FEB 18, 2023
Your body is always in motion, and whether you’re running, sitting, or smiling, your skin moves with every action. So what gives your skin the wonderful ability to stretch with your movements? The primary proteins that provide skin its elastic quality are elastin and collagen and it is their progressive decline that leads to loss of skin elasticity with age. While some loss of skin elasticity is a natural part of aging, there are steps you can take to slow the process down and restore elasticity.
What is meant by skin elasticity?
What is considered a good level of elasticity in skin?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, providing structural integrity and connecting cells together2. With collagen accounting for two-thirds of the dry weight of your skin, it’s no wonder that a reduction in this protein can lead to a loss of elasticity and skin firmness3.
Elastin is the protein that gives tissues and organs the ability to recoil – or bounce back – after stretching. This type of protein is called an extracellular matrix (ECM) protein. Heart valves, blood vessels, and skin all have elastin, allowing them to stretch and spring back to their original form4. Therefore, a reduction in elastin leads to skin creases and sagging.
Where are elastin and collagen most important?
- Epidermis: The epidermis is the outermost layer of your skin. This is the layer that is visible to you.
- Dermis: The middle layer of skin is called the dermis.
- Subcutis: The deepest layer of skin is called the subcutis (subcutaneous), which mainly contains fat cells and connective tissue.
Unlike the epidermis, the dermis is the thickest layer of skin. While most cells in the epidermis are keratinocytes, the dermis is composed primarily of ECM tissues. These long fibers – made of elastin and collagen – account for the skin’s tensile strength and elasticity. The ECM bundles throughout the dermis increase in size the deeper into the dermis you go. Because the dermis contains these highly structured ECM fibers, this layer supports the epidermis and distributes vital nutrients to the upper layers6.
Though the subcutaneous layer, also called the hypodermis, contains collagen, it’s also where most of the body’s fat is stored. This layer of fat helps regulate the body’s temperature and cushions bones and muscles. The collagen and elastin found in the subcutaneous layer serve as structural support but mainly to adhere the skin to the muscles and bones beneath it. So, while it may appear as if the epidermis causes creases and wrinkles, the lower layers of skin are the most impactful when it comes to skin structure.
What Causes Skin to Lose Its Elasticity?
UV Rays (sun exposure)
Other Causes of Poor Skin Elasticity
Other factors include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Weight loss
How Do I Know If I Have Poor Skin Elasticity?
The following are signs that you might be losing skin elasticity:
- Loss of firmness
- Loss of radiance
- Deep wrinkles
- Loose skin
At what age do you start to lose skin elasticity?
For women, however, the loss of skin elasticity accelerates after menopause1. And while it’s great that humans are living longer, this longevity means that women spend an increasingly larger portion of their lives in a postmenopausal state.
Estrogen is necessary for the development of collagen and elastin. Therefore, the steep decline in estrogen that occurs with menopause causes the skin to lose much of its elasticity. After the initial rapid loss of collagen in the first five years of menopause, women lose about 2% of their skin’s collagen every year for the next two decades14. Though menopause and skin changes can occur for women, men can also see a decline in elasticity later in life, typically due to sun exposure, dehydration, or aging. To keep skin supple and elastic throughout your life, it’s best to start caring for your skin in your earlier years.
Is It Possible to Restore Skin Elasticity?
- Avoid smoking
- Limit exposure to UV rays
- Remain hydrated
- Consume a healthy and varied diet
- Maintain a healthy weight for your body
How Can I Increase My Skin Elastin?
Laser treatments, often conducted in a physician or licensed esthetician’s office, can improve elasticity and encourage collagen production. Two of the most commonly-used laser treatments – non-ablative fractional laser (NAFL) and intense pulsed light therapy – are same-day treatments. Though effective, these aging skin treatments are costly and, sometimes, painful.
Skin topicals can be effective at improving skin tightening and smoothness. They’re also a much less invasive option than laser or hormone treatments. However, not all topicals are the same. Although many skin care topicals claim to increase elastin and improve skin firmness, some don’t contain effective ingredients, and if they do, many don’t penetrate deep enough into the skin to encourage elastin and collagen production. Because these proteins exist in large amounts beneath the first layer of skin, penetrating into the deeper skin layers is essential.
OneSkin’s Effect on Elasticity
OneSkin’s Topical Supplement for the face, OS-01 FACE, is clinically validated to improve skin elasticity in 90% of users, shown in a 12-week clinical study performed by a third-party contract research organization (CRO).
Additionally, OneSkin’s Topical Supplement for the eyes, OS-01 EYE, is scientifically proven to increase a key marker associated with collagen production, COL1A1 and decrease a key marker associated with collagen degradation, MMP1, in ex vivo human eyelid skin.
Finally, OneSkin’s Topical Supplement for the body, OS-01 BODY, has been scientifically proven to increase skin’s epidermal thickness in ex vivo human skin samples.
- Skin elasticity refers to your skin’s ability to bounce back after stretching.
- Loss of skin elasticity increases the risk of wrinkles, sagging, and creasing – all signs of aging skin.
- The two proteins responsible for maintaining skin elasticity are collagen and elastin, both of which decline with age, sun damage, and a variety of other factors.
- OneSkin’s OS-01 FACE, OS-01 EYE and OS-01 BODY encourage collagen and elastin production, resulting in healthier skin.