Have you ever wondered why women’s arms and legs get crepey with age?
Do you ever wonder what might be the best lotion for crepey skin on arms and legs?
Are you the type of person who works best with a deadline? For example, my youngest son is getting married in July of 2023. So I know from my years as a cosmetic dermatologist, that the more time I have to work on the goal, the more tricks I can employ.
Why don’t you come along with me on this Pre-wedding journey and I will tell you what I have learned and what I am actually using? I will give you the download and reasons for my various steps.
In this post...
Why Do Women’s Skin on their Arms and Legs Get Crepey?
As we age, we have lots of changes that occur in our whole body.
We have fewer hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. With those decreases, we get less new bone growth and the dreaded osteopenia and osteoporosis.
We get decreased muscle mass as we age because we’re sitting more and not doing enough resistance training to grow more muscle.
With increased sun exposure, we get a breakdown of our collagen and elastin, which contributes to increased skin laxity. Our skin gets dry and flaky which tends to emphasize crepiness.
WOW! How depressing is all of this?! What’s a girl to do?!
Read on for my EASY tips including lotions, simple but effective exercises, and of course, some fun fashion finds. I’ve got you covered. We can definitely improve this lax skin problem!!!
We all have weddings to attend and for much of the year and many of the styles show our arms. The above dress has a bit of a flutter sleeve and a v-neckline, both of which keep the emphasis on my face more than my arms.
Hormones and Crepey Skin
As we go through menopause, we all experience decreasing levels of sex hormones. This changes how our bodies store fat. Most of us experience increased deposition of fat around the mid-section due to these hormonal changes. What can we do about this aspect of aging? See a board-certified gynecologist for your annual check-up and be sure to have a discussion about the use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT).
If for some reason your doctor doesn’t seem informed or interested in this discussion, find another physician who will take the time to talk with you and help you to make an informed decision. A good provider will take blood levels of all of your sex hormones before starting any replacement therapy, and he/she will also take follow-up levels 6-8 weeks later to be sure the appropriate levels have been reached.
***Having the appropriate level of post-menopausal hormones will help in the treatment of crepey skin and I have been on HRT since I was 52. I am now 65, and I get my levels checked every six months.
Hormones and Decreased Bone Density
The menopausal decreases in hormones also contribute to osteopenia and osteoporosis. With this decreased bone density, we women are predisposed to falls and fractures of our bones. HRT helps minimize this bone loss. And if our bones are thinner, our skin has less of a “hanger” to hold it in place.
***I get a bone density test every two years from my gynecologist. In addition, I walk 3-5 times per week. Weight-bearing exercises like walking help to make new bone deposition even as we age.
***I also am starting a simple activity: While wearing gym shoes, I am jumping in place one time, five times per day. I do this with my hand on a wall so I don’t lose my balance. One jump five times per day has been shown to help increase bone density.
***To help me remember to do this, I have just set my iPhone alarm to go off at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 5:00 PM EVERY DAY! I think this will be an easy step to get more healthy bone density and hopefully, less laxity in my arm and leg skin.
***I also take oral Vitamin D to increase my bone density. I get my levels checked every year by my internist, and take a supplement as he directs to keep my level in the therapeutic range.
Decreased Muscle Mass and Crepey Skin
Unfortunately, most of us spend much of our day sitting and not exercising our muscles. All of our muscles get weaker and smaller with a lack of resistance training. The medical term for muscle wasting is sarcopenia. Our arms rarely get a workout unless we make a concerted effort to target them. Here is an exercise routine by the trainer to the stars, Tracey Anderson, that can be done with 1-2 pound weights or even water bottles.
These exercises are very effective in sculpting the arms so the skin is better supported and less lax. Tracy Anderson has all kinds of total body sculpting routines available here.
***I’ve had these exercises in my routine since 2014. I like them because they are easy and they work. Going forward, I am planning to do these 3x a week as part of my Pre-Wedding Routine!
Sun Exposure and Crepey Skin
Sun exposure is SO HARD ON OUR SKIN!!! Most of you know that I am a retired dermatologist. I have seen the many problems created by sun exposure. The sun causes such aging of the skin as it really decreases our ability to make collagen and elastin which are the main structural components in our skin. Not to mention the fact that it creates skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma!
So the best way to prevent and to some degree, actually reverse this photoaging and crepey skin is to wear sunscreen and/or protective clothing whenever you are exposed to the sun. Here is a blog post I recently wrote on this topic. The bottom line is to wear sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, sunglasses with UV protection, and hats as much as possible. Here are some of my favorite sunscreens: Glowscreen SPF 40, Think Every Day SPF 50, Cerave Baby, and La Roche Posay.
***I also have this sunscreen powder in my car because UVA actually goes through window glass. I like that it’s a powder as I can easily apply it over my makeup to my face, neck, and arms without ruining my clothes. It may seem pricey, but it lasts FOREVER! I use the same one for several years and it still is effective.
