Skin care school teaches how to properly care for one of the most important organs on the human body. In just a matter of months, students will progress from a novice to an expert through hard work and dedication. The first step towards reaching that goal though starts with understanding the basic aspects of human skin.
Elastin and collagen are two words that will pop up often in regards to how skin appears, but students have to understand what they are and the differences between the two.
Collagen is a group of proteins that can be found naturally in the body. They’re comprised of fibrous or connective tissues and is the most abundant protein to be found in the human body. Collage makes up about roughly 30% of the protein content to be found in the body. The connective tissues support other organs and tissues found in the body too.
Collagen is often referred to as ‘cellular glue’ since they give tissues shape and help to make them stronger. Tendons, cartilage, and fat are other example of connective tissues that can be found throughout the human body and in some cases even felt. Collagen can also be found in the skin, cornea, ligaments, blood vessels, and even bone.
Elastin is another protein that is found in connective tissues, but it’s different from collagen. Elastin has a more elastic property than collagen since it allows tissues to have a ‘snap back’ effect throughout the body. Elastin helps tissues to keep their original shape after they contract or are stretched. Think of it like a rubber brand, it basically operates the same way.
Elastin can also be found in the skin, artery walls, intestines, and even the lungs. Blood vessels have to expand too to compensate for the blood pumping through them and contract when there is less activity going on throughout the body. Elastin plays a vital role in these actions and students learn all about it at our skin care school.
Why They’re Lumped Together
Collagen and elastin are usually in the same sentence together because they go hand-in-hand in giving skin its firmness and shapes. Collagen provides the rigidity skin needs to maintain its shape while elastin allows the skin to be stretched. One provides the framework and the foundation while the other gives people the ability to change their expressions.
The Main Differences
The main difference between collagen and elastin students will learn about in our skin care programs is one is strong and the other is elastic. Collagen is strong since it provides the tensile strength needed to keep the outer layer of skin anchored to the body. Elastin isn’t as plentiful, but it’s critical for the skin to function properly. Elastin allows skin to be elastic and soft, but able to have a three-dimensional network throughout the collagen fibers.
Each of these proteins can be found at different levels on human skin. Collage is usually found in the lower layers of dermis where elastin is usually located in the middle layer.
What Does All This Have to Do with the Appearance of Skin?
These two proteins actually have everything to do with how skin looks, especially when it comes to sagging and wrinkles. The younger a person is the healthier their skin since they have two of these proteins in abundance. When we age our body produces these proteins at a slower rate, which constitutes the usual wrinkles we see with increased years.
Other factors that can contribute to this is UV damage which can cause the connective fibers in the skin to mess up. Illness, age, and even accidents can play a role in messing up the skin’s appearance too. Suffice to say, when both of these proteins are brought up it’s easy to see why they’re so important for the appearance of healthy skin.