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How elastin firms skin and how to boost it

October 19, 2017 Reviewed by Marta 0 Comments

Sagging skin is without doubt the major skincare concern amongst the Truth In Aging community. One of the keys to lifting and firming without resorting to surgery is elastin. So how do we go about preserving and boosting our skin’s elastin and what products will help us?

Elastin is the connective tissue in skin that allows it to stretch and bounce back. The building block of elastin is a protein called tropelastin and there is only one tropelastin gene in humans (compared to lots of genes for collagen). Tropelastin is pretty cool and can stretch eight times its molecular length before recoiling back again.

Elastin production starts to decline when we are still very young and by middle age we hardly produce any at all. The good news is that it is a long living protein, the bad news is that it can be easily damaged (from sunlight, for example) and it doesn’t repair itself very efficiently.  So it needs all the help it can get. I’ve identified three elastin boosters for you to look out for.

Red LED light

Red LED light is one of the best things for restoring elastin, and some German researchers shed light on how it works. The LED light changes the molecular structure of a glue-like layer of water on elastin, the protein that provides elasticity in skin, blood vessels, heart and other body structures. The light strips away those water molecules that are involved in the immobilization of elastin, gradually restoring its elastic function and thus reducing facial wrinkles. Red LED is featured, along with ultrasound, on the Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop).


Peptides that help boost collagen are well known and ubiquitous, less so those that help elastin. One stalwart has been under our noses for some time, copper peptides. Copper is the key mineral in lysyl oxidase, an enzyme that weaves together collagen and elastin (source). Clinical studies have found that copper peptides remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue because they activate the skin's system responsible for those functions. It also promotes production of glycosaminoglycans.

Benir Beauty BV-9 Platinum Provectus Super Serum ($195 in the shop) uses a unique formulation of 7 different peptides, including copper. Copper peptides, plus Matrixyl 3000 and niacinamide are combined to great effect in Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop). They are also in Ao Skincare’s Restore ($119.95 in the shop). Copper gluconate is in Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion ($75 in the shop) as well as Volante’s Intensive Repairing Serum ($105 in the shop). KERACELL Re-Cu-perate ($120 in the shop) has a pared back but powerful formula of growth factors and copper.

A new peptide that inhibits elastase, the enzyme that attacks elastin is known as TT2. You can find it in E'shee Clinical Esthetic Alpha and Omega Gene Therapy Eye Cream ($284 in the shop).

Tetrapeptide-17 goes by the name of Tego Pep 4-17 and is supposed to improve skin’s elasticity. Your Best Face Restore Night Treatment Serum ($130 in the shop) also has Uplevity (tetrapeptide-2), which is also supposed to increase elastin.

White tea

In a study of botanical extracts best able to combat elastase, white tea came out top. White tea is tea made from new growth buds and young leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. You can find it in ExPurtise Effective Anti-aging Serum ($120 in the shop) and Skin 2 Skin Care 24/7 Rejuvenation Cream ($109 in the shop).


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