Your skin is the largest organ of the body. It is responsible protecting internal organs, and defends the body from pathogens, UV rays and a number of environmental irritants. With all that work, your skin can start to show signs of wear and tear and may lose some of its elasticity. Wrinkles may start to appear, skin may begin to look loose and you may notice sagging body parts for the first time, which is especially true for the over 40s. There are however many options available to prevent and correct poor skin elasticity. Please read on to find out more.
What is Skin Elasticity?
The ability of skin to stretch out and return to its original shape and form is referred to as skin elasticity. It is greatly determined by the health, tone and strength of the underlying muscles, and a loss of it is a fact for the aging population.
The ageing process
As you get older, gravity starts to take its toll and the skin begins to age due to decreased elasticity. The first signs of natural skin degeneration begin to show around the age of 25. Skin cell turnover slows, blood vessels begin to decrease in number, and hormones cause the skin to thin by our mid 40s.
Over-exposure to sunlight
The sun’s harmful UV rays damage our skin’s Elastin fibres responsible for our skin’s elasticity. Over time, these damaged fibres build up, leaving skin visibly more wrinkly and older looking.
Dramatic weight loss over a short period of time can cause a loss in skin elasticity, as the body undergoes a rate of change in which the skin cannot keep up with. This causes sagging skin to be left behind, especially to those who had poor skin tone and elasticity before the weight loss.
For those who experience this problem, it is recommended to wait at least two years before considering invasive surgery to remove the excess skin. This allows the body to stabilize and adjust to the new weight, whilst giving it a chance to correct the loss in elasticity with it own natural healing process.
Creams for Skin Elasticity
On top of a balanced diet, skin elasticity may be improved by the less invasive option of cosmetics fortified with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and hormones. Some examples of these ingredients include:
- HGH (Human growth Hormone)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Whilst these ingredients do have less dramatic results, they are effective in rejuvenating the skin and increasing its elasticity. Most are also allergy-free and therefore friendly towards sensitive skins.
Nutrition for Good Skin Elasticity
Adequate nutrition is vital to the health and elasticity of your skin. Certain foods are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that restore our skins elasticity. Some of these include foods rich in:
1. Vitamin C
Included in citrus fruits, tomatoes and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C is thought to help the skins protect itself from harmful UV rays and to improve skin elasticity.
2. Vitamin E
Included in olive oil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, spinach, blueberries, kiwifruit, papaya and Brussel sprouts. Vitamin E repairs sun damage to the skin and may prevent wrinkling. It also acts as an antioxidant repair any significant cellular damage from the sun, environmental factors and smoking.
3. Vitamin K
Included in leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, brocolli and turnips. Vitamin K has been shown to protect against PXE (psuedoxanthoma elasticum), a harmful condition that causes the face and skin to excessively wrinkle.
4. Vitamin B complex
Included in Barley, Oats, bananas, wheat bran, potatoes, tempeh, tuna and lentils. Vitamin B assist in the production of skin cells, assist with skin cell water retention, and may increase the plumpness lost with a loss in skin elasticity.
5. Essential Fatty Acids
Included salmon, sardines, hemp oil, flaxseed oil and pumpkin seeds. These good fats have been proven to improve the appearance and texture of ageing skin.
Included in berries, green tea, cocoa products and dark leafy greens. Strong performers of the antioxidant group include the polyphenols, CoQ10, Glutathione and Alpha-Lipoic acid. They have all been shown to increase skin elasticity, tautness and the amount of collagen and Elastin in the skin.
Included in cucumbers, leeks, strawberries, celery, rhubarb, mango and asparagus. The mineral silica strengthens the connective tissue of skin preventing a loss in skin elasticity.
If your diet is inadequate or you have absorption issues, you may choose to supplement the above in a tablet, powder or liquid form. Please speak to your selected nutritionist or naturopath before choosing which ones are right for you and your skin type.
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