Alexandra Engler

mbg Beauty Director

By Alexandra Engler

mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she’s held beauty roles at Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and

Three Pairs Of Legs on the beach

Image by Marco Govel / Stocksy

June 26, 2023

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There’s nothing uncommon about having textured skin anywhere on the body. I’ve had cellulite that runs up the back of my thighs since the second I hit puberty—and let me tell you, it is an ongoing journey to come to accept that it’s not going anywhere. (Sure, I can do things to temporarily reduce its appearance, which if I’m being honest I do, but it is simply the structure of my skin. So at some point I just need to accept it.) Knees may seem like a strange place to have aesthetic concerns, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase: Do my knees look old? 

So if you’ve found yourself reading this article because you too have felt self-conscious about the appearance of your knees, trust me: you are not alone, my friends. The most common issue folks experience in the area are crepey texture and sagging. 


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“Skin ‘crepiness’ is commonly used to describe aging skin that has lost elasticity, often with wrinkles,” board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and founder of Spectrum Skin and Laser, Jeremy Brauer, M.D. explained to us about crepey skin. The root cause is loss of collagen and elastin, which naturally happens with age, but it can be exacerbated by UV exposure, environmental stressors, skin barrier damage, and inflammation in the skin. 

So what can be done about it? Well, certainly there are steps to take—including the below. 

Protect your skin

There is nothing more proactive than sunscreen. Protecting your skin from UV damage will not only save your skin from serious skin diseases, but it will help your skin look younger for longer. Sun damage is the source of about 80% of visible signs of skin aging1.

Despite the reminders to use sunscreen every single day, surveys indicate that only 11% of Americans do so. And about half of Americans report they never wear sunscreen.  

Check out our favorite sunscreens here, should you need a restock. 

Use vitamin C & E

Vitamin C and E work together to support your body’s natural collagen production. Vitamin C is actually a critical part of the collagen synthesis process. (Your body literally cannot produce collagen without it.) But your body doesn’s produce it naturally. This means we need to look to external sources, like topicals. 

Vitamin E is an important player in this process, because it works synergistically with vitamin C to make the antioxidant more effective and help stabilize it.

“Certain antioxidants are synergistic,” says board-certified dermatologist Julia T. Hunter, M.D., founder of Wholistic Dermatology in Beverly Hills, about the ingredient. “They strengthen one another, regenerate one another, and last longer in the body, so they’re more available in the skin.”

You can look for body lotion that comes formulated with both vitamin C and E, or find natural sources such as mango seed butter. In mindbodygreen’s body cream, we use mango seed butter alongside organic aloe vera (a humectant that is also great for brightening), squalane (supports the barrier), and other antioxidant-rich botanicals.  


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Target with firming products

For an extra step, firming body products can help boost collagen production in the area. These are typically formulated with retinol or glycolic acid, both of which ingredients have research showing they improve collagen levels in the skin.  

Many of these top-rated firming body lotions have them as the active ingredient, should you want to try some out. 

However, these shouldn’t be used daily—as both can disrupt and damage the skin barrier when used in excess. I recommend using these once to thrice a week, and alternating with a hydrating body cream on the days in between. 

The takeaway

Crepey texture is very common at the knee area, but there are steps you can take to firm and tone the skin should you want to. Try them out if it will make you feel better, but don’t stress too much about it. Your knees do a lot for your body, after all.