As time goes by, our skin changes a lot. It can start looking creepy or crepey. But what causes this not-so-great change? Is it just a part of getting older, or can we do something to stop or reduce it?

This issue comes from a lack of collagen and elastin. These are important for our skin’s structure and stretch. With time, things like the sun, changes in weight, and our genes make it worse. This makes our skin not just dry but also more likely to wrinkle.123

We can’t turn back time entirely on crepey skin. But, there are ways to make it look and feel better. By learning about the causes and finding the right prevention and care, we can keep our skin looking young and bright as we age.

Key Takeaways

  • Crepey skin is caused by a loss of collagen and elastin, which can be accelerated by sun damage, weight changes, and genetics.
  • Protecting skin from UV exposure, maintaining hydration, and using products with active ingredients like retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids can help improve the appearance of crepey skin.
  • In-office treatments such as laser resurfacing, fillers, and radiofrequency can also be effective for more advanced cases of crepey skin.
  • Lifestyle factors like quitting smoking and managing stress can support skin health and delay the onset of crepey skin.
  • While crepey skin cannot be fully reversed, a comprehensive approach can help minimize its appearance and maintain a more youthful, supple complexion.

Understanding Crepey Skin

As we grow older, our skin changes. This can cause crepey skin, which looks thin, wrinkled, and fragile. It feels similar to crepe paper.4 Crepey skin usually shows up on parts of the body that get a lot of sun. This includes the face, neck, arms, and legs.1

What is Crepey Skin?

Crepey skin is not only about looks. It makes your skin easier to bruise and tear.1 Your skin might feel dry, loose, and not as flexible as it once was. This can make people feel bad about how they look and feel.

Signs and Symptoms

The main signs of crepey skin are its thin, wrinkled, and fragile feel. It also becomes less elastic and hydrated.41 These changes can make your skin appear saggy, dull, and older. This can really affect how confident you feel and your skin’s health.

Causes of Crepey Skin

The main reasons behind crepey skin include getting older, sun harm, changes in weight, and DNA. With age, our bodies make less collagen and elastin. These are the proteins that keep our skin smooth and flexible.1 The sun speeds up the loss of these proteins, causing signs of early aging and wrinkles.1 Also, changing weight fast affects your skin’s volume, leading to crepiness.5 Moreover, your genes might make you more likely to have crepey skin.

Age-Related Changes

Getting older means our skin makes less collagen and elastin, leading to crepey skin.1 Shifts in hormones can dry your skin, making it look crepey.1 Dryness is a major cause of crepey skin, especially as you get older.1 You might start noticing it in your 40s,5 but younger people can also face it. This is especially true for those who are heavy tanners or have gone through big weight changes.5

Sun Damage

The sun is a big reason why skin looks crepey.1 You’ll mostly see it under the eyes and on the inner upper arms.1 Things like pollution, stress, and smoking speed up skin aging.1

Weight Fluctuations

Quick shifts in weight can make your skin lose and gain volume, leading to crepiness.5 Many things can make your skin look crepey. These include the sun, getting older, changing weight, dry skin, some medicines, drinking alcohol, smoking, not sleeping enough, pollution, and stress.5


If crepey skin runs in your family, you might be more likely to have it. This is because of your genes.1

why your skin gets creepy as you gets older

Loss of Collagen and Elastin

The main cause of creepy skin when we get older is the drop in collagen and elastin. These are the proteins that keep our skin firm and stretchy.1 Our bodies make less of these as we age. This causes our skin to lose its structure and start to wrinkle.1

Things like sun damage, changes in weight, and our genes make this worse. They speed up the loss of collagen and elastin. This makes our skin look even more thin and fragile as we age.12

Decreased Skin Hydration

As we age, our skin also gets less hydrated. This is because it produces less natural oils. So, our skin becomes dry and less soft.15 The fall in skin hydration with age, along with less collagen and elastin, makes our skin look crepe-like.1

Preventing Crepey Skin

prevent crepey skin

To prevent crepey skin, it’s key to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Use a good sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. Also, wear sun-protective clothing. Doing this will guard your skin. It keeps harmful UV light from harming the collagen and elastin in your skin. This stops early aging signs.3

Sunscreen and Sun Protection

The AAD points out that avoiding UV light is the best way to prevent skin damage early on.3 So, stay in the shade. Wear hats that cover your face, and apply sunscreen often. These steps lower your chances of getting crepey skin.3

Moisturizing Routine

Keeping your skin moisturized is a must to avoid crepey skin. Use products with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. They keep your skin looking fresh and young.3

Antioxidant-Rich Diet

Topical care isn’t the only way to maintain your skin’s health. Eating a diet full of antioxidants also helps.1 Colors from fruits and vegetables are what you need. They support collagen and fight off crepey skin.1

Topical Treatments for Crepey Skin

If you already have crepey skin, don’t worry. There are many treatments that can make your skin look and feel better.1 One option is using retinoids, such as retinol. They boost collagen and renew skin cells, making your skin thicker and smoother.3 Doctors often recommend creams with tretinoin and vitamin C for this problem.3 You can also use alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid. They help by peeling off old skin and making your skin feel tighter.1 Plus, don’t forget to moisturize. Moisturizers with hyaluronic acid can plump up your skin and keep it hydrated. This reduces the ‘crepe’ look.3 Adding hyaluronic acid to your daily skincare can work wonders too.3 Also, using skin creams that have retinol can increase how stretchy and young your skin looks. This stops crepey skin from showing up.

