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Firm skin is skin that is taut, with good elasticity. How do you test if you have firm facial skin? Just like how you’d experience resistance when you push a bouncy ball with your finger, elastic skin is flexible and pushes back so that you will not have pillow marks if you’ve slept lying on your face, less fine wrinkles while laughing, and overall, your skin returns easily to its original state. Collagen and elastin are the two essential proteins that support skin firmness. The thickness of the epidermal skin layer also contributes to the skin’s flexibility and firmness.


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Less elasticity means saggy skin, even for the twentysomethings!

It is a common myth that one’s skin only starts to sag when they are in their 40s or 50s since this is a result of aging. However, research has disproved this. SK-II’s decade-long study on skin aging in Japan’s Akita Prefecture has shown that the first sign of aging is neither the increase in dark spots nor the skin’s lack of moisture; it is the loss of skin elasticity. Reduced skin elasticity leads to sagging facial skin, which is a primary cause of dull skin and visible pores. It is not coincidental that skin dullness and visible pores are also considered signs of aging. Observations like “the skin seems to have shrunk and deflated at the end of the day” and “I feel my skin is tired at night” are all effects of the skin’s reduced elasticity. And this is true, even for those in their 20s!

Why does skin lose its firmness? Here are 6 reasons why!

Aging changes the skin’s dermis structure

Collagen supports skin firmness and the natural amount we have is at its peak in our 20s. Beyond this age period, the slowdown of the dermal fibroblasts function causes a decline in the production of collagen. At the same time, saccharification (the process of breaking down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars) affects collagen and causes the skin to deteriorate, thereby losing its firmness and elasticity causing wrinkles and skin sagging. Elastin, the protein responsible for helping the skin to expand, contract, and return to its original form, is also reduced with lowered dermal fibroblasts function. The result is that the skin becomes stiff and loses elasticity. Over time, the skin loses its firmness and your face and cheeks starts to sag.

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As the epidermis thins, the skin loses suppleness

The visible effect of aging is evident where it first starts – the skin’s outermost dermis layer, also known as the stratum corneum. At the same time, the deeper skin tissues will also start to age. Given the imbalance in the skin’s turnover rhythm, the loss of moisture content will cause solidifying and thickening. As for the deeper skin layers, the cells start to shrink. With the decrease in cell size, the layer becomes progressively thinner. The eventual result is skin surface that is not only hard and rough, but also thin and no longer feels supple.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays that penetrate into the dermis destroy collagen

Exposure to UV rays contributes to 80% of the causes of aging, with significant damages. UV-A waves that penetrate into the deeper skin layers destroy the collagen and elastin and this cumulative effect has a far-reaching negative impact on skin health. UV care is something that most of us, particularly the youths, may not realize or take seriously enough.

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