Your skin -- the largest organ in your body -- is designed to stand up to environmental abuse. It undergoes exposure to harsh elements like wind, chemicals and radiation in its role as a protective barrier for your internal organs. As you age, loss of your skin's elasticity can cause wrinkles, changes in skin tone and an increase in roughness. While not a miracle cure for aging skin, some vitamins and minerals can help retain your skin's elasticity and preserve its youthful appearance.
Vitamin C is one vitamin that helps to retain your skin's elasticity. This vitamin, also called ascorbic acid, helps to boost the production of a protein called collagen within your skin. Collagen helps to maintain your skin's strength, and provides a supportive framework around which your skin cells can grow. Loss of collagen in your skin can lead to wrinkling and tearing, whereas a strong network of collagen maintains your skin's elasticity. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, including red pepper and pineapple, as sources of vitamin C.
Consuming copper -- an essential mineral -- can also help maintain your skin's elasticity. Copper contributes to the production of elastin, another protein abundant within your skin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Elastin works together with collagen to maintain the structure of your skin, which contributes to your skin's elasticity. Consuming enough copper each day from seafood, nuts, nut butters and organ meats helps promotes normal elastin production.
Another vitamin that can help keep the elasticity in your skin is vitamin A, or retinol. The vitamin A that you consume as part of your diet interacts with your skin cells and helps to regulate the production of natural oils within your skin. These oils are important to your skin's elasticity, since moisturized skin retains its elasticity better than dry skin. The NYU Langone Medical Center also suggests that topical creams containing vitamin A can alleviate fine wrinkles.
Vitamin E can also contribute to maintaining your skin's elasticity and helping to prevent visible skin aging. Part of the visible aging process occurs due to the presence of free radicals, which are chemicals that disrupt skin cell functioning and can eventually lead to a loss of elasticity. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your skin cells, improving the appearance of your skin. Applying vitamin E lotion to your skin may help improve the roughness and scaling that can occur in dry, inelastic skin.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.