Can Autophagy Help to Firm Up Loose Skin?


We all dread the side effects of aging, but the one we may dread the most is loose skin. Loose skin can make you look much older than you are and can greatly reduce your self-confidence. Luckily, there are ways you can avoid loose skin and ensure long-term skin health. Cellular processes such as autophagy help reduce the effects of aging. There are steps you can take to use autophagy for loose skin. 

What Are Some Ways I Can Tighten Loose Skin?

There are several different causes of loose skin including weight loss, pregnancy, and the effects of aging. Common places people experience loose skin include the stomach, face, neck, buttocks, arms, and legs. Loose skin is one of the most dreaded side-effects of aging and you should be doing everything you can to prevent it! Here are some of the ways you can firm up loose skin:

  • Firming creams
  • Supplements
  • Exercise
  • Weight Loss
  • Massage therapy
  • Cosmetic procedures

Unfortunately, loose skin won’t just disappear overnight. But with a diligent routine, you can achieve noticeable tightening in some areas. Your body has built-in mechanisms that help firm up loose skin and these methods can help induce these mechanisms. 

Can Autophagy Improve Skin Elasticity?

One of the mechanisms your body has that can improve loose skin and other negative effects of aging is a process called autophagy. During this process, cells in your body essentially consume parts within them that are no longer useable. While this may sound harmful, it’s actually very beneficial and helps reduce aging and the negative side-effects associated with aging. 

During autophagy, older, damaged, and dying cells are consumed and recycled for energy and are replaced by newer, healthier cells. This helps with your skin health, both tightening loose skin and preventing wrinkles.The results show that autophagy and skin tightening go hand in hand. Thanks to autophagy stretch marks can also be reduced in appearance. On top of that, autophagy also lowers your risk of Parkison’s and Alzheimer’s disease, two diseases that become increasingly more common with age. 

How Can I Trigger Autophagy?

Now that we have established what autophagy is and its benefits, you no longer have to ask yourself does autophagy help with loose skin. Instead, it’s time to determine how to induce autophagy. You can begin triggering autophagy through your diet in three different ways, limiting the amount of time you eat, limiting the calories you eat, and limiting the nutrients you eat. While there are no definitive signs that you are in autophagy, practicing at least one of these three dietary practices goes a long way in inducing the process. Here are some foods that promote autophagy:

  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Ceylon cinnamon
  • Ginseng
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Foods with high spermidine content

If you are focused on inducing autophagy, spermidine should be a key part of your diet. This is because spermidine inhibits acetyltransferases, including EP300, which is one of the main regulators of autophagy. Foods high in spermidine include soybeans, peas, chicken, potatoes, and lentil soup. 

How Long Do I Need To Fast To Achieve Autophagy?

As mentioned earlier, one of the main ways you can induce autophagy through your diet is by limiting the amount of time you eat. Fasting to tighten your skin is a proven method. Experts agree that the autophagy process initiates in humans after 18-20 hours of fasting, with max benefits occurring once the 48-72 hour mark has been reached. 

While fasting for three straight days seems daunting, doing intermittent fasts will still give you benefits, but periodically you should consider a longer fast. Here is an autophagy fasting timeline:

  • 12 hours - Your body enters ketosis
  • 18 hours - Your body switches to a fat-burning mode
  • 24 hours - Your body begins the autophagy process, recycling old cells with new ones
  • 48 hours - Your growth hormone levels are five times higher
  • 54 hours - Your insulin has dropped low and your body becomes increasingly insulin-sensitive

As is the case with most diets, you should consult with your doctor to ensure fasting is healthy for you. It’s possible that you may have a health condition that requires you to eat a certain amount of calories or nutrients throughout the day. 

Can Loose Skin Be Improved By Fasting?

The biggest reason why people deal with loose skin is due to weight loss, which leaves the body with extra skin that it doesn’t know what to do with. Crash diets that consume lean mass and fat mass indiscriminately with rapid weight loss in mind often lead to excess skin. These diets lead to you feeling weaker, disoriented, lazy, and rundown. 

You can prevent this by burning clean body fat for energy, not breaking down your lean tissue. Intermittent fasting can prevent loose skin and can help you lose weight without dealing with an excess amount of skin because it targets your body fat rather than your lean mass. On top of this, autophagy can help prevent the reduction of your skin’s elasticity. The older you get the less elastic your skin is, which can lead to loose skin. 

Is Water Allowed During Fasting And Autophagy?

A popular method of fasting to promote autophagy is dry fasting. This type of fasting involves not drinking water, instead of getting the water you need through vegetables and fruits. The idea behind the dry fasting diet is that it will force your body to generate the energy it needs by consuming old and damaged cells. Thus water fasting can help reduce loose skin.

Keep in mind, this is only one type of diet designed to help maximize your body’s energy-burning process. It is, under no circumstance, required that you don’t drink water to achieve autophagy. Even during intermittent fasting, you are allowed to drink water and other beverages that have no calories. 