In-Office Treatments

in-office crepey skin treatments

For serious crepey skin, there are in-office treatments available. These treatments aim to boost collagen, increase skin flexibility, and make you look younger and firmer.5

Fractional Laser Resurfacing

This method is quite successful in revitalizing crepey skin. It uses a special laser to pump up collagen and enhance the skin’s texture and tone.5

Dermal Fillers

Using fillers like Sculptra Aesthetic and Radiesse is also a good choice. They add volume and prompt collagen growth. This reduces the look of crepey skin.5

Radiofrequency Treatments

Another option is Profound RF, which is a mix of microneedling and radiofrequency. It works to boost collagen and make the skin tighter. This tackles the signs of crepey skin effectively.5

Lifestyle Factors

As we age, our lifestyle choices become more important for our skin.1 Environmental factors, such as sun exposure, and our habits play a big role in how our skin looks.1

Quit Smoking

Stopping smoking is key for keeping your skin healthy and young. Cigarette smoke contains toxins that can speed up skin aging.1 This can lead to more wrinkles, fine lines, and crepey skin texture.1

Adequate Hydration

Drinking lots of water and using moisturizers are crucial. They help maintain skin elasticity and combat crepey skin.1 With age, our skin loses its ability to hold moisture. This can make the skin look and feel dry and crepe-like.1

Stress Management

Finding ways to reduce stress is important for healthy skin. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and exercise can help.1 Chronic stress leads to inflammation. This can break down collagen and elastin faster, causing your skin to age prematurely.1

Surgical Options

When non-invasive treatments don’t work, surgery could be an option for pesky crepey skin.5 Solutions like facelifts, neck lifts, and eyelid surgeries are often suggested. They work well for more advanced crepey skin cases.5


A facelift tightens skin on the face and neck, offering a big change for crepey skin sufferers.5 It’s great for people with a lot of loose skin and wrinkles. But, it has its own set of risks and recovery times.

Arm Lift

To fix sagging skin on the arms, an arm lift might be the answer.5 It’s another surgery suitable for serious cases of crepey skin that didn’t improve with other methods.

Complementary Therapies

Aside from traditional medical treatments, we can explore complementary therapies for16 crepey skin. These methods may support skin health and rejuvenation. They include using topical oils, holistic practices like massage, and acupuncture. While their direct effect on6 crepey skin is not fully backed by science, they could complement a wide skin care plan.

Topical oils and serums with advanced elements, such as retinoids and peptides, could better1 crepey skin. These should be part of your ongoing skin care. Massage, especially lymphatic drainage and dry brushing, can boost blood circulation and revitalization. Acupuncture, from Chinese medicine, aims to improve skin health by balancing blood flow and tackling6 skin issues like stress and hormonal shifts.

Complementary therapies might not work as fast as medical or surgical methods. Still, they are key for a well-rounded approach to1 skin care. When combined with regular skin care, they create a holistic strategy against16 crepey skin. This enhances your skin’s general health.

Managing Expectations

It’s key to keep expectations real when treating crepey skin.2 Treatments can better skin’s look and feel. But, they can’t turn back time or make skin young again.2 Knowing what to expect from anti-aging items and treatments is crucial.2

Realistic Goals

Aging is a fact of life, leading to crepey skin.2 Still, you can tackle these signs and keep your skin looking young and smooth.2 Aim to boost skin moisture, even out its surface, and reduce lines and wrinkles. This helps your skin look lively and fresh.2

Maintenance and Follow-Up

Having a steady skin care plan and staying in touch with your doc is vital.2 Using products with good stuff like retinoids and hyaluronic acid can boost collagen and make skin better.2 Also, professional treatments like skin tightening or fillers can do a lot. But, keeping up with them is essential for lasting results.2


Crepey skin is a common part of getting older. Things like too much sun7, changes in weight8, and your family history8 can make it worse. Yet, you can’t completely get rid of it. But, there are many ways to help your skin look and feel better.87

To fight crepey skin, it’s good to do a few things. Use sunscreen, drink lots of water7, and pick the right skin care products. If these don’t work, you can also see a doctor for special treatments or surgery.897

You can try simple things at home like using aloe vera or doing face exercises8. You can also try more high-tech treatments like lasers or fillers8. Talking to skin experts is a great idea. They can help you choose the best way to keep your skin healthy and glowing as you get older.7

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