Why Your Skin Gets Crepey and How to Fix It

Have you noticed thinner, dryer, and less elastic skin? We all want healthy skin, but when crepey skin appears, it can be discouraging. Luckily, there are several ways to reduce and prevent the appearance of crepey skin, no matter your age.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  • What is crepey skin?
  • What causes crepey skin?
  • Can crepey skin be reversed?
  • How to get rid of crepey skin
  • The best lotion for crepey skin and NassifMDâ products to address this issue

What is Crepey Skin?

A crepey appearance occurs due to a breakdown of critical proteins in the skin, including collagen and elastin, which leads to less structural support for the skin, a decrease in barrier function, and a loss of hydration.

Thin, Loose, and Wrinkled Appearance

Crepey skin is when the skin appears crinkled, like crepe paper. It’s thinner, dryer, and less elastic. It primarily affects large areas of the skin. You’ll see crepey skin on the neck, arms, legs, under the eyes, and hands.

Crepey skin is different than wrinkled skin. Muscular movements cause wrinkles over time, but crepey skin has more to do with a loss of skin structure.

What Causes Crepey Skin

You might expect thin, loose skin to be a natural part of aging skin. Age is one factor that affects the appearance of the skin, but there are also others. Crepey skin causes include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Aging
  • Dehydration
  • Tobacco use
  • Stress

Prolonged Sun Exposure

Sun exposure disrupts skin structure, affecting collagen and elastin. Chronic sun exposure causes damage and abnormal replacement of the fiber networks which means looser, sagging skin.


A loss of skin firmness is associated with aging; younger skin has more collagen, elastin, and higher water content. Typically, the first signs show up in your 40s, but it may occur earlier or later depending on other factors discussed here that promote an acceleration in undesirable skin changes.


Hydration status is another factor in skin firmness. Younger skin tends to be more hydrated; however, there are differences in hydration status among people in the same age groups, likely due to overall hydration in the body.

Tobacco Use

Smoking cigarettes causes adverse effects on all body systems, including the skin. Internally, skin cells have nicotine receptors that respond to nicotine in the bloodstream. In addition, cigarette smoke contacting the skin is a concentrated air pollutant and can damage skin cells and cause faster aging, especially without adequate antioxidants for protection.


Have you ever noticed an increase in rashes, acne, rosacea, sensitivity, or other skin health issues during a time of high acute stress in your life? Emotional stress affects skin structure, microbiome, hormones, and immune factors that contribute to physical signs of aging, including loss of skin firmness, wrinkles, pigmentation changes, and more.

In addition, many physical stresses, such as an unhealthy diet, UV radiation, pollution, and smoking impact the function and appearance of the skin.

Can Crepey Skin Be Reversed?

Research shows it’s possible to reverse crepey skin with various strategies, including topical solutions. Let’s look at some of the science of crepey skin products to improve skin texture and appearance.

Improving Skin Appearance

One clinical trial studied a topical body-firming cream on the upper arm of women between 40 and 60 years old. In 12 weeks of twice-daily treatment, the study found the cream to be “effective in improving crepey, lax, and photodamaged skin.” Ultrasounds showed improvements in skin structure and density compared to a placebo moisturizer.

Another trial looked at a multimodal facial skincare routine in women. The skincare products included several active ingredients, including antioxidants, peptides, and retinol. The study found the skincare routine increased firmness and elasticity by week 6 and reduced the appearance of photodamage by week 12.

How to Get Rid of Crepey Skin?

You’ll find dozens of crepey skin remedies, but just because a company is good at marketing doesn’t mean its products hold up to the science. Dr. Nassif suggests a combination of good lifestyle habits along with targeted skincare products and lotions for crepey skin.

Crepey Skin Treatment

Here are some lifestyle suggestions to help prevent and improve the appearance of saggy, loose skin:

  • Protect your skin from sun damage by limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and using effective sunscreen, such as NassifMD® Protect & Hydrate.
  • Eat an antioxidant-rich, nutritious diet to protect and promote healthy skin. Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A (retinol), and many phytonutrients found in plant foods are vitamins for crepey skin.
  • Add avocados to your diet. One study found eating avocados daily improved skin elasticity and firmness of facial skin in women.
  • Stay hydrated. Improved body hydration improves skin hydration, which means plumper, firmer skin. So be sure to drink plenty of water and replace electrolytes when sweating.
  • Stop smoking and using tobacco products. This suggestion is a no-brainer for skin and overall health.

Crepey Skin Cream

In addition to foundational lifestyle habits, you may be wondering how to fix crepey skin with the best cream for crepey skin. You may use several products throughout your skincare routine, including serums, moisturizers, and detox pads, to help with crepey skin treatment. The most important aspect is that products contain active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, retinol, and hydroxy acids to support skin structure and hydration.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a critical compound throughout the body and in the skin. As a topical skincare ingredient, it supports skin hydration and rejuvenation and improves skin tightness and elasticity.


