Once you’ve gotten past a certain age, you can’t stay up all night partying and expect to have glowing skin the next day. As we get older, our skin starts to show its age. Collagen breaks down and elastin becomes less plentiful. Wrinkles start to appear, and the skin just can’t bounce back like it used to due to loss of skin elasticity. But what causes our skin to break down, and how can you tell if your skin isn’t as elastic as it once was?
Fortunately, there are simple ways to test your skin elasticity–and ways to boost its youthful qualities without surgery. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your skin youthful and elastic.
Why Do We Lose Our Skin Elasticity Over Time?
Smooth, firm, elastic skin is a hallmark of youth. When we’re young, collagen and elastin are never in short supply, and the skin can stretch and retract as needed, like an elastic band. Youthful skin also looks firm and hydrated, thanks to hyaluronic acid, a substance that also depletes with aging.
Factors like smoking, sun exposure, genetics, hormones, and diet all play a role in how quickly these essential components start to break down with age. The aging process varies from person to person, but the end result is ultimately the same. The skin starts to sag and wrinkle and it has trouble stretching and retracting due to loss of elasticity. Many people start noticing a decline in their skin’s elasticity as early as age 30.
The Skin Elasticity Test
So how do you know if you’re skin’s lost some of its essential proteins and acids? It’s easy. You can do a simple test at home to see how quickly your skin snaps back. Place the palm of one hand flat on a table and pinch the skin on the back of that hand with two fingers from your other hand. Count how long it takes for your skin to retract. That’s it! Youthful skin will snap back right away. As the decades go on, it can take ten seconds or more for the skin to tighten back into its original position.
This is also a test that is used to assess dehydration. If your skin doesn’t snap back right away, try drinking more water and repeating the test in a day or so. If that still doesn’t help, then you may want to think about taking steps to improve your skin elasticity.
Restoring Lost Elasticity with Skin Treatments
The good news? Even if you’ve already lost some of your skin’s natural elasticity, it may be possible to refresh and restore some of its youth and beauty. You can do this by “tricking” your body into creating more collagen and elastin, repairing any damaged fibers beneath the skin.
Here’s how it works: when the skin gets injured, the body is prompted to produce new collagen, healing over the wound. In cosmetic medicine, non-invasive skin treatments like Fractora or Thermage stimulate this response by directing energy deep into the tissues to heat them and make the body think that it needs to increase collagen production.
Ways to Keep Your Skin Firm at Home
Lifestyle plays a big role in preventing the loss of skin elasticity. While making changes to your lifestyle won’t necessarily reverse any damage that’s already been done, it can help slow down the aging process in the future. Plus, if you choose to have professional skin treatments, lifestyle can make a big difference in maintaining your results.
The biggest lifestyle culprits in skin aging are smoking, sun exposure, and lack of sleep. Smoking damages collagen and elastin, and will quickly make the skin age prematurely. Wearing sunscreen when outdoors, avoiding tanning, and limiting sun exposure can help your skin stay youthful and elastic while helping to prevent skin cancer. Finally, general healthy lifestyle choices like getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, using high-quality skincare products, exercising, drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet will all help your skin stay healthy and in good condition.
Keeping your skin as firm as possible at home with healthy skincare habits is simple, but overhauling your lifestyle can be a challenge. Try making a few small changes at a time. Once those are established, you can tackle other healthy habits.
Talk with a Skin Expert
If you’re concerned about your skin elasticity, then it might be a good time to talk with a skin expert so you can get customized treatment recommendations. When it comes to taking care of your skin, the sooner you get started, the better! Even if you’re not ready to try out a cosmetic treatment, you may still want to make the switch to high-quality skincare products or make changes to your lifestyle. The experts at Naples’ Aesthetic Surgery Center can assess your skin and give you personalized advice that will help you decide on the next steps toward smooth, elastic, and beautiful skin. They offer all sorts of skin spa services, as well as great skincare products in Naples and South Florida.