Is Autophagy Beneficial for Wrinkles?

We have established the effects autophagy has on disease prevention and longevity, but what about autophagy and skin aging? It’s great to feel better and live longer, but can this process also help you look younger? Without autophagy, you age faster, lose your hair faster, gain weight quicker, and wrinkle easier. All of these can make you look much older. 

Autophagy makes sure that the cells that keep you looking your age - or younger - will be healthy and refreshed. It can also help repair injuries, make your brain function better, help with muscle growth and fat loss, and can even assist your ability to walk and breathe. To keep it simple - autophagy helps you feel and look younger. 

Is It Possible to Reverse Saggy Skin?

Saggy skin is one of the many dreaded side effects of aging and one people try to remedy the most. Aging, sun exposure, and heredity traits can thin skin out over time, making it sag and making you look older. Fortunately, there are several medical options available to you that can help reverse saggy skin, keeping you looking young. Here are some of those methods:

  • Facelift
  • Neck lift
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Radiofrequency
  • Ultrasound

These surgical methods are designed to introduce more collagen and elastin in your skin, which will give it a more youthful shape and appearance. However, these methods can be invasive. Radiofrequency and ultrasound do not require surgery but will require professional assistance to ensure the process is completed properly. 

Are There Ways To Tighten Saggy Skin That Do Not Involve Surgery?

You may be looking for a way to tighten loose skin without expensive invasive surgery or a trip to your doctor. As mentioned earlier, creams, supplements, and exercise can all help you tighten loose skin without needing loose skin surgery. Cold showers for loose skin can even have a positive impact. Here are some ways that you can prevent loose skin from even happening:

  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Healthy sleep schedule
  • No smoking
  • Reduced alcohol intake
  • Regularly use sunscreen
  • Avoid expressions that can lead to saggy skin like frowning and chewing gum
  • Sleep on your back

While these steps may not be able to help you reduce saggy skin if it’s already taken place, they can help you prevent saggy skin from ever happening. Mainly, you should be focused on living a healthy lifestyle to fully reduce negative side-effects of aging. 

Does Fasting Help To Tighten Loose Or Saggy Skin?

As mentioned earlier, fasting can have a positive effect on tightening loose skin. That’s because fasting is one of the best ways to help induce autophagy throughout your body. While autophagy has a nearly endless amount of positive health benefits, one of the major ones is that it helps retain the elasticity of your skin. 

The older we get, the less and less elastic our skin becomes. This means that it’s more likely to sag over time and you’re more likely to have loose skin upon losing weight. On top of preventing this loss in elasticity, autophagy can help your skin become more firm, tightening up loose skin if you’re already dealing with it. Therefore, intermittent fasting can promote skin tightening.

Does Loose Skin Occur With Keto?

The keto diet is considered extreme by some seeing as you eat almost no carbohydrates and a high amount of fat. Because of this, experts feel that the keto diet has both good and bad effects on your skin. Here are some keto skin benefits and keto skin problems to look out for when starting the diet:

  • High oil content may lead to more glowing skin
  • Too much fat can cause acne breakouts
  • Major dietary changes can lead to inflammation
  • The diet can cause a keto rash
  • The low sugar content means fewer fine lines and wrinkles
  • Good fats can prevent sun damage

As long as you're consuming a healthy amount of fat, you shouldn’t notice too many negatives in regard to your skin. Now, it’s important to note that the keto diet can lead to rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss can often lead to loose skin. How can you prevent that loose skin if you plan on losing weight on a new diet?

How Can Loose Skin During Weight Loss Be Prevented?

Loose skin from fasting is often one of the biggest reasons why people are scared of losing weight. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent loose skin through your diet and workout routine. Here is how you can prevent loose skin as a result of weight loss:

  • Take it slow - Rapid weight loss will almost always lead to loose skin. On top of that, crash diets and rapid weight loss also leads to a quick burnout time. It is recommended that you only lose one to two pounds a week and four to eight pounds per month
  • Strength Training - Ditching strength training and focusing on only cardio can lead to loose skin. This is because you will be losing the body mass that is holding that skin-tight
  • Healthy diet - We can’t stress how important your diet is enough. A diet rich in whole, natural, and minimally processed foods is beneficial for long-lasting, effective weight loss. Foods high in spermidine can also help induce autophagy

Don’t let the fear of loose skin prevent you from losing weight. By focusing on long-term weight loss over rapid weight loss can help prevent dreaded loose skin. 

Maximize Your Results With Spermidine Supplements

We’ve established that autophagy can greatly help in your battle against loose skin and other aging side-effects. Your diet is the best way you can induce autophagy. You can maximize your results by pairing your diet with regular supplements. Here are some of the supplements that support autophagy:

  • Bergamot
  • Berberine
  • Resveratrol 
  • MCT oil
  • Omega-3
  • Spermidine

By taking spermidine supplements every night with your dinner, you will not have to worry about consuming the amount of spermidine you need through food. This makes it much more likely that you consume your recommended daily intake.


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  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.