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What Is Crepey Skin And Why Does It Happen

by Beverly Hills MD

August 13 2019

One minute you’re going about your day, and the next, you bend your arm a particular way… and you notice it. You see that thin, slightly wrinkled looking skin texture on your forearm. It’s a sight that can send shivers to the spine of every woman – crepey, aging skin Let’s look at what exactly crepey skin is, some possible causes and how to get rid of crepey skin.

What is Crepey Skin?

Crepey skin appears as a crinkly or saggy skin texture – most commonly on your arms, legs, hands, and neck. It scored the nickname because it appears similar to a piece of thin crepe paper – or an edible crêpe.

Now, crepey skin is different from fine lines and wrinkles which occur because of repetitive motion over an area of skin that also lacks certain proteins. Facial wrinkles can be caused by repetitive motions such as frowning, smiling, and squinting.1

Crepey skin can be due to your skin thinning as well as lowered levels of the proteins elastin and collagen in the skin. These proteins can support healthy-looking skin.

Possible Causes Of Crepey Skin

Along with age, other contributors to crepey skin may include:

  • Genetics
  • UV exposure
  • Dry skin
  • Diet
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Smoking2

While you can’t change your genetics, you’ll notice that most of the things on this list of crepey skin causes are things you can change. More on this in a bit.

Why Do You Lose Skin Elasticity with Age?

After the age of about 20, you will start to produce about one percent less collagen in your skin each year. As you enter your 30’s, production of skin-firming collagen, skin rebounding elastin, and hydrating glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) begins to gradually drop even more.3

how to get rid of crepey skin naturally | Beverly Hills MDThink of your skin’s elasticity like an overstretched waistband or hair elastic that gradually stops snapping back over time.

Unfortunately, you can’t stop this. It’s a natural part of aging. In fact, you may start to see a few crepey skin areas show up in your 40’s.

That said, crepey skin can take years to appear for some people, and it’s very dependent on those factors above.

Although you can’t stop your body from aging, there are certain things you can do to help support your natural collagen production. These things could be ESPECIALLY beneficial if you are already using a crepey skin solution.

Can Foods Boost Collagen and Elastin?

Can you get more collagen and elastin from the foods you eat to help with crepey skin? It can certainly help to eat foods that specifically support collagen production, because as you age, you may not absorb nutrients like you once did.

To make collagen, your body needs protein-rich foods and key vitamins like vitamin C, zinc, and copper. So, aim to get some more of these foods in your diet.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
Vitamin C:
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Bell Peppers (red and green)
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Green leafy veggies
Zinc and Copper:
  • Meat
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Whole grains4

how to get rid of crepey skin naturally | Beverly Hills MDGetting more of these nutrients into your diet can help support your skin’s natural collagen production. This is especially true when paired with specially-formulated skin care products.

How About Bone Broth?

A favorite of many nutritionists, bone broth has become a collagen-boosting legend in recent years. It takes collagen from animal bones to make a collagen-rich broth. But does it really work?

Well, though bone broth does contain a lot of collagen, you can’t decide what your body does with that collagen once you consume it. As you’re digesting it, your body will break that collagen into amino acids and it will decide where those amino acids are most needed. Chances are, it won’t be your skin, unfortunately.5

Other Ways to Help Aging Skin

If you’re struggling with crepey, wrinkled skin there are also some more advanced topical ways you can address it.

Dry Brushing – Using a dry brush on skin boosts circulation while helping to exfoliate dead skin cells. This can give your skin a short term glow. Sloughing off dry skin creates a smooth skin surface which reflects light and appears plumper.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids – Creams and anti-aging serums that contain alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid, are wonderful exfoliants for dry skin cells. Dry skin may make crepey skin worse.

Sodium Hyaluronate – Skin-care products that contain this form of hyaluronic acid work to rehydrate and plump sagging skin with moisture. Hyaluronic acid is famed for being able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water which is how it’s able to keep skin moisturized so well.6

how to get rid of crepey skin naturally | Beverly Hills MDNiacinamide – Also known as vitamin B3, this ingredient in crepey skin creams has been shown to improve the appearance of aging skin, including dark spots and elasticity.16

Retinol – A form of vitamin A, retinol is one of the most famed anti-aging ingredients for fighting wrinkles and crepey skin texture. It’s found in moisturizers and serums and has been shown to increase collagen production. It’s also a powerhouse at exfoliating the skin.7

Chemical Peels – Moisturizers and other creams are great for mildly crepey skin, but if your crepey skin has become more severe, you might want to consider a good chemical peel. This removes the outer layer of old skin cells, giving your skin a much smoother appearance.

Embrace an Anti-Aging Skin and Diet Routine

Whether you harness the power of a moisturizer, eye cream, serum or oil – or start to take a hard look at your diet – remember, there are things you can do to help your skin. Good sun care, avoiding drastic weight loss, and ditching the cigarettes all play their part.

If you’re unsure what the best first steps to take for crepey skin are, talk to your dermatologist.

Learn More:
This Part of Your Body Shows Signs of Aging Fast (not your hands!)
Anti-Aging Secrets: Should I Be Taking Collagen Powder
How to Prevent or Get Rid of Broken Capillaries, Naturally


Beverly Hills MD Dermal Repair Complex