Last updated: June 15, 2020

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Over time, our skin takes a beating from the sun, weight fluctuations, air pollution, the natural effects of aging and more; causing undesired wrinkles and saggy skin. Luckily, these days you can easily find lotions specially made to plump and tighten the skin, restoring its natural vibrancy. Whether for the belly, legs, arms or butt, skin tightening creams have become a major ally in combating weathered and worn-out skin.

Not only do these products help increase the physical tightness of the skin, but they leave the skin feeling fresh, rejuvenated and healthy. This guide was created to give you all the information you need about these wonderful products. For your convenience, we’ve made sure to include the best products on the market as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions among buyers.

Key Facts

  • Skin tightening creams, used in combination with exercise and a proper diet, can visibly reduce signs of wrinkles and sagging skin.
  • The main active ingredients within skin tightening creams are vitamins A, B and C, proteins like elastin and collagen, as well as other nutrients naturally found in the skin.
  • To find the skin tightening cream that will provide you with the best results, it’s important to consider factors such as your age, type of skin and which skin are you want to improve.

Our Selection of the Best Skin Tightening Creams on The U.S Market

In just minutes, you can give your skin the proper treatment and care it needs to maintain its youthful look and slow down all signs of aging and degeneration. Incorporating firming creams into your beauty routine is easy and guaranteed to provide lasting results. Listed below are some of the best firming creams we’ve found on the market, as well as their individual characteristics.

The Best Tightening Cream For The Lowest Price

This 3 pack of hydrating, firming lotion by Nivea will improve the skin’s elasticity in as little as two weeks. It includes Q12 and shea butter, which leaves the skin feeling softer and smoother. This lotion helps with conditions like cellulite, dry skin, toning and more. This formula from Nivea is dermatologically tested and approved to provide lasting results. Each bottle comes with 9 fl oz. of hydrating lotion at a very affordable price.

The Best Firming Cream for Cellulite

With new plant stem cell technology, this LegTone Serum tightens the skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite in just 9 minutes. Clinically tested, it’s been shown to provide a 72% reduction in the appearance of cellulite over a 6 week period. This cream contains 23 different organic essential oils. This formula is free of parabens, drugs and is completely safe and effective, providing a smoother and healthier look for the skin with continued use.

The Best Firming Cream for Very Dry Skin

Amazon’s choice for top firming creams, Eucerins Advanced Repair Lotion delivers 48 hours of intense moisture for skin that looks and feels immediately hydrated. A dermatologist-recommended brand, it strengthens the skin’s outer barrier to lock in moisture. This lotion is fragrance and dye-free. It’s a breakthrough lotion that helps prevent dryness from recurring to give you smoother, firmer and healthier skin. Each bottle comes with an easy to pump nozzle.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Skin Tightening Creams

Similarly to other creams and face lotions, skin tightening creams help keep the skin stay hydrated and healthy, resisting the effects of time and external stressors. However, firming creams are specially formulated to restore the smoothness and elasticity in the skin from whatever cause. In this section, we cover all the main characteristics and things to know about these products.

log legs girl

Skin tightening creams are made specifically to tone and firm up the skin.
(Source: Puhhha: 60240778/ 123rf.com)

What are skin tightening creams exactly?

Firming creams are responsible for toning and smoothing out the skin, supporting collagen production and reducing flaccidity. These lotions promote the natural elasticity of the skin by acting directly on the tissues of the body. Elastin, a protein present in the body’s tissues, is responsible for the firmness of our skin.

Over time, the body loses its ability to produce elastin efficiently, resulting in wrinkled and sagging skin. While these creams support the body’s natural regeneration processes within the dermis, they are no magic solutions. Alongside these products, it’s important to instill healthy habits and good nutrition to guarantee the best-looking skin.

What are the benefits of using skin tightening creams?

Because these creams work directly on the elastic fibers of the dermis and epidermis, they not only improve the look of the skin but they also strengthen the layers of connecting fibers within it; truly restoring and repairing the inner and outer protective layers of our skin.

