Restoring elastin is one of the goals of anti-aging skincare products, but the ingredients that most companies use will not help. Here's a question. Can elastin be absorbed into the skin? We ask, because we see creams and lotions that contain it, along with collagen. But, how large are these protein molecules and what is the source that is used for most skincare products? Here's a quick look at those questions.
Restoring elastin is important for reducing sagging and wrinkles. Production of the elastic fibers that are located within the dermis layers slows down with age. So, does the production of new cells that make up the epidermis. But, those cells are composed primarily of keratin, a completely different protein.
So, can elastin be absorbed into the skin? If a manufacture could come up with a process that would allow them to make it soluble, without destroying the functionality of the protein, then "yes" it might be possible. But, the major manufacturing processes convert this fibrous protein to a globular form. At best, it creates a plastic-like film that reduces shadows and makes wrinkles appear less deep.
Can elastin be absorbed into the skin if it is processed correctly? So far, no manufacturer has come up with a process that reduces the size of the molecules and allows it to remain active enough for the skin's cells to use it. Only one manufacturer has come up with a patented process that allows keratin to be used by the skin's cells. In years to come, someone may come up with the same thing for restoring elastin, but as long as we continue to buy what the cosmetic companies are selling, they will not have a reason to make the effort.
That brings us back to this question. As it exists in nature, can elastin be absorbed into the skin? The answer to that question is "no". The molecules are too large. It's not like the molecules that make up mineral oil and petrolatum. Creams that contain those ingredients feel greasy, because they are not absorbed.
For increasing moisture content, plant-based oils are better than those that are petroleum based. Of course, the keratin that I mentioned earlier will also greatly increase moisture content. Clinical studies have shown that creams containing it increase moisture by over 20% after the first use. Yet, they leave no greasy feeling, because they are quickly absorbed.
Certain protein complexes may be beneficial for restoring elastin. For example, small amounts of copper and zinc bound to protein have been shown to regenerate tissue. A patented form of keratin contains those minerals and has been shown in clinical studies to have an incredible anti-aging effect on a person's appearance.
So, what's the bottom line? Can elastin be absorbed into the skin or not? Right now, your best bet is to find a product that contains an ingredient called "Functional Keratin". It has proved benefits for restoring elastin and collagen fibers, as well as stimulating the growth of new cells.