As we age, our skins can begin to show the signs of aging. Wrinkles, age spots, and thinning skin are just some of the changes that take place. While genetics play a role in when and how our skin ages, hormones also play a major role. Understanding the role of hormones in skin aging can help us better protect our skin and keep it looking healthy as we age.
What Role Do Hormones Play in Skin Aging?
Hormones play an important role in the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins found in the dermis layer of the skin that play a vital role in skin’s structure, firmness, and thickness. When our hormones decline with age, so too does the production of these proteins. As a result, our skin’s structure weakens, wrinkles form, and age spots can occur.
Hormones & Skin Aging: What Are the Key Hormones?
Two of the key hormones related to skin aging are estrogen and progesterone. Women typically experience a drop in these hormones during menopause. As the levels of these hormones fall, so too does their skin’s elasticity and firmness. This weakened elasticity is one of the key contributing factors in wrinkles, age spots, and thinning skin.
The Role of Testosterone & DHEA in Skin Aging
Men also experience a drop in hormones, but it’s typically not as drastic as women experience during menopause. Testosterone and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) are two hormones that decrease with age.
Testosterone plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass which can affect the appearance of skin. When our muscle mass declines with age, the skin can start to sag, resulting in wrinkles and a more aged appearance.
DHEA helps to regulate our skin’s protective barrier and its anti-oxidant properties. As our levels of DHEA decline, our skin becomes less able to protect itself and our skin’s anti-oxidant abilities begin to diminish. This can leave our skin vulnerable to free radical damage, resulting in wrinkles and age spots.
What Steps Should I Take to Protect My Skin from Aging?
The best way to protect your skin from aging is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating a diet full of healthy foods, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and drinking plenty of water can help keep your skin looking youthful. Additionally, using skincare products such as antioxidants, peptides, and retinoids can help boost collagen and elastin production and strengthen your skin.