When you first start learning about skin care and skin care products, the words collagen and elastin come up often. And you start to understand that having enough of both of these are essential to youthful looking skin. In fact, they work together in order to make your skin strong, firm, and keep its shape. So when you don’t have enough, your skin starts to crack, sag, and loosen. Skin damage and aging can affect how much collagen and elastin is produced.
We’ll be focusing on elastin in this article. However, it is good to learn a bit about the two together, as they work together to make your skin look young. Both collagen and elastin are proteins, however there is more collagen throughout your body. Collagen sort of like the glue that holds your muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, and other tissues together.
On the other hand, elastin gives your skin, as well as other body tissues, an elastic quality. It’s the main protein that makes your skin bounce back into shape. And it’s often compared to a rubber band. Like collagen, elastin is found throughout the body. The arteries, lungs, intestines, and your skin all have considerable amounts of elastin. Which makes sense, as all of these organs are highly movable. And they all seems to snap back into their original shape.
Facts About Elastin:
- Almost all of your elastin develops in childhood. Adults tissue typically won’t be able to produce elastin.
- 50% of elastic ligaments, 40% of the aorta, and only about 3% of your skin is made of elastin.
- Elastin deficiencies can cause problems in the blood vessels and lungs. Both atherosclerosis and emphysema are elastin deficient diseases.
- Elastin loss can also affect hair follicles, causing you to lose hair as well.
- Elastin supports wound and tissue healing.
How Does Elastin Affect The Appearance Of Skin?
Aging, UV damage, pollution, smoking, and other factors control how much elastin is being produced. And as time goes on, the elastin begins to lose its ability to bounce back. When a rubber band is stretched over and over again, it loses its ability to retain its original form. And just like that rubber band, your skin undergoes this gradual transformation, too. The elastin loses its resilience, so the skin starts to sag. And this especially happens where skin is thinnest or most prone to gravity. Around the eyes, the jawline, and the neck usually look worse than other areas of the skin.
You can easily test how your skin is aging by seeing how long it takes for your skin to snap back into shape. Using the back of your hand, pinch and pull your skin away. Young or youthful skin will bounce back almost immediately. And older skin takes a bit longer to go back into place. It’s just a matter of how much elastin is in your skin, and how healthy that elastin is.
How To Improve Elastin Quality
Many anti-aging creams will contain collagen molecules to help boost collagen production. But we don’t often see elastin boosting ingredients. The fact is, there isn’t much research done on elastin. However, there is speculation that the following approaches may help:
- Retinoic Acid – Also known as Retin A, tretinoin, and Renova, this ingredient may help stimulate elastin synthesis in the skin.
- Topical Tropoelastin – Tropoelastin is make makes up elastin. And applying it topically may improve the lifespan of your elastin.
- Ethocyn – The reason why ethocyn is a great option is because the molecules of this compound are small enough to penetrate into the dermis. And it increases synthesis of elastin to make you look younger.
More research must be done to be sure that these approaches are valid. However, there are many products available that claim they can increase or even improve elastin health. Also going the route of improving collagen production may help elastin to stay strong and healthy.