It isn’t news that hormones are involved in skin and hair health. HRT is a way out if you need to restore a younger look.
Therefore the physiological decline in hormones with aging (menopause in women and andropause in men) is a time of significant changes to the skin and hair for both sexes.
Around age 45, women’s ovaries begin producing decreasing amounts of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, while in men it is the testicles’ testosterone production that mainly drops.
Effect of Hormonal Imbalance on the Skin
The skin contains estrogen receptors, as well as receptors for progesterone and testosterone. Therefore deficiencies of these three hormones contribute to skin aging, in both men and women and results in the following symptoms:
- thinner skin;
- an increase in the number and depth of wrinkles;
- increased dryness;
- decreased firmness/elasticity.
Skin becomes more prone to sun damage, pimples, and rashes, and can be easily irritated
Facial hair – as levels of female hormones fall in women, unwanted hair can appear under the chin and along the jawline or above the lip
What is a hormone replacement therapy for women?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment women can receive to relieve the symptoms of menopause. As the name suggests, the HRT treatment replaces hormones that have naturally slowed in their production.
HRT can be applied as you approach or during menopause. The prominent advantage of undergoing HRT is the relief of the symptoms common to menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and reduced libido.
So how exactly can HRT change your face? During menopause, the levels of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone drop. Estrogen and progesterone are the two main sex hormones found in the female body. When you enter menopause, your body will transition from its reproductive stage to the next phase of your life.
Because of this, your body perceives your sex hormones to be less necessary than they were before, so it reduces their natural production. As mentioned before, estrogen plays an important part in maintaining the health of your skin. This hormone is associated with collagen production, the thickness and hydration of the skin, the healing of wounds, and the preservation of the skin barrier.
On top of that, estrogen produces hyaluronic acid – a substance that primarily retains water to keep your skin hydrated and moist. The second hormone, progesterone, has similar effects on the face and works well when combined with estrogen.
Knowing the function of estrogen and progesterone is important to understand how HRT may change your face. While the therapy is not likely to make a considerable change, it does have the potential to help you maintain a more youthful look.
The Process of Aging and Wrinkles
Aging goes hand in hand with lower elasticity and a reduction in the thickness of the skin. These factors are essentially what causes the skin to wrinkle and lose its plumpness. Another important aspect when it comes to skin aging is Collagen.
Collagen is the protein in the skin that gives it structure, stretch, and suppleness. As with estrogen and progesterone, when our bodies age, we tend to produce less collagen, resulting in thinner skin which is more prone to wrinkles.
During a study in which 3,000 women were divided into two groups to observe the effects of HRT, the results showed that the women who were using HRT had a significant reduction of wrinkling and dry skin. It seems HRT could potentially boast the dermal collagen levels of the skin, thereby improving it.
Another experiment, which was a placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial, established that post-menopausal women who took oral estrogen therapy for one year experienced an increase in dermal thickness by as much as 30 percent.
Thirdly, a similar trial demonstrated that just after six months of HRT, women in the trial measured a 6.49 percent increase in skin collagen.
Additional Benefits of HRT
While we have mostly focused on the effects HRT has on the skin, other effects of using HRT should not be overlooked. As a matter of fact, HRT is designed primarily to relieve the distressing symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems, and more.
While you may benefit from improved skin by undergoing HRT, the added benefits of a better night’s rest and overall improved mood can also have a positive effect on your skin.
Coming back to the main question, of whether HRT changes your face, if you are undergoing HRT it is possible you may notice some facial changes.
The main ones you may experience are increased skin thickness, elasticity, and hydration, along with the possibility of fewer wrinkles. While overall these changes will not be drastic, they can help boost your confidence and make you feel better in your own skin.
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