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How to Tighten Skin on Legs

Kristina Cadwell  
May 25, 2023  

Skin loses its natural elasticity over time, causing it to sag and wrinkle. No body part is left unaffected, but loose skin on the legs can be particularly frustrating, especially when summer comes.

This problem affects both men and women and can take a toll on one’s self-confidence. Luckily, there are effective methods to reduce or prevent wrinkly, saggy skin and restore some of its firmness.

This article explains how to tighten the skin on the legs through lifestyle changes, skin products, and treatments.

How to tighten skin on legs.

What Causes Loose Skin on the Legs?

The dominant factors linked to loose skin on the legs include:

  • Aging – Levels of collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for maintaining skin elasticity, decline as we age. As a result, the skin becomes lax and wrinkly in all areas, including the legs.
  • Genetics – Some people are genetically predisposed to premature aging. They develop fine lines, wrinkles, or sagging skin faster than others, requiring preventive skincare treatments.
  • Sun damage – Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can further accelerate collagen breakdown and slow down its production. Prolonged exposure also damages elastin fibers. Consequently, the skin loses its ability to stretch and retract to its original shape.
  • Weight loss – Sudden or unexpected weight loss often results in wrinkly, sagging skin. Overstretched skin cannot shrink in proportion to lost fat tissue, creating excess, loose skin on all parts of the body.
  • Pregnancy – The skin on the legs can expand during pregnancy due to weight gain, hormonal changes, or swelling. After childbirth, the skin starts firming up gradually. However, some women require postpartum skin-tightening treatments to remove excess loose skin on the legs.
  • Lack of muscle tone – Strong, well-toned muscles support the skin, making it taut, firm, and supple. Underdeveloped muscles create a saggy look, with loose skin on the thighs and calves.

Note: Discover the benefits of collagen for the skin and learn how to restore it.

5 Ways to Tighten Skin on Legs

It is possible to achieve tighter skin on the legs with the following five approaches. Use them in tandem rather than separately to achieve optimal results.

1. Exercise

Physical activity promotes skin tightening on the legs through several different mechanisms:

  • Mid-intensity workout stimulates collagen production, enhancing skin elasticity and resilience.
  • Exercise improves blood circulation, feeding the skin cells with oxygen and nutrients necessary for regeneration.
  • Strength training grows leg muscles, replacing fat pads with toned muscles to achieve a firmer look.
  • Working out promotes lymphatic drainage, helping the body remove built-up waste to restore healthy, fresh-looking skin.

Note: Learn about lymphatic drainage massage, how it can tighten the skin and what are its multiple benefits for the entire body.

2. Nutrition

A balanced diet promotes all-around skin tightness. Nutrients that play a crucial role in collagen synthesis include vitamin C, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and copper.

High-protein foods are vital for skin health as they contain the amino acids that produce collagen – glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. A diet rich in antioxidants protects the skin from the damage caused by free radicals and contributes to tighter skin.

Promote collagen production by including the following nutrients in your diet:

  • Vitamin C – Citrus fruit, strawberries, bell peppers, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, avocado oil.
  • Amino acids – Bone broth, meat, gelatin, fish, dairy, legumes, cabbage, asparagus.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Salmon, mackerel, tuna, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans.
  • Zinc – Beef, pork, shellfish, legumes, oats, tofu, hemp seeds, nuts, whole grains.
  • Copper – Shiitake mushrooms, oysters, cashew nuts, beef liver, leafy greens, salmon.
  • Protein – Meat, eggs, poultry, fish, soy, legumes, dairy.
  • Antioxidants – Berries, nuts, dark chocolate, kale, cabbage, spinach, beets.

Note: IV therapy for skin glow can reverse vitamin and mineral deficiencies to enhance skin radiance.

3. Non-Invasive Treatments

using non-invasive treatments to tighten skin on legs

Different non-surgical treatments can prevent or slow down the loss of skin elasticity on the legs. These low-risk procedures provide significant skin-tightening effects and require minimal downtime.

