Collagen & Elastin Two Pillars Of Youthful Skin

By Marilynn Syrett Published 06/18/2009 | Beauty
Collagen and elastin are proteins that reside in the dermis layer of the skin, just beneath the epidermis. Both collagen and elastin are produced by special cells called fibroblasts and are responsible for the youthful appearance of the skin. While collagen cushions the epidermis and makes it firm and taut, elastin allows the skin to stretch and strain without getting ruptured. Both of them are excellent water binders and thus help keep the skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

Deterioration of Collagen & Elastin

As the levels of collagen and elastin begin to deplete, the skin becomes thin and starts to sag and develops wrinkles and fine lines. Here are some common factors that are responsible for the breakdown of the fibers.


As we grow old, the natural levels of collagen and elastin fibers in our body depletes. Also, the regenerative process of the body slows down and as a result collagen production is slowed. Consequently, the skin starts becoming dry and saggy

Excessive Sun Exposure

Prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight can break down the collagen and elastin molecules and cause wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Sun damage on the skin shows in the long term.


Smoking results in premature aging of the skin. It damages the collagen and elastin fibers and makes the skin prone to early wrinkles and fine lines.

Prevention of Collagen & Elastin Breakdown

Aging is an irreversible process. However, it is possible to delay its effects and slow down the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers. Here are some tips to do the same.

Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure

The best way to slow the breakdown of your collagen and elastin fibers is by limiting your sun exposure. This includes outdoor tanning as well as indoor tanning. Make sure you wear a sunscreen daily whenever you venture out in the sun. Use a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection against the UVA and the UVB rays of the sun.

Product Suggestions:

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX It is an amazing sunscreen that also doubles up as a moisturizer. It offers full protection against sunburns and moisturizes the skin intensively. It contains Mexoryl SX which is photostable against UVA rays so it does not breakdown and lasts longer than most sunscreens.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a crucial reason for the development of crows feet and wrinkles around the mouth. Moreover, it tends to make the skin sallow and leathery. Therefore, quit smoking and develop healthy skin habits.

Use Anti Aging Skin Care Products

Include anti aging skin care products in your skin care regimen. These products have specialized ingredients that helps replenish the lost collagen and elastin fibers. Here are some ingredients that you should look out for.

Vitamin C It encourages the production of collagen and eliminates the damage caused by free radicals. However, Vitamin C gets oxidized very easily upon contact with sunlight, heat or air. Therefore, it is packed in dark containers and requires to be stored in cool dry places.

Retinoids This is a derivative of Vitamin A that stimulates the production of collagen and encourages cell turnover. As a result, the skin becomes smoother and younger looking.

Peptides These are special proteins that promote collagen production and foster healthy cell function.

Product Suggestions:

Obagi Professional C Serum 15 Percent It is a superb anti aging serum that contains Vitamin C. It neutralizes the effect of free radicals and prevents them from damaging the skin. In addition it stimulates the production of collagen within the skin and provides it superior protection. It is suitable for all skin types.

NIA 24 Intensive Recovery Complex It is a rich anti aging cream that moisturizes the skin intensely and helps activate its regenerative powers. With regular use, the skin becomes firm and toned. It contains active ingredients like ceramides, liposomes and peptides within it. It locks in the multi-level moisture and minimizes transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

Avoid Collagen Creams

There are several anti aging skin care products that contain collagen that claim to restore the youthful appearance of your skin. However, it should be understood that collagen molecules are larger than the size of your skin pores and are unable to penetrate though when applied topically. Topical application of collagen only serves to moisturize the skin and doesn't have any anti aging benefits.

Dr. Marilyn Syrett is a renowned physician and nurtures a keen interest in skin care and the effectiveness of skin care products. She believes that every women has the right to healthy and flawless skin. She has also reviewed several products from popular brand names like Obagi, iS Clinical, Clinique Medical and so on.