How to improve your skin's elasticity
Have you tested your skin's elasticity?
If you’re over the age of 25, chances are you’ve tried the ‘pinch test’. Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about - it’s the test of skin elasticity.
Take your thumb and finger and ‘pinch’ the skin on the top of your hand - if you’re lucky it’ll bounce back to shape pretty instantaneously…if it takes a while and remains stretched out and baggy looking for a few seconds, you could do with improving your skin’s elasticity.
But how? Here we look at the top tips on how to improve skin elasticity and keep that youthful bounce.
How to improve your skin's elasticity
Your skin is made up of three layers. Outermost is the epidermis. This is made mostly of ‘keratinocytes’ cells, made from the tough protein keratin - which is also the material in hair and nails.
The epidermis is bonded to a second, deeper skin layer known as the dermis. This is where collagen and elastin fibres lie and give the skin it’s strength and elasticity.
The skin’s base layer is the subcutis, which harbours a seam of fat acting as a fuel reserve - also insulating and cushioning the skin from bumps and knocks.
So for the purpose of skin elasticity - it is the deep dermis layer that we need to be interested in, as this is where the two main proteins associated with skin elasticity are found, collagen and elastin.
Unfortunately, as part of the natural ageing process, our collagen levels deplete and skin elasticity reduces. Although there is nothing we can do to stop the passage of time, we can improve our skin elasticity by tried and tested anti-ageing methods.
Skincare specialist Geraldine Walters of Advanced Skincare says: "Think of collagen and elastin in the skin as being like a trampoline. Collagen gives you strength and structure while elastin gives you bounce. They work synergistically and both proteins deteriorate with age - and lifestyle choices."
So here are our top 5 tips:
Pay attention to what you eat - Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, B, C and E will help to protect your skin from free-radical damage. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and ageing. This kind of diet will also increase your collagen production and therefore reverse the signs of ageing. Foods to look for with essential nutrients include salmon, dark green vegetables, almonds, walnuts, carrots, tomatoes, watermelon, sweet potato and green tea. An important nutrient is ‘betacarotene’ which is also said to help block free radicals linked to ageing.Additionally, taking a highly bioavailable marine collagen peptide will also increase collagen production and strengthen the skin. Geraldine of Advanced Skincare is a big fan of Absolute Collagen, and one of our approved stockists. She said:
“We advise a daily dose of Absolute Collagen for collagen production in the fibroblasts of the skin. Elastin fibres are very difficult to regenerate, so prevention is your first line of defence. Minimum SPF 30 to shield UVA and a diet rich in Vitamins A, C and E for antioxidants to mop up free radicals. Munch on amino acids such as soy. Elastin is mainly made of these building blocks.
“And for a truly non-invasive, proven and affordable treatment, red LED light is one of the best things for restoring that precious elastin. At the right wavelength, the light penetrates each cell. It boosts cell energy and the chemical structure. This restores the stretchiness of the elastin and makes your skin smoother, firmer and bouncier!"
- Have good topical skincare - Wearing a good moisturiser can also protect against free radical damage by limiting dehydration. If your skin becomes dehydrated, it cannot repair itself which will lead to further lasting damage. Try to use a cream which contains retinoids to re-stimulate cell production. And always use a rich night cream - as it when you sleep that your body, including your skin, does the most repairing. It is also said that essential oils camomile and neroli can improve skin elasticity. Camomile helps to smooth out any broken capillaries whilst neroli aids cell regeneration. Additionally, argan oil is said to improve skin elasticity too.
- Avoid too much sun - As mentioned, wear a sunscreen with SPF of at least factor 30 to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Sun damage is one of the main culprits for premature ageing. Even on cloudy, overcast British days the sun can still penetrate the skin and do damage. Always avoid full face to the sun when it is out, and always wear a good pair of UV protective sunglasses to protect the delicate skin around the eyes.
- Don’t smoke - Smoking cigarettes literally destroys the collagen and elastin you have in your skin, which are essential for keeping your skin firm. If you want to improve your skin’s elasticity - put down the cancer sticks - and the rest of your body will thank you for it too!
- Lose weight at a good pace - If you have an extreme weight loss - skin is unable to keep up and reduce at a collative rate. Make sure that you lose weight by exercising too - particularly taking upon some form of resistance training. This will build muscle and tone up your body, keeping the skin firm. However, most medical practitioners would agree that if you’ve had a major weight loss of 50 to 100 pounds or more, the excess, saggy skin will never regain it’s previous shape. The only way to rectify this would be by surgery - but make sure you visit an approved, registered practitioner for any cosmetic procedure.
So as you can see there are lots of ways in which we can improve our skin! However, if you are looking to do the bare minimum we would recommend taking your Absolute Collagen Daily Dose of Beauty or Daily Skincare ritual every day. With 8g of high grade hydrolysed marine collagen per 10g liquid dose, your skin will thank you for it! And drink lots of water - at least 8 glasses a day to keep the skin hydrated. You can start your Absolute Collagen journey here