The skin works much like a rubber band. It will stretches, but won’t always return to its original shape if overstretched. To compensate for weight gain, the skin produces more cells to stretch with the skin. After significant weight loss, extra skin often remains, especially in the abdominal area -- leaving loose or saggy skin. According to Natural News, weight loss of more than 40 pounds will have this effect, but it’s possible to help the skin return to its original shape with the right vitamins.
Collagen and Elastin
Collagen and elastin are two of the main components of skin. Collagen is mostly responsible for the structure of the skin -- the framework -- while elastin provides elasticity. When the skin stretches, it loses some of these components, creating a saggy appearance. However, according to "Life Extension Magazine," Vitamin C can help rebuild collagen. Applying it topically is the most effective method. According to EMaxHealth, topical application provides up to 20 times more Vitamin C directly to the skin than by taking it orally.
The skin absorbs up to 70 percent of the ingredients applied to it, making vitamin-infused topical creams the most effective. Once the vitamins are absorbed into the skin, they won’t wash off -- not even days later. It’s not uncommon to find Vitamin C and others vitamins like A and E in skin creams. Vitamin A, for instance, helps with collagen formation much like Vitamin C, according to Natural News. Vitamin E, on the other hand, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. These two vitamins -- A and E -- are usually applied simultaneously, as they tend to work best together.
Applying vitamins directly to the skin usually requires infusing a cream or oil with the vitamin. Natural News suggests aromatherapy oils for loose skin because they provide a naturally occurring form of the vitamin, which easily absorbs into the skin. Rosehip oil, for example, contains high amounts of Vitamin C and can be rubbed directly onto the skin without a carrier oil. Carrot seed oil is packed with beta-carotene and Vitamin A and can be rubbed directly onto the skin as well. Several applications will be necessary to see results, according to EmaxHealth, but the results will vary depending on the severity of the loose skin.
Vitamins and antioxidants like Vitamin C break down quickly when exposed to the sun. Look for vitamin-infused creams in a dark or opaque bottle that helps to protect from sun damage. If you’re not using a cream derived from a natural form of Vitamin C like rosehip oil, look for its chemical equivalent -- ascorbic acid. EmaxHealth also recommends applying the oil after exfoliation for the best results. Furthermore, if the skin is going to be exposed to the sun, use sunscreen.
Based in Atlanta, Mya Passmore has been writing since 2010, covering health and business topics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from George Washington University.