Hormones and your skin throughout the decades!
Our skin is the largest organ of the body and like a mirror reflects our overall health. When something is out of whack internally the chances are it will reveal itself externally on the skin. Our hormones have got a lot to answer for and can be attributed to one of the biggest factors in how your skin is going to behave, look and feel on a daily basis. Throughout our lives there will be periods of time when hormone balances become disrupted - whether it be teenage breakouts, pregnancy rashes, stress related skin inflammation or dry and ageing skin in menopause – at some point we all experience hormonal imbalances and this can take its toll on the skin.
So what is happening to our hormones and skin at the turn of every decade?Your Teens!
Blemishes, blackheads and shine
In puberty our hormone levels circulating in our bodies surge, in particular testosterone, and this has an impact on the sebaceous glands (oil producing glands) making them grow bigger and triggering an excess amount of an oily substance known as sebum. The sebum usually moves out of the oil glands and onto the surface through our pores to protect and nourish the skin, however when there is an overproduction of sebum, the oil gets trapped inside and mixes with dead skin cells where it can attract bacteria causing swelling and redness associated with blemishes.
What to do…..
- Commit to a twice daily cleansing regime avoiding aggressive formulas and alcohol based products
- Exfoliate regularly to avoid a build-up of dead skin cells that can clog the pore openings
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary foods
What’s happening in your 20s and 30s?
The dulling sparkle
Whether you are dealing with exams, juggling a career or suffering from sleep deprivation, life is becoming very busy and the stress can start to show on our skin. When our body comes under stress the body releases the hormone ‘cortisol’ otherwise called the ‘stress hormone’. Cortisol not only has a direct effect on sebum production but it increases the blood circulation causing inflammation and breakouts. At the same time cell turnover, largely controlled by hormones begins to slow down leading to a build-up of dead skin cells which can leave the complexion looking dull and devitalised.
What to do…..
- Exfoliate regularly with a fruit acid based exfoliator to boost skin’s cell turnover
- Introduce a calming, radiance inducing face mask to reduce redness and alleviate tiredness
- Adopt a gentle exercise regime combined with regular sleeping patterns to help alleviate stress
What’s happening in your 40s?
Creases, crinkles and a parched complexion
Most women will experience the pre-menopausal state in their 40s. This transitioning stage sees a slow and steady decline in oestrogen, the main female hormone, which brings an onset of changes both to the body and the skin. Oestrogen is responsible for manufacturing collagen and so the decline in production can cause accelerated the ageing process creating more permanent wrinkles and skin slackening. Sebaceous glands tend to shrink causing a diminished production of sebum and skin can appear dry and rough in texture. Your past tends to catch up with you in your 40’s as cellular turnover slows and the skin struggles to regenerate efficiently causing uneven skin tone, visible sun damage and a lacklustre complexion.
What to do…..
- Layer a dedicated anti-ageing serum into your daily skincare regime
- Introduce a targeted eye and neck cream to tackle the issues associated with these delicate zones
- Take a Vitamin supplement to boost the immune system and improve energy levels
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What’s happening in your 50s, 60’s and beyond?
Beware the menopause fairy – flushes, hyperpigmentation and thinning skin
As you physically go through menopause and the hormone levels continue to plummet there are some significant changes in how the skin behaves. From the age of 29 years old skin loses 1% of collagen per year, yet in the first five years after menopause there is a dramatic 30% collagen loss with a 2% loss every year thereafter. The relationship between oestrogen and the blood circulation means that the decline in oestrogen levels causes a decrease in blood flow preventing vital nutrients and oxygen getting to the skin surface. This contributes to an overall thinning of the skin as well as loss of resilience. The fluctuation of hormones causes the body temperature to spike causing hot flushes, redness and increased sensitivity. Fat deposits become redistributed during menopause and the face loses its definition leading to increased skin sagging and puffiness. Oestrogen levels are directly linked to the production of melanin and decreased activity causes irregular melanin production leading to pigmentation marks otherwise known as melisma.
What to do…..
- Protect the skin with an urban daily defence shield with an SPF 50 on a daily basis come rain or shine
- Indulge in regular conditioning face masks to maximise hydration levels and maintain skin regeneration
- Drink plenty of water and double up with nutrient rich foods rich in B Vitamins