You may have come across the term hormonal imbalance by now, given the increasing attention it has received from health and wellness advocates (but if not, that’s one more reason to dive in and continue reading). There’s a strong connection between our hormones and our skin, and when we help them keep their rhythm, our complexion glows!
First Things First: What Are Hormones?
Hormones are the chemical messengers produced by glands in our body that are involved in many processes including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and mood. Hormones are powerful - too much or too little of any kind (because we have many types of hormones) can disrupt our body’s daily functions. Hormonal imbalances can be the reason for many unwanted symptoms like constant fatigue, heavy periods, acne, or weight gain. But this doesn’t mean we should all have the same amounts and expect the same fluctuations from these important agents. We are all different and just like generalisations are not the rule, paying attention to our body is essential especially when you suspect something is off.
So, What’s the Deal With Our Hormones & Skin?
The skin is the body's largest organ. It acts as a protective barrier and helps eliminate unwanted substances through sweat and oils, amongst other crucial roles. There isn’t one “normal, natural” state for our skin to be in because of the constant changes throughout life. Our skin responds to the external environment, when the body gets sick, food choices, and fluctuating hormones. Although the goal is not to “neutralise” hormones, too much or too little of a hormone (hormonal imbalance) can bring drastic effects - these will vary depending on the type of hormone that is out of balance and the person’s gender.
Common Hormonal Skin Issues
A hormonal imbalance can have significant and noticeable effects on the skin, leading to drastic changes in its appearance. Some of these include:
Hormonal acne can be associated with low levels of oestrogen and progesterone, but can also be triggered by elevated levels of androgens, including testosterone. This happens due to hormonal fluctuations that stimulate oil production on our skin, along with excess production of sebum which leads to pore blockage, infection, and inflammation. These acne breakouts commonly manifest on the face, back, or chest.
See your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and evaluate the alternatives to embark on your healing journey.
Hormonal Dry Skin
Excess androgens can cause oily skin, while a deficiency of oestrogen, particularly with hypothyroidism, can lead to dry, itchy skin and skin rashes. Hypothyroidism reduces blood circulation, depriving skin pores of essential nutrients and oxygen. Ageing, especially during menopause, can cause dry, scaly skin and accelerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Melasma, also known as "the pregnancy mask," is a condition that commonly affects pregnant women due to hormonal imbalances. Excess oestrogen can trigger melasma, causing patches of dark pigmentation, particularly on the face. This condition, known as hyperpigmentation, leads to uneven skin tone and can negatively impact self-confidence, causing emotional stress. Pigmentation can also affect those who are not pregnant.
Stress and anxiety can worsen hormonal imbalances and exacerbate skin conditions.
How to Prevent Hormonal Skin Issues
Our emotions play an important role in activating our happy hormones which help our body function properly. Positive emotions like excitement, happiness, and joy, trigger serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin, and dopamine, which are known to be the ‘four happy hormones’.
As the name suggests, these hormones help regulate our mood and also promote a glowing complexion by helping our blood circulate well and pass oxygen efficiently through the body. Overall, the lifestyle you follow will have a significant impact on your skin. Avoiding smoking and alcohol, and reducing levels of stress will positively reflect on your skin, and on the contrary, indulging in a healthy diet, staying hydrated, being active, and having meaningful connections will show too.
Taking care of some specific hormones will help you on your skin healing journey.
Acts as a natural antioxidant and mood stabiliser. It helps improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and increase happiness. Try these to stimulate serotonin:
- Get some sunshine (don’t forget to use SPF!)
- Go for a walk
- Practice meditation & mindfulness
- Do some cardio- be active!
The love and bonding hormone that is known to make our skin firmer, is released when we feel connected to people. Try these to stimulate oxytocin:
- Pet your dog/cat
- Give someone a genuine hug
- Spend quality time together with a loved one
The brain’s natural pain killer reduces stress and increases pleasure. Try these to stimulate endorphins:
- Do some exercise
- Burn essential oils
- Watch some comedy and laugh out loud
- Eat a piece of dark chocolate
The reward and ‘feel good’ chemical improves microcirculation. Try these to stimulate dopamine:
- Listen to upbeat music
- Eat a balanced diet
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Complete a small task and tick it off the list
The Secret for Happy Hormones & Happy Skin
At The Secret, our goal is to formulate day and night skincare products by combining multiple medically-proven ingredients. These formulas are designed to promote healthy skin functions and optimise its condition. Regardless of your skin concern, explore our range to get started on your healing journey. If you’re unsure of where to start, take our free, 5-minute skin quiz to get our doctor’s recommendations based on your skin type.
Whether you’re looking to add the perfect products to your skincare routine, treat a specific concern, or are interested in finding out if medical grade and prescription skincare is the right option for you, The Secret is here to guide you on your journey to clear, glowing skin.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please contact us online.