Both collagen and elastin are proteins in our skin. Collagen is a protein that structures and supports your skin, but elastin is about a thousand times more flexible, making it responsible for your skin’s ability to bounce back. Elastin is made of formed of peptides, fibroblasts, and amino acids, and, unlike collagen, it’s a super resilient protein that doesn’t start to degrade until we’re about 74 (!!). However, elastin does get weaker, and its changeability is what sets your skin in wrinkles and grooves over time. Both are also impacted by environmental stressors like UV exposure pollution. As we get older, our bodies produce less and less of each protein while damage accumulates, all leading to wrinkled, sagging skin.
WHAT INFLUENCES SKIN ELASTICITY?
Your skin starts to lose its natural elasticity as collagen levels start to deplete. There’s only so much we can do about the way our skin looks. Elasticity is influenced by genetics and lifestyle choices. Some things that may reduce one’s skin elasticity is excess UV exposure, as the free radicals created by UV light in pollution can damage the skin’s elasticity and collagen. Though we can’t do much about our genetics, we can prevent environmental factors from doing further damage to our collagen supply.
WHAT ARE NATURAL WAYS TO INCREASE SKIN ELASTICITY?
One of the crucial building blocks to healthy skin is—you guessed it—a healthy life. So while it may be annoying to hear me tell you to just drink water, there is some wisdom in the adage. Diet can also impact your skin.
Having a diet full of healthy fats like walnuts, salmon, avocado, and hemp seeds are great protective options to reduce the breakdown of one’s elastin. Other foods that may work as antioxidants like citrus foods can contribute significantly. Foods that are rich in vitamin C and amino acids can aid in increasing levels of hyaluronic acid and collagen.
WHAT INGREDIENTS HELP INCREASE SKIN ELASTICITY?
If you want to hold onto your collagen, the first rule is to never forget your sunscreen (the second rule is to never forget to reapply throughout the day).
For other nourishing, skin-plumping ingredients, peptides and retinol above all else. Peptide-containing creams can also stimulate both collagen and elastin. Retinol-containing products may also play a role in stimulating collagen and elastin.