Ways to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Shedding the pounds with a strict diet or exercise regimen is great for your health, but this can often result in loose skin after weight loss. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to tighten this loose skin and get your body back into ideal shape. Having loose skin after weight loss is quite common, and often occurs following a drastic loss of weight, or after a woman gives birth. After significant weight loss, the skin on your abdomen, arms, legs or back may not be as quick to snap back into place, as it had likely been stretched for many years to accommodate your excess pounds. This can be frustrating for people who have worked hard to lose weight, as the folds of skin are often unsightly, or hide the muscles you have developed.

The key to addressing this loose skin after weight loss is improving elasticity and restoring the tight fit of the skin over your muscles and frame. Some serious cases of loose skin, such as when people were obese for many years, or lost more than 20% of their body weight, may require surgery or cosmetic procedures to fully fix. At that point, the skin has simply been stretched for too long, and regaining elasticity is likely impossible. However, for people who regularly experience fluctuating weight, or if the loss of weight isn’t too significant, certain exercise, dietary and lifestyle remedies can fix this problem, leaving you tight, toned and confident in your slimmed down appearance. [1]

Ways to Tighten Skin After Weight Loss

Some of the best ways to tighten loose skin after weight loss include adding protein to your diet, cutting back on sugar, increasing your muscle tone, slowing your diet, drinking more water and by using ultrasound therapy.

A happy woman who has lost weight surrounded by fitness experts

Lose weight and keep it off for good Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Protein Boost

One of the key components in every part of our body is protein, as it is required for the production of tissues, cells and muscles. After you lose the weight and are trying to eliminate the loose skin, you will need more protein than usual to build muscle and strengthen the skin cells’ elasticity. [2]

Slowing Your Pace

If you have a long-term weight-loss goal, but are already beginning to see signs of loose skin appearing, you may choose to slow down your diet. The skin of your body requires time to adjust; just as it took months and years to stretch out, it may also take months to return to its original tightness. If you slow the pace of your weight loss, or ease off an extremely strict weight-loss program, you may be able to prevent loose skin from forming or being so obvious. [3]

Exercise Regimen

Loose skin after weight loss is tricky because in many cases, there is simply no place for the skin to go. Filling out the area that had once been fat with muscle is a good strategy, so focusing your exercise on your arms and abdominal muscles can speed up the process of tightening the skin. That being said, there is a limit to how large your muscles can grow, so this approach works more for people recovering from a small increase and loss of weight. [4]

Increase Hydration

Water is the base of life and health for human beings, and without it, collagen cannot form, which is essentially the binding agent for skin cells, helping to increase tightness and elasticity. While drinking a lot of water can add a bit of water weight, it can also help get your skin back to normal fast! [5]

Ultrasound Therapy

One of the more formal treatments for loose skin is ultrasound therapy, in which ultrasound technology (the same as is used for providing fetal scans) is employed to stimulate the production of collagen beneath the skin. This can measurably increase the elasticity of your skin and improve its level of tightness following weight loss or pregnancy. [6]

Reduce Sugar Intake

Your dietary choices are critical when trying to eliminate loose skin after weight loss. Aside from increasing your protein levels, you should also try to avoid overly sugary foods and empty carbohydrates, as these can not only be inflammatory in nature, but also compromise the progress you’ve made in terms of weight loss.

Causes of Loose Skin after Weight Loss

The two main causes of loose skin on the body is a rapid loss of weight or aging, and sometimes both. Over time, the elasticity of your skin weakens, particularly if you don’t take care of your skin. Therefore, when the fat that has been stretching out and supporting your skin is suddenly gone, the skin has nowhere to go, so it hangs loose against our body. As we age, there is also less collagen production to keep our skin taut and toned. Pregnant women often experience loose skin following the birth of their child, as that skin has been stretched out for nine months, and is then suddenly allowed to “deflate”.

It is important to remember that excessive weight loss may result in loose skin that simply cannot be treated without some sort of procedure to remove it. The home remedies and strategies laid out in this article are for relatively minor cases of loose skin. [7]

Home Remedies for Loose Skin after Weight Loss

In addition to the behavioral, dietary and lifestyle changes outlined above to eliminate the appearance of loose skin after weight loss, there are also quite a few effective home remedies, including the use of honey, almond oil, aloe vera, egg white, lemon juice and cinnamon, just to name a few.

Almond Oil

For people who are trying to eliminate small amounts of loose skin and keep them tight and toned, using antioxidant-rich remedies is a good choice. These have anti-aging qualities that will tighten skin, promote cell growth and make the skin look and feel younger. [8]

Aloe Vera

If you are suffering from any type of skin condition, aloe vera can help, including loose and sagging skin. The antioxidants and active ingredients, such as malic acid, can increase elasticity of the skin, while the soothing and anti-inflammatory properties can improve healing speed and likelihood of oxidative stress. [9]

Egg Whites

This remedy is particularly effective for sagging or loose neck skin, which can often happen after weight loss. Blend an egg white and 1 teaspoon of yogurt into a cream and then apply it directly to the loose skin. This works as a natural astringent, and also delivers certain lipids to the skin that can strengthen and rejuvenate it.


You can blend 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, forming a paste or thick cream. The active ingredients in cinnamon can penetrate the skin and stimulate the production of collagen in the affected cells, speeding up the tightening process and preventing oxidative stress on those areas of skin. [10]

Lemon Juice

This home remedy works in two ways to counter loose skin after weight loss; the high vitamin C content is essential in the production of collagen, while the astringent nature of this citrus juice can keep the skin tight and improve its appearance.


As one of the densest sources of nutrients in our diet, this rejuvenating, antioxidant, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory substance can definitely help with loose skin. You can also mix the honey with an astringent substance to help it tighten your skin even more! [11]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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