Elastin helps elasticity

Everyone keeps saying elasticity is important for good looking and healthy skin, especially since you look it as you get older, but what is this? What does it do? How does it work? How do you keep it working? Well the answer is, the protein elastin is what keeps the elasticity levels in your skin up. It is responsible for helping your skin go back to the original shape after being stretched.

Elastin is produced in the body by connective tissue, and for all of the genetics students, it is made from glycine, valine, alanine and proline and matures from tropoelastin. Elastin works a lot like latex. Normally, people have the most elastin in their skin around age twenty, and then the level proceeds to drop. This is because the body’s ability to create new elastin also drops at this point. It is a gene shut off by the skin’s biochemical environment. It is theorized that with the correct biochemical environment, elastin production would continue.

Not much is known about continuing elastin production at this time, due to the fact that scientists are working more on collagen content and composition. Some studies that are not yet conclusive have given some promise of helping elastin in the body. These are:

  • Retinoic acid: a form of vitamin A that increases the effect of elastin but not the production. It is thought that topical retinoids may increase production, but research is lacking.
  • MMP inhibitors: protects from excessive degradation by the enzymes matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) that break down elastin.
  • Topical tropoelastin: sold by DermaPlus Inc. as DermaLastyl, claimed to increase the amount of elastin in the skin to reduce wrinkles and firms the skin. However, their research has not been published and peer-evaluated, and it is noted that the molecules are so large that it is very difficult for enough tropoelastin to penetrate the top layer of skin.
  • Ethocyn: a small molecule that can easily enter the skin. It is supposed to increase synthesis of elastin to where it is when the levels peak. Evidence is sparse in this study, though

Information on this subject was gathered from www.smartskincare.com. For comments, questions, or suggestions, email me at [email protected].