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The Truth About Crepey Skin

Plant Mother Editorial Team

Have you ever noticed your skin forming tiny, compact creases and ridges? Does your skin feel thinner than it used to, almost like a sheet of fine crepe paper? The good news is that it’s normal for skin to feel increasingly crepey as we age. Because it’s so normal, causes, treatments, and preventative care options have been well-researched and documented. We’ll walk you through:

  • What is Crepey Skin?
  • How is Crepey Skin Different from Wrinkles?
  • What Causes It?
  • Crepey Skin During Menopause
  • Thin Crepey Skin Under Eyes
  • Loose Skin On Legs And Arms
  • How to Prevent Crepey Skin
  • Best Way To Treat Crepey Skin
  • Non-Topical Treatments
  • Final Thoughts

What is Crepey Skin?

Crepey skin refers to when the skin becomes excessively thin and crinkled. It happens as we age and is most common around the lips and inner bicep. Crepey skin may also feel saggy and looser than regular skin. Crepey skin is also more fragile and prone to bruising and other abrasions.

How is Crepey Skin Different from Wrinkles?

Crepey skin and wrinkles are not the same, though they are both caused by a loss of elasticity in the skin. We’ll dive deeper into what causes crepey skin, but first, we’ll go over what makes it different from wrinkles.

Crepey skin tends to affect a larger surface area and doesn’t form around specific points of movement. For example, one of the most common wrinkle patterns, crows-feet, forms due to repeated movement of the muscles around the eye. Over time, the skin loses elasticity where it folds on itself thus creating wrinkles.

Crepey skin on the other hand isn’t caused by repeated movement of the skin and thus isn’t usually found in specific targeted areas.


What Causes IT?

As we get older, our bodies don’t produce as much collagen as they used to. Collagen is what gives our skin its bouncy, plump look and feel. In addition to age, reduction in collagen production can also be caused by large fluctuations in weight. Losing and/or gaining a large amount of weight in a short period of time can cause a delayed reaction in collagen production. Essentially, your skin has to play catch-up with your body.

Collagen production can also be negatively affected by an unbalanced diet, more specifically a lack of protein. If getting enough protein is an issue for you, speak to your doctor or nutritionist before beginning any supplements or new diet. The recommended dose is 30-40gr of protein per day.

In addition to collagen, UV radiation from the sun can also cause loose skin. Long-term UV exposure, like a life without sunscreen, can decrease your skin’s ability to repair itself. It can also cause the skin to lose its elasticity which means it won’t be able to bounce back after being stretched. UV radiation has also been known to cause certain types of skin cancer.

Long-term exposure to cigarette smoke can also cause crepey skin.

Crepey Skin During Menopause

Hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can also cause extremely dry and crepey skin. The female sex hormone estrogen is linked to many processes in the body. One of them is regulating collagen and oil production in the skin.

As you go through menopause, you may experience crepey skin as a result of the decline in estrogen production in your body. Taking steps to balance your hormones can have a positive impact on your skin and help soften the impact of estrogen decrease.

In addition to your skin, menopause can affect your entire body in a number of ways. What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? Take a look at this list for a complete run-down. 

Crepey Skin Under Eyes

Crepey skin is common under the eyes. The skin around our eyes is some of the most fragile and thin on our whole bodies. We also tend to neglect this skin when we apply sunscreen as we don’t want to get sunscreen in our eyes. As a result, it’s often some of the first skin to crinkle as we age.

First, you’ll need a good eye serum to help treat this, but we recommend looking for one with ingredients that will target your specific worries and won’t cause irritation. Eye serums with antioxidants and vitamins are the way to go. You can also play with different eyeliner looks to make your eyes more open and youthful. Additionally, even face yoga can help firm up the facial muscles and make a sculpted look.

If you are in search of a more immediate result, under-eye filler is an option. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to consult with a doctor before undergoing any treatment. It’s also important to know what you’re getting into with eye fillers. For more information, check out this article on under-eye filler.

Crepey Skin On Legs And Arms

Crepey skin on the arms and legs is usually caused by a combination of long-term sun exposure and the natural aging process. For this reason, properly applying sunscreen is key to preventing further creping, especially on your decolletage area. We’ll talk more about how to treat crepey skin, but one excellent method is to use a body cream with retinol or vitamin c in it. They’re a little difficult to come by, but there are some great ones out there with excellent ingredients.


How to Prevent It?

Maintaining your skin’s moisture barrier and keeping it hydrated is key to preventing crepey skin. Use products with glycerin and hyaluronic acids to draw moisture from the air into your skin to keep it plump. When your skin is hydrated, it’s at its healthiest. A good vitamin C face cream , serum, or face oil will serve as a great prevention to pre-mature aging and sagging of the skin. 

Additionally, the volume of moisture in your skin can help smooth it. Think of it like a water balloon: it’s loose and wrinkly when empty, but fill it with water and it’s smooth. Your skin cells react similarly to moisture.

In addition to keeping your skin hydrated and healthy, maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of protein can help keep your skin firm. Giving your skin the tools it needs to take care of itself by eating well can make all the difference.

How to Treat IT

If you’ve already developed crepey skin the good news is that there are plenty of ways to treat it! In addition to keeping your skin hydrated, wearing sunscreen, and maintaining a balanced diet, there are myriad options for treating thinning skin.

The first way is through the use of a topical retinol. Retinol speeds up the skin’s cell turnover rate which increases collagen production and helps thicken the skin. Many retinols can cause dryness as a side effect, but the Plant Mother Retinol Serum doesn’t because it’s made with a natural alternative to retinol called Bakuchiol. In addition to this natural ingredient, the Plant Mother retinol has loads of other nourishing ingredients to help keep your skin healthy as it heals. If you want to learn more about natural retinol and its effects, check out this article about vegan retinol .

Vitamin C also has tightening properties and will add moisture to your complexion to help treat crepey skin. Vitamin C has also been shown to even skin tone and boost the overall brightness of the skin. Just think B.L.T.: brighten, lighten, tighten.

The Plant Mother Vitamin C Serum derives its vitamin C from the Kakadu Plum, which contains twenty times more vitamin C than oranges! In addition to the high potency of vitamin C, the Plant Mother serum is also rich in antioxidants to help prevent damage from reoccurring.

Non-Topical Treatments

Other treatments for crepey skin include cool sculpting, hyaluronic acid filler, micro-needling, laser therapy, and skin tightening surgeries such as facelifts. Most of these treatments can be done in a single day in a med spa, but you’ll see your best results with consistent treatments.

Another treatment for crepey skin is hydrodermabrasion. You may know it as HydraFacial. It’s a process which uses a small, coarse-tipped tool to flush the pores and get rid of built-up debris. HydraFacial can stimulate collagen production by agitating the skin and deliver much-needed moisture to the skin more efficiently than topical products. For more information, check out this article on hydrodermabrasion.

Final Thoughts

Crepey skin is very common and very treatable. While prevention is preferable, there are so many ways to help your body reverse crepey skin. But no matter what your skin looks like, be kind to yourself and embrace the story your skin tells.

Medical Disclaimer

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. The publisher of this content does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, skincare product, or lifestyle program.

Plant Mother Editorial Team
Plant Mother's editorial team consists of skincare experts, dermatologists, and enthusiasts who love all things natural, vegan, and organic. They contribute to the Plant Mother blog, a comprehensive resource on skincare products, ingredients, and beauty how to’s.