How Elastic is Your Skin?

As we age, skin not only looses collagen but elastin as well, the protein responsible for keeping firm skin in place. Unfortunately, the production of elastin comes to a stop after the teenage years. "As we get older, elastin is more necessary, but unfortunately we have to rely on other means to get it,” says New York celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas.

So, can elastin production be jump-started?

Elastin production is related to healthy fibroblast activity in skin. “Age causes a failure of production or replenishment of many bodily functions, including the production and replacement of protein and a decrease in fibroblast activity,” says Boca Raton, FL, oculoplastic surgeon Steven Fagien, MD. If the fibroblasts aren’t stimulated, then they can’t be coerced into making new elastin. “If we are able to stimulate the fibroblasts and wake them up in a sense, we may be able to restart elastin production for healthier, firmer, younger-looking skin,” adds Dr. Fagien. But the long-standing question is, how to do it? According to new findings fillers could be the answer, though research is in the initial stages.

Is your skin lacking elasticity? It’s pretty simple to determine whether your skin has a good amount of healthy elastin or an insufficient amount with this easy-to-do test.

1. According to Vargas, gently pinch and pull up the skin on your hand and then the hand of someone older than you.

2.  Pay attention to how long it takes for the skin to go back to normal—if it’s immediate, your skin is still elastic. If the skin doesn’t go back to its normal shape quickly, there’s a loss of elastin.

 

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