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Fight Crepey Skin: 5 Effective Treatments That Actually Work

close-up of a face with crepey dry skin

Have you noticed your skin developing a thin, wrinkled texture reminiscent of crepe paper, particularly around the under-eye area, neck, upper arms, or inner thighs? This is likely crepey skin, a common concern that arises with age and sun damage. While it isn't necessarily harmful, many desire to improve its appearance for a smoother, more youthful look.

What Is Crepey Skin?

Crepey skin occurs when the skin's supportive structures, collagen and elastin, break down. Collagen provides the skin with its plumpness and structure, while elastin allows it to snap back after stretching. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less of these proteins, leading to thinner, looser skin.

Additionally, sun exposure significantly accelerates this process. Ultraviolet (UV) rays damage collagen and elastin fibers, further contributing to the development of crepey skin. While skin aging and sun damage are the primary culprits, other factors can also play a role:

  • Genetics: Some people are simply predisposed to thinner, more fragile skin.

  • Rapid weight fluctuations: Significant weight gain and loss can stretch and damage the skin, leading to a crepey appearance.

  • Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow to the skin, hindering the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen, which can contribute to crepey skin.

  • Certain medications: Medications like corticosteroids, when used long-term, can weaken the skin's structure.

close-up of a face with crepey dry skin

5 Effective Crepey Skin Treatments

While crepey skin isn't completely reversible, there are various treatments available to improve its appearance and prevent further damage:

Moisturizers: Consistent use of a good moisturizer is crucial for managing crepey skin. Look for products rich in ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin, which help hydrate and plump the skin. Applying moisturizer regularly helps maintain the skin's suppleness and reduce the crepey texture.

  • Topical Retinoids: 

These over-the-counter retinol or prescription creams stimulate collagen production, which can thicken the skin and improve its elasticity. Retinoids also promote cell turnover, leading to a smoother, brighter complexion. However, retinoids can cause dryness and irritation, so it's important to start with a lower strength and gradually increase frequency as your skin tolerates it.

  • Chemical Peels: 

Chemical peels work by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, revealing a smoother, more even-toned complexion. There are various types of peels, from gentle alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to stronger trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels. A dermatologist can recommend the appropriate type for your skin and crepey skin concerns.

  • Laser Treatments: 

Fractional laser treatments are a more advanced option for addressing crepey skin. These lasers create microscopic controlled injuries in the skin, triggering the body's natural healing response. This process boosts collagen production, promoting tighter, smoother, and healthier skin. Laser treatments typically require multiple sessions and can be more expensive than other options.

  • Filler Injections: 

Hyaluronic acid fillers can be used to plump up areas with crepey skin, such as the under-eye area or the backs of the hands. Fillers offer immediate results and can significantly improve the appearance of crepey skin. However, they are temporary and require repeat injections every 6-18 months.

It's important to note that individual results for these treatments may vary. Consulting a dermatologist can help you determine the best course of action based on your specific skin type and the severity of your crepey skin.

At-Home Treatments Against Crepey Skin

While professional treatments offer significant benefits, some at-home practices can also help manage crepey skin:

  • Sun Protection: Daily sunscreen use is crucial for preventing further damage from UV rays. Pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen for your daily skincare routine with SPF 30+, and remember to re-apply it onto your skin every two hours, or more often if sweating or swimming.

  • Exfoliation: Gentle exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells, allowing moisturizers to penetrate deeper. However, be cautious with harsh scrubs that can irritate thin, crepey skin. Opt for gentle exfoliating products with rounded beads or use a washcloth for a light physical exfoliation.

  • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains ensures your body gets the nutrients it needs for healthy skin function. Foods rich in vitamin C, especially important for collagen production, can be particularly beneficial.

  • Hydration: You certainly know this, but staying well-hydrated is essential for overall health, including your skin. Drinking the necessary amount of water keeps your skin young and plump. No more creepy skin!

  • Lifestyle Habits: Your lifestyle affects your skin stronger than you think. For example, daily habit like smoking not only restricts blood flow but also speeds up the breakdown of collagen. So, if you struggle with crepey skin, quitting smoking can improve the appearance of your skin. Additionally, getting enough sleep allows your body to repair and regenerate cells, contributing to healthier skin.


Don't let crepey skin steal your confidence! With the right approach, you can achieve smoother, younger-looking skin. By incorporating these effective treatments and healthy lifestyle habits into your routine, you can fight back against crepey skin and win. Remember, consistency is key. So, embrace these tips, say goodbye to crepey woes, and hello to a more radiant you!

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