Collagen and elastin: the key to youthful appearance

Collagen and elastin are easily the most sought-after duo in skincare. So just what is it, that makes these two so important? They are the gatekeepers that help keeping your skin looking and feeling younger in terms of firmness and structure.

Think about it this way, collagen is the scaffolding for our skin, and when you have a lot of it, it creates a nice tension to the skin’s surface. As it disintegrates, you get wrinkles. Meanwhile, degenerating elastin causes the skin to lose firmness and tone, which is when you start to see sagging. Picture how a balloon looks and feels when it is full of air … and then visualize its appearance after a week, when some of the air has escaped.

“Collagen provides the skin with strength and firmness. It is the most abundant protein found in the skin, making up about 80% of our skin,” explains Perricone Director of Education Rosalba Martone. “Elastin allows the skin to expand/stretch and bounce back providing a tighter appearance. It gives skin its structure. Together, they’re essential for warding off fine lines, wrinkles and a loss of firmness.”


Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails, and bones. It is one of the main reasons we are able to bend and stretch without feeling pain. Moreover, collagen is the driving force behind firm, youthful skin, shiny hair, and strong brittle-proof nails.

Collagen actually makes up a whopping 80% of the protein found in our skin, so it is absolutely essential as the building block of our complexion.


Collagen is the reason your complexion is firm and plump. It makes up about 80% of your dermis (or middle skin), where it forms a fibrous network of cells called fibroblasts.

These grow new collagen and get rid of old collagen. Ideally, this process works seamlessly so there is always an abundance of healthy new collagen. But as we age, less and less collagen is produced.


Elastin is the very stretchy protein found in connective tissue and skin. It allows the tissues in our body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. And it plays the same role in the skin:

Elastin helps it return to its original position when it is pulled or pinched. While collagen gives your skin strength, elastin is what allows it to bounce back, so to speak, after making a facial expression.


Elastin allows the skin to be elastic, pliable and firm (while collagen makes it plump). Because of this, the two go hand in hand (and are both created by fibroblasts in the dermis). Elastin gives skin its ability to stretch — and, even more importantly, to end up where it started out. When you pull on your skin and it snaps back into place, that is elastin doing its job.