It’s happened. You’ve finally seen it: That dreaded wrinkle you swear was not there yesterday has suddenly appeared and is now plaguing your every thought. Day. Ruined.
We all fall victim to the passage of time. Sooner or later, we realize our skin is just not the same as it once was.
Though smile lines, “crow’s feet,” and frown lines are a totally normal development on aging skin, they can be an unwelcome reminder that our skin is losing its once youthful elasticity. Sure, aging is a universal cause of changing skin complexion and decreasing resilience — but you may be shocked to discover there’s a much more fruitful tree of reasons that your skin is sagging or wrinkling.
You may even be more excited to hear that we can help. Armed with the right knowledge, you can take charge again. That’s right; you can help slow the unstoppable passage of time (or at least how it manifests on your face).
Stick with us as we dive into skin elasticity to help you get your bounce back.
All About the Bounce
Just like onions, our skin has layers: the subcutis is our deepest layer, the dermis is the middle layer, and the epidermis is the outer layer. When it comes to elasticity and firmness, two essential fibrous proteins called collagen and elastin fibers are directly responsible. These live in the middle dermal layer of our skin.
As we age, there is a loss of skin elasticity as elastin production dramatically decreases along with the production of collagen. This leads to the lack of tightness that we all fear. For most, the skin begins to most noticeably lose its firmness between ages 35 and 40, leading to sagging skin, fine lines, creases, and more.
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule in the skin that helps it retain moisture and provides fullness to the skin. It surrounds skin cells, helping bind them to collagen and water. These levels also decrease as we age leading to dryness and decreasing elasticity. You may have heard of hyaluronic acid skin care products rising in popularity over the years, and now you know why!
Avoid the Branches
Like we said before, time is the root of most skin issues, but don’t ignore the branches on this tree of aging that can accelerate the process even faster:
- Here Comes the Sun: We love a good summer tan as much as the next person, but your skin definitely does not. The sun’s harmful UV rays are a major cause of skin damage. In one recent study, UV damage was found to be the cause of almost 80% of visible skin aging. So sun protection is a must!!
SPF is truly your best friend. To prevent sun damage and maintain youthful skin, you should apply a topical sunscreen lotion with a minimum of SPF 15 every day and at least SPF 30 if you plan to spend the day in the sun. (Don’t forget to reapply!)
- H2-Woah: Most health gurus and dieticians will be happy to tell you just how important drinking enough water is in your daily life. Did you know it’s also a critical element in your skin health?
When you’re thirsty, your skin is thirsty — and there are consequences. Skin dehydration can lead to wrinkly, flaky, and loose skin. The good news is that attacking dehydration inside and out (AKA, drinking water and moisturizing regularly) can save you from this one.
- No-Wash Nancy - Forgetting to deep cleanse and moisturize once in a while after a long night out happens to the best of us… but sleeping in makeup and the daily grime accumulated on your face every night is a sure-fire way to clog your pores. Those clogged pores can easily launch a breakout or leave your skin feeling dry and defeated.
Thoroughly wash your face with a moisturizing facial cleanser twice a day and incorporate a daily moisturizer into your routine. This can also help with hydration, like we mentioned above, for a double-whammy of anti-aging help.
Another step to never leave out of your skincare routine is exfoliation, which sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal smooth skin underneath.
Although we would love to pull a Back to the Future and launch ourselves into a time when our skin could produce new collagen and elastin at an alarming rate, we couldn’t get our hands on a Delorean this week 😉
What we can offer are several lifestyle changes that can make a difference in how your skin responds to the aging process (and hopefully improve its current elasticity).
Pop It, Chew It, Sip It
Nope, we aren’t playingBop-It — we’re talking supplements! We’ve already mentioned “collagen’ more times than we can count but it is vitally important to your skin. That’s why there are plenty of collagen supplement products on the market to help replace what our body might be naturally losing.
Collagen can be taken as tablets, powder, capsules, and beverages, so there is definitely a way to slide some extra collagen into your system and see the benefits.
In addition to collagen, other supplements such as vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and vitamin C — found in green tea and other natural ingredients — can give your body a boost of antioxidants that help it and your skin fight against free radicals to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol and retinoids may also increase your skin’s ability to stay flexible.
Catch Those ZZZs
They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing! Your body’s best time to work on repairing your skin is while you are far away in dreamland.
It only takes one college all-nighter to know that going without proper sleep can leave your skin dull, dry, and puffy. Getting seven to nine hours of restorative sleep a night can be hugely beneficial for your skin and will allow it to maintain its youthful appearance for longer.
Power Up with Beauty Tools
A top-tier skincare routine can take you pretty far, but beauty tools can boost your skin maintenance to the next level. We highly recommend integrating a facial massaging tool like an ultrasonic rose quartz roller into your skincare routine. Daily facial massaging can help increase circulation in your blood vessels, which in turn helps improve collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and fine lines, and promote skin cell turnover.
In a 2017 laboratory study, researchers found that providing a one-minute facial massage twice a day increased levels of skin tissue proteins after 10 days when compared to skin that received no treatment at all.
Rollers are incredibly easy to use and can even help your skincare products penetrate deeper into the skin. Simply roll away from the center of your faceand upwards for a lifting effect. It's an easy at-home treatment — no dermatologist appointment needed!
Try Out IPL
Forget about chemical peels and microneedling — enter IPL!
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a light therapy-based alternative to laser hair removal that also serves as an amazing treatment for the skin. Laser treatments with IPL help increase our collagen production by stimulating the body’s natural repair response to damage.
One of the best parts of IPL is how accessible it has become. Unlike laser hair removal — which requires several doctor’s office sessions and plenty of $$$ — IPL devices are handheld, user-friendly, and can be ordered to your door. Plus, these can be done right in the comfort of your own home. It sounds too good to be true, but we wouldn’t lie to you 😘
After an IPL treatment, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of never having to shave that peach fuzz or pesky mustache AND the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles due to your freshly produced collagen. (Which is quite the aging hack, if you ask us!)
We know how overwhelming it can be to feel like you are fighting the clock. It’s important to remember that aging is perfectly normal and natural, and we literally ALL go through it (except maybe millionaire celebrities).
Though most aging is out of our control, being aware of our sleep, water intake, and sun exposure while introducing new tools, products, and supplements can be a helpful guide for maintaining healthy skin and helping to prevent visible premature aging signs before we’re ready for ‘em.