Facial aging is a natural part of growing older. Normal signs of aging can include wrinkles, volume loss (most often in temples, cheeks, and under-eye areas), and sagging of the skin. The skin’s elasticity is one of the primary factors that determine the impact that aging will have on the appearance of our skin. Learn how to Test the Elasticity of Your Skin with a “Pinch Test”.
What is skin elasticity?
Skin elasticity is the ability of the skin to stretch and then return to a normal state after the need to stretch is removed. The degree of elasticity is determined by the amount of collagen and elastin (two naturally occurring proteins) that the skin retains. Skin with high elasticity is plump, firm, and youthful in appearance.
As we age our skin produces and retains less elastin and collagen, leading to sagging and wrinkling of the skin. While some of this loss is due to gravity and genetics, some unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking, eating an improper diet, or tanning/overexposing skin to the sun can certainly accelerate the deterioration of elasticity.
So, you may be wondering “how elastic is my skin”? To find out, take a simple skin elasticity test to see if your levels are on par for your current age:
Skin Elasticity Test Instructions
- With your hand relaxed and facing palm down, pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold for five seconds.
- Release the skin and count the time it takes to completely flatten back out.
How to Score:
- 1-2 seconds (individuals under 30)
- 3-4 (individuals who are 30-44)
- 5-9 (individuals who are 45-50)
- 10-15 (individuals who are 60)
- 35-55 (individuals who are 70+)
Unhappy With Your Score?
If your skin is taking significantly longer to respond compared to others in your age bracket, fear not! There are some things you can do to help improve your skin elasticity.
Avoid overexposing your skin by practicing excellent sun protection. Always wear a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen, avoid being outdoors during peak UV hours, refrain from any form of tanning, and wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-proof clothing while outside.
If you are a current smoker, quit now! Quitting will help improve the elasticity of your skin (making you a better candidate for cosmetic procedures) and will benefit your overall health.
There are a number of professional resurfacing procedures that can help boost elasticity, including microdermabrasion, micro-needling, and fractional laser therapy. These treatments create controlled micro-damage to the skin, which promotes healing by stimulating the body to create more natural collagen.