At some point or another, we all will look in the mirror and realize that our skin is not the same as it used to be. Wrinkles, creases, and expression lines tend to be the first signs that tell us that our skin is losing elasticity. Age tends to be the main culprit of loose and crepey skin, but there are other reasons why your skin is aging faster than it is supposed to.
If you have been wondering if collagen-enhancing creams might help you get back some of your skin’s elasticity and help you slow down the aging process you need to keep reading. On this guide we will help you find out your skin’s true age, what collagen actually is and why is it important, and what to look for in a tightening cream.
Table Of Contents
- 1 The Skin Elasticity Test
- 2 Why Does Skin Lose It’s Elasticity?
- 3 Pro-Collagen Creams
- 4 Improving Skin Elasticity Naturally
- 5 Conclusion
The Skin Elasticity Test
A great – and free – way to figure out if your skin is losing its natural elasticity is to do this quick and easy skin elasticity test:
- Rest your non-dominant hand comfortably on a hard surface with the palm facing down.
- Use your index and thumb to pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for five seconds.
- Release and count how long the skin took to return to its place completely.
|Expected Time To Return (Seconds)
What Do These Results Mean?
Collagen and elastin fibers hold together your skin layers, keeping them strong and well connected. However, as we age, our body stops producing as much collagen and elastin as it did before, so eventually, they begin to break down.
This is a natural aging process and everybody will eventually lose some elasticity on their skin, however, if you are 30 and have the skin turgor of a 60-year-old, there may be other factors that are contributing to your premature skin sag.
Some doctors also use this test as a quick method to assess if a patient is dehydrated. If your skin is taking too long to go back to its normal shape, then you may be exhibiting some signs of dehydration. If this is the case, try to increase your water intake and keep your skin moisturized to help your body lock in its liquids.
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Why Does Skin Lose It’s Elasticity?
We talked about what the natural aging process does to your skin, but what if you are still in your thirties or forties and your skin is quickly thinning out and becoming saggy? In that case some lifestyle choices may be to blame.
At this point you may have realized that the sun can be your skin’s #1 enemy. Yes, we all love to look like we just came back from our beach vacation, but constant sun exposure can really damage your skin.
UV rays are a major cause of skin damage and accelerate your skin’s aging process. A clinical study that looked at sun exposure among nearly 300 women, found that exposure to UV rays was indeed responsible for about 80% of the visible aging signs.
When you expose your skin to UV radiation for prolonged periods of time, your skin’s natural reaction is to overproduce an abnormal amount of elastin, which in turn causes collagen to break down, causing wrinkles and sagging.
If you are a smoker and needed another reason to quit smoking, here it is: smoking severely damages your skin and will make it age a lot faster than people of your same age who don’t smoke.
Research has suggested that by the age of 30 smokers will already show signs of aging such as lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. The good news is that the premature aging can slow down as soon as you stop smoking; it has been shown that current smokers have more severe wrinkling than past smokers.
One of the main causes of decreased skin turgor is dehydration. By the time we reach adulthood, our bodies are about 60% water, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that depleting your body of water will have consequences.
When your skin is dehydrated you will notice that it will start to get flaky, loose, and wrinkled. The good news is that keeping your skin hydrated from the inside out (by drinking water and moisturizing) can help replenish those liquids that it desperately needs.
Unfortunately, as we age our estrogen levels begin to plummet. Estrogen increases glycosaminoglycans (GaGs), which together with elastin and collagen is another one of your skin’s vital components.
GaGs, also called amino sugars are substances that fill up the space between elastin and collagen. There are several types of GaGs, and some of the most common include keratin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, heparin, etc.
Some women going through menopause decide to use skin care products such as creams and serums containing hyaluronic acid, which retains over 800 times its molecular weight in water, making it a great alternative for hydrating your skin.
Creams and lotions are great noninvasive remedies for helping your skin recover some of its elasticity. You can find these creams marketed as collagen-enhancing creams or as tightening lotions. There are many skin care products that will help firm up your skin when used that work consistently by boosting your collagen production and stopping collagen break down.
What Is Collagen?
You already know that the natural aging process, excessive sun exposure and other lifestyle factors can break down collagen in your skin, and now you may be wondering what exactly collagen is?
Your skin is mostly made up of collagen; in fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Aside from your skin, your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments need collagen to hold cells together, acting as a natural “glue” for your bones and muscles.
When taken orally or used directly on the skin as a cream, serum or lotion, collagen will improve your skin’s elasticity and even reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines on your face.
Do Pro-Collagen Creams Work?
Creams are not miracles in a jar, so while you shouldn’t expect the same results that you would get with an invasive cosmetic procedure, they can give you great results. Dermatologists suggest that many of the ingredients of anti aging and other skin care products can bring noticeable results when used regularly.
What To Look For In A Collagen Enhancing Cream?
Collagen enhancing products work by boosting collagen production in your body, which will fill out some of the spaces between the layers of your skin. There are many types of collagen, but type 1 is the most important one for your skin’s elasticity.
When looking for a collagen skin care product, make sure that type 1 collagen is part of its ingredients. Also, look for collagen creams that work together with other wrinkle-fighting compounds such as hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
Collagen needs vitamin C in order to form properly, so collagen-vitamin C combination creams or serums are great options when it comes to improving skin elasticity.
Improving Skin Elasticity Naturally
If you are looking to bring some elasticity back into your skin the best thing you can do is pair your skin care regime with a few lifestyle changes. These are some steps you can take to naturally improve your skin’s elasticity and give your collaging enhancing cream a better chance of working.
If you recently lost a lot of weight, the chances are that you have sagging skin. This happens when your body loses fat too quickly without giving your skin a chance to shrink back. In this case, the best noninvasive method for firming up skin is exercising regularly. Working out will increase your circulation and collagen production and make your cells work more effectively.
As you know, exposing your skin to the sun causes a lot of damage, so wear sunscreen and if you are going to be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time try wearing a hat that provides shade to your face.
A good night sleep will help your skin restore, giving it a change to fight free radicals, increase collagen production, and allow your creams and serums to work better. Adults 26 to 64 years of age are recommended to sleep for 7 to 9 hours.
Too much refined sugar creates molecules in your bloodstream that contribute to collagen and elastin break down, so switch the candy bar for a handful of strawberries or other fruits high in vitamin C.
A healthy and nutritious diet can do wonders for your skin, and you can help your body by eating foods that help you boost your collagen and elastin production, such as salmon, avocado, cabbage, and red fruits and veggies such as strawberries, radishes, and rhubarb.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to improve skin elasticity. The great news is that making your skin look better and get some of its natural elasticity back is possible without invasive procedures or surgeries. It is possible to keep your skin looking young and healthy when you are well into your sixties and seventies with a combination of lifestyle choices and collagen-rich skin care products.
Remember that the sun is not your friend when it comes to your skin’s health, so always wear sunscreen. This applies even if you are not planning on staying in the sun for too long, and remember to pack a hat or something to cover your face if you are planning to have some fun in the sun to prevent premature wrinkles and lines. For more information on collagen enhancing creams read our guide for anti-aging creams.