Signs of ageing loss of elasticity, and deep wrinkles

How does skin lose elasticity and firmness and get more wrinkles?

From around the age of 25, general skin ageing starts to affect the way our skin looks and feels. Fine lines are usually appear first, followed by wrinkles. Over time we experience a loss of volume and a loss of elasticity. Skin’s firmness and radiance reduces, and wrinkles deepen.

Skin ageing is a natural process, and much of it is brought about by factors we cannot control (such as our genetics). There are, however, external factors at play too, and many of these can be influenced positively. Certain lifestyle choices (such as the amount of sun we expose our skin to and our diet) can speed up skin ageing and cause skin to age prematurely. Making sensible decisions, and giving skin the protection it needs, can help to keep it looking and feeling younger for longer.


How does skin lose elasticity and firmness and get more wrinkles?

As our skin ages, its structure changes. Elasticity, firmness, radiance and resilience reduce, and wrinkles increase. The loss of elasticity, combined with the appearance of deep wrinkles, is a primary ageing concern for women with mature skin.

Loss of firmness, and deep wrinkles

Dermal tissue is strong in young skin, and has a plentiful supply of collagen and elastin – together they help to keep skin firm and smooth. As we age, collagen and elastin levels decline (collagen by 1% annually). This disrupts the dermal tissue arrangement, causing skin to lose strength. It feels less firm and wrinkles deepen.

Another key factor behind a loss of firmness and deepening wrinkles is the declining production of Hyaluronic Acid. Produced naturally by young skin, it surrounds cells helping them to bind in water. As we age, production of Hyaluronic Acid slows down, skin becomes drier and loses its full and firm feel.

Graphic presentation of young skin
Youthful skin appears firm, radiant with no lines and wrinkles. (schematic illustration)

Loss of radiance

As we age, micro-circulation in the dermal layers reduces and the delivery of nutrition and oxygen to the skin’s surface becomes less efficient. This leads to a decrease of the rosy glow enjoyed by youthful skin.

Graphic presentation of old skin.
Mature skin lacks elasticity, radiance, resilience and shows wrinkles. (schematic illustration)

Why does this happen to our skin?

A loss of firmness and deepening wrinkles are, to some extent, an inevitable part of skin ageing. Skin ageing is a natural process, much of which is caused by internal factors which we cannot influence. However, there are several external factors which have a major influence on skin ageing and many of these can be addressed to prevent skin from ageing prematurely:

Internal Causes

Our biological age determines the structural changes in skin and the efficiency of cell function, and this slows down with each passing year.

Hormonal changes

Hormones act as messengers in the skin, stimulating the production of substances such as collagen that give young skin its firm structure and smooth texture. During the menopause, hormonal activity slows down and collagen levels decrease.

Middle aged woman
As skin ages it requires special care.

External Causes

Oxidative stress, which causes skin to age prematurely, is accelerated and triggered by a variety of lifestyle factors.


Over exposure to the sun – alongside inappropriate or insufficient sun protection – accounts for more than 80% of premature skin ageing.

UVA and UVB rays can lead to short- and long-term sun induced damage. UVB rays penetrate the upper skin layer (epidermis) and can cause sunburn as well as direct DNA-damage. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the lower skin layer (dermis) and induce the formation of free radicals. These can lead to indirect DNA-damage and, consequently, reduced cell activity, premature skin ageing and an acceleration of the visible signs of ageing: wrinkles, a loss of volume and a loss of elasticity, and deep wrinkles.

Overexposure to damaging UV radiation also leads to uneven pigmentation and, in the worst cases, maybe even to skin cancer. Read more about the effects of UVA and UVB radiation here.



Pollution triggers the release of free radicals, and accelerates oxidative stress in the skin.

Woman protecting her eyes from sun with her right hand.
The sun can weaken skin’s structure and accelerate skin ageing.
Pollution accelerates oxidative stress in skin.


Tobacco smoke is a major source of skin damaging free radicals. Smoking weakens skin and contributes to wrinkles by:

  • Impairing skin’s microcirculation system, causing oxygen supplies and nourishment to decrease.
  • Damaging collagen and elastin: the fibres that give skin its strength and elasticity.


