Ever wondered what gives your skin its firmness, elasticity and bounce? Two proteins in our body are responsible for this, and they are called collagen and elastin. These two may be similar in structure, but they work in different ways to maintain your skin’s health.
This article will dive into the differences between collagen and elastin, and what you can do to support their functions.
What is collagen?
We all know that the skin is the body’s largest organ, so it’s a given that collagen is the protein that’s found in the largest amount (about 30%) in the human body.
Collagen, though found naturally in our skin, is also present in fibrous and connective tissue, as well as ligaments, blood vessels and bones. Think of collagen as you would a scaffolding – it provides skin with structure and strength.
What is elastin?
Elastin is another form of protein that’s produced by fibroblasts to create a network of elastic fibres that are highly stretchable. Elastin fibres, as you might have guessed, are responsible for giving your skin elasticity – and have the ability to stretch and return to their original form.
Collagen vs elastin in a nutshell
Collagen and elastin can be easily mixed up and confused with each other, and this is completely understandable. After all, both play an important role in the overall health of the skin. To provide a better view of how these two proteins function, we’ve put together a table below:
|Found in the skin and protective tissue||Found in the connective tissues of elastic structures|
|Provides strength and elasticity to your skin.||Allows many tissues of your body to continue being in shape even after stretching.|
|Production occurs over your lifetime but breaks down with age.||Production stops when you hit puberty.|
|May get affected by extreme sugar intake, smoking, exposure to sunlight or even health conditions like autoimmune disorders.||Most likely to get affected by sudden weight gain/loss, dehydration, sleep deprivation, smoking and UV rays.|
How to increase collagen and elastin in the skin naturally
Now that you know the similarities and differences between collagen and elastin, here are some natural ways to increase collagen and elastin:
- Wear sun protection. Sun damage is one of the biggest factors of skin ageing and sagging, as UV rays directly contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
- Keep your skin hydrated. Hydrated skin will naturally support the collagen production process.
- Eat healthy food. Include leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, fatty fish and nuts in your diet as they can support collagen production.
- Establish an effective skincare routine. Invest in products that contain collagen-supporting ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E, as well as hydrolyzed elastin which will help your skin maintain its youth.
- Exercise regularly. Keeping your body active promotes the flow of oxygen to your cells, which will help them regenerate faster.
- Avoid smoking. Harmful chemicals and nicotine can cause oxidative stress to the skin and exacerbate the ageing process.
- Opt for a skin tightening treatment like Ultherapy. This non-invasive US FDA-approved treatment will “jumpstart” the collagen production in your skin for that lifted, sculpted look.
Boost your skin’s collagen and elastin levels naturally with Ultherapy
It’s never too late or too early to start taking preventative steps to slow the ageing process or support your collagen and elastin levels. As mentioned in our last point above, Ultherapy is your best bet when it comes to naturally lifting and tightening the skin around your face, jawline, neck and décolletage.
Ultherapy uses micro-focused ultrasound with real-time imaging or visualisation (MFU-V) to deliver ultrasound energy deep within the skin and stimulate the skin’s new collagen and elastin production, effectively starting the skin tightening process – all of which is done without the need for incisions or surgery.
Plus, unlike other facial or skin procedures that require multiple treatments, patients only need one treatment with Ultherapy to see improved results over time due to the gradual increase of collagen production.
With zero to minimal downtime, patients can immediately resume their regular diet, lifestyle and activities right after a treatment, which typically takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Ultherapy, as it turns out, is not only non-invasive for your skin, but also for your lifestyle!
Try it for yourself today by booking a consultation with our partner aesthetic clinic near you!