Nature’s face lift and tummy tuck
Elastin is a protein found in the skin and tissue of the body. It helps to keep skin flexible but tight, providing a bounce-back reaction if skin is pulled. Enough elastin in the skin means that the skin will return to its normal shape after a pull. It also helps keep skin smooth as it stretches to accommodate normal activities like flexing a muscle or opening and closing the mouth to talk or eat.
Elastin tends to deplete as people age, resulting in wrinkled or stretched out skin. One might note the “pregnancy pouch” many women have many years after having a baby. In part, the leftover skin is a result of inadequate elastin, and also overstretching of the skin covering the abdomen during pregnancy.
One may also note elastin listed as an ingredient in “anti-aging” skin care products. These elastin proteins are not from human sources-they typically are harvested from either cows or birds and in theory should promote better skin elasticity.
Actually, elastin in skin products has been shown to have little effect on skin elasticity. It may form a coating on the skin that helps the skin better hold in moisture, but it will not provide more flexibility of the skin. Elastin in skin care products does not penetrate the skin layer, which would be needed in order to make the skin more elastic.
Further, some medical professionals are concerned about elastin sources in cosmetic products. Since elastin comes primarily from cows and birds, it can be argued that elastin potentially might expose users to mad cow disease and avian flu. Such an exposure would be worst case scenario. At the moment, no cases of mad cow disease or avian flu have been linked to use of elastin in cosmetics. Yet risk does remain as these diseases continue to spread.
Further, dermatologists often feel that products containing elastin make false claims regarding their benefits. For example, one product claims to restore depleted elastin and coolagen. Another claims to be made of real anti-aging molecules. These claims are undoubtedly false, but are often quite convincing, using impressive sounding scientific terms to sell products at a high price.
Most dermatologists are quite clear that elastin applied topically cannot replace a depleted elastin supply in the skin. Some of the products containing elastin may temporarily cause the skin to appear younger because the skin is properly moisturized. Clearly, however, topical elastin is no magic bullet for stopping the march of time across one’s skin.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy green vegetables provide lutein to the body. According to Health Central, lutein helps increase elastin in the skin, and this increases the skin’s flexibility. Vegetables contain vitamin C, an important vitamin in aiding these proteins to function properly in the body. Good sources of green leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens and arugula. These can be served in a daily salad or added to sandwiches to provide a healthy meal for the body and the skin.
According to Health Central, products that contain soy may help boost collagen production in the skin. Soy contains a substance called genistein, an element responsible for increasing collagen synthesis. This element also protects against skin breakdown by blocking harmful enzymes in the skin. Many soy products contain a good amount of genistein.Tofu, edamame and tempeh are good choices that can be added to salads and stir-fries. Other sources of soy include soy milk and soynuts.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A can boost the production of collagen levels in the skin. Including foods rich in vitamin A on a daily basis can be positive step in building and maintaining healthy and glowing skin. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots and sweet potatoes. Carrots can be eaten raw as a snack. Sweet potatoes offer good amounts of vitamin A whether they are roasted or baked. Fresh fruit such as cantaloupe and melons also contain good amounts of vitamin A. Adding chopped cantaloupe to a morning bowl of cereal can give the skin a healthy boost in collagen.
Foods Rich In Zinc
Healthy Skincare recommends food high in zinc as a good way to support collagen and elastic growth in the skin. Zinc can help build and maintain strong collagen and elastin fibers. It also enables these proteins to combine with other building blocks of protein to form new collagen. Good sources of zinc include shellfish and other fish, such as cod, tuna and salmon. Other good sources include lean meat and dairy products, such as yogurt, milk and cheese.