How Long Does It Take for Skin to Tighten after Weight Loss?

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Skin tightening after weight loss can be tough and tedious. Don’t despair, as the skin is a living organism, and it takes time to fit your new body shape. If you just lost a ton of weight, you may be wondering when your skin will tighten up and regain its shape?

How long does it take for skin to tighten after weight loss? The time it takes for the skin to tighten after weight loss normally ranges from several months to two years.

The time it takes depends on how much weight you lose and how quickly you lost the weight. In some cases, when the weight loss is significantly higher, it may take several years to tighten, or surgery may be required.

If you haven’t lost a lot of weight, the skin can tighten after only a few weeks of skin-tightening exercises. It all depends on how much weight was lost and how quickly it was lost. 

In some cases, when the weight loss is very high and was lost in a very short period of time, the skin can take years to regain shape. There is surgery required in these cases when the skin won’t regain shape over time.

Later in the article, I’ll discuss 6 helpful tips that will speed up the time it takes for your skin to tighten, including:

  1. Exercise Regularly
  2. Eat a Balanced Diet
  3. Stay Hydrated
  4. Take Care of Your Skin
  5. Select Non-Invasive Methods Over Surgery
  6. Choose Surgery as a Last Resort

Read on to learn more about how long it takes for skin to tighten after weight loss and how to make the skin tighten up faster!

Also, for an excellent skin tightening cream, take a look at our top pick, the Luxe Spa Cellulite Tightening Intensive Cream:

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How Long Does It Take for Skin to Tighten after Weight Loss?

how long for skin to tighten after weight loss

The tightening of the skin depends on various factors, such as how much weight was lost, the elasticity of your skin, your diet and exercise, as well as your genes.  

For weight reduction that ranges from 20 to 30 pounds, the skin can tighten after two to three months. But this is coupled with regular exercises. Your skin won’t tighten up by itself. You have to do something yourself.

For weight loss that ranges from 30 to 50 pounds, skin tightening can happen from 6 months to one year or more.  This is also coupled with regular exercises. If, after a year or more and nothing happens, you may be a candidate for surgery.

For 50 pounds or more, the skin may not be able to go back to its previous firmness. Your only option is to undergo surgery. However, surgery should be considered only when extremely necessary. 

The other option is to accept your imperfections and still live a healthy, happy, and contented life. It’s your personal choice.

Why Skin Doesn’t Tighten Right Away After Weight Loss

The skin doesn’t tighten right away after weight loss, as the skin has the ability to expand, but it has no ability to constrict or go back to its previous shape quickly.

You can think of the body as a balloon that could expand when blown, but when air escapes, it becomes crumpled and unable to get back to its smooth, original shape. 

In the body, the skin is considered the largest organ that’s made up of cells. The skin is elastic, and as a person grows, the cells grow as well. The outer layer, which is the epidermis, is constantly changing, with old cells being replaced by new ones. 

However, the inner skin layers, the dermis, and the hypodermis are more permanent and rarely change. They are composed of blood vessels, connective tissues, and tissue fibers that can expand and contract with the movements and metabolism of your body.

When you lose weight quickly, the cells don’t have ample time to adjust rapidly to your new shape; thus, the skin is left flapping around in your body, usually in the arms, thighs, and abdomen.

Also, your skin’s elasticity becomes lesser when you’re older; have unhealthy eating habits; and when you’re leading an unhealthy lifestyle (no regular exercise, into drugs and alcohol, not sleeping well, and not hydrated properly). 

So, observing healthy habits can impact your skin’s ability to tighten after weight loss. Surely, you wouldn’t want to be mistaken as a bat ready to fly with those unsightly flaps on your arms and abdomen, would you? Therefore, you must find ways to tighten those areas and look fit and trim.

How to Make Skin Tighten Faster after Weight Loss 

How long does it take for loose skin to disappear after weight loss
Stay hydrated all day by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses (2L) of water a day.

The first pointer that you should observe is to lose weight steadily but slowly. Crash diets are not advisable. The faster your weight is dropped, the more likely you would have loose skin that won’t go back to normal. The ideal weight loss rate is around 2 pounds every week.

If you lose weight faster than that, your skin’s elasticity cannot cope with the rapid change in your shape, resulting in loose skin. Your skin doesn’t shrink back easily after you have reduced your weight.

So, after you have shed the extra fat and gained a healthy weight, you have to tighten the loose skin to stay healthy, fit, and trim. You can do this through the following methods.

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercising only a half-hour to an hour every day can help in converting your loose skin into muscles and trim the flab. You can also exercise for one hour to 2 hours every other day. Schedule your exercises regularly within the week, so you can see some good results. 

You need to work a sweat and be firm about your determination to get rid of your loose skin. In addition, exercising would open your skin pores and cleanse them of sebaceous substances that can clog them. When your skin can ‘breathe’ freely, this would help in tightening your skin.

It has been proven that your skin would tighten rapidly with the help of exercise.

The below video, by personal trainer Tanya Batts, gives some great exercise tips on how to tighten loose abdominal skin after weight loss:

2. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating properly can help you get back in shape speedily. Avoid excessive fats, carbohydrates, salty foods, and sweets.

Too much of these types of food are unhealthy for the body, as they cause a variety of sicknesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and lipidemia (excessive fats or lipids in the blood). Lipidemia increases your risk of cardiac conditions. 

Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Add more protein to your diet because proteins are essential for your muscle growth and development. The two most important components of your muscles are the proteins – elastin and collagen. 

The production of these vital proteins helps in your muscle’s normal function; thereby, aiding in making the skin tighter and firmer. 

3. Stay Hydrated

The body is composed of 60% to 70% water in varying percentages in the different cells of your body. When your body cells are hydrated adequately, they could function normally. These include your skin cells. 