  • PDO threading – This is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that involves the use of biodegradable, absorbable polydioxanone (PDO) threads. The provider inserts the sutures to stimulate collagen production, creating an immediate lifting effect with long-lasting results.
  • Microneedling – This skin rejuvenation treatment is an FDA-approved cosmetic procedure that involves the use of thin needles that puncture the surface of the skin to induce collagen production. The microneedling pen makes tiny holes, initiating the natural healing process that leaves the skin smoother and tighter.
  • Sculptra – This dermal filler can restore the skin’s youthful appearance, remove cellulite, and improve skin quality. Its active ingredient is an absorbable injectable poly-L-lactic acid that restores volume by inducing gradual collagen formation.
  • Laser Resurfacing – This method involves a laser device that heats different skin layers to promote collagen production. The non-ablative procedure is less invasive, encouraging cell turnover without peeling the skin’s top layer. The ablative laser treatment removes the skin’s outer layer (epidermis) to heat the underlying layer (dermis) for a skin-tightening effect.
  • CoolTone – This muscle-toning treatment targets the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It strengthens and firms these muscles through electromagnetic pulses, stimulating “supramaximal” contraction and producing a well-toned, chiseled look.
  • Sofwave – This is a new non-invasive cosmetic procedure that utilizes advanced ultrasound technology. It generates heat in the mid-dermis layer of the skin to enhance collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic production, thereby firming up the skin, improving its elasticity, and treating cellulite.

Note: Sofwave is typically used to treat the skin on the face and neck. However, Vibrant Vitality Clinic also uses Sofwave for leg skin tightening. If you are interested in getting Sofwave treatment in the Phoenix area and want to learn more about the procedure, don't hesitate to contact us.

4. Over-the-Counter Products

Create a healthy skincare routine with OTC products containing collagen-friendly components: retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants, probiotics, and botanical extracts. Look for these ingredients in topical creams, serums, sunscreen lotions, as well as nutritional supplements.

Our skin experts at Vibrant Skin Bar recommend the following over-the-counter products:

  • Alastin Skincare TransFORM Body Treatment – Its unique formulation enhances the skin’s natural elastic properties. It can be a great addition to CoolSculpting aftercare, as it accelerates the skin-tightening effects of the procedure.
  • Elevate – This collagen supplement increases ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production, a natural substance that strengthens and hydrates the skin, restoring its elasticity.
  • sunbetter SHEER SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion – This sunscreen product maintains collagen integrity by reducing the penetration of damaging UV rays. It enables the skin to preserve its firmness by minimizing the harmful effects of photoaging.
  • Osmosis MD Renew Advanced Retinal Serum – This collagen-boosting serum is packed with 9 collagen stimulators and 7 antioxidants. Its high concentration of vitamin A and peptides provide powerful skin-tightening results.

Note: Learn about the importance of using antioxidants for skin care.

5. Surgery

Most patients tighten the skin on their legs without resorting to more drastic measures. However, if none of the non-invasive treatments produce satisfactory long-term results, surgery remains the best solution.

A leg and thigh lift, also known as “thighplasty”, targets excess skin on the buttocks and inner thighs. This surgical procedure reduces loose skin, cellulite, and sagging fat tissue, reshaping the contours and improving leg symmetry. Consult a board-certified surgeon to determine whether you are the right candidate for thighplasty.

Note: If you have loose skin on your legs, chances are you have it on your arms too. Learn how to tighten loose skin on arms via lifestyle changes, over-the-counter products, and treatments.


You can promote collagen growth and firm up the skin on the legs through different approaches. An experienced dermatologist will recommend collagen-based supplements, skincare products, or treatments depending on the extent of your skin laxity and desired outcome.

Reach out to Vibrant Vitality Clinic, a team of experienced professionals, to find a suitable skin-tightening method and achieve a youthful look.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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