Skin elasticity is something that we take for granted in our youth. It’s not until skin aging begins and our skin starts to lose that natural firmness that we really pay attention to elasticity. Fortunately, no matter where you may be at in the skin aging process, skin elasticity is something that can usually be improved. Read on to learn how.
What is Skin Elasticity?
The term “skin elasticity” refers to how elastic your skin is. Think of it like a rubber band – when it stretches, it bounces back.
Skin elasticity is dependent on two main proteins that the skin naturally produces; collagen and elastin. These can be found in your skin’s connective tissue. Both of these proteins give the skin its stretchiness and bounciness in its early years.
However, as your skin ages, collagen and elastin levels start to decline. Not only does natural elastin and collagen production slow down, but the existing protein fibers that are already in your skin degrade. This is a process known as elastosis.
This leads to a loss of the skin’s elasticity, meaning looser skin that quickly takes on new fine lines and wrinkles.
What Causes the Loss of Skin Elasticity?
You already know that the loss of skin elasticity can be attributed to a lack of collagen and elastin in the skin. However, it isn’t just the aging process that causes this decline – there are several lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to this too, such as:
- Sun exposure
- An imbalanced diet
Fortunately, not only are there several ways in which you can prevent the protein fibers in your skin from degrading, but there are also steps that you can take to rebuild the collagen and elastin in your skin.
How to Improve Skin Elasticity
There are two main areas to focus on if you want to improve skin elasticity; your skincare routine and your lifestyle choices. These are the changes that you should be making:
Changes to Make in Your Skin Care Routine
Hopefully, you already have a skincare routine, but, if you don’t, now is the time to start. However, in addition to all of the basics (ie. a cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer), you’ll need to take a few extra steps…
Start Using Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that’s most commonly used to add moisture to the skin. However, it can also work wonders when it comes to skin elasticity.
Research has found that regular use of hyaluronic acid can improve skin elasticity by up to 20%. In addition to enjoying that extra firmness, data shows that using hyaluronic acid will also keep your skin looking plumper and better hydrated, which makes wrinkles and fine lines much less visible.
Use Ingredients That Boost Natural Elastin and Collagen Production
Since collagen and elastin are the proteins that are primarily responsible for skin elasticity, it only makes sense to try to keep these protein levels as topped up as possible. Although natural production may be declining in your skin, there are certain ingredients out there that can help to boost this back up.
Look for skin care products that contain the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Witch hazel extract
- Coenzyme Q10
In addition to being found in creams and serums, many of the above compounds are also used in facial peels. These will not only address your skin elasticity issues but will also help to speed up skin cell turnover and will aid as a wrinkle reducer.
Try Prescription Retinoids
Vitamin A is revered in the skin care industry for the way in which it stimulates collagen and elastin production. While over the counter forms of the vitamin are great, prescription retinoids offer vitamin A in much stronger concentrations, meaning deeper and more noticeable results.
These results are enhanced even further if vitamin C is used in combination with topical retinoids.
Be Diligent About Sun Protection
SPF is a must if you want to improve skin elasticity. The sun’s UV rays destroy your skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, with the effects of this building up over time.
SPF 30 is usually enough to keep your skin protected, so long as you use it throughout the year. Sun damage is just as much of a problem in the winter as it is in the summer.
If sunscreen is usually something that you struggle to remember, look for skin care products that already contain it, such as a face and body moisturizer formulated with SPF.
Consider Body Contouring Surgery
Weight loss, especially if this has been rapid, leads to a loss of skin elasticity on the body. There are a few cosmetic treatments out there that can help with this, but body contouring surgery is one of the most effective.
Although invasive, the way in which this surgical treatment removes excess skin and fat can quickly give you a tighter and smoother silhouette.
Lifestyle Changes for Keeping Your Skin Firm
Your lifestyle choices directly affect your skin. You probably already know what a healthy lifestyle consists of, but, when it comes to elasticity, this is what you need to be focusing on:
Cut Back on Sun Exposure
As mentioned, sunscreen is a must-have product for protecting your skin’s elasticity. However, you should also be taking additional steps to prevent sun damage.
