Recently I went to a lovely wedding. I was talking to a guest and she remarked that she never feels comfortable wearing a sleeveless dress to dressy events because she feels her arms are too crepey.
She asked me if I had any easy dermatological tricks for that. I said that as we age we all tend to lose laxity in our skin due to sun damage as well as loss of skin thickness due to the effects of menopause. We lose bone density in all our bones including our arms and our skin gets laxer and dryer. All this results in loose skin that’s too drapey in nature.
There are numerous longer term options to improve this that I’ll discuss in a later post. But for this post I’ll tell you exactly what I do before a big event.
1. For two weeks before the event I do this very simple Tracy Austin five minute exercise routine using one or two pound weights. This increases the muscle tone and improves the skin laxity.
2. For the same two weeks in the shower.I gently wash my arms all over with Glytone mild gel cleanser. I rinse well. Pat dry and within five minutes I then apply Amlactin ultra smoothing intensely hydrating cream all over my arms. This actually hydrates the dry arm skin and increases collagen production. Collagen is part of the support system of our skin and tends to decrease as we age. (This is great to use all year round on your skin and will gradually improve the texture of all aging skin). On the face it can sometimes sting so other options will be discussed on “My favorite skin products” post.
3. Then on the day of the event I apply Remede Body Contour lotion preferably right after a long ten minute soak in a warm bath. The bath hydrates my skin. Then again I pat dry and within five minutes I liberally apply this to my arms and legs. I discovered this little gem on vacation with my husband in Hawaii. It was included in my spa treats. I LOVE this product as it gently tightens your skin for the next four or five hours. If you’re the mother-of-the-bride and still in the thick of photos take a quick time-out and go reapply to those exposed arms while touching up your makeup (put it in a travel-size bottle).
4. When you take any photos try to put your hand on your hip. What this does is it makes your arm look thinner as you’re not squishing your arm against your side which looks less flattering.
Here you see me (and my arms) wearing a royal blue gently ruched sleeveless dress. I love the color and the style is very flattering as well as forgiving.
I paired it with a silver lame wrap, a long strand of pearls, a pearlized clutch with a rhinestone clasp and a pair of kitten-heeled silver Stuart Weitzman sandals. The purse is actually white but because of the pearly quality it reads silver especially when paired with the silver shawl.
My last tip is that with any sleeveless top to insure that your bra doesn’t peak out I have a dress maker or tailor put in lingerie straps that snap over my shoulder strap of my bra, and secure it to my dress shoulder seam. Another option is to buy these shoulder strap retainers (Amazon). These are cool as they’re transferable from one outfit to another as they just pin onto the inside of your dress shoulder seam.
Hopefully these tips will improve the skin of your arms so you can feel more comfortable rocking that sleeveless dress. My goal for 35 years as a cosmetic dermatologist was not to have the patient look like a teenager, but just to look as good as possible for their current phase in life.
Happy Wedding Day!!!