When we think about skin elasticity, we need to think about wrinkles. Loss of elasticity is a huge factor in wrinkle formation. Although wrinkles stem from damaged collagen fibers, when elastin fibers that support collagen are loosened, they will allow wrinkles to quickly set in.
Like Collagen, Elastin is a major structural protein naturally found in the human body. It is found in connective tissues in our skin, blood vessels, ligaments, lungs, and other areas that require elasticity to move.
Elastin and collagen work together to keep the skin healthy, but also serve different functions. Collagen provides strength and structure to the skin, making it plump and full, while Elastin gives your skin elasticity, allowing it to "bounce back" to its original shape after being stretched or pulled.
WHAT IS SKIN ELASTICITY?
Skin Elasticity is basically the skin's ability to change shape (stretch) and bounce back to the normal shape. This is called 'Skin Turgor'. If you gently pinch your skin on your cheeks or arm, you will see at which speed it returns to its original shape - if the skin is slow to bounce back, this could be a sign of dehydration or elasticity loss (Elastosis). Elastosis is the degradation of skin tissue due to aging and other factors, such as UV radiation. Solar Elastosis, which makes the skin appear yellowish and thickened, occurs in areas of the skin that have too much sun exposure.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GAGs - GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS
GAGs play a role in maintaining and supporting collagen production and skin elasticity, and keep skin proteins in balance. With their moisturizing properties, GAGs are essential to the metabolism of the epidermal and dermal cells. Copper peptides are affected by GAGs as well, which help repair wrinkles and scarring.
HOW DO WE PRESERVE OUR SKIN ELASTICITY AND PREVENT WRINKLE FORMATION?
1. Avoid inflammatory foods, such as sugar and processed carbohydrates that lead to 'End Glycation'. Instead, try plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans, which are especially rich in skin-supporting nutrients.
2. Avoid UV radiation.
3. Use Vitamin C - Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect against oxidative damage and plays a role in the production of Collagen, which helps keep skin firm and elastic. Particularly in topical applications, Vitamin C has been shown to decrease skin wrinkling and increase Collagen production.
4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
5. Take or eat foods high in antioxidants such as carotenoids, tocopherols, and flavonoids and Omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Two additional topical ingredients that will improve the GAG content in your skin are Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Hyaluronic acid.
7. Other notable skin care ingredients to look for are: Copper Peptides, Pycnogenol, Calendula Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen