Taut skin is a term for skin which has ideal firmness, elasticity and hydration; basically, a healthy “glowing” look. Consumers are often searching for products that can help them achieve taut skin, but there are few ingredients that are actually proven in medical research to optimize skin tautness.
In this article we’ll cover five different ways to improve skin tautness.
First we will review three ingredients proven to cause taut skin: vitamin C (when applied topically), bakuchiol (when applied topically) and collagen (when ingested orally). Then we will discuss two lifestyle modifications we recommend for improving skin quality.
Vitamin C is an effective topical treatment for skin tautness. A medical review published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal analyzed data from clinical trials and concluded that topical vitamin C can both treat and prevent skin damage from photoaging (exposure to UV rays from the sun). The study authors noted that vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help protect skin from oxidative stress.
A clinical trial found that topical vitamin C improved skin hydration and reduced wrinkles. Patients in the trial were instructed to apply a topical vitamin C cream on half of their face and a placebo cream on the other half of their face. After 12 weeks, clinicians measured wrinkling, pigmentation and inflammation and all of these parameters improved with vitamin C treatment.
Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top vitamin C cream recommendation because it provides a high concentration of vitamin C (26%) and is free of any questionable additive ingredients like fragrance or harsh preservatives that many cosmetic creams contain.
Interested consumers can check out Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum at this link.
Bakuchiol is a vegan skincare ingredient that's derived from a plant called Psoralea corylifolia that's native to India and China.
A clinical trial published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science described bakuchiol as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." In the linked trial, topical bakuchiol reduced wrinkles, improved skin elasticity and firmness, and reduced photodamage (damage from UV rays).
As we documented in our Beautycounter controversy article, bakuchiol has been found to be comparable to retinol for the ability to cause taut skin, which is impressive because retinol is one of the skincare compounds with one of the most research backing. Bakuchiol also caused fewer side effects like redness and irritation when compared directly with retinol.
HydraGlow is our top pick for skincare products containing bakuchiol. It's a moisturizer that contains a number of other effective skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and it's entirely free of any questionable additive ingredients.
Interested consumers can check out HydraGlow at this link.
Collagen is the most effective oral supplement for skin in our opinion. It’s been conclusively shown in medical studies to improve various measures of skin health, including hydration and elasticity.
We recommend a dosage of 10 grams (g) daily, which appears to be the maximum effective dose based on the above-linked research review from the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. The study authors described a "notable improvement in skin elasticity and hydration" with oral collagen supplementation.
The collagen supplement we recommend is Bulletproof Collagen Powder. The only ingredient in Bulletproof collagen is collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals. It's free of the added sugars and artificial flavoring agents in many other commercial collagen powders.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Powder at this link.
Lifestyle Changes for Taut Skin
The easiest lifestyle change any individual can make to promote taut skin is to avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible. When avoidance is impossible, using a physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide as the primary active ingredient is an effective option, and a healthier one than using chemical sunscreen which absorbs into the bloodstream and may cause unfavorable metabolic effects.
Damage from the sun's UV rays is the primary cause of skin aging apart from the biological process of aging, so simple lifestyle choices like wearing a hat when outside can help promote taut skin throughout the aging process.
Consistent sleep quality is another lifestyle factor which can impact skin appearance. Most people already know this but it bears repeating because discipline is required for good sleep hygiene in the modern world, when there are so many potential distractions.
We know from medical research that consistently poor sleep quality is associated with significantly worse skin appearance.
Making an effort to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night is one of the best ways to not only feel better but to look better as well.