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10 Steps to Supporting Healthy Skin Elasticity and Skin Tightening
By Jill Levy
July 25, 2023
Skin elasticity describes how well your skin stretches and bounces back to its normal texture. We associate elastic skin with a youthful appearance because it helps skin to look firmer, even, hydrated and plump.
At what age does skin stop being as elastic? It's not all in your head — your skin's texture can start to change in your mid-to-late 20s. Of course, the exact timing depends on factors like your skincare routine, level of sun exposure, diet, lifestyle and genetics.
A common question among adults who reach middle age and beyond is: How can I improve the elasticity in my skin? As explained below, your skin will benefit from habits like consuming collagen protein, drinking plenty of water, boosting your antioxidant intake, exfoliating and staying hydrated.
What causes loss of elasticity in skin? Underlying causes include:
Collagen degradation — Collagen is a structural protein that contributes to skin firmness, plus it also aids in the health of other connective tissues. Your body naturally makes less collagen starting in your late 20s or your 30s, which can contribute to changes in how your skin looks and feels.
Dehydration — which can contribute to dry, wrinkly and dull looking skin. It's important to learn how to hydrate your skin.
Sun damage — one of the main causes of issues like fine lines and wrinkles.
Now onto the real question: how to help improve skin elasticity and skin tightening? Are there supplements, foods and lifestyle changes that can you help bolster healthy skin tightening and elasticity? Most likely, yes. Here's how …
Healthy, elastic skin relies on collagen and elastin, two proteins that help skin to remain stretchy, firm and resilient. While it's possible to get collagen from traditionally made bone broth, it's not readily available in other food sources.
This is where collagen supplements come in: They make it easy to add more collagen to your everyday routine, supplying your body with the amino acids it needs to build and maintain healthy skin.
Try Ancient Nutrition's collagen formulas geared specifically towards skin health:
Multi Collagen Protein Beauty Within: This unique formula combines collagen with superfood ingredients such as phytonutrients that support overall skin health and skin elasticity. Consuming this collagen product daily can help improve the appearance of crow's feet after 28 days, and also contribute to hair thickness and growth while reducing hair breakage. Try our DIY beauty collagen drink that features
Multi Collagen Protein Beauty + Sleep Support Capsules: These convenient capsules help reduce collagen degradation with noticeable results. This formula supplies you with ingredients such as magnesium for sleep support, plus multiple types of collagen to support healthy skin, improve the appearance of crow's feet after 28 days, and promote healthy hair thickness.
While a well-rounded diet that provides many vitamins and minerals is best for maintaining skin health, certain vitamins are known to contribute to skin elasticity and tightening more than others. These include vitamin A (also called retinol), vitamin B3 (also called niacinamide) and vitamin C.
What do these vitamins do for your skin? They're useful for:
Fighting free radicals and oxidative stress, which contribute to signs of aging.
Supporting a healthy immune response and normal response to inflammation.
Aiding in a healthy skin barrier, which results in less irritation and sensitivity.
Supporting the normal turnover of skin cells, which helps skin to look bright and even.
What's the best way to add plenty of phytonutrients to your diet? Emphasize nutrient-rich plant foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, teas and algae.
Phyotnutrients in your diet help to promote healthy skin cells. You'll find them in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods including:
Other veggies such as broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and squash
Turmeric, ginger and other spices
Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, flaxseeds and chia seeds
Citrus fruits and tropical fruits, such as oranges and mango
Spirulina and other algae/sea veggies
In order to maintain soft, stretchy skin you need to keep yourself hydrated from the inside out. Water helps to plump your skin up and also contributes to detoxification and a healthy immune system. Meanwhile, dehydration can make your skin dry and lead to the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone.
Aim to drink about 8 glasses per day, although it's best to listen to your body and drink regularly so you're not thirsty. It's also a good idea to eat hydrating foods, especially on hot days.
Moisturizing is important for preventing too much water loss from the surface of your skin. This is especially true if you live in a dry or cold climate, such as during the windy, cool winter months. (It also can be part of a summer skin care plan.)
Look for a moisturizer with hydrating, plumping ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, shea butter and oils such as argan, marula and almond oils. Skip those with dry and irritating ingredients including alcohol, parabens, talc, phthalates and fragrances.
While some sun exposure is needed to help your body make enough vitamin D, too much damages the skin. Get about 10 to 20 minutes of sun on your bare skin most days of the week, when possible, then apply a mineral screen to help prevent signs of aging.
To help other skin care products penetrate your skin more effectively, exfoliate your skin about 1–2 times per week.
You can use a physical exfoliant such as a sugar or salt scrub, or a chemical exfoliant such as alpha hydroxy acids (including glycolic acid and lactic acid which help to clean out pores). Start slow so you don't irritate your skin, especially if you tend to be sensitive. Use gentle pressure, keep in mind that more exfoliating isn't always better, and always moisturize after exfoliating.
You can help boost circulation to your skin by massaging your face with your clean fingertips. This helps to support healthy blood flow and detoxification pathways, which may help your skin look less puffy or irritated.
Use gentle pressure and circular motions on clean, dry skin, especially around your eyes, cheek bones and jaw. While you concentrate on certain areas of your face, learn about face mapping, a skincare practice that’s based on the belief that your face functions as a mirror into your general health.
Microneedling, also called dermarolling or skin needling, involves pricking the skin with tiny needles, similar to acupuncture. The purpose is to stimulate the skin and create temporary inflammation; this way your skin responds by naturally repairing itself.
This is not a practice you want to try on your own skin, as you might puncture the skin too much and worsen issues like scarring, so to be safe and to get the best results, visit a dermatologist for help.
You might not think that sleep has anything to do with skin elasticity, but sleep is one of the foundations of overall health. While you're sleeping your body is working hard to detoxify your skin and other organs, removing waste, repairing cells, and more.
Clock in 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for the sake of a glowing appearance.
When you're under a lot of stress, your body produces higher levels of "stress hormones" like cortisol, which can worsen inflammation and take a toll on your immune system. Stress is often linked with skin appearance that's red and sensitive, stress-related breakouts, and other issues, all of which take away from firm, even-looking skin.
For stress relief, incorporate mind-body exercises and other fun, relaxing activities into your week, such as yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, exercise and time spent in nature.
As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen or skin-related approaches.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential OIls: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and Ancient Remedies.