Hormonal imbalance affects your skin.
Have you ever experienced “period breakout” right before your menstrual cycle or dark spots on face during pregnancy? Then you already know that our hormones have a major impact on our skin.
However, it is important to understand that hormones play a role in our skin’s health throughout the year. Symptoms may be more visible during extreme hormone fluctuations – menstrual cycle, pregnancy & menopause but hormones have an effect everyday of the year.
Knowing what skin changes to expect can help you to properly care for your skin no matter what phase of your hormonal cycle you are in.
Hormones that affect skin
There are three main hormones that can cause changes to the look and feel of our skin. They are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Each hormone plays a very different role on the skin.
- Estrogen helps to stimulate collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production. This helps the skin to stay firm, plump & youthful.
- Progesterone stimulates the production of sebum or the oil in the skin. It can also cause the skin to swell and enhance the visibility of pores. Too much porgesterone can lead to oil build up, inflammation & breakouts.
- Testosterone – yes women have testosterone too. Testosterone typically presents during menstruation. Its effects are similar to progesterone as it activates your sebaceous glands to produce oil. This keeps your skin looking well nourished. However too much testosterone can cause oily skin and breakouts.
Your Period or Menstrual Cycle
Your skin’s appearance can change depending on the phase you are at in your menstrual cycle. If you are able to track your menstrual phase then you may be able to predict how your skin will react. Your may then use the appropriate products to create healthy, beautiful skin.
This is the from the first day after your previous period has ended. During the first few days of your cycle, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels are low. As a result, you may notice your skin looking drier and duller. The reason for this is unknown however researchers have also found that women tend to report more skin sensitivity during this phase of their cycle. During this phase opt for more hydrating products like a nourishing cleanser and nourishing moisturiser. You may also want to avoid any procedures like chemical peels, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion or waxing as this could irritate your sensitive skin. Have a nourishing facial like the Rasayna Rejuvenating Facial which nourishes and rehydrates your skin leaving it healthier, plumper and loogking younger.
During this phase, estrogen production increases and this can promote healthy cell turnover. To help slough off dead skin cells and reveal the healthy skin cells underneath, use a gentle enzymatic exfoliating cleanser like Buttermilk Cleanser for dry skin or Active Face Cleanse Gel for oily skin.
Estrogen production reaches it peak at this phase which is when ovulation occurs. If you are using the correct products for your skin then during this phase your skin is going to look its most healthy and glowing. No need to overdo products or treatments during this stage.
During this phase, estrogen levels suddenly drop and progesterone reaches its peak. This means you may be more prone to oil build-up and breakouts. Using a deep-cleansing mask like the Detox Face Mask to draw out impurities will balance the skin and prevent breakouts.
Right before your period, testosterone production takes over, and can lead to the dreaded period breakout. During this time, use a deep cleanser like Active Face Cleanse Gel and use the Detox Face Mask every second day to fully cleanse the pores. This prevents bacteria infection and breakouts.
Your skin undergoes many changes during pregnancy. This is because during pregnancy, you will experience heightened levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are believed to contribute to the skin condition melasma. This common condition affects 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women.
When melasma occurs during pregnancy it is known as chloasma. It is characterized by dark brownish skin patches that typically pop-up around the forehead, nose, upper lips and cheeks. These hormones may also cause existing moles, freckles, or birthmarks to change colour. While chloasma and hyperpigmentation can be a cosmetic concern, they will not pose any harm to you or your baby.
There is no way to prevent chloasma, but you can reduce flare-ups by limiting sun exposure and using a pregnancy-safe sunscreen daily. You can also reduce the appearance of these dark spots by using a serum high in antioxidants & phytosterols like the Rasayana Rejuvenating Serum. Typically, these dark spots will fade within three months post-pregnancy once your hormones resettle but using the correct products during pregnancy can prevent long term skin damage.
If any of these skin changes continue after pregnancy, you may want to consult with a dermatologist who can perform a skin check and rule out of more sinister causes.
Your skin goes through many changes during the menopause.
Estrogen levels decrease. When estrogen decreases, so does the production of collagen which can lead to facial volume loss, a decrease in skin thickness, plus facial sagging and wrinkles. Research shows that women lose about 30% of collagen during the first five years of menopause. To treat collagen loss, use products rich in amino acids or eat foods rich collagen (i.e., fish, chicken, egg whites) to help nourish the skin from the inside out. To treat wrinkles, use products high in gotu kola and amino acids. These products reduce the appearance of fine lines and stimulates the production of collagen.
Low estrogen levels also causes dry skin during menopause. Dermatologists recommend that you use more targeted, age-defying moisturisers with soy sterols which help lock-in moisture and replenish estrogen stores. It’s also recommended that you avoid long, hot showers as this can dry out your skin.
Hormonal Fluctuations is Normal
It’s normal to have good and bad skin days! Whether in your teens or in your 50s, fluctuating hormones can make it challenging to navigate your skin health. By understanding how our hormones can affect us at each stage, we can adjust our skin routines to prepare for and prevent any potential skin troubles.