We’ve got our skin’s elasticity to thank for plump, glowing skin. While it’s completely natural for elasticity to reduce over time, there are ways we can naturally slow down this process.
What Is Skin Elasticity?
Skin elasticity is the skin’s ability to stretch and go back to its original shape, and it’s often associated with our skin’s vitality. Finding more or deepened wrinkles, loss of firmness, and less bounciness in our complexion is a sign of losing skin elasticity, also known as Elastosis.
Sitting in the middle of our three skin layers is the dermis, which contains two kinds of proteins; collagen and elastin. These proteins are found in the skin layer’s connective tissues and are responsible for providing structure to our skin and its ability to stretch.
How it changes over time
Skin elasticity is at its highest when we’re young and slowly decreases as we age due to hormonal changes, a loss in our ability to heal, and even gravity.
Research has shown that the production of collagen starts to decline in your late teens or early 20’s, decreasing by about 1-2% each year. As we age, the loss of elasticity may start to become more noticeable, particularly in women during their first five years following menopause, where they experience a 30% drop in collagen.
Although men and women tend to lose collagen at the same rate, the rate you lose collagen varies greatly depending on your genetics and lifestyle.
Causes for Loss of Skin Elasticity
Often referred to as Solar Elastosis, overexposure to UV rays without adequate use of SPF reduces the skin’s elasticity and causes premature skin aging. When UV rays hit the cells in the dermis, they damage collagen and elastin proteins, as well as stimulate the production of abnormal elastin fibres.
If you haven’t already, start implementing what people are now calling the most effective anti-aging skincare product - broad spectrum sunscreen. Incorporating broad spectrum sunscreen into your skin routine filters both UVA and UVB rays, which contribute to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Sleep & stress
When our bodies are sleep-deprived they respond by releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. The inflammation that cortisol generates in our body, including our skin, can lead to redness, irritation and wrinkles. During this state of inflammation, collagen and elastin can’t function properly and therefore contributes to a reduction in our skin’s elasticity.
It’s easy to forget how much of an impact diet has on our entire body. It’s important to remember that the food we eat contributes to the rejuvenation of new cells and the replacement of damaged/dead cells. So, be sure to limit foods that are high in refined sugars, deep-fried and highly processed, as this can weaken collagen and elastin as well as speed up premature ageing.
4 Easy Ways to Improve Skin Elasticity
Beyond improving the skin’s elasticity, the following tips will help prevent further damage to your skin.
Nutrition & hydration
To produce collagen, we need enough quantities of essential amino acids (ones that our body can’t produce) which are found in protein-rich foods. To boost our skin’s elasticity, aim to include foods that are:
- Rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, E, and zinc
- Have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
- Foods such as fatty fish, bone broth, almonds, berries, cocoa, and turmeric are beneficial.
Drinking half of our body weight in pounds of water is a good general rule. The source matters, so make sure it's of the best quality as this will affect the balance of minerals and electrolytes inside and outside our cells.
Getting enough beauty sleep
Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep and aiming for a significant portion before midnight, is what we’d call true beauty and restorative sleep. The longer we stay up, we increase the risk of disrupting our circadian rhythm which ends in the production of cortisol - the stress hormone we don’t want around as the by-product of an inadequate sleeping habit.
Exercise is a very effective way to reduce inflammation in our body - and remember during this state collagen and elastin won’t function properly. Although there’s no complete clarity on how exercise reverses aging and other skin damage, there is significant evidence to see the immensely positive effect that exercise has on our skin and overall health.
When it comes to skin treatments there are endless possibilities that range in price, frequency and effectiveness. Some of these include:
- Prescription Skincare - prescription-strength active ingredients are one of the most effective ways to increase collagen and elastin production. A consistent skincare routine is very important to maintain optimally healthy skin.
- LED lights - red and infrared light sources stimulate collagen and elastin production, prevent its breakdown, and are a noninvasive technique for maintaining a healthy inflammatory response.
- Microneedling - when done correctly, this method is highly effective in promoting the skin’s reparative process and therefore, elasticity.
- Microcurrent and nanocurrent facials - often compared to a “gym session” for the facial muscles, this technique stimulates muscles using gentle and non-painful electric currents.
Whether you’re looking to add the perfect products to your skincare routine, treat a specific concern, or are interested to find out if medical grade and prescription skincare is the right option for you, The Secret is here to begin this next part of your journey by your side. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please contact us online.