I just spent the week listening to various speakers on the topic hormones via the Women's Wellness Summit. I had no idea how much our hormones effect various aspects of our lives. The thought never occurred to me that the reason women break out once a month is due to the hormones. Kind of a duh moment, but sorry never crossed my mind.
At the same time it never occurred to me that hormones are the reason we experience break outs during our teen years. Some women may experience issues with break outs during pregnancy due to hormones. These hormones are tricky little buggers and they play a big role in how our skin looks. The thing is even our lifestyle can play a role on our hormones and our skin.
The Stress Hormone, Cortisol
Stress if not managed properly has an impact on various aspects of our health, but right now let's see how it can affect our skin. I know if I am stressed and keep it in I break out. The main hormone that is causing this issue is cortisol, it is known as the fight or flight hormone and does not know the difference between stress and running from a hungry bear.
When cortisol is triggered it also triggers, for some reason, sebum which controls how much oil is in our skin. As we know oily skin is more prone to break outs. It also causes the skin to become dehyridated which leads to other issues such as the following.
Testosterone is responsible for controlling sebum, our bodies natural way of providing oil to the skin. In men low testosterone leads to dry skin and a chronic skin condition, such as psoriasis, can become worse. With women to much testosterone leads to oily skin this can happen during puberty or menopause.
DHEA like our other hormones deplete with age and stress.These hormones are responsible for producing collagen which keep our skin firm and toned. As we mature our skin seems to become drier and DHEA aids in triggering the release of oil to hydrate our skin.
Progesterone levels start to decline during our late 30s. When our levels our low we experience a duller apperance in our skin. This hormone is resposible for skin elasticy and circulation. Not only is menopause the reason for a lack of progesterone, but stress also has a negative effect on it.
Thyroid HormonesThe thyroid gland is actually a source for two hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3.) When these hormone levels are low, hypothyroidism, it causes dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles usually become more predominant. Those with low levels may also experience the following.
- Facial puffiness
- Cool dry, or waxy skin
- Thicker skin on the lower legs along with pale or yellowish skin
EstrogenWomen can experience a loss of estrogen once they reach 40. The loss of estrogen causes various skin issues.
- Loss of hydration
- Thinning skin
- Fine lines becoming creases
- Skin around the eyes and lips droop
- Less blood flows through the skin
The growth hormone plays a key role in the health of our skin and again one that depletes as time goes by. It's job is to repair skin cells, when we are low on the growth hormone we may experience the following. Sagging skin all over the body, note that exercise, along with our eating and sleeping habits are key for this hormone.
Keep on Glowing
- Maintain hormonal levels by exercising 5 - 7 days a week
- Eat organic whenever possible
- Avoid toxic skin care products try these instead
- Deal with stress through a relaxing bath, reading, massage, exercise, meditation
- Pay attention to the health of your liver as it aids with hormones
- Have your hormones checked by a health care professional
- Watch for more posts on using food and herbs to aid with your hormonal balance
This information is for educational purposes consult with a health care professional for your health needs.
What do you do to keep your hormones in check?
Have you had an experience with your skin due to hormones?