How To Address Crepey Skin

How To Address Crepey Skin

At some point in their forties, my clients usually begin to complain about “crepey” skin. Crepey skin refers to skin that has lots of fine lines and has generally lost its elasticity. 

“It’s never too soon to start using high-quality ingredients that help combat and address crepey skin.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

No matter your genetics or ethnic heritage, you can develop crepey skin. Preventing it starts in your twenties, with proper skin care and protection, and addressing it involves ingredients that support the way the skin renews and restores itself. 

I’ll tell you what you should know about crepey and how to deal with it. 

What Are the Symptoms of Crepey Skin?

Think of crepe paper. It’s thin, fragile, and contains so many tiny folds that it has a weathered or wrinkled appearance. Crepey skin looks very similar. 

Symptoms of crepey skin include:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines. Unlike nasolabial folds, crepey skin is characterized by smaller, finer wrinkles that are spaced closely together, affecting the appearance and texture of the skin. 
  • Thinning skin. Crepey skin can also look and feel thinner than skin elsewhere on your body. It might seem like your skin is hollow or fragile. 
  • General loss of elasticity. Skin that is crepey usually sags or hangs, especially around the eyes and jowls. 

While crepey skin is most commonly experienced by people in their forties or older, you can definitely experience it earlier — especially if you were a die-hard tanning bed enthusiast back in the day. 

Crepey skin can be located all over the body but is most noticeable on the face, hands, and upper arms, and occasionally around the knees.

What Causes Crepey Skin?

Crepey skin doesn’t happen overnight, and the majority of the crepiness you’ll have in your forties is a direct result of skin damage done in your twenties. This is why preventing it earlier in life is essential. 

Collagen and Elastin

The skin’s two main proteins, collagen and elastin, give the skin its structure and help it remain looking full and youthful. But as we get older, collagen and elastin production slows down.

Less collagen production and elastin production means that the skin doesn’t snap back into place like it used to, and it may look thinner and hollow. Lines and wrinkles may begin to form, and the skin may lose its youthfulness. 

Sun Damage

There’s no denying that UV rays are harmful to your skin, but the more you’re exposed to them in your youth, the greater effect they can have on your skin as you age. The sun can prematurely age your skin and also cause age spots that can cause an uneven skin tone. 

Ultraviolet light can also cause skin elasticity to plummet and weaken the skin barrier, contributing to poor skin health and skin issues.

Skin Cell Turnover

Your skin is in a constant state of rebuilding. That means that new skin cells are proliferating every day. As we age, the rate of turnover slows down, which can make fine lines look more pronounced, make the skin look dull, and contribute to breakouts.

Sluggish skin cell turnover can result in skin that looks crepey and dry because there’s a continual layer of dead skin cells clinging to the surface of the skin. 

Other Causes

There can be other causes of crepey skin. Extreme weight loss, pregnancy, dehydration, and dry skin can all cause the skin to appear crepey, but normally, it’s a combination of age and improper skin care. 

How Can You Address Crepey Skin?

Combating crepey skin involves targeting skin from a structural standpoint, helping support collagen and elastin production, and supporting skin cell turnover. It also involves protecting the skin from free radicals and the sun. Here’s my formula for success.


It’s my favorite anti-agingskincare ingredient, and for a good reason — it’s heavily researched, effective, and has a relatively low occurrence of side effects. One thing retinolcan cause is flaking skin and sensitivity, which is why I formulated my Retinol Reform® with encapsulated, time-released retinol. You can get all the benefits without skin sensitivity. 

Retinol works by supporting collagen production, which can support a firmer, fuller, and more youthful appearance. It can also help resurface the skin by supporting skin cell turnover, which can help lead to a brighter and more radiant complexion. 

Because of this resurfacing ability, it’s important to follow any over-the-counterretinoid with a soothing moisturizer. Look for calming ingredients like peptides, aloe vera, niacinamide, and ceramides.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is well-known for the radiant glow it can provide, but it’s also great for supporting skin cell turnover and natural collagen production. 

My Lactic Acid Serum is formulated to be used interchangeably with Retinol Reform. Combining both can help you tackle crepey skin with two dermatologist-recommended ingredients that can restore your youthful complexion.

