A portrait of senior woman looking at her skin with a happy smile.

Aging brings about unexpected changes in your life. Extra wisdom, confidence, and free time are only some of them. However, some surprises are less welcome, such as crepey skin. While completely harmless, this change in the skin’s texture can be a and quite difficult to accept. It’s like you don’t even know the back of your hand anymore– literally – and that’s understandably disconcerting.

What few people know is that age is not the only culprit behind crepiness. Ahead, we uncover the causes of crepey skin and discuss whether there’s anything you can do to prevent or address it.

What Is Crepey Skin?

“Crepey skin” refers to skin that takes on a crinkled, saggy, and thin appearance, resembling the texture of crepe paper used in DIY crafts. Unlike , it affects a large area where the skin is thinner, such as the back of the hands, forearms, neck, chest, and thighs.

Don’t worry – you’re not going to wake up one day and suddenly have crepey hands. The change is gradual, and it’s primarily driven by the depletion of and elastin. In case you need a refresher, this dynamic duo is responsible for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. That’s why your skin doesn’t bounce back as it once did by the time you hit middle age.

Causes of Crepey Skin

How in the world does your skin get all thin and wrinkly? While it’s mostly due to the passage of time, it can also be a mix of different influences.

  • Excessive sun exposure: accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, which leads to premature aging.
  • Low estrogen levels: Estrogen plays a pivotal role in maintaining skin hydration and protective layer. As the estrogen levels dip, the skin becomes dry, thinner, and more susceptible to environmental damage.
  • Smoking habits: The toxins in cigarettes narrow the blood vessels, push the body to produce more free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage skin cells), and impair wound healing. Studies have also linked .
  • Drastic weight loss: When you shed pounds quickly, the skin may not have enough time to adapt and “snap back.”
  • Genetic disorders: Those with conditions that impact skin integrity, such as , are more likely to develop crepe-like skin at a younger age.

Can You Avoid Getting Crepey Skin?

The fact is you can’t stop skin crepiness from turning up at some point in your life. That’s okay, though. Everyone, regardless of background, will face this inevitable . If you do, you’re alive and that’s a good thing! Besides, you can take extra measures to keep your skin supple for longer.

1. Go heavy on moisturizers.

Hydration is essential to the skin renewal process. Water strengthens the lipid barrier, which wards off external saboteurs from disturbing your complexion’s inner peace. Satisfy your skin’s H2O cravings by prioritizing products with moisturizing ingredients. Take Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash for example. Made with NutriumMoisture™ technology, it delivers ample hydration and nutrients up to 20 layers deep within the epidermis.

You can also swap your regular hand wash for a more hydrating variant, like Dove Nourishing Hand Wash Cucumber and Green Tea. The formula doesn’t dry out your skin and leaves it super smooth. Plus, the cucumber and green tea scents add a touch of tranquillity to your daily .

2. Wear your SPF like armor.

It’s worth repeating the golden rule of skincare: put on every morning without fail. And yes, you should always apply it to your entire body, including your legs and the areas behind your ears. If you’re going outdoors for more than two hours, bring one in your purse for re-application.

Know that sunscreen is your second-best defense against UV radiation. Cover up the rest you can with a hat, shawl, sunglasses, or a lightweight jacket. Lastly, seek shade whenever possible, especially during peak sun hours.

3. Introduce retinoids to your routine.

Skincare products containing , a group of vitamin A derivatives, can help stimulate collagen production. In addition, the reports that regular use of retinol or retinoic acid helps thicken the skin’s outermost layer, thus making crepe-like lines less visible.

Crepey Skin Treatment

If you’ve done all you can at home about your crepey skin and nothing has worked, know that it’s not a lost cause. A dermatologist can recommend the best in-office treatment to address it. One popular option is , like Pico, Fraxel, and CO2. For people who prefer something with a shorter downtime, fillers and microneedling are the alternatives.

Crepey skin is natural and, frankly, inevitable. Don’t pressure yourself to “age like fine wine.” Instead, take care of your body with the intention of honoring the vessel that carries you through life’s many ups and downs.