Skin Elasticity: What It Is And How To Keep Your Skin Firm

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Have you ever wondered what robs your skin of its youthful look with increasing age? It happens due to a loss of skin elasticity. If your skin has started to show signs of wrinkles and sagging, then it is an indication of decreasing elasticity. However, all hope is not lost! With a little bit of effort and patience, you can rejuvenate your skin and improve skin elasticity.

Wondering how you can regain the youthful look of your skin? There are several ways. Scroll down to learn all about them in detail. But first, let us understand what skin elasticity is and what causes your skin to lose it.

What Is Skin Elasticity? Why Is It Important?

Skin elasticity is the ability of your skin to bounce back when it is stretched. The loss of elasticity in your skin is known as elastosis (1).

Your skin can be broadly divided into three main layers. They are:

  • The outer layer or epidermis containing skin cells, proteins, and pigment (1).
  • The middle layer or dermis containing skin cells, oil glands, hair follicles, nerves, and blood vessels (1).
  • The inner layer or the subcutaneous layer containing blood vessels, sweat glands, fat, and hair follicles (1).

Apart from these, each skin layer also contains connective tissue. The connective tissue has collagen fibers that provide support and elastin fibers that grant strength and flexibility to your skin. With age, degeneration occurs in the connective tissue and leads to a decrease in the production of collagen (2). This, in turn, reduces the strength and elasticity of the skin (1).

Your skin needs to retain elasticity as it is this property that makes it appear smooth and youthful. When your skin begins to lose elasticity, it starts sagging, losing firmness, and forming fine lines and wrinkles (3). In other words, your skin begins to look aged, exhausted, and weather-beaten.

To protect your skin from loss of elasticity, you need to know what causes it in the first place.

What Causes Loss Of Skin Elasticity?

Aging is a natural process that impacts the skin in several ways, including a decrease in elasticity (4). But, age is not the only factor that leads to poor skin elasticity. Several other factors also contribute towards the reducing elasticity of the skin. These include environmental factors, hormonal changes, poor nutrition, smoking, genetic makeup, and pollution.

One of the major factors responsible for your skin losing elasticity is the sun. Yes, elastosis is more prominent in those areas of the skin that are more exposed to the sun. A loss of normal skin elasticity due to exposure to the sun is known as solar elastosis (1).

Find out at what age your skin starts losing elasticity in the next section.

At What Age Does Skin Lose Elasticity?

The decrease in skin elasticity increases with age. This means your skin loses its elasticity gradually over a period of time. In human beings, organs begin to age right from the time a person is born. Since skin is the largest organ in the human body, it follows the same rule. As a person gets old, the skin begins to show prominent signs of aging (5), (6).

Once you reach the age of 20, there is a decrease in the production of collagen in the dermis layer of your skin by about 1% every year. This results in brittle and inelastic skin that eventually leads to sagging and wrinkle formation. In your thirties, the fat cells begin to shrink as moisture transfer from the dermis layer to the epidermis layer slows down. This makes the skin appear thin and dull. When you are in your forties, your cells stop producing collagen. The elastin and collagen fibers become thick and stiff and break down, and your skin loses its elasticity. This causes the appearance of wrinkles and age lines. In your fifties, the skin becomes prone to bruises and damage. This happens as the skin turns dry due to the shrinkage of the sebaceous glands or oil glands. When you reach menopause, your estrogen levels decrease. This causes your skin to become thinner, drier, less toned, and extra sensitive (7).

Extrinsic aging is influenced by environmental factors that can be controlled. If left unchecked, extrinsic aging can cause huge collagen and elastin loss, leaving your skin rough, wrinkled, uneven in tone, and with reduced elasticity (7).

Now, you must be curious to know how to regain elasticity in the skin. Find out in the next section!

10 Natural Ways To Improve Or Restore Skin Elasticity

You can follow these simple tips to restore skin elasticity and maintain the beauty of your skin.

1. Reduce Stress

You need to keep your stress level under check to improve elasticity in the skin. As of now, it is not clear by what process stress affects skin aging. However, research has shown that it contributes to the aging of the skin and decreases its elasticity (8).

2. Get Enough Sleep

When you are sleep-deprived, it causes fine lines and uneven pigmentation to appear on your skin, along with reduced elasticity. So, for improving skin elasticity, make sure to get enough sleep every night (8).

3. Add Vitamin C To Your Diet

Vitamin C has antioxidant properties and can stimulate collagen synthesis. When you include vitamin C in your diet, it helps reduce wrinkles, improve skin appearance, decrease protein fiber damage, and reduce skin roughness (9), (10).

4. Exercise Regularly

The harmful activities of free radicals can cause your skin to age. By following a healthy lifestyle and indulging in physical exercise regularly, you can prevent the free radicals from impacting your skin (11).

5. Eat A Balanced Diet

A healthy, balanced diet can help to protect your skin and maintain your youthful appearance. Consume lots of fruits and vegetables, which are among the best things to include in a healthy diet (11).

6. Exfoliate Your Skin

With age, your skin loses its cell renewal ability. By regular exfoliation, you can remove the dead skin cells as well as increase the epidermal thickness of your skin. In other words, you can improve skin elasticity (12).

