3 Ingredients Dermatologists Swear By To Hydrate And Firm Sagging Skin


Intense hydration and firmer skin are a goal for so many of us — and they become particularly more alluring as we age and our skin can become dryer. With daily maintenance and the right ingredients and products, you can help combat drying and sagging to an extent (getting firmer skin is the trickier of these two and topical treatments will have their limitations here). But where should you start?

These are the three ingredients to shop for when you’re choosing serums, moisturizers, and other skincare products. According to dermatologists, these three gold-standard ingredients can hydrate and firm sagging skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Perhaps no other ingredient is given as much praise as hyaluronic acid when it comes to its hydrating potential. “A naturally-occurring substance, HA is a humectant that attracts and binds water molecules to the skin’s surface to provide hydration and a plumping effect,” said Dr. Rebecca Hilton, dermatologist at J-Beauty. “It can help to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, while also helping to reduce sagging and give the skin a firmer, more youthful look.”

Hyaluronic acid is a well-known humectant that attracts up to 1,000 times its weight in water, says Dr. Crystal Dinopol, a board-certified dermatologist and writer for, and it’s also used in injectables and topical products to fill in creases on the skin to give that youthful look.

If injectables aren’t your cup of tea, look for this powerfully effective ingredient in serums and moisturizers (but make sure it’s way up high on the ingredients list).

Vitamin C

When you’re starting your morning with a cup of OJ, extend that vitamin C goodness to your skin for a clearer, firmer, and more hydrated complexion.

“Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from environmental damage and reduce the appearance of sagging skin,” Dr. Hilton said. “It can also help to promote collagen and elastin production, which are essential for skin structure and firmness.”


No skincare product and ingredient list would be complete without retinol, especially if firmer skin is a skin desire of yours. “Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is often used in skin creams and serums to improve collagen production, reduce wrinkles and even out skin tone and texture,” Dr. Hilton said. “It can also help to exfoliate dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, which can help to reduce sagging and give the skin a firmer and more toned appearance.”

Keep in mind that retinol can be very drying, especially if you have sensitive skin. It’s best to start off with a smaller concentration of the ingredient, use it a few times a week at first until your skin becomes used to it, and always (always) pair it with a moisturizer and sunscreen during the day.

Limitations Of Topical Products

Can a serum or moisturizer do it all? Sadly, no. It’s important to understand the limitations of topical skincare products so that you aren’t investing your beauty budget all in one place and ending up disappointed.

“While these ingredients can help to hydrate and firm sagging skin, it’s important to remember that there are limitations,” Dr. Hilton said. “For example, if you have extremely dry skin, HA may not be enough to provide the necessary hydration. Additionally, retinol may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin, as it can cause irritation in some cases.”

For those looking for more dramatic results, Dr. Hilton says there are several other treatments and in-office procedures that can help. “These include laser treatments, microneedling and chemical peels, which can all help to reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture,” Dr. Hilton said. “Additionally, injectable dermal fillers can help to add volume and lift to the skin, while botox and other muscle relaxers can help to reduce wrinkles.”

With that said. keeping an army of effective skincare products at home can support your skin — but looking for quality ingredients is the way to go

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