One side effect of the aging process is the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin. Collagen and elastin are both important proteins responsible for keeping the skin free of sagging and wrinkles. As age takes its toll on these proteins, there are a couple different ways to increase their numbers.
Exfoliate every other day. Exfoliating products, such as a face scrubs, take off the outer layer of your skin. This forces new skin cells to grow, which in the process activates the production of both collagen and elastin. It is important to always exfoliate your skin gently to prevent deeper skin damage from scratching.
Try laser or light therapy. Light-emitting diode machine, as well as the Medlight and Genesis lasers, have risen in popularity as a way to increase collagen and elastin. Both laser and light therapy work by creating controlled injury in the dermis of your skin. As the body heals the injured area, new skin cells are produced, as well as new supplies of elastin and collagen.
Take your vitamins. Certain vitamins have also proven themselves to be essential in the process of creating additional collagen and elastin. For example, vitamin C is one of the most essential ingredients in the making of collagen in the body. Vitamin E is also essential for the production of collagen.
Talk to your doctor about retinoids. Retinoids are chemically similar to vitamin A. According to Sheri L. Rolewski, MSN, CRNP, CS, retinoids have been shown to promote new collagen growth. Retinoids can be found in prescription strength medications such as tretinoin, Renova and Retin-A.
Prevent the loss of collagen and elastin. Not only should you take steps to increase the production of collagen and elastin, but you should also take steps to preserve the collagen and elastin you already have. For example, spending too much time in the sun can breakdown the collagen and elastin in your skin and cause premature skin aging. Smoking can also prematurely break down collagen, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.