delicious combination!).
In addition it’s worth looking at dietary supplements; it’s possible to buy marine collagen, omega 3 and more vitamins than you can shake a stick at in capsule form. I have found that natural supplements do work; I recently ran out of vitamin C and have noticed that, since I stopped taking it, the elephant’s arse skin seems to be making more of a come back!
The other thing that stimulates collagen production is exercise and the right types of exercise will build muscle in the areas that seem to suffer most from baggy skin syndrome: upper arms and tops of the thighs. Well-defined muscles will give shape where you need it most and will detract from aging skin.
If you want to keep your skin looking as youthful as possible then make sure that you keep properly hydrated (consider the difference between a plum and a prune and you’ll see why). Everyone knows that water is extremely beneficial to our health and that applies even more as we get older.
The last thing to consider are the creams, lotions and potions that are marketed as ‘miracle cures’ for sagging and aging skin but do they work? All of the products that I’ve tried (and there have been many) certainly made my skin feel a little softer but none of them addressed the baggy issue if I’m honest so I’ve gone back to using coconut oil which has much the same effect and is considerably cheaper.
However, as an aside I have recently discovered a combination of oils which have worked wonders with the skin on my face. As we get older, not only do we have the baggy skin problem, it also seems that our pores want to get in on the act and go from being shy, retiring and practically invisible to showing off and forcing themselves centre stage.
If you want to slap them back down try pure Argan Oil (which is non greasy and easily absorbed) with a couple of drops of Neroli oil (which promotes skin regeneration and improves elasticity). I’ve started using this morning and night and have really noticed a difference! Every couple of days I also swap the Neroli oil for Rosehip oil at night as this really seems to help hydrate my skin when it’s feeling dry and itchy.
There you have it – my recommendations for keeping elephant’s arse skin at bay for as long as possible :O) x