7. Use Raspberry Extract

Red raspberries contain plenty of antioxidant compounds. By using the extract of raspberry, you can protect your skin from several extrinsic damaging factors, including UV rays-induced skin photoaging. The extract serves as a protective barrier for the skin and allows cell regeneration and procollagen synthesis (13).

8. Keep Your Body Hydrated

An easy and effective way to maintain the healthy and youthful look of your skin is to drink plenty of water every day. When you drink water, it gets absorbed by the cells in your body and increases the elasticity of your skin (14).

9. Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is generally used to treat burns and wounds. But, you can also use aloe vera gel or extract to reduce facial wrinkles. Since it stimulates the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, aloe vera can increase your skin elasticity (15).

10. Drink Coffee

Drinking coffee regularly can protect your skin from oxidative stress-induced senescence (the process by which a cell ages and permanently stops dividing). This simple activity can protect your skin from aging-related disorders and abnormal aging (16). However, drink coffee in moderation as having too much caffeine is not good for your health.

Find out what foods improve skin elasticity in the next section.

What Foods Are Good For Skin Elasticity?

Your daily diet and nutrition can play a key role in keeping your skin healthy and prevent it from aging (17).

  • You can boost your skin elasticity by eating foods that are rich in total fat, monounsaturated fat, and saturated fat (18).
  • A diet enriched with green and yellow vegetables can help in reducing your wrinkles (18).
  • Food items that contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, B, C, and E  in high quantities are also beneficial for skin elasticity (11), (19).

Apart from eating a healthy diet, you must take other necessary steps to prevent your skin from suffering a loss of elasticity.

How To Prevent Loss Of Skin Elasticity?

Some of the lifestyle changes that you can adopt to prevent the loss of skin elasticity are as follows:

  • Limit Sun Exposure

When your skin is exposed to UV rays, it can do considerable damage to your skin in the form of premature aging, wrinkling, photoaging, dryness, and impaired pigmentation (20). You can use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your screen against damage from UV rays when stepping out in the sun. Sunglasses and wide-brim hats can offer you added protection (21).

  • Apply Moisturizer

If your skin lacks moisture, it loses the ability to repair itself. This can increase the risk of skin damage further. To prevent this from happening, you can use a good-quality moisturizer. It will help to keep your skin hydrated and supple (1).

  • Quit Smoking

Smoking tobacco can cause premature aging of the skin (22). It can also reduce the rate of collagen synthesis in your skin, making it prone to wrinkles and reduced elasticity (23). By giving up on smoking, you can protect your skin from further damage (24).

  • Check Alcohol Consumption

Consumption of alcohol is another factor that can cause facial aging. By limiting your alcohol consumption, you can delay the onset of the symptoms of skin aging (24). This will help you to prevent the loss of skin elasticity.

What can you do if your skin is already suffering from a loss of elasticity? How do you treat it? Find out in the next section.

Best Treatment For Skin Elasticity

There are several treatment options available for reversing or limiting the impact of skin aging and regaining skin elasticity. Here are a few of the treatment options:

  • Antioxidants

Antioxidant treatment or taking antioxidant supplements can help to build up the defense of your skin. They can help to neutralize the free radicals and enhance skin elasticity (5), (25).

  • Stem Cell Therapy

Transplantation of stem cells can contribute towards skin regeneration during aging. This treatment process can also improve skin volume and quality (5).

  • Retinoids

Topical application of retinoids can prevent the degradation of collagen. Retinoids can also help to increase epidermal thickness and slow down skin aging (5).

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for slowing down the aging process of the skin. HRT can improve skin elasticity, collagen content, and skin thickness (5).

Many people experience a loss in skin elasticity after losing weight. Find out more about it in the next section.

Skin Elasticity After Weight Loss

When you lose weight, the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin become thin and damaged. Since collagen is responsible for providing strength and firmness to your skin, the elasticity of your skin also suffers as a result of the collagen becoming less dense (26). You can improve the loss of elasticity in such skin by opting for proper treatment.

Now, let find out how to figure out if you have good skin elasticity.

How Do You Know If You Have Good Skin Elasticity?

Are you wondering how to figure out if you have good skin elasticity? You can carry out a simple test to find out:

  • Place one of your hands palm-down on a flat surface in a relaxed manner.
  • Pinch the skin on the back of your hand with your free hand and hold for five seconds.
  • Release your skin and count the seconds your skin takes to flatten out once more.

If your skin snaps back instantly, it indicates good elasticity. If it takes more than a few seconds, it means your skin elasticity is low.

In Conclusion

Your skin elasticity depends on your age. With time, your skin loses some of its ability to bounce back when stretched. While you may not be able to reverse or stop the loss of skin elasticity completely, you can delay the process. By following the simple tips mentioned above and making a few lifestyle changes, you can ensure that your skin does not lose its elasticity and remains firm and youthful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What food item should I avoid to prevent loss of skin elasticity?

Sugar is one of the most common food items that can lead to skin aging and a loss of skin elasticity. So, try to avoid including too much sugar in your diet (27).

Can you reverse sagging skin?

Yes, you may reverse sagging skin with proper treatment and by following a healthy lifestyle. But since it is a natural process, you may not be able to reverse it completely.

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Sources

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).