There are several skin care ingredients that tighten skin and at least a dozen that are ineffective. We’ll look at the ineffective ones first, because they are the ones that the cosmetic companies promote most heavily.
Collagen is a protein found in elastic fibers and other body parts. The skin’s collagen content decreases with age leading to increased translucence and sagginess. No amount of hydrolyzed collagen will correct this problem. The molecules are too large to penetrate. The protein is rendered inactive during processing.
In other words, the skin’s cells cannot use it.
It works in injectable form only because it plumps up the skin’s fatty tissue layer. If taken in supplement form, it increases your daily protein intake. Whether or not this will improve your skin’s firmness depends on whether or not you need more protein in your diet. But, as an ingredient in a cream or lotion it is worthless.
According to a recent news report, hyaluronic acid has become one of the most popular compounds, something of a buzz-word. Like collagen, it can be injected into the skin’s fatty tissue layer. Unlike collagen, it does not cause allergic reactions. So, it is popular among cosmetic surgeons.
Applying it topically is ineffective according to dermatologists, because (like collagen) the molecules are too large to penetrate through the skin’s layers. It’s another worthless ingredient.
One of the skin care ingredients that tighten skin is Functional Keratin, not to be confused with its denatured cousin which is listed simply as keratin on a label of ingredients. Functional Keratin is an active form of the protein. The skin’s cells can pick it up and use it. It works to carry moisture into the skin’s cells and stimulates the body’s collagen-producing processes. In one study, the use of a cream containing it was shown to improve the skin’s elasticity by 40% in less than a month.
Wakame Kelp Extracts
Wakame kelp has been used by women to heal burns and preserve the beauty of their faces for about a thousand years. Modern researchers have found that it inhibits the activity of an enzyme that reduces the skin’s own hyaluronic acid content. This benefit allows the level of hyaluronic acid to rise. As a result, the skin’s surface becomes smoother. The cells become plumper and there is an overall improvement in firmness.
Elastin, uric acid, Argireline, petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffin wax and the hydroxy acids are a few more of the compounds that don’t work. They can cause adverse or allergic reactions, too. So, you are safer to avoid them.
Coenzyme Q10, avocado and grape seed oil, RIGIN and macadamia oil are some that may work. The percentage of improvement varies, often depending on your skin’s current condition.
If you want to see the biggest improvement, look for a company that uses a number of different skin care ingredients that tighten skin in their creams and lotions. And remember that natural and safe is better than the alternative.