Dr. Naren Vyavahare, Chief Scientific Officer at Neolastin (and Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson University), has spent the past 30+ years researching cardiovascular health and elastin revitalization. Through his extraordinary (and lengthy) studies, he discovered a thing or two about how our bodies age, and the effect that elastin degradation has on our arteries, our lungs and even our skin. His breakthrough findings could not only change the face of science for our cardiovascular connective tissue – but, quite literally, your face.
Here he shares his discoveries , how they impact the aging process in your skin, and what you need to do now to kick-start your skin’s rejuvenation (hint: it includes Neolastin’s patented NUFLEX™ technology).
1. Your body stops making elastin after age 20
Yes, you read that right. “The elastin protein is only made early in life. All of the elastin that’s in your arteries, lungs and skin has been made by the time you hit age 20 – and production begins to rapidly decline from there. Our cells really can’t make elastin fibers after that,” says Vyavahare. What does that mean for your skin? “Elastin proteins are like rubber bands that give your skin (and your arteries) elasticity. When we pinch our skin, it should snap back into place when you let it go. But as we age, skin starts to sag and loses that ability to rebound and be elastic in nature. The obvious signs of someone whose elastin is breaking down is skin sagging, getting droopy along the sides of the face and under the eyes – you’ll notice both undereye bags and Crow’s feet lines.”
2. Environmental aggressors are the main cause of elastin degradation.
“Photooxidative stress damage from the sun is the most impactful assault to our skin. Environmental free radicals are very reactive and they can break down both collagen and elastin in the skin. Think of how a rubber hose left outside in the sun slowly cracks and degrades. Additionally, as a result of free radical damage our skin cells can become inflamed. That inflammation can also cause a slow degradation of elastin – and the assembly line of elastin that crosslink to form the rubber band-like property. Smoking and heavy drinking also play a role in elastin breaking down by causing internal inflammations that can affect your elastin’s strength, your skin and its health,” says Vyavahare.
3. Collagen is very different from elastin – and DOES reproduce as we age.
While elastin begins to get slowly lost after age 20, collagen continues to rev its production engine. “Collagen is the structural protein in our skin that keeps it together. Our skin cells can make more collagen our whole life. And that’s important because collagen gives our skin strength – like a steel rope. We need it to maintain its structure, without it skin starts to break down with more fine lines, wrinkles and dryness,” explains Vyavahare. Additionally, collagen production can be encouraged through topical skincare products, as well as with supplements.
4. The elastin assembly line can be kick-started - with the right ingredients.
“During my research on what breaks down our bodies elastin, we found compounds called polyphenols (PPs). What’s great about it is that when inflammatory enzymes (from inflammation in our skin and bodies) chew on the elastin in your skin it causes degradation, but when these PPs bind to the elastin fibers it blocks the enzymes from chewing. So, the PPs first help to stabilize the elastin that you have. Second, as we get older and that assembly line of elastin production starts to get chewed apart and degrade, the PPs help attract small molecules, called tropoelastin made by cells, to bond to it, reinforcing and repairing the elastin fibers,” explains Vyavahare. As that assembly line gets moving and crosslinking, the elasticity in your skin returns.
5. NUFLEX™ technology is the only patented formulation, backed by 20 years of research, that improves your skin’s elastin.
“In Neolastin’s NUFLEX™ technology we have a combination of ingredients that work to repair and reinstate that elastin assembly line, boost collagen production and increase hydration in your skin. You need all three – but before Neolastin, no one had the elastin component worked out,” states Vyavahare.
NUFLEX’s™ key ingredients:
- Polyphenols – These compound cells have antioxidant properties and can help block/prevent free radical and oxidative damage to the skin. When they stabilize elastin, they sit on the elastin fiber and will not allow enzymes to degrade them. We have found a specific polyphenol that binds small molecules called tropoelastin. When the tropoelastin sticks to the Polyphenols, they cross-link to make stronger elastin fibers in an assembly line formation.
- Micro-hyaluronic acid – These mini molecules sink deep into cells, can hold water for skin hydration and have been shown to improve elastin production in the skin. They boost hydration and help cells make more elastin bonds.
- GABA-care – It helps to make the skin look smoother and firmer by improving skin’s moisture content and encouraging natural hyaluronic acid and collagen production.
- Ectoin – Consider this your skin’s protector. It works to prevent skin dehydration, UV-induced cellular skin damage, plus helps to calm inflamed skin and shield skin from pollution.
- Matrixyl 3000 – This anti-aging peptide has two proteins that are used to target the signs of aging. It helps to promote the production of natural collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Neolastin’s patented NUFLEX™technology can be found in our 3-step skincare system which includes our Face & Neck Regenerative Serum, Revitalize & Firm Eye Cream, Rejuvenate & Hydrate Moisturizing Cream. Bonus: You can also find it in our Nourish & Restore Anti Aging Hand Treatment.