***Here’s my favorite hat for going for my long walks. But if you hate a big brimmed hat, a ball cap is better than nothing. Here is my favorite cap. Here is a favorite SPF 50 coverup for long walks on the beach with Mr. G.Q.
Best Lotion for Crepey Skin on Arms and Legs
I know what you’re thinking…
You’re saying, FINALLY, she’s getting to the lotions to use for crepey skin.
But I really thought you needed to know some of the backstory and some other effective treatment options for the aging, saggy skin.
Was I wrong? I just thought you might want to know the whole story as well as learn what I do to stave off Father Time.
There are many products out on the market to treat crepey skin. And I am a BIG FAN of trying lots of them. I like a product to have little or no smell, not be greasy or irritating, be easy to apply, and be effective. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. The ones I am recommending are products I am using. Let’s get to them:
Crepe Erase Body Firm
I love this product! Crepe Erase is the product used by the very glamorous Jane Seymour in her infomercials. It’s an elegant, fragrance-free white cream that rubs in easily without any greasy residue. *** I use it daily and I prefer to use this right after my morning shower once I have patted my skin dry. I like the way my skin looks right afterward as it’s visibly more hydrated and supple-looking.
This product contains several proprietary ingredients, the main one being Trufirm. Trufirm apparently supports the skin’s natural elastin production. Crepe Erase also contains grapeseed oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, and squalene. All of these moisturize the skin and help to form a protective barrier on the skin to seal in moisture. This product is a bit pricey ($79), but I truly love how smooth it feels
Gold Bond Age Renew
Gold Bond Age Renew is a very budget-friendly option to treat skin laxity and crepey skin. It has anti-oxidants to help with photoaging as well as aloe vera which is a known skin moisturizer and soother. It has jojoba oil which seals in moisture without blocking your pores. *** I use this for all-over moisturizing and I love to put it on my dry shins and heels before I put on leggings and athletic socks. At $10 per bottle, this is a very economical product that you will love.
Amlactin is a 12% lactic acid-containing lotion that boosts the skin’s natural renewal process through gentle exfoliation. This exfoliation leads to increased production of healthier skin cells. The company recommends daily use to obtain smoother skin. *** I use it 2-3 times per week as a gentle exfoliator on my arms, legs, neck, and chest skin. It is a VERY EFFECTIVE treatment for aging skin and the price point ($14) is great. Unfortunately, it has a medicinal scent which I find objectionable. Fortunately, the scent is only apparent for a few minutes. Also, because it is an exfoliant, it can increase your risk of sunburn, so use it with sunscreen!
Cera Ve Anti Aging Retinol Serum
Cera Ve Anti Aging Retinol Serum is a lovely serum used to repair aging effects on the skin. It contains Retinol which is in the same family of products as RetinA. These are gentle exfoliants that also work to reorder the skin cells that become disorganized from sun exposure. It also contains alpha hydroxy acids that help the skin retain its natural moisture. Lastly, it contains niacinamide which calms redness and irritation.
This product is best paired with one of the previous three products and can be layered over them. But as with AmLactin, Cera Ve increases your sun sensitivity and should be paired with sunscreen. The price point is quite reasonable at $20.
Revision BodiFirm is a high-quality antiaging, skin-firming product that I learned about in my cosmetic dermatology practice. It contains a blend of peptides, antioxidants, and botanicals that help support the production of skin proteins, collagen, and elastin. It also contains glucosamine which promotes cell turnover to smooth and soften rough dry skin.
This is the most expensive product I am using ($150) but it has the most science behind it. It is supposed to be used twice daily.
What’s my Routine?
Well, since I own all of these, it is my plan to use all of them.*** I plan to use the AmLactin all after my morning shower 2-3 times per week. Then, I will apply the Crepe Erase and SPF30 every day.
At night, I will apply the GoldBond, followed by the Revision, followed by the CeraVe Retinol. This should give me GREAT RESULTS! I will keep you posted.
Fashion Tips to Treat Crepey Skin on the Arms
Most women over the age of forty hate the appearance of their arm, leg, and neck skin.
I get that.
So are there fashion options that are cute and attractive? Absolutely!
Consider wearing a dress with a sleeve.
It doesn’t have to be full-length, maybe just to the elbow.
Or a jacket with the sleeves rolled up. Or a pretty lacey cardigan.
Or how about some sleeves with illusion netting? These contain the arm jiggle and still look so elegant.
Or maybe just a light-weight sheer wrap…
Here are some beautiful options. Click on the photos to see the details.
So do you feel better now about the fact that every woman over 40 struggles with crepey arms to some extent? I gave you lots of tips and tricks to try. Which ones resonate with you? Please let me know in the comments below (I LOVE THEM!) or feel free to DM me on Instagram @drjuliemarshall.
PS Here are a few more posts for you to enjoy: