Hormones & Skin
I don’t know about you, but I have a cabinet FULL of serums. My skin care regime takes a good 20 minutes and honestly…I love it. I love the ritual. I love the results. I love the feeling of taking care of my skin. But, no matter how much squalene or rosehip oil I apply to my face, my hormones can always swoop in and change my smooth, alabaster skin into an apocalyptic wasteland of excess oil, acne or dry spots.
Our hormones can do a number on our skin, and regulating our natural hormones can help keep our skin healthy, but hormonal changes are natural.
Let’s look at a few of the hormones that can impact our skin and what exactly they do.
We LOVE estrogen.
You’ve probably already heard of the benefits estrogen can have on the skin. It’s the most commonly mentioned hormone when it comes to skincare.
Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone in the body, regardless of gender, but is found in greater quantities in those assigned female. It regulates the collagen levels, the thickness and hydration levels of your skin.
If you have a menstrual cycle, your estrogen levels will peak during ovulation. At this time you may notice smoother, clearer skin that appears plump and more hydrated.
Many believe that progesterone (a hormone linked to stress and irritability) may have a negative impact on your skin, although further research is needed. Progesterone levels peak during the luteal phase or premenstruation (about 14 days before a period).
Androgens, specifically testosterone, can lead to increased sebum in the skin. Those going through menopause or menstruation see a spike in these androgens and may notice their skin is more oily or that they experience a short period of adult acne.
It’s not all negative though. Testosterone is also attributed to anti-aging and can be naturally boosted through exercise (especially resistance training). Naturally boosting testosterone is safe and won’t change your physique or harm your natural hormone cycle. All humans have natural levels of both testosterone and estrogen in their bodies that increase and decrease depending on lifestyle and natural hormone cycles.
Because of the very shallow and patriarchal society that we live in, menopause is often portrayed as this horrible thing that brings an end to the worthiness of the person experiencing it. But, menopause is a natural part of life and isn’t the “life ending” sentence that the media makes it out to be.
Menopause brings an abrupt decrease in estrogen levels which can make the skin thinner, drier and itchier. Because estrogen regulates inflammation, you may also see an increase of inflamed skin or blotchy red patches that come along with “hot flashes.”
You may also notice increased facial hair and that your skin is paler than usual. The drop in estrogen reduces the number of blood vessels in the skin which can lead to a paler complexion.
All in all, it’s not so bad. Your skin comes out the other side a little paler, a little drier and thinner.
The thyroid gland is a small gland near the windpipe that controls two thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism(either an increase or decrease of these hormones) can lead to issues like swelling and redness of the skin, sweating excessively or very little or dry, thick, coarse skin.
Our hormones can have a massive effect on our skin, but maintaining a consistent skin care regime throughout the month can help regulate the effects of our hormones and keep your skin healthy and glowing.