During the hotter months of the year, stay in the shade as much as possible between 11 am and 4 pm – UV rays are at their most intense during these hours.
Protective accessories and clothing should also be worn to provide a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. Wrap-around sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat will shelter your face, while long and loose clothing will keep your body safe.
Add Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Your Diet
The foods that you eat have a huge impact on the health of your skin, and diet is closely linked to skin elasticity.
There are certain foods out there that not only strengthen the elastin and collagen fibers in your skin, but will also provide the nutrients needed for more of those proteins to be created. Look for foods that are rich in antioxidants to fight elasticity-damaging free radicals while supporting the skin.
Some of the best foods to eat to improve skin elasticity are:
- Leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach
- Foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, such as oily fish, nuts, and seeds
- Fruits and vegetables that have a naturally high amount of vitamins A and C, such as sweet potatoes and carrots
Cut Back on the Sugar
Sugar plays a big role in elastosis, causing your skin’s elasticity to decline. Cutting back on the amount of sugar that you consume will help to preserve and maintain skin elasticity.
Some sugars are far worse for your skin than others. High fructose corn syrup is one of the biggest culprits, especially since it’s often hidden in so many unexpected foods. When eating something that’s processed, always check the nutrition label to make sure that it doesn’t contain unnecessary sugars.
Look Into Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT isn’t for everyone, but it can be effective in treating declining skin elasticity caused by menopause.
There are a few different types of HRT treatments available, so speak to your doctor if you’re interested in learning more.
It won’t come as news to you that smoking is bad for your skin. After all, it’s detrimental to so many other aspects of your health too.
Tobacco smoke is extremely destructive to the skin’s protein fibers, leading to what is known as smoker’s elastosis.
Giving up cigarettes isn’t easy, but it’ll make such a difference to your skin. Have a look online to read up on tips for quitting this habit, along with ways in which you can reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Do More Exercise
One of the best lifestyle changes that you could make to boost skin elasticity on both your face and your body is to increase how much exercise you do. The way in which exercise speeds up skin cell metabolism stimulates collagen and elastin production, having an almost-instant effect on elasticity.
Although many gyms around the world have been closed due to Covid 19, there are still so many other ways in which you can keep active. From a simple evening walk to home workouts, the internet is full of great exercising tips.
Get More Beauty Sleep
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. The time during which you are sleeping is when your skin produces the most collagen and elastin.
While eight hours of sleep is usually recommended, quality matters just as much as quantity. Skin healing and regeneration only properly takes place when your body is in the deep sleep stage. For the best beauty sleep, make sure that you’re sleeping well, in addition to sleeping for long enough.
How long does it take for the skin to regain lost elasticity?
It takes at least four weeks, and sometimes as long as eight weeks, for the skin to produce new elastin and collagen fibers. This means that it will take at least one to two months for you to notice a difference in skin elasticity, but these results will then continue to improve if you consistently give your skin all it needs.
Can you really rebuild collagen in your skin?
Yes, you really can rebuild collagen in your skin, so long as you’re committed to using the right skincare products, picking the most effective treatment options, and making the best lifestyle choices.
Can sagging skin be reversed?
Yes, sagging skin can be reversed, but the extent to which this happens depends on the products that you use and the treatment choices you make. Topical skin creams and face peels are effective, but you may also need to consider a cosmetic treatment if you’re seeking fast and dramatic results.
Although a decline in skin elasticity may ultimately be inevitable as a person ages, there are so many things that you can do to keep wrinkles and loose skin at bay. Hopefully, the tips we’ve shared in this article have given you some ideas, but, if you’re looking for additional skin elasticity information, use your email address to sign up for our newsletter – we’ll keep you in the loop on all of the latest news, research, and products for fighting wrinkles and caring for your skin.