How to Improve Skin Elasticity
Think about a baby's cheeks—they're full, firm and completely smooth. Those early days in our life are when our skin's elasticity is at its peak, but as time marches onward, we start to lose that youthful firmness. With loss of skin elasticity, we start seeing signs of aging, such as sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles and even larger looking pores.
Things like the sun's UV rays, environmental pollutants, lifestyle factors and the basic aging process all impact skin firmness, but there are steps we can take to maintain and improve elasticity. That includes wearing sunscreen every day, treating our body well and taking advantage of the right kinds of skin care products.
Eager to learn how to improve skin elasticity? Keep reading.
What is Skin Elasticity?
Put simply, skin elasticity is our skin's ability to stretch, move and revert back to its original position and shape. Collagen and elastin, which are found in the middle layer of your skin referred to as the "dermis," are two critical components of skin elasticity. Unfortunately, these proteins diminish drastically as we get older, which eventually leads to sagging and wrinkles.
What Causes a Loss of Skin Elasticity?
In addition to normal skin elasticity reduction caused by aging and genetics, certain lifestyle factors can expedite the aging process. These include:
- Exposure to the sun's UV rays, which ultimately damage skin cells and cause premature signs of aging.
- The free radicals from air pollution that surround us in the atmosphere and latch onto our skin, causing increased skin damage.
- Habits such as smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet.
15 Tips for Improving Skin Elasticity
While it's not possible to completely restore skin elasticity to its original state, there are lifestyle changes you can make, as well as skin care products and treatments that can help improve skin elasticity.
The everyday choices you make play a notable role in how your skin looks and feels. From the foods we eat to the environments we expose ourselves to, it's important to be mindful of what helps skin elasticity and what can damage it.
Eat an Antioxidant-Rich Diet
Antioxidants are your body's best defense against free radicals. Begin by adding more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet, such as berries, dark leafy greens like kale and broccoli and other brightly colored raw produce. Not only do these nutrient-dense foods help with skin health, but they're good for your overall well-being.
Avoid Excess Sugar
Those yummy sweets may be tempting, but like most things, they should be eaten in moderation. Excess sugar consumption is associated with an increase in premature aging. Essentially, glucose and fructose attach themselves to the amino acids present in your dermis's collagen and elastin, making it more difficult for them to self-repair.
You've probably heard it many times before, but it's worth repeating: Smoking wreaks havoc on your body. This includes your skin—not only can smoking create more wrinkles around your mouth, but nicotine can affect the blood vessels needed for healthy skin elasticity.
Get Quality Sleep
Yes, beauty sleep is a real thing. Consistently getting seven plus hours of sleep every night is necessary for your body to recover and regenerate. Studies have found a direct correlation between ongoing lack of sleep and a reduction of normal skin elasticity.
Move Your Body
Exercising regularly provides so many physical, mental and emotional health benefits. It has been linked to lower levels of stress and improved mood, as well as reduced likelihood of disease and a longer lifespan. On top of all that, regular exercise helps increase skin elasticity by boosting circulation, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to all layers of your skin.
Try Collagen Supplements
Supplements have become an increasingly popular way to replenish nutrients you might not be getting from foods. Though studies are still preliminary, some do indicate incremental benefits from consistent usage of collagen supplements. That said, if you want to know how to increase skin elasticity, it's best to take a holistic approach and follow all the suggestions listed here rather than just relying on supplements.
Skin Care Routine & Treatments
Along with adhering to the lifestyle habits above, here's how to increase skin elasticity with skin care products and treatments.
The sun is an important life source, but its powerful UV rays can damage your skin very quickly. To protect your skin, wear an SPF of at least 30 every day and reapply every two to four hours. Not only does this help improve skin elasticity, but it can prevent other premature signs of aging such as wrinkles, dark spots and hyper-pigmentation. Most importantly, sunscreen helps protect against skin cancer.
Retinoids are a mainstay in most anti-aging skin care routines. These products—which include over-the-counter retinol and retinaldehyde and prescription retinoic acid (tretinoin)—promote skin cell turnover and stimulate the production of collagen.
Keep Skin Hydrated
Keeping your skin hydrated via top-notch moisturizers and serums is crucial to skin health. For best results, use all three primary types of moisturizers. These include:
- Occlusives that seal in moisture.
- Emollients that soften skin and replenish moisture.
- Humectants that attract moisture to your skin (such as hyaluronic acid).
Also make sure you're drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated from the inside out.
If you're seeking a quick way to increase skin elasticity, consider having a professional treatment done. Completed in a clinical setting, these targeted, high-quality treatments can give your skin the boost it needs.
Chemical peels work by breaking down glue that holds dead skin cells together so they can be easily swept away. This reveals fresh, youthful skin underneath. Available in a variety of strengths, chemical peels also help stimulate new skin cells and encourage collagen production.
Laser treatments target the deeper layers of your skin to improve overall tone and texture. They can also stimulate collagen growth, tighten your skin and create a more even complexion.
Micro needling is another non-invasive skin care treatment in which many small needles puncture your skin. This process creates controlled wounds, which signals your body to create more collagen and elastin to heal the area. Some micro needling treatments are paired with other procedures that help with skin elasticity, such as radiofrequency and lasers.
Learning how to improve skin elasticity is a process that takes time. But with simple lifestyle changes, a consistent skin care regimen and professional treatments, you can slow the visible-aging clock and enjoy a more youthful appearance.