Do Hormones Keep Your Skin Young?
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
If only we could keep the vibrant, clear, and plump, and wrinkle-free skin of our youth. But, alas, it isn’t so. At least not without enough cosmetic and plastic surgery to turn you into Dolly Parton or Jane Fonda.
Assuming that all-out cosmetic surgery is not something you can afford or wish to do for other reasons, there are some ways to renew your skin and prevent it from deteriorating further. If you grew up basking in the sun in your teens and 20’s and beyond and you are in your 50’s and 60’s now, you likely are starting to see the damaging results that too much sun exposure brings. As with other health efforts, it is never too late to start, and hormones can be the foundation of healthier skin.
What Causes Skin to Age?
Skin ages for so many reasons, but the two primary reasons are aging and sun exposure. With aging, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, even though the number of cell layers remains unchanged.
The number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) decreases. The remaining melanocytes increase in size. Aging skin looks thinner, paler, and clear (translucent). Pigmented spots, including age spots, may appear in areas exposed to the sun. The medical term for these areas is lentigos.
Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin's strength and elasticity. It is more noticeable in sun-exposed areas (solar elastosis). This change produces the leathery, weather-beaten appearance of people who spend a significant amount of time outdoors.
As you go through perimenopause and menopause, declining hormones affect skin tone, hydration, and wrinkles. We will get to that.
Other Causes for Aging Skin
Other health habits also affect skin aging. Two people aged 70 may have very different-looking skin. One person is healthy and glowing, and the other person looks as though they are much older than 70, and you may wonder why.
Genetic factors also affect the age of biological aging of the skin and determine your skin type. Genetics also influences the function of regeneration and restoration of cells and the activity of sweat glands and sebaceous glands. The ability of connective tissues to regenerate is also partially determined by genetics.
Emotional and Environmental Stress
If you are tired (poor sleep!) from stress, your skin will show it. Environmental stress such as smoke, poor air quality, harsh chemicals in your makeup, or lotions will wreak havoc on your skin.
A crappy diet makes for bad-looking skin. Processed foods, too much sugar, and fruits and vegetables that are doused in pesticides and fungicides are not only bad for your skin but your overall health.
As people age, they begin to lose their thirst mechanism. True dehydration can cause serious health problems. Even mild dehydration deprives the skin of necessary moisture Dehydration affects your skin’s ability to perform cell turnover. Without adequate hydration, your skin does not shed its outer layer enough, and dead cells accumulate on its surface. This contributes to a lackluster complexion.
Hormones and Your Skin
Let’s get right to it. Hormones affect your energy, sex drive, bone density, focus, memory, muscle mass, and yes, your skin. Starting during perimenopause and accelerating through and well after menopause, all essential hormones decline. Let’s look at the specifics:
Lines form around your mouth, your skin and eyes become dry, your hair thins, crow’s feet form, and you get forehead wrinkles. Estrogen helps stimulate collagen and oils. And, the skin inside your vagina dries out too! Ask us about vaginal rejuvenation to address the problem of vaginal dryness.
Can accelerate wrinkles and affects sex drive. An increase in libido and sex will help you to feel and look more youthful.
Low thyroid can cause dry and thinning skin. Dead skin may take longer to shed, which means new skin takes longer to grow.
Declining DHEA causes depletion of natural oils, making your skin lose its sheen and glow. An interview in Dermatology Times with Dr. Moy, a dermatologist, reports that “DHEA, which patients can buy in topical or oral form over the counter, has been shown in studies to thicken and tighten skin and in a case report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology to help prevent tears in atopic skin.”
You need melatonin for proper sleep and, low melatonin can cause your skin to look older than your age. Some people apply melatonin topically. As an antioxidant, it can help neutralize free radicals and promote healthy collagen production.
What Can You Do Starting Now to Improve Your Skin?
Starting now, schedule an appointment with us at Optimal Hormone Health for a total health and wellness assessment that includes bio-identical hormone replacement. Getting your hormones to optimal levels will improve your skin’s appearance. We can also look at your diet, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and other health-related changes. Other suggestions to get your skin looking the best it can:
Exercise and movement improve blood flow and oxygen to all parts of your body, including your skin.
Eat a Plant-Based Organic Diet.
Moving in the direction of a plant-based diet free of pesticides will give you more energy and vitality.
Get Sun Protection.
Vitamin D is essential to your health, and the best but the worst place to get it is the sun! Sun exposure ages the skin, so when you are out enjoying outdoor activities, use adequate skin protection with UVA and UVB protection. We can talk with you about vitamin D supplementation to get you back up to speed without damaging your skin.
Hydrate. Drink plenty of non-caffeine fluids during the day, like water! Generally speaking, about two liters a day is good depending on activity and temperature.
Hormones Can Help Keep Your Skin Young
Hormone replacement can help to keep your skin looking young. And, hormone replacement can help you feel more youthful by improving energy and libido. Put all of our tips together for better-looking skin and a better feeling you.