Creams are easy to use and noninvasive, making them a popular choice for those seeking to improve their skin elasticity. However, like supplements, the ingredients in topical treatments may not have been scientifically proven to help your skin in this way. Results will vary by individual.
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, has been shown to improve the appearance of aging skin in some studies. The vitamin is a popular ingredient in over-the-counter skin care products because of this, and stronger prescription-only products are also available. In addition to potentially improving skin's appearance, research suggests that vitamin A may prevent some types of cancer, help growth and development, and improve the body's immune function [source: Mayo Clinic]. Other benefits to the skin include promoting collagen production, reducing fine lines and improving skin tone and color. While retinol can hydrate the lower layers of skin, its potential side effects include leaving the top layer dryer than normal, so moisturizer is a necessity [source: WebMD].
If you'd rather smooth on a cream than gulp down a pill, vitamin C might also have positive effects for skin elasticity when used as an ingredient in skin care products. Since its antioxidants can help stimulate collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it has the potential to help with elasticity issues, too. But eating vitamin C through natural sources like fruits and vegetables may be the best way to absorb the substance, according to doctors, so don't expect miracles from creams that contain vitamin C [source: WebMD].
Creams and supplements may help improve aging skin, but skin that has gone through weight loss may have different needs when it comes to elasticity. For more on this problem, read the next page.