Keeping your Skin Tight - Part 1
Greetings Fit Skin Gang!! Our March Mio series this month is all about keeping your skin looking more like a juicy grape rather than a wrinkled raisin. Whether you’ve just had a baby, lost weight, or are just looking to keep your skin looking as fit and fabulous as possible, this ones for you!
First things first, we have to look at all the reasons why our skin stretches and loses its elasticity. Lets start with the one we will all do and the one we are trying so hard to stop….ageing…..ugh!
One thing we don’t really have control over is biological aging – we cannot change what the body is designed to do. But we can help it along the way (more on that a littler later). Lets focus on the biology of the skin for now.
The majority of age-dependent changes that occur in our skin happen in the dermis the layer directly under our epidermis. This mesh-like network is composed of structural proteins (collagen and elastin), blood and lymph vessels, and specialized cells called mast cells and fibroblasts.
As we age, the dermis can lose between 20-80% of its thickness. This is the result of changes in the fibroblasts, the cells responsible for collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) biosynthesis – moisture-binding molecules that enable collagen fibers to retain water and provide moisture to the epidermis.
Lets dive a little more into that very important protein that is also found in bones, teeth and connective tissue but most importantly your skin….Collagen!
Some quick facts about collagen:
- Some types of collagen fibrils, gram-for-gram, are stronger than steel!
- Collagen production declines with age and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light.
- Once you hit 25 years old, your collagen levels decline at a rapid rate. The deterioration of this protein causes the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and thinning lips.
- Many chemicals present in tobacco smoke damageboth collagen and elastin in the skin.
- UV rays in sunlight damage the collagen in the dermis, and the skin rebuilds incorrectly, forming wrinkles.
Another all-important protein just like collagen is elastin, it has the actual property of being elastic. It’s responsible for allowing tissues in the body to “snap back” to their original shape after being stretched or contracted. For this reason, it’s often compared to a rubber band. So just like a rubber band that has been stretched too much, as we age we also lose elastin and the skin becomes slack causing it to hang loosely.
If you’ve joined us over at Mama Mio, you will know one of the bigger causes (no pun intended here) of our skin to stretch is pregnancy. As your bump grows, elastin goes to work allowing that stretch, and ultimate snap back after giving birth. Weight fluctuation, years of sun, gravity and the natural aging process all play a role. But the decline of your skin’s collagen and elastin is the root cause. Without the support of collagen and ‘spring’ of elastin skin doesn’t bounce back as it did when you were younger.
Join us next week when we talk about one of our Firming Favorites and its slack-skin seeking power packed ingredients!