My late teens, early 20s were a blissful, problem free and amazing time for my skin; no acne, no wrinkles, no pigmentation issues. My baby face hid my real age, and their were no signs of loose skin. Fast forward 5 years and surprise, I noticed fine lines around my eyes. I panicked. Where did those come from? Crows feet at 25 years old, no way! Luckily, I was seeing an esthetician every month, so during my next visit, I was sure to ask her about what was happening to my skin.
My fabulous Los Angeles based esthetician, Leticia, informed me that right around the age of 25 is when we start to show our first signs of aging. That small yet significant fact was also apart of my esthetics education years after Leticia’s explanation.
So, what causes these lines to just show up out of nowhere and can we possibly stop loose skin from occurring? The answers we are looking for can be found deep within our skin’s layers, specifically the skin’s dermis.
The dermis is the deeper layer of the skin that is not visible. It is the layer of skin the holds the collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are proteins in the skin that give it shape, firmness and structure. Specifically, elastin is responsible for the appearance of loose skin. Elastin is a coiled like protein that allows the skin to stretch and pull yet retain its structure and firmness. Collagen is a protein that is reproduces every 6 to 8 weeks. However, elastin stops reproducing around the age of 22 years old.
Is there anything we can do?
Yes …and no. The key to maintaining firm skin is to act in a preventative manner. We know that we will not get any new elastin fibres after the age of 22. So, what you want to do is protect the healthy elastin that you have now.
5 ways to keep your healthy elastin
- Use skin care products that inhibit the enzyme elastase. Elastase is an enzyme that is responsible for severing elastin proteins and weakening its snap back.
- Load up on anti oxidant foods. Your skin needs anti oxidants to ward off free radicals.
- Use a sunscreen and increase your skin’s sun defenses. UVR oxidizes the vitamin c levels in the skin, and we need vitamin c to produce collagen and elastin.
- Eat fats. Get your essential fatty acids in your diet, especially omega 3.
- Reduce inflammation within your body. Inflammation can destroy elastin.
Along with a good skin care regime and lifestyle changes, your skin will stay firm throughout most of your life.