What Is Elastin?

Elastin is the name of a protein molecule, which is present in tissue and skin of the body. This protein is responsible for the flexibility and strength of the skin, this protein provides elastic nature to the skin. Elastic nature of skin is very important for its regular functioning. Composition of skin elastin should be enough in order to have a healthy skin. It also helps in maintaining the smoothness of the skin. Amount of the protein elastin goes on depleting with the age, this causes stretched out or wrinkled skin. A very common example of elastin depletion can be observed in the form of “pregnancy pouch”. After giving birth to the child, many women suffer from “pregnancy pouch”, for many years. Actually overstretching of the skin causes depletion of elastin that result into “pregnancy pouch”. Wrinkled skin of elder people is another representation of elastin depletion.

“Anti-aging” cosmetics
One can easily read the name of elastin, in the list of ingredients of various “anti-aging” cosmetic products. Human sources can not be used to extract the elastin, so this ingredient of elastin comes from birds and cows. According to a health theory, elastin extracted from animal sources provides better skin elasticity. But it has been observed that, elastin of cosmetic products provides very little benefit to the skin elasticity. Actually, these products help in creating a coating on the skin and this coating further participate in holding the moisture. But it is not helpful in adjusting the flexibility of the skin, this is because, the elastin (present in skin products) is not able to penetrate in the skin.

Moreover, some medical professionals are also worried about the sources of used elastin, which is present in products of skin care. As mentioned before, major sources of elastin are birds and cows; so with the use of such elastin, risk of some animal diseases (avian flu or mad cow disease) is also involved. Till now, no case of this category is under observation, but a risk of such occurrence is certainly present.

Reality of cosmetics
Some dermatologists also claim that elastin containing products make fallacies regarding their uses. For example- if some products claim that it contains original anti-aging substance or if some product claims to recapture the depleted collagen or elastin, then undoubtedly these claims are false. But from fascinating advertisements these products appears to be convincing enough. With such manipulated claims and with the help of marketing skills, various cosmetic companies are selling their anti-aging products at extremely high prices.

One thing should be clear in one’s mind that elastin, which is applied topically, can never replace the depleted elastin of the skin. But this elastin helps in moisturizing the skin; as a result skin appears younger. From above facts, it is clear that topical elastin can not be designated as a magical stick that restricts the march of the time through one’s skin, so spending plenty of money to buy anti-aging creams is not a good idea. Nutritional diets and regular meditation can help more then these cosmetics.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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