Vibration Therapy

All of my facials include a ten-minute vibration therapy skin treatment, which helps me access facial muscles that I can’t get to with regular facial massage. My Facial Sculpting Wand can give you that same clinical-level treatment at home. 

This wand delivers acoustic sound waves up to six centimeters under the skin’s surface. It can support natural circulation, which can support the skin’s ability to take up oxygen, helping counteract premature aging. This can result in skin that looks lifted, toned, and more sculpted. 

LED Masks

LED light masks can support the work of your skincare routine. My re-engineered LED Light Therapy mask is clinically proven to battle acne, pigmentation, and wrinkles. 

New dual diode LEDs deliver the highest dose of red, blue, and near-infrared light therapy in cutting-edge wavelength combos for clearing, smoothing, and brightening benefits.

Choose Antioxidants

Antioxidants can protect your skin against free radicals. Free radicals damage skin cells and interfere with their DNA, causing them to create new skin cells that have damaged DNA and resulting in skin that can look slack and crepey. Free radicals come from sources like the sun, pollution, and even cigarette smoke. 

You can protect your skin against free radicals by loading up on topicalantioxidants, which are ingredients that can help protect skin cells from external aggressors. 

You can load up on antioxidants by adding my Sake Toning Essence to your skincare routine. Fortified with antioxidants from fermented rice water and niacinamide (vitamin B3), you can protect your skin and help brighten it at the same time. 

I also love a good vitamin C serum for an extra dose of antioxidants. Vitamin C works well for most skin types, and you can find it in the form of cleansers, serums, and body lotions.

Wear Sunscreen

As any dermatology guru knows, sun exposure can lead to oxidative stress, which is a common cause behind the appearance of crepey skin. That’s why it’s so important to protect your skin as much as possible.

I love a good combination product, and Supergoop! Play Everyday SPF 50 Lotion is a combination moisturizer and broad-spectrumsunscreen that can last all the way through your day. 

Want to try a CC Cream? Supergoop! CC Screen provides lightweight coverage with the same ultra-protective SPF 50 so you can combat crepey skin before it starts and prevent further skin damage. 

Pump Up the Hydration

Your skin can’t function properly if it isn’t hydrated. I often find that clients with blemish-prone skin or oily skin tend to skip hydration altogether. This is a mistake that could lead to dehydrated skin that may appear crepey. 

If you get blemishes, I recommend hydrating with a hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer. That’s why my Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen to help support natural collagen production. 

Use a Peel

Using a glycolic acidpeel can help remove dead skin cells and support skin cell proliferation. My Triple Acid Signature Peel contains glycolic acid, along with lactic acid and mandelic acid, to help remove dead skin cells and dive deep into the skin to firm, plump, and tone it by supporting collagen production. 

This two-step peel also includes a post-peel neutralizing mask to help remove dirt and excess oil while soothing the skin. Because this is a clinical-grade peel, you may experience warm, tingly sensations upon application. This is completely normal and can help you to know the product is working. 

I recommend working up to using this peel weekly if your skin can tolerate it to help restore skin to its natural, youthful appearance. It’s also important to remember to skip your Retinol Reform and Lactic Acid Serum on the days you use this peel to avoid unnecessary skin sensitivity. 

Smooth Skin for Life

Crepey skin happens over time, but it starts with skin damage you receive in your childhood and in your twenties. To prevent crepey skin from starting, protect your skin when you’re in the sun and load up on antioxidants to protect against oxidative stress. 

It’s never too soon to start using high-quality ingredients that help combat and address crepey skin. Retinol and lactic acid are my favorites, and adding in an occasional glycolic acid treatment can help restore the skin’s natural radiance and preserve your youthful appearance. 

You don’t have to settle with crepey skin just because you’re getting older. Fight back with my line of skincare products that are tailored just for these unique skincare challenges.


Crepey Skin: Causes and Treatment Options | Cleveland Clinic

Clinical Relevance of Elastin in the Structure and Function of Skin | PMC

Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging | PMC


Your Bag

Pick 2 Free Samples with any order

Retinol Reform Sachet 2 ML
Body Reform Treatment Serum Sachet (US/CA)
Intensive Eye Renewal Cream Sachet

Pick 2 Free Samples with any order