Firming Creams – how do they work?
Our skin starts to lose its firmness in our early 40’s, and into our 50’s (and even earlier in Australia due to the sun). Loss of firmness starts after the appearance of the fine lines and wrinkles we see in our 30’s, and it continues as we age. The reason for the loss of firmness is the same as for the appearance of lines and wrinkles – the slow down of the natural production of collagen in our bodies as we age. Given that collagen provides our skin with its strength and elasticity, as production declines, so to does elasticity, and the dreaded sagging effect starts to appear.
Whilst the march of time is inevitable, there is some help at hand, via specialised firming and lifting cosmetic products. The ingredients in firming and lifting creams tend to be the same as in anti-wrinkle creams, as they are essentially doing the same job – trying to plump up your skin, or stimulate the production of collagen, so the most common ingredients you will find in these creams are:
Antioxidants: Antioxidants are wonder ingredients. They help your skin defend itself against the onslaught of aggressors in the environment that age our skin and lead to lines and wrinkles. Ingredients such as green tea, coenzyme Q10, vitamins A, C, and E, and retinol are antioxidants.
Retinol: Although mentioned above, this ingredient deserves its own section. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative, that increases cell turnover and helps to stimulate collagen production. If the product you use contains retinol, make sure you use a sunscreen, as the exfoliation effects may leave your skin more susceptible to sunburn.
Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic Acid occurs naturally in your body, and it’s benefit in wrinkle creams lies in the fact that it can hold many (many) times its weight in water, so it attracts water to your skin from the moisturiser, and the atmosphere, leading to greater hydration.
Peptides: Collagen is a protein made up of long segments of amino acids (like a chain). When collagen breaks down, short segments of amino acids are formed, known as peptides.Topical application of peptides helps your skin to stimulate collagen production by tricking it into thinking these peptides are its own collagen broken down, so it needs to produce new collagen!
Niacinamides: Niacinamides are another potent antioxidant (related to the B3 vitamin Niacin). It can help reduce moisture loss in your skin and improve skin elasticity. You may see this ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams, however it is more common in lifting and firming creams.
Glycerin: Glycerin (or glycerol), like Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, which attracts moisture to your skin. It absorbs moisture from the air to your skin, and helps maintain your skin’s water balance, keeping it hydrated and supple.
Most lifting and firming creams offer a short term benefit, and you do need to keep using them to see the effects longer term. If you are starting to see the first signs of your skin losing its elasticity, some great products to try are:
Dr.LeWinn’s Ultra R4 Restorative Day Cream
Dr. LeWinn’s Ultra R4 Restorative Day Cream works to reduce the signs of aging by targeting wrinkles and sagging skin to visibly lift and firm dehydrated, sagging skin. Powerful peptides work to help lift and firm your skin and help combat the signs of age-related collagen depletion. Used over time, you skin looks firmer, and more elastic. Suitable for all skin types. 50g RRP $74.95.
Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Day Cream
Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Day Cream works to support your skin’s natural regenerative functions, enhancing skin elasticity, balancing moisture, and helping to firm mature skin. Powerful antioxidant ingredients such as red clover, acerola, and raspberry seed oil combine with shea butter, jojoba, avocado, sweet almond and olive oils help protect skin’s natural renewal processes. Used over time, your skin looks firmer, plumper and smoother. 40ml RRP $108.00.
Jurlique Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream
Jurlique Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream is packed with powerful plant antioxidants, that work to promote the regeneration of elastin and collagen. With a blend of plant-based amino acid, rock samphire extract, beech tree bud extract, vitamin C, sunflower seed oil and Jurlique’s biodynamic blend, the cream works to leave skin smooth, hydrated and renewed. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. 50ml RRP $95.00.
Shiseido Bio-Performance LiftDynamic Cream
Shiseido Bio-Performance Lift Dynamic Cream focuses on supporting your skin’s natural inner structure to help restore skin elasticity and moisture. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin attract moisture to your skin to restore plumpness, whilst Shiseido’s RenoCycle System addresses the decline in skin density that occurs over time. Used over time, your skin appears more lifted. Suitable for all skin types. 50ml RRP $140.00.
Clinique Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream
The Clinique Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream is formulated with ingredients selected to help visibly firm, volumise and restore skin texture. Skin achieves an immediate firming sensation upon application and with continued use skin begins to look softer as the formula helps to fight the long-term effects of gravity by helping to restore youthful volume. Containing glycol and hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) your skin is noticeably more hydrated and smooth, whilst mitostime, a botanical extract derived from brown algae harvested off the coast of France helps to increase your skins plumpness. The Cream is available in two skin type formulas and should be applied in the morning and at night. 50ml RRP $110.00.
A’kin Age Defy Lifting Eye Cream
It’s not only the skin on our face (and bodies) that suffer the effects of time. The skin around our eyes is especially delicate and prone to signs of aging. A’kin Age Defy Lifting Eye Cream contains antioxidants such as vitamin C, echium oil (a unique combination of omegas 3, 6, and 9) and camu camu, to help smooth out fine lines around your eyes, and lift sagging skin, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the delicate eye area. Used over time, skin appears tighter, firmer, and more hydrated. Suitable for all skin types. 15ml RRP $29.95.
Nutrimetics Restore Anti-Ageing Extreme Serum
Nutrimetics Restore Anti-Ageing Extreme Serum packs a powerful punch with ingredients that help to restore, repair and regenerate skin firmness, protect against UV stressors and help minimise the visible signs of ageing to reveal a younger, glowing complexion. The formula contains powerful antioxidants like grape stem cell technology, plantago leaf extract, vitamin B3 and tetrapeptide-7. The super-luxe formula is instantly absorbed into the skin to deliver active ingredients to restore skin vitality and help fight photo-ageing. Applied at night, it helps your skin awaken refreshed and glowing. 30ml RRP $75.00.