Do you feel like your skin literally just doesn’t bounce back the way it used to? Skin is naturally pretty stretchy thanks to skin elasticity, but it can lose this ability over time.
“If your skin elasticity is struggling, LED therapy can be a key part of restoring a youthful-looking complexion.”
While there are a few factors that can cause loss of skin elasticity, there are at least as many ways to support elasticity. Here are some of my top tips on how to support elasticity through skincare.
What Is Skin Elasticity?
Skin elasticity is what allows your skin to stretch without breaking. For example, if you pinch the skin on the back of your hand and release it, skin elasticity is what helps your skin snap back to its original shape.
Elasticity is composed of two main elements: collagen and elastin.
Collagen is a protein that resides in the dermis and epidermis. This protein acts as an infrastructure of sorts and is responsible for helping your skin hold its shape. This helps your skin feel firm and look younger.
Elastin is also a protein located in the dermis and epidermis, but it behaves a bit differently from collagen. Elastin is 1,000 times more stretchy than collagen and helps your skin stretch and easily snap back into place.
These are the two main components of elasticity, but a third element called hyaluronic acid greatly supports collagen and elastin.Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that acts as a humectant, working to attract and hold water in your skin cells. This helps your skin look plump and feel firm.
What Causes Loss of Skin Elasticity?
As time goes on, you can lose elasticity in your connective tissue through elastosis. When your skin cannot recover from physical stress, you can start to form wrinkles. Even further, your skin may appear to sag as you lose collagen and the support it brings.
To bring back lost elasticity, it’s important to first note what causes loss of elasticity in the first place. Here are some of the main factors.
Loss of skin elasticity is a natural part of the skin aging process. As you age, elastin and collagen production both slow down, and your skin loses its hyaluronic acid stores. This is why the aging process can result in the appearance of sagging skin.
The loss of elasticity due to aging typically affects the delicate under-eye area first, which is why wrinkles and fine lines often appear in this area first. This is partly due to aging and partly because the older you are, the more you are exposed to other factors that can cause loss of skin elasticity.
You may already know that sun damage is closely related to premature aging, but did you know that this is mostly because sun damage affects skin elasticity?
UVA rays are responsible for aging, and they can penetrate your skin much deeper than UVB rays can. UV rays can damage your skin cells and cause damage to collagen fibers, which in turn causes your skin cells to produce more elastin to pick up the slack.
Excess elastin causes your cells to produce extra metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that are supposed to repair collagen. However, under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, these metalloproteinases can actually degrade collagen. This causes your skin to be rebuilt incorrectly following sun damage, and this often shows up as premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.
Lifestyle and Environment
Other lifestyle and environmental factors can affect skin elasticity. For instance, heavy smoking can affect skin elasticity and cause premature skin aging.
This is also true of air pollution and dry environments. While there’s not much you can do about the environmental stressors, you can use skincare products to support your skin if you are exposed to these stressors.
What Are Some Skin Products To Support Skin Elasticity?
Whether you’ve noticed less skin elasticity or just want to support your current skin elasticity, here are some of my favorite products.
Dry skin is a huge factor in dwindling skin elasticity. Dry skin is typically a mark of low hyaluronic acid, although it could also indicate that your skin is having a hard time in a dry environment.
One way to address this issue is to incorporate a moisturizer or lotion into your daily routine that makes use of humectants and occlusives. Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin can supplement your skin’s natural hydration mechanism and help prevent dehydrated skin.
In the meantime, occlusives are moisturizing ingredients that create a seal over the surface of your skin. This helps out humectant ingredients by sealing moisture against your skin for maximum hydration.
One of the big causes of loss of elasticity is sun damage. To help prevent sun damage, I recommend wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day and reapplying every two hours.
Whenever you anticipate extended sun exposure, dermatologists recommend additional sun protection like sun-safe clothing, which helps to shield your skin from UVA and UVB rays. It’s a small change to your skincare routine, but incorporating SPF into your daily routine can do wonders for skin health.
Retinol and Retinoids
Retinoids are skincare ingredients that are derived from vitamin A. Although many retinoids are too potent for over-the-counter (OTC) products, retinol is an exception.
Retinol helps combat visible signs of aging by resurfacing your skin to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This ingredient can also help give the appearance of healthy skin by stimulating collagen production. This new collagen combined with blood vessel stimulation helps sagging skin firm up and appear younger.
I recommend my Retinol Reform. This award-winning and cruelty-free formula combines the powers of retinol with the brightening abilities of lactic acid for a truly transformative nightly serum.
Vitamin C is known in dermatology as l-ascorbic acid, and it can help support your skin cell health.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, and incorporating topicalvitamin C into your daily routine can help support your skin’s ability to stay healthy during and after exposure to irritants and stressors.
I love Pro-Heal Serum Advance by iS Clinical. This vitamin C serum also includes a botanical form of Vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin E, which helps to soothe irritation.
If you see a dermatologist or esthetician for skin elasticity concerns, they may present you with a range of options that include chemical peels, dermal fillers, botox, laser treatments, microneedling, and LED light therapy. While these options can help with elasticity, LED light therapy shows promising results.
For instance, my Déesse PRO LED Light Mask has three settings that can do everything from resolve pigment problems to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. Specifically, red light can stimulate collagen production and help increase elasticity.
Skin elasticity is a collective term that refers to collagen and elastin and their combined ability to help your skin retain its shape. Loss of elasticity can result in signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, as well as the appearance of sagging skin.
Factors like aging, sun damage, and environmental factors can contribute to loss of elasticity, but certain skincare products like moisturizers, sunscreen, retinol, vitamin C, and even LED masks can help your skin regain some of its youthful appearance. If you aren’t sure where to start, we recommend scheduling a virtual consultation with one of my skincare experts so that we can help you put together a skincare routine that will address your skincare needs.