Most firming creams are multi-use, suitable for various parts of the body. With one product you can effectively treat and soothe the skin on your neck, arms, abdomen, legs and more. These creams leave your skin feeling light, hydrated, smooth and radiant.

When should I start using a skin tighetning cream?

The degeneration of the skin can occur for multiple reasons; whether it be from pregnancy, rapid weight loss or the passing of time. Because of this, there is no strict age requirement that dictates when you should or shouldn’t start using one of these products.

The moment you notice signs of aging or a weakening in the top layers of your skin, you can start incorporating skin tightening creams into your beauty routine. Whether it be crows feet, cellulite, stretch marks, “sagging” body parts or cracking skin, applying a firming cream daily will immediately work to reverse the damage done to the cells of the skin.

Woman's tan legs riding a bicycle over modern building backgroun

When shopping for a skin tightening cream, make sure to consider its components.
(Source: Andrew Poplavsky: 86278287/123rf.com)

What are the most common active ingredients found in skin tightening creams?

All the benefits of these creams come from the active regenerating components found in their formulas. A number of proteins naturally found within the skin, such as collagen and elastin, are infused into the creams directly to reboot and refill the body’s natural supplies. Often, vitamins A, B, and C are included to provide nourishment to the cells.

Hyaluronic acid, a common moisturizing ingredient that brings firmness to the skin, is almost always found in the top firming creams. Caffeine and green tea are common ingredients that provide antioxidant properties to endow the skin with protection against free radicals and external hazards.

What parts of the body can I apply firming creams on?

Unless indicated otherwise, firming creams are made to be used on any part of the body. However, they are particularly beneficial and commonly used on the thighs, arms, abdomen, butt and even the areas on and around the chest. While most firming creams can be used anywhere on the body, many companies have manufactured creams to specifically tackle certain areas of the body and certain types of skin.

Skin tightening creams made specifically for the face, for example, are designed to treat the fine lines and wrinkles that appear on this fragile skin, while others are made especially for the hands. At the end of the day, they are all essentially the same, but the care for one area of the body can vary their formulations slightly.

naked legs girls

When the skin begins to lose firmnes, it is due to a decrease of elastin and collagen.
(Source: Roman Samborskyi: 117002138/ 123rf.com)

How should skin tightening creams be applied?

Although seemingly simple, take a quick look at our list of tips on how to properly apply firming cream to the various parts of the body. In all cases and for optimum results, one should always prepare the skin by cleansing, exfoliating and drying the area before application.

  • For the belly, it’s best to apply the cream in a gentle, circular motion until the cream has been completely absorbed.
  • When applying on the thighs and arms, massage the lotion up the leg or arm until it’s completely absorbed.
  • Using small amounts of cream will yield the best results, as the skin cannot absorb large amounts of product all at once.

Are firming creams really effective?

Flaccidity appears in the skin when the production of elastin and collagen, the two elements in charge of the skin’s firmness and flexibility, is reduced. From the age of 30, cell regeneration begins to slow down and the skin starts to age. The purpose of firming creams is to slow this process down and, to the best of its ability, reverse its effects. Consistency is key if you want to achieve the best results.

Applying these products daily is your best bet against fighting the degeneration of skin tissues. In some cases, it may take several weeks for the effects to show. Make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions on the label, as different creams can have varying regimens for proper use. It’s also a good idea to try and alternate different products. Everyone’s skin is different, and a product that works wonders on one person could have undesired results on someone else.

Young woman holding orange

Skin tightening creams help combat the results of aging and skin flaccidity.
(Source: belchonock: 98014404/ 123rf.com)

Purchase Criteria

These days, everyone desires young-looking skin. If not for aesthetic reasons, treating your skin with firming lotions can work to keep it healthy and resilient against the environment. With all the different kinds of skin and all the different products offered in the U.S. market, it can be hard to know which product is best for you. Below, we’ve listed the main purchase criteria to take into consideration when looking for the perfect skin firming lotion.

