Skip to main content
Improving Skin Elasticity
Improving Skin Elasticity


Improving Skin Elasticity

If you’re starting to notice a few more wrinkles on your face or sagging skin around your body, this could mean your skin is starting to lose its elasticity. This is most often a very natural side effect of ageing – when your body’s protein production process begins to slow down and produce less elastin and collagen.

Read on as we explore what exactly skin elasticity is and whether there are ways to increase and improve your skin’s natural suppleness.

What is skin elasticity?

When we talk about skin elasticity, we mean the skin’s ability to stretch and ‘bounce back’ to its original place and shape. This is all thanks to the protein elastin, which possesses the power to extend and recoil. Think of elastin as like tiny rubber bands that help to make up your skin’s dermal layer.

If you’re wondering if you have strong elasticity in your skin, consider a look to see whether it bounces back when you pinch the back of your hand or arm. If it shrinks back straight away, you’ll most likely still have lots of elastin in your skin.

Whereas, if you’ve noticed a change in your appearance over the last few years – such as your skin sagging, more wrinkles, or fine lines appearing – your elastin production might have begun to slow down. Please bear in mind however that this can happen in dehydrated skin and may be temporary. Certain products can increase your skin’s ‘bounciness’.

What causes the loss of skin elasticity?

As we age, the proteins in our skin that contribute to its elasticity start to break down and the body also starts to produce less of these proteins. With the loss of skin elasticity comes changes to your appearance, such as less firm skin – which causes wrinkles and sagging.

However, besides ageing, there are other factors that can contribute to a loss of skin elasticity. These include:

  • Sun exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight can damage your skin over time. These harmful rays break down elastin, which means your skin can start to wrinkle and sag prematurely.
  • Smoking: Research has found that smoking decreases collagen production: a protein which helps your skin retain its firmness. Younger skin should naturally replace old cells with new ones, including these springy proteins. However, while smoking doesn’t necessarily stop the breaking down of old cells, it can reduce the production of new ones.
  • Pollution in the environment: You don’t just breathe in pollutants – they can also get in through your pores, which can have a negative effect on your collagen levels. Microscopic particles of dirt, smoke, and soot – as well as nitrogen dioxide – can all get into your skin and break down collagen.
  • Weight loss: When you lose weight – scientifically defined as a ‘loss of subcutaneous support’ – the fat that sits under your skin reduces in volume. This may result in loose, sagging skin.

How to increase your skin elasticity

Everyone’s skin is different, though there are some ways you may be able to improve your skin’s elasticity, even after your protein production has slowed down.

Tailor your skincare routine

When looking at how to increase skin elasticity, there are many skincare products that have been proven to help combat the signs of ageing. If you’re looking for skin elasticity products that might help with your wrinkles and loose skin, look for creams that include:

  • Retinol: A form of vitamin A, which is known to boost cell turnover and production of collagen. Retinol is found in a variety of creams and serums to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The NEUTROGENA® Retinol Boost range is clinically proven to help correct multiple visible signs of ageing.
  • Hyaluronic acid: This is produced naturally in your skin – as well as your joints and eyes. It helps to keep your skin hydrated and stretchy. Unlike retinol products, this substance isn’t just found in creams and lotions, but can also be taken in the form of pills, dietary supplements, and even via injections. Hyaluronic acid bathes collagen and elastin and helps to preserve it.
  • Vitamin C and vitamin E: These helpful vitamins can be found in creams and moisturisers and can help to rejuvenate skin by regenerating damaged cells. This can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Enjoy a balanced diet

Keeping up a balanced diet can also help to naturally increase your body’s elastin production. There are some foods that can help give your body the fuel it needs to produce elastin naturally and help your skin to retain that youthful ‘bounce’.

These include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fatty fish
  • Nuts and berries.

Keep your skin hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the most important ways you can keep your skin healthy and plump and helps avoid wrinkles developing. Over-the-counter products that contain retinol and hyaluronic acid can also help skin retain moisture, which, in turn, helps keep up collagen production.

Apply sun cream

The sun’s harmful UV rays are one of the biggest factors that encourages symptoms of ageing skin, such as wrinkles and age spots, as they break down proteins like elastin. As we come into contact with the sun every day – even on cloudy days – the best way you can protect your skin from unnecessary damage is by wearing sun cream. Make sure you’re picking sun creams that are broad spectrum and have an SPF of at least 30.

Consider supplements

While collagen and elastin supplements are used by people who want to improve the elasticity of their skin, there’s not yet enough research into them to definitively say whether they work or not. However, some studies have shown that they may be effective in decreasing the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin.

Collagen supplements can typically be taken as a pill or a powder that you can mix into drinks and food. These oral supplements usually include smaller collagen chains, called peptides, as collagen in its larger form is too ‘big’ to be absorbed into the body. These peptides are, instead, absorbed by your stomach and intestines when digested.

Elastin supplements can also be taken as a pill or powder, but studies have shown that the protein can also be found in herbal supplements, which include things like ginseng and green tea. As with any supplements, however, they may not work for everyone, and they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.