There are tons of skin care products on the market with varying claims of skin ‘firming’, ‘plumping’ and ‘lifting’. But the real question when it comes to improving the skin’s elasticity is - how much can a skin elasticity cream or serum actually do? To understand that, we need to understand more about what causes a loss of elasticity and what we can do about it -whether that’s through changing our lifestyle or using creams and serums with specific active ingredients. The only way to not get duped by skin care products claiming to work miracles is to know what actually works when it comes to elasticity.
So, what is skin elasticity?
First things first, skin elasticity is the thing that causes your skin to snap back into place when it’s stretched. Take your finger and gently pull the skin on your cheek. You’ll see when you let go, it moves back into position. This action, on a much smaller scale, is taking place all the time - when you smile, frown, speak and even blink. This elasticity is down to two proteins in your skin - collagen and elastin - that combined work to keep your skin looking plump and taut. Collagen and elastin give your skin its structure, its firming body and its bounce.
Why does your skin lose elasticity?
The main culprit when it comes to loss of elasticity is skin ageing. As you get older your skin naturally stores less of the collagen and elastin proteins, which means it loses some of its structure and capacity to bounce back, when it stretched. Your collagen and elastin production also slows, as does your cell renewal rate. Over time, this leads to wrinkles and lines and the appearance sagging skin.
Of course a loss of elasticity isn’t just a sign of ageing skin. External factors can also have an impact on your collagen and elastin stores. A big culprit is sun exposure and exposure to daily pollutants. This causes a chemical reaction that creates free radicals - these are atoms that are missing an electron, so try to borrow one from a healthy skin cell. The result is both cells becoming unstable and possible changes in the cell’s DNA, which can lead to destruction or even an increased risk of skin cancers. Collagen and elastin are often targeted by free radicals and so can lead to premature ageing of the skin.
How can I improve my skin’s elasticity?
The good news is that a loss of elasticity doesn’t have to just be accepted. You can work to treat the skin with active ingredients and top tips to stimulate elastin and collagen production, which in turn will work to tighten the skin both in the epidermis and dermis levels, and improve the appearance of your skin.
Which skin elasticity products actually work?
When it comes to choosing the right skin care products, it’s important to know that some products are more effective than others. There are a few ingredients that are the super-powers when it comes to boosting elastin and collagen production, repairing damaged skin and dealing with free radicals.
When it comes to ageing skin, one of the most talked about ingredients is this form of Vitamin A. It is a potent ingredient but has been scientifically proven to have great results, particularly for ageing skin. Retinol works to resurface and re-texturise your skin - so it is great for treating wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation, free radical damage and also promoting collagen and elastin production.
Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repairhas encapsulated retinol at 0.5% - meaning the retinol can effectively reach the deeper layers of skin and lock in moisture, without losing potency. It also has Vitamin C, Palmitoyl tripeptide 5 and taut peptide which all help to stimulate collagen production. It comes with a buffer cream to enable your skin to get used to the retinol.
At the same time as repairing and rebuilding the skin, you also need to focus on treating free radical damage. What neutralises free radicals? Antioxidants. Imagine a apple that is cut in two - left out to the air it will start to brown. When you put it in orange juice, this halts the oxidation process. That is similar to what an antioxidant does for your skin. Common antioxidants in skincare include Vitamin C and Vitamin E - both work to treat free radicals by giving an extra electron without losing stability, stopping the chain reaction and cell damage.
Medik8 Daily Radiance Vitamin C is a hydrating daily use cream with Vitamin C, E, Hyaluronic avid and UV protection. This lovely, light, hydrating moisturiser is really great for those that don't like too much layering with their skincare routine because of the added SPF protection.
A lot of ‘anti-ageing’ products have Hyaluronic acid - it is great for skin at every age. It can hold up a thousand times its weight in water and can penetrate deep into the skin’s layers, because of its small molecules. As we age, we can increasingly experience dehydration. This can leave the skin looking hollow and dull. Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and makes the skin appear plumper and healthier. That radiant skin glow we are all looking for isn’t just related to young skin - older people can have glowing skin when their skin is healthy and hydrated! You can find Hyaluronic acid in lots of skin care products for ageing skin and can also get serums with a higher concentration of this active ingredient for a hydration boost, ideal if you work in an office environment where central heating can suck out moisture from the skin.
Pestle and Mortar have a super popular daily use serum Pure Hyaluronic Serum. This is a lightweight Hyaluronic acid formula with added Vitamin E. It can be used as a moisture-boosting serum, a silky make-up primer or to provide a hydration boost on-the-go. The smooth concentrate targets fine lines, dullness and dehydration restoring a healthy glow, plumpness, and radiance.
Pure Hyaluronic SerumAward winning serumSkincare30ml: £39.00
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C, as we’ve already touched on earlier, works to improve collagen synthesis and production.
Medik8 Super C30 Intense is Medik8's highest strength vitamin C serum with added Vitamin E. Containing 30% Vitamin C in a highly stable formula, plus Vitamin E, turmeric root and botanical oils it has all the elements needed to provide a noticeably younger-looking, more radiant complexion.
Super C30 IntensePotent Vitamin C Antioxidant SerumSkincare30ml: £59.00
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 and is right up there with Retinol as an active ingredient that deals with resurfacing the skin and promoting cell renewal, which is great news for collagen and elastin production.
Niacinamide is one of the active ingredients in Dermalogica Age Bright Clearing Serum. Age Bright Clearing serum is a highly active serum that combines Salicylic acid and Niacinamide to exfoliate the skin, preventing breakouts and accelerating cell turnover to reduce signs of skin ageing.
AGE Bright Clearing Serumbrightening clearing serumSkincare30ml: £59.50
The unsung heroes of a lot of skin care products, peptides are made up of amino acids and are the building block of proteins. So getting the right peptides in your skin care products can help to boost collagen production by giving the skin the tools it needs to build more collagen and elastin - leading to elasticity.
Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serumhas a powerful peptide complex which helps the skin to repair and rebuild collagen and elastin as you sleep. This is when your skin is most active so is ideal to boost elasticity and plumpness protein production.
What else can I can do to promote skin elasticity?
Scientific studies have shown that smoking destroys your collagen and elastin stores and can decrease estrogen levels, slowing production down.
Choose the right foods
Foods that are high in Omega 3s and antioxidant vitamins and nutrients, like Vitamin A, C and E are great for promoting collagen production.
When you regularly exercise you increase your blood flow and oxygen levels in your blood, which helps to get the right nutrients into your skin.
Get enough sleep
As you sleep, your skin is at its most active, repairing and rebuilding itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, your skin is missing out on vital time to do all it needs to!
The main way to fight free radical damage is to stop it in the first place! That means wearing sunscreen even when it may not look sunny. We love Guinot Newhite Brightening Shield which acts as a primer, SPF and moisturiser all at once!
There are definitely things you can do to firm your skin but it all starts with understanding how your skin works. Once you know what causes a loss of elasticity, you know what ingredients will work, what foods will work and what really won’t work! Good retinol can be more expensive often, for example, but that’s the stuff that has the biggest impact on our skin’s elasticity, so you might decide it’s worth it, now you understand the difference it can make.
Want to know more about your skin?
At Jersey Beauty we’re passionate about skin education. Download our Ultimate Guide to Skincare for more information on overcoming loss of elasticity and loads more!