Everyone has a set proportion of hormones coursing through their body. When this fine balance is upset, the problems begins. When hormones go into overdrive or aren’t produced as much as they should be, their balance is shaken which shows swiftly on the skin. Here’s what those hormones are and how they influence your skin.
Hormones Affect Skin Health in a Variety of Ways.
Your hormones don’t just control how you feel — they can impact the health of your skin, too. “Hormones play a key role in skin health. We know this because certain hormonal disorders manifest themselves in the skin and hair, in addition to internally.
Hormone levels largely go unnoticed unless there’s something off. For instance, having low levels of thyroid hormones, called hypothyroidism, can contribute to weight gain, low mood, constipation, and even dry skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Excess androgen — considered typical male hormones, which females also have — can stimulate sebaceous glands in skin to pump out oil, one factor that contributes to the development of acne.
Another big hormonal player in skin health is estrogen. Even before menopause, “as we age, estrogen levels can start to decline. Estrogen helps to stimulate the right amount of oil production to keep it supple, smooth, and plump. But as estrogen decreases, skin is drier and itchier. We see this in patients with dry skin in general as well as in eczema patients during flares.
Contrary to popular belief, estrogen isn’t a solely female hormone as it’s also found in males. In females, estrogen comes from the ovaries and is wonderful for the skin. It builds collagen, decreases pore size and maintains moisture levels so that the skin is smooth and nourished. By 40, estrogen dips in females and leaves the skin thinner and less elastic. That’s why many face wrinkles, crow’s feet and sagging skin at this stage.
Ever noticed how your skin goes out of whack when you spend your nights working on a big presentation? Cortisol is responsible for that. Popularly known as the stress hormone, cortisol is a produced as a natural reflex to help the body deal with stress. However, if cortisol is sustained in in high doses over a long period of time, it affects the skin and leaves it pimple-ridden and excessively dull.
Along with estrogen, testosterone is needed to maintain the balance in the body. Testosterone is responsible for triggering the sebum production glands which ensure that the skin stays naturally moisturised. However, excess sebum production can leave the skin oily, pores clogged and prone to acne. This is often a symptom of PCOS, where testosterone production can go into overdrive.
There’s a reason they call it beauty sleep, you know – and melatonin is the reason why. It is known as the vampire hormone because it is produced in the darkness of the night and declines by the time dawn breaks. Melatonin is known to be a powerful antioxidant as it neutralises free radical damage and turns back the signs of ageing.
Here’s a run down of the important role our hormones play in healthy hair, glowing skin and strong nails.
1. YOUR HORMONES & YOUR Hair.
Our hormones play an important role in the growth and health of the hair on our head and body.
Here are a few hair-related signs of hormone imbalance.
▪️ Hair Loss.
In both men and women, androgen hormones, such as testosterone & DHEA determine hair growth (or lack thereof).
In many cases, hormonal hair loss is linked to an imbalance in a potent testosterone metabolite called dihydrotestosterone (known as ‘DHT’), which can shrink and damage hair follicles.
Higher levels of testosterone & DHT is common in women with PCOS, insulin resistance and those experiencing a post-pill androgen surge.
▪️ Body Hair Growth.
As a wicked twist of fate, as well as shedding the hair on your head, an excess in androgen hormones and DHT can also result in the growth of unwanted body hair on the face, chest and back.
In both cases, low levels of progesterone can worsen the impact of androgens on hair follicles. This is because progesterone helps to block the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase which converts testosterone to DHT.
▪️ Dry & Thinning Hair.
Along with nutrient status and thyroid function, the health of our hair is closely linked to oestrogen, which helps to grow a full, thick head of healthy hair.
Lower levels of oestrogen can affect the health of our hair, which is why women going through menopause, or experiencing a big drop in oestrogen after giving birth can experience dry and thinning hair.
Don’t panic, as your hormones return to normal postpartum and (your body recoups the nutrients it used to grow a small human), your hair should return to normal.
2. YOUR HORMONES & YOUR SKIN.
Are you doing all the skincare but your skin just doesn’t seem to care? In our opinion, hormone-care is just as important as skincare for healthy, hydrated and glowing skin. Here’s how our hormones affect the health, aging & appearance of our skin.
▪️ Skin Health.
When it comes to the overall health of your skin, oestrogen in the right amounts is your best friend.Oestrogen binds to receptors on skin cells and promotes collagen production, skin hydration, thickness, elasticity, healing and improved barrier function.
One study also found that many women self-report more sensitive skin around the time of their period, which researchers suspect could be due to low levels of oestrogen at this time of the cycle.
▪️ Skin Aging.
Along with oestrogen, DHEA also helps to keep skin plump and hydrated, and is often referred to as ‘the fountain of youth’ for its anti-aging qualities.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, and acts as a precursor to other sex hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone.
DHEA in the body declines with age as well as with stress, which is why managing your stress levels and getting your beauty sleep really is key for glowing, youthful skin.
We have a collection of other blogs dedicated to hormonal acne so we’ll keep this one brief. Similarly to hair loss and body hair growth, hormonal acne is linked to an imbalance between androgen metabolites and the hormones that keep them in check— oestrogen & progesterone.
Androgens crank up the production of sebum (skin oils) along the jawline, cheeks, chin and neck. In short, the more oil that builds up, the more likely you are to develop hormonal acne.
3. YOUR HORMONES & YOUR NAILS .
Similarly to how oestrogen nourishes hair and skin, this beauty-promoting hormone also helps our nails grow strong and healthy.
Hydrated nails are healthy nails, and oestrogen helps to keep water in body tissues. This means lower oestrogen levels can contribute to dull, yellow-ish fingernails.
Our sex hormones can also affect how fast nails grow. For example, during pregnancy, where oestrogen and progesterone climb to the highest levels of a woman’s lifetime, many women also experience rapid nail growth.
Along with hormones, other factors that play a role in growing strong, healthy nails are nutrient status, amino acid (protein) availability, and thyroid function.
4 Hormones That Play An Important Role In How Your Skin Looks/https://swirlster-ndtv-com
Can ‘Resetting’ Your Hormones Improve Your Skin?/https://www.everydayhealth.com/
How Your Hormones Affect Your Hair, Skin & Nails/https://engage-evewellness-com