Plump, plumper, plumpest, plumps, plumped, plumping, replump, to my surprise these are all real words that mean “having a full rounded shape” or “(of a person) slightly fat.” Majorityively we aim to avoid looking plump at all costs, unless we’re talking about our skin.
When people say they want their skin to look plump, they are really saying they want their skin to look young. As we age, our skin starts to lose its elasticity. This results in the fine lines, wrinkles and sagging that we can’t help but fixate on. Over the years tons of products have been developed to solve the inevitable issue of how to make skin look plump.
In order to understand how to make skin look plump, we need to understand what causes skin to deplump. The major factors are:
- Age: Over the years your skin produces less and less of the natural oils it needs to look its best, fat in the deeper layers of your skin also diminishes. This results in more fragile skin and more pronounced lines and crevices.
- UV light: We all love the sun because of its warmth and its ability to give us tan skin. However, this same light can also be incredibly damaging to our skin. You know if you’ve ever gotten a sunburn that the sun can seriously damage your skin resulting in peeling, or even blisters on the surface. But, it doesn’t stop there UV light penetrates into the deeper layers of skin and breaks down collagen and elastin, the skin’s connective tissues. Without these tissues the skin has less strength and flexibility resulting in sagginess and wrinkles.
- Smoking: We all know smoking is bad for your lungs, but it also has a huge impact on your skin. Smoking interacts negatively with collagen and accelerates the aging process of your skin.
- Repeated facial expressions: You’ve probably noticed those smile lines around your mouth sticking around, or maybe frown lines after 2020…Well facial movements and expressions, like smiling, lead to wrinkles. Every time you use a facial muscle, a tiny groove forms beneath the surface of the skin. As skin ages, and loses its flexibility, it is no longer able to spring back in place. These grooves deeper until they are permanent features on your face.
Some of these factors are controllable and some are not. We can make changes to reduce the damage that befalls our skin, but we simply can’t stop aging (at least for now). How to make the skin look plump is the question we’re addressing, adopting a healthier lifestyle can definitely help keep your skin looking its best, but what else can we do?
In the short term, hydration is key. Think of your skin like a sponge, when it’s full of water it keeps its shape, when it’s dry, not so much. If you have dry skin this most likely means that you are lacking sebum (a natural oil your skin produces), in order to remedy this an oil based product is recommended. You can add oil to your skin in many ways to give it a more plump appearance. Diet is the only way to add nutrients to the skin internally. Eating foods with healthy fats and high in vitamins and minerals can do wonders.
As for the external, there are a myriad of cleansers, moisturisers and serums that exist to hydrate and upholster your skin. Here are some of the best hydrating ingredients you should keep an eye out for in your products:
- Hyaluronic acid: This amazing clear, gooey substance is actually created by our skin and is able to hold 1000 times its weight in water. In addition to being able to make your skin look more plump it can also heal cuts, burns, and skin ulcers. Its function is to keep cells lubricated and this helps all the parts of the skin work more efficiently.
- Glycerine: Glycerine is a humectant which means it draws water towards it from the air bringing moisture to the skin, however it also draws some moisture out. Using an occlusive (locks moisture in), like olive oil first, may provide optimal moisturization.
- Petrolatum: This one has been out there forever, petrolatum better known as petroleum jelly, is another occlusive moisturizer. Ingredients like this may be intimidating to those with oily skin because they can clog pores, but for dry skin types, they may be essential.
- Ceramide: These little guys live in between the skin cells and help to create the protective skin barrier. They keep moisture in and potential irritants like pollution out.
- Fatty alcohols: Normally, alcohol gets a bad rap in the skincare world. People often think it only causes dryness and irritation, but not all alcohols are the same. As fatty alcohols like cetyl and stearyl are actually moisturizing. Like ceramides, these ingredients are found naturally in our skin and help prevent water loss. These fatty alcohols are often extracted from plant or vegetable oils.
- Lactic acid: We usually think of this ingredient as an exfoliant. But, interestingly, it’s also a humectant. However, this probably shouldn’t be your primary source of hydration, because it is an exfoliant it removes dead skin cells and thins our skin barrier. While it does replenish some of the moisture you still may want to add an emollient or occlusive.
- Squalane:This is a newly trending skin-care ingredient that’s actually a slightly different version of squalene, which is naturally produced by the skin. We have sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. Sebum is the oil that gives your skin a greasy feeling but also helps moisturize and protect it. Unlike sebum, squalane feels light on the skin and acts like an emollient, it absorbs easily into your skin and holds moisture.
Make sure with any new product you do a patch test first to check for a negative reaction with your skin. Apply a small amount of your new product to a less visible spot like your wrist, let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse. If there is no reaction, you should be good to go but remember your face is also more sensitive than other parts of your body.
The answer to the question how to make your skin plump is both complex and simple, basically take care of your skin. Moisturize, eat well, avoid toxins and over exposure to UV light. Making small changes will help you keep your skin healthy and give it that plump look you’re looking for and hey there is always botox.