Best Ingredients For Skin Firming
When you think of firm skin what do you imagine? Smooth, wrinkle-free skin that doesn't sag? Or do you think of skin without any blemishes? Does your mind go to an image of skin free of cellulite or rolls of fat? The truth is that we each probably hold a slightly different vision in our mind of what firmness looks like. However, there are some universally effective tricks on how to accomplish it regardless of your exact definition of what it means.
Why Skin SagsThe American Academy of Dermatology equates firm skin with skin that does not sag. They focus on tightening and lifting as what will make skin more firm. Age, diet, exercise, the environment and significant weight loss can all play into having less firm skin. According to the National Institutes of Health, prevention is the best way to keep the aging process at bay: Beauty comes from the inside. The connection between nutrition and skin condition or rather the effect of nutrition on skin aging has been an interesting research field not only for scientists but also a common field of interest for humans throughout the years, from ancient times to nowadays. Skin aging consists of two didactically independent, clinically and biologically, distinct processes. The first is intrinsic skin aging, which represents chronological aging and affects skin in the same pattern it affects all internal organs. The second is extrinsic skin aging, which we view as aged skin and is the result of external factors and environmental influence, mainly chronic sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation but also smoking, pollution, sleep deprivation and poor nutrition. Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against extrinsic skin aging effects. The best prevention strategy against the harmful action of free radicals is a well regulated lifestyle (caloric restriction, body care and physical exercise for body), with low stress conditions and a balanced nutritional diet, including anti-oxidative rich food.
Collagen, Elastin and KeratinSagging is a by-product of collagen, elastin and keratin breaking down in your skin. These are found primarily in the dermis, or middle layer of your skin, but the underlying fat of the subcutaneous level helps to provide the skin's plumpness and texture as well. The dermis is a complex combination of blood vessels, hair follicles, and sebaceous (oil) glands. Here, you'll find collagen and elastin, two proteins necessary for skin health because they offer support and elasticity. Fibroblasts are the cells you'll find in this layer, because they synthesize collagen and elastin. This layer also contains nerves that sense pain, touch, and temperature. Reduction of tissue [in the subcutis layer] causes your skin to sag as well as wrinkle. This layer hosts sweat glands, and fat and loose connective tissue. The subcutis is responsible for conserving your body's heat and protecting your vital inner organs. Collagen is found in the dermis and is the most abundant protein in the skin, making up 75% of this organ. This is also your fountain of youth. It's responsible for warding off wrinkles and fine lines. Over time, environmental factors and aging diminish your body's ability to produce collagen and can also break down existing collagen.When you hear the word elastin, think elastic. This protein is found with collagen in the dermis, and is responsible for giving structure and support to your skin and organs. As with collagen, elastin is affected by time and the elements. Diminished levels of this protein cause your skin to wrinkle and sag.Keratin is the strongest protein in your skin. It's also dominant in hair and nails. Keratin is what forms the rigidity of your skin. (Source). There are a couple of options for getting skin to be more firm (i.e., not sagging on the face and not jiggling around the arms). One is surgical, as in a lift, where a section of the skin is removed and the remaining skin stretched. Less invasive options such as collagen fillers are certainly available, as are non-invasive options that do not involve cutting or puncturing the skin.
Best Skin Care for Firm SkinIn addition, everyone concerned with sagging skin should be using good skin care products. The active ingredients in skin care (the stuff that is not water, a mineral oil, preservative, or fragrance) are what contribute to skin firming. The most commonly used firming enhancers include:
- Peptides, which are protein molecules that combine with glycerin to increase collagen. The many forms of peptides are popular in firming creams, and for good reason. Hexapeptides act as muscle relaxers, whereas pentapeptides and oligopeptides stimulate fibroblast cells, which are responsible for collagen production. Keratin is a blend of protein peptides.
- Retinoids (chemical compounds derived from Vitamin A) are considered by many experts to be the most effective treatment, thanks to scientific studies. Retinoids allow new skin cells to surface faster and slow the breakdown of collagen as well as thicken the deeper layer of skin where wrinkles tend to begin.
- Fat-soluble Vitamin C ester is renowned for its ability to stimulate the growth of elastin, which helps the skin retain flexibility. It also helps to boost collagen production.
- Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a nutritional supplement that acts as a muscle toner of sorts. In fact, DMAE actually keeps muscles from drooping or sagging, helping to effectively reverse wrinkles and lines and plump up dimpled areas.