Certain foods, mostly fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants and can help to prevent premature ageing and slow down skin ageing in general.


Lack of sleep

Skin needs sleep to repair and regenerate. 


How to strengthen your skin, plump deep wrinkles and add radiance

All healthy skin will age, but certain active ingredients – when combined with an holistic approach to your overall wellbeing – have been proven to strengthen skin, plump deep wrinkles and add radiance.

Active Ingredients

Look out for formulas which combine the following ingredients:



Arctiin is a naturally-derived active extracted from the fruit of the Burdock plant. It stimulates the repair of weakened connective tissue in the cell walls. Arctiin also accelerates the collagen renewal process in skin cells − which slows dramatically as we age. It is a a key ingredient in Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Day Care and Night Care products which improve elasticity and firmness in mature skin and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles.



Silymarin is extracted from the fruits of the Milk Thistle plant (also known as Lady's Thistle). It is a well-known, powerful antioxidant, protecting collagen and elastin from oxidative stress. The Eucerin Research Center has discovered, and proven, that it also activates skin's microcirculation system at a cellular level. It is another key ingredient in Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Day Care and Night Care products.

Woman applying cream on her face.
Skincare formulas can strengthen skin, plump wrinkles and improve radiance.
Woman mixing facial oil with cream
Formulas rich in antioxidants help to protect skin from oxidative stress.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a substance formed naturally by skin cells and is part of the connective tissue of the skin. One of its key functions is to retain moisture, and it has the ability to bind in between 1,000 and 10,000 times its own weight in water (i.e. between one and ten litres). As we age, the skin's natural ability to produce Hyaluronic Acid depletes and wrinkles start to form and deepen. The Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Day and Night Care products contain two different types of Hyaluronic acid to effectively target and plump wrinkles from the inside out.

Argan oil

Argan oil is expressed from the kernels of the argan tree. It contains up to 80% essential fatty acids (omega-9 and omega-6) which the body uses to produce and repair cell membranes and strengthen skin so it is able to perform its vital function of protecting the body. It is also rich in Vitamin E (a powerful anti-oxidant). It is a key ingredient in Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Night Care and Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Facial Oil where it works alongside other ingredients to make skin smoother and softer.

Milk Thistle oil

The oil of the Milk Thistle plant (also known as Lady's Thistle or Silybum Marianium) is a common ingredient in anti-ageing skincare. It contains Linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). It is a key ingredient in Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Facial Oil which is proven to nourish skin and improve radiance.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E (also known as Tocopherol) is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects skin against the free radicals that cause oxidative stress. It is another of the active ingredients in Eucerin ELASTICITY+FILLER Facial Oil and helps to support skin’s natural resilience.

An holistic approach to wellbeing

Healthy lifestyle choices help you to feel in control of the ageing process, and help your skin to look and feel its best.

Sun protection

Protecting your skin from UV rays is the most important step to preventing premature skin ageing. Read more about how to care for your skin in the sun in facial sun protection. The Eucerin Sun range offers a selection of products that give ageing skin the protection it needs.

Skin care
A good skincare routine is an essential part of an holistic approach to treating all signs of ageing and caring for maturing skin. A skincare routine should consist of three steps: cleanse, care and sun protection.

You can read more about an holistic approach to skin health in factors that influence skin and about how to care for your facial skin in a skincare routine for facial skin.

Woman in the sun
Year-round sun protection helps to prevent premature skin ageing.
Woman applying care
Formulas with proven active ingredients can strengthen skin, plump wrinkles and improve radiance.


Giving up smoking will help to improve the appearance of skin. The chemicals and nicotine in cigarettes increase the amount of damaging free radicals, and can intensify the effects of sun exposure.


A healthy, balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, will give your body the anti-oxidants and vitamins it needs to limit the damaging effects of free radicals on the skin. Variety is important, but some foods are known to be high in anti-oxidants: leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow fruit and vegetables (e.g. carrots and apricots), blueberries, tomatoes, beans and other pulses, nuts and fish (especially salmon).


A good night’s sleep gives your skin the time it needs to regenerate and strengthen itself.