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We asked the experts, what’s the deal with elastin?

Can you boost your elastin stores and how important is this protein when it comes to skin maintenance? The experts explain all here

What do you really know about elastin? It’s generally mentioned in passing as collagen’s help mate – the ketchup to your fries so to speak. But while these two proteins work together and are both needed in equal measure to form the foundation of our skins structure - they have totally different jobs. Collagen offers structure, support, and strength and “elastin works as a spring and is what gives your skin its stretch allowing it to maintain a smooth texture and ward off wrinkling and sagging of the skin,” shares Etre Vous Expert, Doctor Ahmed El Muntasar.

Why then is it that the lotions and potions that line the beauty aisles focus so heavily on collagen boosting and elastin is rarely considered? “While elastin is a very stable protein, as we get older its production and numbers in our skin decreases, which is why things begin to sag and wrinkles appear. Unfortunately, there is currently no proven way to boost the production of elastin in the skin. Its production is largely regulated by genetic factors, and further research is required to figure out how to stimulate elastin in the skin,” explains Etre Vous expert and Aesthetic Doctor, Emmaline Ashley.

But there are things that can be done to slow down the natural decline of our elastin producing capabilities, namely – “daily protection with a high factor, broad spectrum UVA & UVB SPF as little exposure as possible to airborne pollutants, like tobacco smoke are key,” explains Etre Vous Expert, Aesthetic Nurse, Anna Baker. Plus, a diet high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and lycopene can help too.

Not only that while there is no proven way to boost elastin, many aesthetic experts believe that the gold standard collagen boosting actives and aesthetic treatments can help disguise elastin loss by focusing on improving skin quality and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “This includes radio frequency microneedling, which uses energy and controlled trauma to stimulate the production of collagen and improve overall skin texture. Dermal fillers can be used to plump up the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles and create a more youthful appearance. Chemical peels can help increase cell turnover and given a smoother and fresher appearance to our skin,” shares Ashley. “While retinoids famed for their collagen boosting prowess, may promote the health of existing elastin fibers as we protect the structure and integrity of our skin,” she adds.

So while the jury is still out regarding whether elastin stores can truly be given a boost, there are ways in which you can preserve and care for the elastin you've been blessed with.

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