Elasticity. Stretch, snap! Rubber bands, hair ties, knit fabric.
Elasticity describes a property of materials that return to their original shape after having been altered by force. This ability is not limited to stretchy things but is displayed by many things, including metal and glass.
What does this have to do with skin care?
Skin elasticity refers to the capacity of your skin to return to a normal state after being stretched. Elastic skin retains a firm, plump appearance. Two of your skin's proteins, collagen and elastin, determine the extent of elasticity of your skin.
Several things cause a loss of skin elasticity. First, and unavoidable, is age. As our cells age, they become less capable of dividing perfectly, resulting in cell damage and less optimal functioning.
The speed of some cell aging is predetermined by genetics, this is known as intrinsic aging. In contrast, extrinsic aging refers to wear and tear caused by external factors such as sun damage, tobacco smoke, and malnourishment.
Both intrinsic and extrinsic aging lead to your skin cells producing less collagen and elastin.
Nutrients for Healthy Skin
The ingredients we use here at Sweet Earth are chosen primarily because of their ability to work with your body's natural processes to create the healthiest skincare possible. Two of these ingredients are hemp seed oil and acai berry extract.
Among many other nutrients, hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids and carotene, two nutrients we'll be covering here concerning skin elasticity. Acai berry provides vitamin c, carotene, and essential fatty acids as well. In addition, both these plant products also contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants are some of the chief nutrients that counter oxidative stress and help prevent premature aging.
Some of the most well-known antioxidants are carotenoids. Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments found in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. These pigments, yellow, orange, red, and violet, are found in many of the plants we eat.
In lab studies, carotenoids have been shown to smooth wrinkles by stimulating fibroblasts, the cells that manufacture collagen and elastin, to up their production of these proteins. Not only do they encourage new growth, but they also repair collagen and elastin fibers that have been damaged by UV radiation. All of this increases skin density and elasticity.
Carotenoids also inhibit elastase, the enzyme that breaks down elastin and collagen. While this breaking down is a necessary action, there can be too much of it as we age, causing skin to sag and wrinkle.
Carotenes and Retinol
Carotenes are carotenoids responsible for orange colors in plants and are one of the few carotenoids that our bodies can convert to retinol.
Retinol acts on the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, as a mild exfoliant, clearing pores, improving moisture retention or balancing hydration, and creating a smoother appearance.
Retinol also absorbs into the dermis, the middle layer of skin, neutralizing free radicals that break down collagen.
The synthesis of collagen, one of the critical factors of elastic, healthy skin, couldn't happen without vitamin C. The two enzymes that synthesize collagen need vitamin C as a catalyst, or “cofactor”.
Research has also demonstrated that vitamin C acts directly on DNA to regulate and maintain the amount of collagen between cells.
Vitamin C used topically causes elderly fibroblasts to double their collagen production.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids found in plant oils, such as hemp seed, have been shown to increase skin hydration and elasticity, contributing significantly to skin health.
Acai berry extract has been shown to contribute significantly to collagen synthesis when applied to the skin. It does this by increasing fibronectin expression (fibronectin is a glycoprotein involved in tissue repair) and possibly by its anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s Not Just Appearance
Elastic skin is skin that is functioning well and able to protect itself from damage by external and internal factors.
Eating nourishing foods and minimizing exposure to damage is one way to help your skin. Another is with products that actively heal and protect your skin by directly giving it the nutrients it needs.
Sweet Earth Organic Hemp Hydration Cream includes both hemp seed oil and acai pulp extract in a powerful blend that hydrates, heals, and protects your skin. We have created a formula meant to work well with dry and sensitive skin, rebuild depleted collagen, and delay the aging process.