How to find the right firming skincare for you

Firming skincare products that claims to bring tighter, tauter skin have burst on to the scene in droves. So what should you look out for?

For decades, methods for toning skin have come just as quickly as they’ve gone, a bit like dieting fads.

But in recent years, the desire to stay taut and toned has become more popular than ever.

And with it has come the rise of firming skincare products.

As we age, cell turnover slows down, we produce less collagen, and skin tends to sag, thin and become wrinkly.

While skincare products can’t prevent the ageing phenomenon from happening, many of us turn to them in the hope they can make our skin look firmer and more youthful.

What are firming skincare products?

Firming skincare is an umbrella term used to describe skincare products that contain ingredients that stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin, encouraging a more refined and taut appearance over time.

Sydney dermatologist Dr Deshan Sebaratnam says the process of toning up the skin is complex.

“Firming the skin is quite hard – I don’t think many over-the-counter products offer significant improvement, but active ingredients may help with the complexion and its overall texture,” Dr Sebaratnam says.

Dr Sebaratnam says topical products that can help keep the skin in good condition include actives such as retinoids, vitamin C and niacinamide, in addition to AHAs such as mandelic, lactic and glycolic.

Other skin-firming methods

Some people swear by products that promote lymphatic drainage, such as gua sha tools, jade rollers and body brushing.

While these methods may provide temporary results, they do require consistent upkeep.

While Dr Sebaratnam says traditional skincare tools have no adverse effect, “there is little evidence supporting (such products) when it comes to toning treatments”.

He recommends when considering firming skincare to opt for products backed by scientific studies.

Expert-backed ways to keep skin toned and taut

It might sound obvious and require effort, but consistent exercise and a healthy diet are two of the best solutions for toning up.

However, the effectiveness of collagen supplements is being researched, with promising preliminary results.

“There is evolving low-volume evidence for oral collagen supplements,” Dr Sebaratnam says.

His tried-and-true approach is combining prevention techniques with treatment options, specifically laser and chemical resurfacing procedures that promote cell turnover and collagen production.

“In terms of prevention, people should practise daily sun protection using SPF 50+ sunscreen, paired with avoiding tobacco and maintaining a healthy diet,” he says.

“As far as treatment options are concerned, people might want to consider fractional radiofrequency, fractional ablative or non-ablative laser, intense pulsed light and some injectables.”

Written by Charlotte Brundrett