Increasing Skin Elasticity

If you’ve noticed that your skin is not as firm and that it doesn’t have that “bounce back” it used to – you’re not alone. Losing skin elasticity is a natural part of aging. Loss of skin elasticity is called Elastosis and signs of this include skin looking weathered, crinkly or saggy. While age is the key driver of the condition there are also some lifestyle and environmental factors that can increase the loss of elasticity. They include: sun exposure, air pollution, poor nutrition and smoking.

Now for the good news, there are things that can be done to improve your skins clarity, tone and texture. Let’s get into it!

Natural Options

  • Witch Hazel Extract – Witch Hazel acts as an astringent and causes your skin tissues to contract and shrink pores. It also has a soothing effect that helps to relieve inflammation. The astringent properties can also help to minimize acne-causing bacteria from infecting your skin thus improving your overall skin condition.
  • Cocoa Flavanols – If you love dark chocolate, your in luck! In a 12 week study, those who drank a high-flavanol cocoa were found to have improved blood flow to their skin which in turn increased skin thickness and improved skin hydration. Thicker and more moisturized skin helps to improve elasticity. Along with skin improvement, cocoa products such as dark chocolate and cocoa beverages are known to have many additional health benefits. If you want to check out the blind test study here are the details.
  • Face Yoga – There is evidence that facial exercises help to improve skin condition and elasticity. The theory of face yoga is that when you do the exercises consistently you are stimulating and building the muscles in the face which can help maintain contours, elasticity, and even make you look years younger. I must admit, I tried some of the exercises but just didn’t stick with it. To me, it seems logical that is should work. If you want to know what the specific exercises are, check here for more details.

Chemical Options

  • Collagen Supplements – Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. There is evidence that collagen peptides help to slow the aging as well as nourish/moisturize skin. If you want to read more on the studies and details, see more from healthline
  • Retinol & Retinoids – Retinol can seem confusing but it’s simply another name for vitamin A. Retinoid is the name of a chemical compound related to vitamin A. When retinol and other retinoids come into contact with your skin, enzymes in your body convert the retinol into retinoic acid, which helps to stimulate collagen and elastin production. Retinoids can also help to improve skin hyperpigmentation, and help skin stay hydrated and glowing without irritation. Retinol items can also treat and prevent everything from stubborn cystic acne, eczema and sun-induced wrinkles and dark spots. As always, we recommend you try something milder first. If you try over the counter products first, you can see how your skin reacts and minimize costs. There are some amazing drug store options. Top drugstore Retinoid creams include Olay, ROC and Neutrogena. For a full list check here. If you seek something stronger you can visit your dermatologist for a more potent prescription.
  • Hyaluranic Acid – Roughly half of the hyaluronic acid in your body is present in your skin, where it binds to water to help retain moisture. As we age, skin can lose it’s ability retain moisture so adding Hyaluanic Acid to your regime can improve elasticity, diminish fine lines and plump the skin. I recently read about L’oreal Revitalift with 10% Pure Glycolic Acid and have been using it for about a week. I notice an immediate difference to my skin texture and friends have begun commenting. It works by contracting and sloughing top layers of the skin. So far, my sensitive skin is responding well. I do recommend trying this product if your seeking firmer, more even, younger looking skin.

Physician Treatments

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy – HRT has been shown to increase epidermal hydration, skin elasticity, skin thickness, and also reduces skin wrinkles. Hormone replacement can be very helpful in stimulating collagen which in turn increases vascularization. It should be noted that HRT is an estrogen so it’s important to work with your doctor on the right option. More details on HRT can be found here. 
  • Laser Treatments – Laser skin tightening treatment uses a laser or an infrared light source that is targeted directly onto the skin to stimulate collagen production. The laser effects the top layer of the skin and causes it to contract. This process helps the skin to tighten and improves the overall appearance. There are three types of laser treatment – Ultrasound, Radio Frequency or  Radiofrequency Microneedling. With laser treatment, the skin is heated to deeper levels in order to increase the production of collagen.  One of the benefits of these treatments is that most of them do not require downtime but you do need several treatments.
  • Chemical Peels – Chemical peels cause the old and damaged skin to peel off thereby revealing cleaner, clearer skin with uniform tones. Chemical peels tighten the skin by stimulating new fresh collagen. New collagen reduces the look of fine wrinkles and large pores. Much like the other treatments for skin elasticity, there are additional benefits such as minimizing age spots, reducing fine lines, acne/acne scarring as well as dark patches (melasma).

In summary, improving skin elasticity is all about increasing new collagen growth while tightening facial muscles. If you want a more complete list of options to improve your skin elasticity then check out health line.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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