The fact that our hormones influence our skin has probably been clear to all of us since puberty at the latest. But why is that? And what are the effects in adulthood?
Various factors influence our skin appearance. For example, stress, diet, UV exposure and the psyche. But hormonal factors such as a change in hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy or menopause as well as hormonal contraceptive methods such as the contraceptive pill also have an impact on our skin.
Our skin during puberty
During puberty, the body produces more sex hormones, which has an impact on our skin. The skin is particularly sensitive to male sex hormones (androgens, including testosterone). They are not only found in the male body, but are also produced by girls and women. Under the influence of androgens, the sebaceous gland activity of the skin increases. This leads to a greasier skin. If the pores are narrowed or clogged, the sebum cannot drain away and blackheads and pimples develop.
The birth control pill and its effects on our skin
Many women take the pill, especially at a young age, in the hope of combating oily skin and pimples, among other things. The hormone progestin in particular is responsible for the fact that the skin usually improves when taking the contraceptive pill. Progestin has an anti-androgenic effect and can thus counteract the male sex hormones that cause acne. However, taking the contraceptive pill can also cause numerous side effects such as water retention, a decrease in the desire for sex, weight gain and an increase in the risk of thrombosis. So should the pill be used for a better skin appearance? In our opinion, the pill should not be used purely to improve the appearance of the skin. After all, the birth control pill is primarily for contraception! If you have skin problems, it is better to talk openly and honestly with your dermatologist and find an individual solution. Tips against blemishes and the appropriate active ingredients for external treatment (willow bark, niacinamide, zinc, retinol...) of blemishes can be found on numerous blogs of dermatologists and of course with us.
What happens after stopping the contraceptive pill?
After discontinuation of the contraceptive pill, the body's own hormone balance has to change, as no more artificially produced hormones are supplied. Initially, there is an overproduction of male hormones, which are responsible for increased sebum production and a cornification disorder of the sebaceous gland exits. Both factors can lead to increased skin blemishes. Hormone levels will level out over time. Good skin care, a healthy diet and a skin-friendly lifestyle with plenty of sleep, exercise and relaxation can help you get rid of your blemishes. However, please don't stress yourself out with it. The skin needs time for this and too aggressive washing, daily peels, going to the solarium and other questionable methods to fight blemishes will harm your skin in the long run.
Changes in the skin during the female cycle
However, hormones do not only play a role in our lives during puberty or in connection with the pill. During the female cycle, skin changes can be observed regularly - to a greater or lesser extent: If the estrogen level drops at the end of the cycle, there is often a deterioration in the skin's appearance. Blackheads and pimples appear more frequently. The main cause is the male sex hormone testosterone. Its level remains more or less constant, while the proportion of "beautifying" hormones decreases. If these rise again after menstruation, the skin's appearance also improves.
The skin during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a hormonal state of emergency for the body and also for our skin. Whether and how much it changes is individual. Some women radiate during pregnancy and have more beautiful and clear skin than ever before. Others show melasma (pigment spots that appear on the face) or impurities. In the case of pre-existing conditions such as neurodermatitis or psoriasis, relapses can occur during or after pregnancy. Likewise, different pregnancy dermatoses can occur, accompanied by itching and redness. If you notice severe changes in your skin, it is best to talk to your dermatologist and find an individual solution for your problems. Other than that, don't stress! Your body is doing an incredible job and your skin will soon recover. With plenty of sleep, moderate exercise, a healthy diet and gentle care, you can support it during this time.
The skin during menopause
During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease. Thus, the formation of collagen and elastin in the skin decreases. Likewise, the hyaluronic acid production of the skin decreases. This accelerates the aging process. The skin loses moisture and elasticity. It becomes thinner, drier, more sensitive to light, more sensitive and flabbier. If you are in menopause or have already gone through it, you should treat your skin to effective, moisturizing and skin-protecting active ingredients. Especially great are hyaluron, glycerin (contained in all our extracts), vitamin C, vitamin A and rich plant oils with highly effective fatty acids such as sea buckthorn, wild rose or grape seed oil. A healthy and skin-friendly lifestyle with a healthy diet, exercise, sufficient sleep and protection from the sun supports the beauty of your skin and slows down its natural aging.
The influence of hormones on men's skin
Hormone changes and thus their effects on the skin are less frequent in men than in women. Only during puberty do major changes often occur. Since sebum production is controlled by androgens (male sex hormones) and men have more of them than women, they are basically also more prone to acne, blackheads, pimples, large pores and skin shine. Sebum production is particularly high during puberty, until the hormone levels have leveled off. From the age of 40, the production of androgens and thus also sebum production continuously decreases. This also leads to drier and less elastic skin in men. Here, too, the use of "anti-aging" active ingredients and a skin-friendly lifestyle helps to preserve the beauty of the skin and slow down skin aging somewhat.
Lawrie TA, Helmerhorst FM, Maitra NK, Kulier R, Bloemenkamp K, Gülmezoglu AM. Types of progestogens in combined oral contraception: effectiveness and side-effects. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2011; (5): CD004861.
„Pille und Haut: Akne-Therapie: Auf das Gestagen kommt es an“ (Ärzteblatt)
Pille gegen Pickel? (Dr. Johannes Müller-Steinmann)
Pille gegen Akne (Focus Online)
Einfluss der Wechseljahre auf die Haut (Dr. Melanie Hartmann)
Wie Hormone auf unsere Haut einwirken (Hautinfo.at)
Männerhaut – Talgproduktion und Hormone (Haut.de)
Hautveränderungen in der Schwangerschaft (Deximed)
Falten, Flecken, Pickel - Hormone beeinflussen die Haut? (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Endokrinologie, Hormone und Stoffwechsel)
Zusammenspiel Hormone und Haut (Dr. med. Johannes Müller-Steinmann)