Ingredients

The most important thing to research when purchasing a skin tightening cream is its formula and what ingredients it contains. For the best results, it’s best to purchase a cream that contains either elastin, collagen or both. As mentioned before, ingredients like vitamin A, B, C, and E are great to help with regeneration, moisturization and bring antioxidant fighting power.

Hyaluronic acid is one of the most sought after and promoted ingredients in skin cells due to its ability to noticeably firm and smooth the skin. Centella Asiatica is another sought after ingredient that favors blood circulation, which helps bring fresh nutrients to the skin cells via the blood. Other components that also offer antioxidant properties include green tea, citrus, and caffeine.

Treatment Zone

While not always crucial, finding firming cream for the area of the body you want to treat can provide you with better results. Firming creams are often very versatile and can be used on any area of the body. However, for more sensitive areas such as the face and hands, it may be useful to search for specially formulated lotions that also treat fine lines, dryness and cracked skin.

Other extra difficult areas such as the thighs, arms and buttocks may need extra powerful formulas to combat flaccid and loose skin. There are many firming creams made especially for mothers with stretch marks, skin damaged by the sun, those with scars and more. Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to consult your dermatologist or physician for advice.

Treatment zone Application
Belly Apply via a circular movement with the palm of the hand around the navel.
Thighs Massage in an ascending fashion from the knee to the groin.
Arms Massage upward from elbow to armpit.
Bust Semicircular massage towards the armpit.
Face Extend on forehead, cheekbones, and chin via an upward motion.

Results

Skin tightening creams have a very specific goal, to tone, restore and firm the skin. However, as the years go by, we continue to find 2 or 3 in 1 lotion on the market that adds other benefits to the skin. These days it’s easy to find lotions that not only restore the skin cells but treat cellulite, scars, peeling skin, redness, eczema and other unsightly skin conditions.

In addition to firming agents, most creams include ingredients that moisturize, provide antioxidants or even fat burning components. Many creams work deep within the tissue of the cells to work from the inside out, enhancing circulation, rebuilding the tissue and decreasing the appearance of external damage by heightening the bodies ability to restore.

Mode of Application

With these products, consistency is key. Depending on the product, you may need to apply the cream once, twice or three times a day. Some manufacturers recommend that you apply the cream in the morning, while others suggest applying the cream before bed for the effects to set in overnight.

Always follow the instructions on the label and apply the cream accordingly. Although it may seem trivial, the movements you use to apply the cream can not only affect how it is absorbed but can either stress or calm the skin, influencing its overall reaction. Massaging in gentle, circular motions until the cream is absorbed is generally the best way to apply any cream or lotion.

Packaging

Ideally, the cream you buy should have an easy to dispense top. This not only keeps the area around you clean but controls how much cream comes out at once. Because the skin can only absorb so much at one time, applying copious amounts of cream is not only futile but can clog the pores of the skin.

It’s also important to keep in mind how often you’ll be using the product you’ve bought. If you don’t expect to use it in the first few months after opening, it’s best not to buy a large bottle. The beneficial properties of active components can degrade and lose effectiveness. Most creams come in sizes of 200 to 400 ml. Make sure you choose a size based on how often you are going to use it.

Summary

Whether due to pregnancy, weight loss, aging, smoking or poor diet, at one time or another everyone’s skin will slowly become weaker and lose its firmness. However, thanks to firming lotions and skin tightening creams, we can work to restore, tone and slow the damaging effects that life can have on our dermis and epidermis.

Finding the perfect firming lotion will come down to knowing your desired components within the formula, the area of the body you wish to treat and specific skin conditions you may have. Taking care of your skin is done both internally and externally. With the proper healthy habits and the right skin tightening cream, your skin will feel and look better.

Did you like our shopping guide? Feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts or share this article on social media.

(Featured Image Source: Sborisov: 38180611/123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Charlotte Steward Beauty Expert & Cosmetologist
Charlotte became interested in the subject of beauty at an early age. It is her passion to improve the beauty industry. She now has her own small beauty salon and many regular customers who appreciate Charlotte's expertise.