The Hormonal Impact on our Skin
Did you know that our skin is an organ in our body that depends on hormones too? The skin has three layers; the dermis, epidermis and subcutis. Cells within these layers actually have receptors for the hormones estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), thyroid, melatonin and Vitamin E. This is why hormone imbalance in our bodies can show up in our skin.
Estrogen provides the skin with a number of benefits including improving inflammatory skin disorders and protecting against skin photo-aging from the sun. It has the ability to protect from free radical damage similar to antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Estrogens help to build up the dermis by increasing cell division and growth of the skin. They also hydrate the dermis and epidermis which makes the skin look fuller and reduces wrinkle depth. There are variations in skin thickness consistent with the variation in our hormones during the menstrual cycle. During menopause, as estrogen levels drop, your skin becomes thinner, drier and less firm with an increase in number and depth of wrinkles.
Progesterone is considered the hormone of wisdom. It tightens connective tissue by remodeling collagen, the tissue that supports our skin structure. Progesterone also stabilizes and regenerates the epidermis which keeps skin looking younger. On the other hand, testosterone is known as the hormone of power. It tightens skin structures, stimulates the breakdown of fat and strengthens the collagen strands that support the skin. This stabilizes the connective and fat tissues within the skin which creates a firmer looking skin.
So what can you do to protect and improve your skin? Start with a well-balanced diet supplemented with a quality multi-vitamin. The B vitamins are also good for healthy skin. Quit smoking! Use skin products that contain vitamins A and C for their antioxidant effects and creams with collagen help firm the skin. Use a high quality daily sunscreen or moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30. Stress can lower your body’s estrogen, progesterone and testosterone so try to unwind a little bit. Get some sleep! And of course, hydrate your skin by drinking lots of filtered water.