1. Style
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Hormones and Your Aging Skin

Your Retinoids Can Only Do So Much

By

agingwomandigitalvision.jpg

Doctor's Advice: Anti-Aging Tips

Digital Vision/Getty Images
DrMorely.JPG

Dr. Timothy Morley, D.O.

Image provided by Dr. Morely

Think your retinoids will take care of those new wrinkles or sagging skin? There is more to it than that according to Dr. Morley, Medical Director of Womens Healthy Hormones.  He's here to share why hormones, not skin care products, are one of the biggest keys to slowing down the ticking of the clock.

One of the most distressing parts of aging is watching our skin begin to wrinkle, dry and age.  Indeed, preventing this is a billion dollar industry.  Unfortunately, one common mistake is to attack this dilemma from the outside only by applying topical solutions. 

However, the key to younger looking skin is to approach this issue from both the outside and inside.  Don’t forget, your skin is an organ and will reflect your overall health.

The Effects of Hormones

An unfortunate fact of life is that as we age, our hormone levels decline, having a detrimental effect on our organs including heart, lungs and skin.  Replacing certain hormones will prevent this.  Numerous studies have shown how balancing estrogen, progesterone and cortisol can combat this natural aging process and help restore our skin to its younger natural appearance.

The Effects of Estrogen

There are two proteins, known as collagen and elastin, which deteriorate as we age, causing wrinkles and dry, sagging skin.  This is in part a result of declining estrogen levels.  Quite simply, increasing estrogen levels will minimize the breakdown of these proteins and give your skin a younger healthier appearance.

Boosting your estrogen levels can be done internally with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and externally with estrogen creams.  However, to begin HRT you should seek out a physician who is highly qualified with specialty training, specifically in the use of bioidentical hormones which are safer and have fewer side effects than non-bioidentical hormones.

Effects of Progesterone

Another intervention for preventing skin breakdown is topical progesterone cream.  There have been clinical trials which clearly demonstrate that a 2% progesterone cream increases elasticity and firmness to skin, especially in women who are entering menopause.  This has been found to significantly decrease wrinkles and have a favorable impact on skin with essentially no side effects.  Again, one should be prescribed a high-quality bioidentical progesterone from a trained physician to ensure purity and potency. 

Effects of Cortisol

Cortisol is a “stress hormone” which is secreted when we need that “fight or flight” response to our environment.  However, long term exposure to cortisol due to our over-stressed life style causes your skin to become dry, thin and weak.  You tend to retain water with a puffy appearance to your skin and face, and you tend to bruise more easily.

Lowering cortisol levels comes from life style change and taking care of yourself.  Additionally, supplementing a hormone called DHEA along with estrogen and progesterone minimizes the effects of cortisol on your body.

5 More Tried and True Measures

  • Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol. 
  • Refrain from over-exposure to the sun. 
  • Clean your skin daily with a high-quality soap. Your skin is known as your “3rd kidney” because it helps remove toxins.
  •  Supplement your diet with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Co Enzyme Q10.  These are anti-oxidants that prevent free radical formation which causes wrinkles.
  • Get enough sleep as this is the time for our entire body to regenerate, including our skin.

Dr. Timothy Morley, D.O., is a Board Certified General Health Physician in New York City and a leading expert in women’s health.  He received his medical training at Ohio University College of Medicine, and has since built a background in functional medicine and preventive health. He also specializes in nutrition, diet, and weight loss, helping his patients achieve overall lifestyle changes. With one of the largest medical practices in Manhattan, he combines solutions from diet and fitness regimens with nutritional supplements to help women pre-, during, and post-menopause face issues such as weight loss, hormonal imbalances, and healthy aging.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.