Cutometry – elasticity measurementThe skin possesses both elastic and plastic components, which gives it its visco-elastic characteristics. The onset of the physiological process of ageing is at around 30 years of age, and is indicated by loss of slackness, susceptibility to wrinkling, dryness, irregular pigmentation, and loss of suppleness. Young, fresh skin, which is well supplied with blood, is very elastic, but it is never balloon-like. When it has been acted on by a force, the skin does not immediately return to its original state but first remains in a state of light deformation (a phenomenon known as hysteresis). With old, fatigued skin, which has a less effective blood supply, it is the plastic component that plays a greater role in deformation. Not only do the individual parts of the body display different degrees of elasticity and plasticity but they also vary in the spread of their curve progressions, even with elastic skin.
The measurement of skin elasticity is based on the so-called suction method.
A negative pressure is produced in the measuring head, and the skin is drawn inside the instrument. An optical measuring system consisting of a light source and light receptor measures the light intensity, which varies in accordance with the degree of skin penetration.
The two parameters measured are firmness and elasticity. Firmness is measured in terms of the resistance that the skin displays against being drawn in by the negative pressure.
Elasticity is measured in terms of the time taken for the skin to return to its original state.