Loss of elasticity is a natural byproduct of aging.
Fortunately, it’s not inevitable. You can increase your skin's elasticity with the right lifestyle habits, an effective skincare routine, and targeted in-office treatments.
This guide from Nourishing Biologicals explains everything you need to know about increasing skin elasticity.
What Is Skin Elasticity?
Elastin is a protein that gives the skin its elasticity. In other words, it makes the skin tight, resilient, and smooth.
Along with collagen, elastin plays a determining role in the skin’s structure. But while collagen gives the skin a supple appearance, elastin is responsible for skin firmness.
Elastin is 1,000 times more flexible than collagen, which means that it can stretch and snap back into place like a rubber band. The more elastin you have in your skin, the more resilient the skin is. However, when elastin gets damaged, the skin can begin to sag.
Why Does the Skin Become Less Elastic?
Elastin begins to decrease sometime in your late 20s, leading to a loss of skin elasticity. It’s a natural side effect of the aging process — which is, unfortunately, out of our control. However, some things we do can make our elastin degrade quicker.
Essentially, anything that damages skin cells can lead to the loss of elastin fibers. This includes excessive sun exposure, air pollution, poor nutrition, smoking, and stress. In addition, gaining and losing weight too quickly can also make the skin less elastic.
Fortunately, some ways to make skin more resilient are through lifestyle changes, topical skincare products, and cosmetic treatments.
Keep reading to discover ways to increase skin elasticity and support healthy skin.
What Are Some Lifestyle Changes To Increase Skin Elasticity?
Lifestyle changes simultaneously prevent elastin degradation while also promoting plumpness.
Here are some evidence-based lifestyle changes that can boost elasticity.
Use Sun Protection
The sun is responsible for up to 80% of skin aging, a lengthy process involving elastin and collagen degradation. If you only do one thing for your skin, it should be this: prevent sun damage.
This is not to say that you should avoid the sun completely. After all, a little sun can help you to make vitamin D — which is crucial for health. But after you get your daily vitamin D, extra time in the sun only results in skin damage.
How much sunscreen you need can, to an extent, depend on your skin type. Those with fair skin may start to experience sun damage after just five minutes of sun exposure.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is when the skin repairs itself. Staying up late, using your phone at nighttime, and sleeping in a noisy environment can all interfere with getting high-quality sleep. The result? Your skin’s ability to repair itself becomes impaired.
Poor sleep can also increase inflammation, which can directly break down elastin in the skin.
To get adequate sleep, avoid blue light before sleep, as this can interfere with your circadian rhythm. In addition, make sure that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet at all times.
Stress creates high levels of cortisol in the body. If too much of it gets released over time, it can cause a breakdown of elastin in the skin.
Managing your stress levels isn’t only one of the best things you can do for your skin and overall health.
Everyone’s stress management routine looks different. You can try a meditation practice, consider taking adaptogenic herbs, or take frequent walks in nature. The important thing is to be consistent with reducing the ill effects of stress on your body.
Cut Out Sugar
When you eat sweets, sugar molecules attach to specific proteins in the body and produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs) — harmful free radical molecules that can prematurely damage your current elastin stores.
What’s worse, if a high-sugar diet is combined with sun exposure, it can multiply the degradation of elastin.
Eat More Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals, molecules that cause damage at the DNA level.
Eating a diet full of plants can help you get the antioxidants you need. As a rule of thumb, eat produce at every meal and keep your diet as colorful as possible. Green tea is also rich in antioxidants and has various potential health benefits.
As if you need another reason to quit the habit, know that smoking can significantly speed up skin aging. Cigarettes are full of toxins that reduce circulation, impair the skin’s repair process, and degrade elastin in the skin. In addition, smoking can reduce estrogen levels, which is a hormone that keeps the skin firm.
Take Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements are notorious for their ability to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.
One study shows that collagen — in conjunction with vitamin C and maqui berry — can also support skin elasticity. Moreover, the results were visible after only one month of supplementation.
Take Genistein Isoflavones
Genistein isoflavones are compounds found in soy. They are considered phytoestrogens, which are compounds that mimic estrogen’s effects on the body. One study found that taking genistein isoflavones can improve skin elasticity.
However, this supplement has been studied in women with limited estrogen production, such as those going through menopause. As such, checking with your doctor before taking genistein isoflavones is important.
What Are Some Skincare Products To Increase Skin Elasticity?
Some skincare products have been clinically shown to improve skin elasticity.
Of course, sticking to a consistent skincare routine is incredibly important. The results may not be immediate, but they will show themselves over time.
Here are some of the skincare products known for boosting skin elasticity.
Keeping the skin well-moisturized is one of the most important ways to keep it elastic. In addition, when the skin is properly moisturized, it’s better able to repair itself.
Of course, any old moisturizer won’t do. Instead, look for active ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin, and essential fatty acids — which are clinically proven to increase moisture.
At Nourishing Biologicals, we are also fans of plant-derived moisturizers. You can find nourishing jojoba seed oil, avocado seed oil, and shea butter in our Moisturizing Body Lotion.
Hyaluronic acid is a water-attracting molecule that’s naturally found in the body. However, our hyaluronic acid stores can gradually deplete with age and certain lifestyle factors.
Fortunately, topical hyaluronic acid can help to replenish some of this molecule. In addition, applying it to the surface of the skin can help draw in water, giving it a smooth and supple appearance.
Hyaluronic acid is a favorite active ingredient at Nourishing Biologicals, and you can find it in our Miracular Face Serum.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that has been shown to boost natural collagen production. One review also found that retinol can support elastin production, leading to greater skin elasticity.
However, retinol makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, so it should only be used at night — and washed off in the morning.
Growth factors are molecules derived from human, animal, or plant cells. They can stimulate various cellular processes, including cell growth. They may also promote elastin production.
Because growth factors have a large molecular size, it can be hard for them to penetrate the skin. This is why they’re best when combined with procedures such as microneedling, which can make the skin more absorbent.
What Procedures Can Increase Skin Elasticity?
Healthy lifestyle behaviors combined with an effective skincare routine can go a long way in preserving and even increasing your skin’s elastin stores. However, we may experience a noticeable loss of elastin, which requires a more powerful solution.
In-office procedures — which a dermatologist typically performs — can be of help here.
Here are some popular procedures that can increase skin elasticity.
Some chemical peels, such as glycolic acid, can help to stimulate elastin production in the skin. As a bonus, chemical peels can also reduce wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and acne.
Also known as collagen induction therapy, this procedure uses hundreds of microscopic needles to puncture the skin. This stimulates the skin’s natural repair process, cranking up collagen and elastin production — for tighter, firmer skin.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection
Platelet-rich plasma is a powerful substance derived from (typically) the patient’s own blood. Injecting it directly into the skin may stimulate elastin production and increase skin firmness.
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy uses a device that sends red light waves to the skin. Red light therapy can reduce inflammation, promoting the skin’s natural healing process. It may also help with collagen and elastin production, leading to firmer skin.
There are various laser therapies on the market which work in a similar way: By sending focused light deep into the skin tissue. This can improve cell function and help the body to produce more elastin.
Youthful Skin With Nourishing Biologicals
Younger-looking skin is possible with increased elastin production. By following healthy lifestyle factors, adopting an effective skincare routine, and coming in for in-office procedures, you can develop tighter and firmer skin.
Discover products from Nourishing Biologicals to support your most youthful-looking skin.