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How hormones affect your skin

Wooden blocks spelling out hormone
In many ways, life would be much simpler if our hormones remained constant throughout, but they don’t. They change and this has a huge impact on our skin.

Puberty

Many teenagers have oily skin during puberty with 80% suffering from acne at some point or another. Both boys and girls see their bodies change drastically, with boys’ bodies producing a large amount of testosterone and a small amount of oestrogen and girls’ bodies producing a large amount of oestrogen and a small amount of testosterone. In girls, this boost in oestrogen makes their skin cells produce more collagen and elastin, which is what holds skin together and makes it look plump and healthy. It also shrinks the size of pores, whereas testosterone does the exact opposite for boys, enlarging them. Testosterone encourages hair to grow and pores to produce more sebum (oil) which is why many boys are prone to acne breakouts. It’s a good idea to start having a daily skincare routine in your teenager can make a big difference. There are lots of acne treatments available but if your acne is severe you'll be best speaking to your doctor as they may be able to prescribe you something. As you get older, you’ll want to tailor your skincare routine to fit your skin type. There are five main types: normal, combination, oily, dry and sensitive. Some people will have the same skin type for the whole of their lives but other people can switch between different ones. Just making a few small changes can drastically improve the quality of your skin.

Periods

It takes our bodies a while to get used to the hormone changes puberty brings. Girls’ hormone cycles don’t always work as they should straight away, which can result in more testosterone than usual shortly before ovulation, resulting in acne breakouts. Over the next few decades, most women find their hormone cycles fall into sync and become more regular. Most women have cycles of 28 days, with most periods lasting between three and five days; they can however, last between two and seven days. When cells start slowing down their production of oestrogen, skin gets drier and starts to sag. This begins in our 30s and continues throughout the rest of our lives.

Contraceptive pill

When a woman takes a contraceptive pill it not only reduces her chances of falling pregnant, but regulates her hormone cycles. Her testosterone levels are reduced so less sebum is secreted by skin cells resulting in fewer acne breakouts. Some women do develop darker patches and their skin can become discoloured in places when on the pill. If this happens to you then it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.

Menopause

Most women experience this when they’re 45 – 55 years old. The hormone changes that take place can cause acne breakouts, the skin condition rosacea, more wrinkles, drier skin, the hair on your head to thin and sometimes causes hair to grow in unwanted places. Hot flushes can cause your face and chest to feel warm too. If you want to reduce your chances of getting lots of wrinkles, check out our guide to wrinkles home remedies. You might also want to read our foods to make your skin appear more youthful article. Shop our Natural Beauty range.

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