What Do We Mean By Skin Firmness?
As our skin naturally ages, we lose firmness and begin to see visible signs such as fine lines and wrinkles. This is ultimately down to a reduction of collagen and elastic – two structural proteins in our skin. Collagen helps to give our skin strength and support but with age, our bodies produce less and less of it causing our skin’s structure to decline. Elastin, as its name suggests, are fibres which help our skin to move and stretch. Levels of both collagen and elastic start to decrease around our late 20s to early 30s.
Why Do We Lose Skin Firmness?
“Loss of firmness in the skin is a complex process that has various causes and factors which should be considered,” explains Dr Yannis Alexandrides, co-founder of 111SKIN. “There is a genetic element which pre-determines how our body changes as we age as some people are more predisposed to a loss of elasticity, while others are more prone to losing fat or collagen which impacts the body in a different way,” he adds. The other factors which contribute to a loss of firmness are external aggressors such as the environment and overall health including our diet, stress levels and how much sleep we are getting. The sun also poses many harmful threats to our skin – particularly when it comes to firmness. This is because UVA rays significantly accelerate the depletion of both collage and elastin.
What Can We Do To Combat A Loss Of Firmness?
Taking action against each of the controllable lifestyle factors will certainly help. “Eating well, getting enough sleep, destressing and exercising are important elements in ensuring better health which means better skin,” adds Dr Yannis. As the overall condition of your skin can also be held responsible, it is highly advisable to follow a good skincare regime. Dehydrated skin is also more prone to a loss of firmness which is why keeping your skin well moisturised daily can help. Exfoliation can also help since it rids dead skin and helps to increase cellular turnover.
Wearing sunscreen with a high SPF every day will also protect your skin and prevent any further damage. Not only should we be protecting against UVA rays, but also free radical damage caused by the environment. “By providing strong antioxidant protection, like applying our powerful NAC Y2 formulas topically to the skin, we are able to reduce stresses and free radical damage which in turn creates a great environment for the skin to repair and replenish its reserves of collagen,” says Dr Yannis.
Oskia’s Citylife Concentrate also works to protect from free radicals and help prevent a loss of firmness. “This highly technical product took two years of formation to get right and went through vigorous scientific research and testing,” says Georgie Cleeve, founder of Oskia. “It protects skin cells from up to 97.7% of free radicals which can have a huge impact on skin’s elasticity.”
Which Ingredients Are Best For Firming?
Much like other skin concerns, there are several products which can help target and treat a loss of firmness head on. “You need to turn over skin cells with retinol or bio-retinols, brighten and improve elasticity with vitamin C and hydrate with hyaluronic acid,” explains brand founder Kate Somerville. “These are the top three game-changing ingredients.”
As vitamin C works to improve our skin’s elasticity it is a fantastic ingredient for fighting a loss of firmness and helping skin to look fuller and more plumped. Kora’s new Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum utilises the power of vitamin C in its most stable form to promote a fresher and firmer complexion.
Undeniably one of those most talked about skincare ingredients, retinol has an abundance of uses. In relation to firmness, it works to improve the shape of our skin’s elastin. Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinol Cream uses 1.0% vegan retinol and supportive peptides to restore skin’s bounce and resilience for a more youthful appearance. What’s more – it’s packed with other antioxidants to help defend against environmental stressors such as pollution and other free radicals.
Hyaluronic acid works to deliver deep hydration to the skin which can diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. ‘Vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid are not often formulated together because of stability issues but my new +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturiser contains optimal levels of all three for firmer, brighter and smoother-looking skin,” says Kate.