To stay hydrated, the general consensus is to drink around eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, or 2 liters.

Water also acts as a conduit for the essential nutrients that your body cells need. It also facilitates the excretion of toxic metabolic end products to prevent intoxication of your body organs and cells.

4. Take Care of Your Skin

You can take care of your skin by using skin tightening creams, such as the Luxe Spa Skin and Body Tightening Cream.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This effective cream is used by many Hollywood celebs and was awarded as the Best Skin Firming Cream Treatment in the market for 2019.

The cream contains therapeutic organic oils, vitamins, and antioxidants, among others. It tightens the skin, as well as helps remove cellulite, stretch marks, and scars.

5. Select Non-Invasive Methods Over Surgery

There are non-invasive methods rather than surgical methods that can help you eliminate loose skin. One of them is using an anti-cellulite cream on your thighs and other parts of your lower extremities.

The GreenTouch Cellulite Remover can reduce sagging tissue and help tighten the skin on your buttocks, thighs, legs, and hips.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

You may also want to try the MYSWEETY R – F Radio Frequency Facial Machine.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

It’s a device that provides a painless procedure using RF (Radio Frequency) to stimulate your skin to produce essential proteins. These proteins, such as collagen and elastin, help in the proper functioning of your muscles. 

It’s not only a safe and effective way to tighten your skin, but it also prevents aging and the formation of premature wrinkles

6. Choose Surgery as a Last Resort

Surgery should be your last option as surgical removal of loose skin can have unwanted side effects. The most common surgery is called abdominoplasty, where the excess layers of skin in your abdomen are removed through surgery. 

It’s also called the ‘tummy tuck.’ Some people undergo a body lift or thigh lift to remove excess fat around the body or in the thighs only.

There may be safe, non-invasive procedures that you can choose from. Ask your doctor about these procedures if you’re qualified to undergo them.

Take note that there are some rare cases where a patient has died of abdominoplasty, around 0.04% to 0.16%. Surgery should be for only extreme cases, and instead, I recommend the other natural methods of tightening your skin after weight loss.

Factors That Affect Tightening of the Skin after Weight Loss

Let me sum up the factors that affect the length of time tightening your skin after you have successfully lost weight.

1. Speed of Weight Loss

The quicker you have a weight reduction, the longer it will take for your skin to tighten. So ideally, it is best to choose a weight loss program that’s not based on rapid weight loss but rather a program that allows you to lose weight gradually, at a more comfortable and natural pace.

This gives your body and skin time to tighten gradually and properly. The skin became loose over a long period of time as you gained weight, so it will tighten back up over a long period of time also.

2. Age

Yes, your age is one determinant factor in the length of time spent to tighten your skin. The older you get, the longer the length of time it takes for your skin to tighten after weight loss. 

This is due to the fact that your skin becomes less elastic when you age. The skin of younger people is significantly more elastic as their skin cells are younger, suppler, and fresher. 

However, just because you’re old doesn’t mean that you can neglect your skin care. On the contrary, you have to pay more attention to your skin the older you get.  

3. Diet

Feed your muscles and skin cells to allow them to function properly. As previously mentioned, eat more vegetables, fruit, and good quality protein and fat sources. A balanced, whole food diet is rich in essential minerals, antitoxins, and vitamins that your muscle and skin cells require. 

4. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can affect how long it takes for skin to tighten after losing weight. If your lifestyle is healthy, your skin is healthy as well. As such, your skin cells can efficiently get back in shape.

It can take a while, but by getting enough sleep and exercise each day, you will still be able to achieve your goal of getting rid of those flabby skin areas.

Avoid excessive alcohol and smoking, as they have side effects on your mental and physical health, including your skin. You have to take care of your skin and protect it from the harmful rays of the sun by using sunblock or protective clothing or gear.

You may want to use a daily skin care regimen to help keep your skin tight and healthy. 

5. Genetics

Your genes are also factors that determine how long it takes for loose skin to disappear after weight loss. Look at your parents and view your future self. If your parents have trouble maintaining tight skin after losing weight, then this trait can be passed to you as well.

In instances when the root cause is genetic and that you have problems tightening your skin, you would have to accept the fact. There’s little chance you would be able to counter your hereditary characteristics.

Your next best course of action is to continue working to keep your body healthy. Don’t let genetics keep you down, as you, of course, can follow the right lifestyle to speed up the time it takes for your skin to tighten to your lighter, slimmer shape.

For more great advice on how to get rid of loose skin from weight loss, see the below video by Ken D. Barry, M.D. In the video, he talks about intermittent fasting and other useful tips:

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take for Skin to Tighten after Weight Loss?

So to recap, how long does it take for skin to tighten after weight loss? The time it takes for the skin to tighten after weight loss can range from a few months to a year or two years.

In some cases, when the weight loss is significantly higher, it may take several years to tighten. Surgery may be required for extreme cases, but this is rare and should be used as a last resort.

The time it takes for your skin to tighten primarily depends on how much weight you have lost and how quickly you have lost the weight. Other factors that affect how long it takes for the skin to tighten include your age, diet, lifestyle, and genetics.

Normally, the skin can tighten after several months up to several years or may never tighten unless a surgical procedure is performed. Surgical procedures in tightening body skin are major operations and can lead to unwanted side effects.

They are not 100% free from complications, so they’re risky to undergo. It’s best to choose natural methods to tighten your skin after weight loss.

It’s best to choose a weight loss program that reduces your weight gradually, around 2 pounds per week. This would ensure that the weight doesn’t drop too rapidly, leaving loose skin.

If you already have loose skin due to rapid weight loss, do not despair! Follow the tips I mentioned earlier, including exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and taking care of your skin. With commitment and patience, your skin will gradually tighten to fit your slimmer shape.