Retinol is a form of active vitamin A that acts as an antioxidant and promotes cellular turnover. Retinol creams and serums stimulate collagen production, restore skin elasticity, and improve skin thickness. It’s also one of the most effective treatments for wrinkles.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

Alpha-hydroxy acids, including glycolic acid and lactic acid, are gentle exfoliators that remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and even the skin tone, resulting in a reduced appearance of aging and improved skin elasticity

Best Products for Crepey Skin

NassifMD® Crepe Inhibitor Triple Action Body Butter is the best lotion for crepey skin on the arms and legs. It’s intensely moisturizing and designed with ingredients to firm and tighten crepey skin, including:

  • Shea butter – rich in antioxidants and fatty acids to protect against sun damage and nourish the skin barrier
  • Glycolin – blue-green algae extract to revitalize the skin, improving hydration and elasticity
  • Renovage peptide complex – to counteract fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin

NassifMD® Detox Facial Pads are a must-have in any skincare routine and work against crepey skin on the face and neck and prevent premature aging. Active ingredients include:

  • Glycolic and lactic acids (alpha-hydroxy acids) and salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid) for gentle exfoliation
  • Bukuchiol – a natural retinol-like product to promote skin rejuvenation and firmness
  • Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant to protect against pollution and sun damage while increasing collagen production

NassifMD® Hydro-Screen Serum is our most popular multipurpose serum that hydrates, repairs, and restores the skin to prevent laxness and sagging. It contains a synergy of active ingredients, including:

  • Hyaluronic acid - to improve firmness and elasticity with intense hydration
  • Retinol – for anti-aging and skin smoothing benefits
  • Ceremides – to improve the skin barrier and prevent water loss

NassifMD® Age Defying Neck and Décolleté Serum is specially designed to address crepiness and improve laxity and texture of the delicate neck and décolleté area. Key ingredients include:

  • NassifMD® Upfinity Peptide Complex – a tetrapeptide complex to tone and rejuvenate
  • Niacinamide – a form of vitamin B3 to boost skin metabolism, neutralize free radicals, and dimmish crepey appearance
  • Glycoin – a blue-green algae extract that nourishes the skin cells, improving hydration and elasticity

We hope this information empowers you to take crepey skin into your own hands. There are many effective solutions from avocados to crepey skin cream. NassifMD® formulas make modern skin science accessible in the comfort of your home. With consistent use, you’ll notice glowing, firmer, thicker, and healthier skin. 



  1. Baumann, L., Bernstein, E. F., Weiss, A. S., Bates, D., Humphrey, S., Silberberg, M., & Daniels, R. (2021). Clinical Relevance of Elastin in the Structure and Function of Skin.Aesthetic surgery journal. Open forum, 3(3), ojab019.
  2. Mayrovitz, H. N., Wong, J., & Fasen, M. (2018). Age and Hydration dependence of jowl and forearm skin firmness in young and mature women.Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 17(6), 1262–1270.
  3. Mayrovitz, H. N., Corbitt, K., Grammenos, A., Abello, A., & Mammino, J. (2017). Skin indentation firmness and tissue dielectric constant assessed in face, neck, and arm skin of young healthy women.Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI), 23(1), 112–120.
  4. Ortiz, A., & Grando, S. A. (2012). Smoking and the skin.International journal of dermatology, 51(3), 250–262.
  5. Wong, Q. Y. A., & Chew, F. T. (2021). Defining skin aging and its risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Scientific reports, 11(1), 22075.
  6. Passeron, T., Zouboulis, C. C., Tan, J., Andersen, M. L., Katta, R., Lyu, X., Aguilar, L., Kerob, D., Morita, A., Krutmann, J., & Peters, E. M. J. (2021). Adult skin acute stress responses to short-term environmental and internal aggression from exposome factors.Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV, 35(10), 1963–1975.
  7. Kavali, C. M., Nguyen, T. Q., Zahr, A. S., Jiang, L. I., & Kononov, T. (2021). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Split-Body, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Tolerability of a Topical Body Firming Moisturizer for Upper Arm Rejuvenation.Aesthetic surgery journal, 41(6), NP472–NP483.
  8. Farris, P., Draelos, Z. D., & Felipe de Oliveira Stehling, L. (2021). Novel Facial Treatment Regimen Improves Aging Skin Appearance.Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 20(3), 274–278.
  9. Henning, S. M., Guzman, J. B., Thames, G., Yang, J., Tseng, C. H., Heber, D., Kim, J., & Li, Z. (2022). Avocado Consumption Increased Skin Elasticity and Firmness in Women - A Pilot Study.Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 21(9), 4028–4034. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.14717
  10. Bukhari, S. N. A., Roswandi, N. L., Waqas, M., Habib, H., Hussain, F., Khan, S., Sohail, M., Ramli, N. A., Thu, H. E., & Hussain, Z. (2018). Hyaluronic acid, a promising skin rejuvenating biomedicine: A review of recent updates and pre-clinical and clinical investigations on cosmetic and nutricosmetic effects.International journal of biological macromolecules, 120(Pt B), 1682–1695.
  11. Seité, S., Bredoux, C., Compan, D., Zucchi, H., Lombard, D., Medaisko, C., & Fourtanier, A. (2005). Histological evaluation of a topically applied retinol-vitamin C combination.Skin pharmacology and physiology, 18(2), 81–87.
  12. Tran, D., Townley, J. P., Barnes, T. M., & Greive, K. A. (2014). An antiaging skin care system containing alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins improves the biomechanical parameters of facial skin.Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 8, 9–17.


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