Do you often feel that you are at the mercy of whatever “mood” your skin is in on any given day? You are not imagining this. Much like with your hair, you can have a “good skin day” or a “bad skin day”. This is certainly not a random occurrence. In fact, every change in your state of mind or body can have a direct effect on your skin health and appearance.
Why is this Happening?
The answer is simple. HORMONES! Think of these as the chemical “messengers” that travel throughout the body instructing your cells how to behave. They are essential in regulating digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and most importantly… STRESS LEVELS!
That’s right. Stress is the #1 culprit that can wreak havoc on your skin. That’s because when you are stressed, your body begins to produce stress hormones, including Cortisol. This phenomenon is known as the fight-or-flight response. These hormones divert blood away from your skin, directing it towards fuel your muscles and organs instead – much like survival mode really! This leads to a lack of oxygen to your skin, leaving it looking dull and tired. Cortisol, in particular, can cause your oil glands to go into overdrive, so if you’re acne-prone, this is when start to notice more breakouts.
The Thyroid Effect
Another relatively common issue can involve the thyroid. Some people have abnormally lower or higher thyroid hormone levels than normal. At the lower end, your skin may become dry and itchy, your nails weak, hair may be thinning, and you may develop perspiration and anxiety issues. A simple blood test can reveal if you have imbalanced thyroid hormone.
Let’s start with testosterone: You may think men are the only ones who have testosterone in their bodies… Wrong! Women need it as well. Did you know that It is the hormone that helps prevent wrinkles and sagging cheeks? The downside is, it can also aggravate acne. High levels of testosterone can also be the cause of a very common medical problem in women of all ages called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In addition to fertility and weight gain problems, this condition often causes excessive breakouts as well as the growth of excess hair. A simple blood test can reveal if a woman has PCOS. Not to worry – it is not dangerous but should be considered and properly monitored if you suspect that your hormones may be out of balance.
Estrogen is an essential part of a woman’s reproductive system, and it also happens to be directly responsible for young-looking skin and shiny hair. As we age, our estrogen levels tend to drop, and our skin's natural collagen levels also begin to decline. As a result, women during middle-age begin to require some progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and melatonin in order to regulate elevated estrogen levels and control age-related skin conditions like wrinkles and sagging skin.
Take Back Control Now!
It is imperative to stay healthy and looking good as we age. Keeping hormones well-balanced is important at any age for both overall health and skin health.
Staying well-hydrated by drinking lots of water, avoiding sun exposure and cigarettes, getting enough sleep, taking vitamins A and D, eating a balanced diet containing whole foods and Omega-3 fatty acids, and exercise—all help to detoxify the skin and improve circulation, which is important for healthy, beautiful skin.
When it comes to stress, a few simple stress management techniques can do wonders for your beauty regimen (and your mental health of course!). Next time you’re feeling anxious, go for a walk, do some yoga or deep-breathing exercises, or call a supportive friend to vent. These can all lower your cortisol levels, which can help clear both your mind and your skin.
There you have it. Now you know exactly what to do to find out which hormones you need to balance and take back control. We see more "good skin days" in your future!