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Can Estrogen Help Prevent Skin Aging?

 
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Here’s a fact that may amaze you. Estrogen has thousands of cellular actions throughout your body, including important actions in your skin. We’ll quote from a 2016 article in Climacteric, the Journal of the International Menopause Society:

“Estrogen receptors have been detected in many skin elements including keratinocytes, melanocytes, fibroblasts, hair follicles and sebaceous glands so it is likely that the withdrawal of estrogen at menopause will have measurable effects on skin health.”1

You don’t need to understand the medical terms to get the point — estrogen is a significant factor in the health and appearance of your skin.

After menopause (either natural or surgical) your skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic, with increased wrinkling and less blood flow. Skin collagen is thought to decrease by as much as 30 percent in the first five years after menopause if a woman does not use estrogen replacement.4

A 2013 article in a leading medical journal Dermato-Endocrinology states, “Skin aging can be significantly delayed by the administration of estrogen. This paper reviews estrogen effects on human skin and the mechanisms by which estrogens can alleviate the changes due to aging.”2

This article explains that, when women who have taken oral estrogen continuously for five years were compared with women who had not, the women on estrogen were found to have significantly less wrinkling. Estrogen also increased skin hydration, elasticity, thickness, collagen and vascularization.

Other studies have focused on estrogen used in products applied to the skin, e.g., gels, creams, and patches, and found the same beneficial effects as oral estrogen on collagen and prevention of skin thinning.3

Estrogen applied to the skin has both local skin effects as well as effects throughout the body.4

Read more in Advancing Health After Hysterectomy
1) Baber RJ, Panay N, Fenton A et al. IMS Recommendations on women’s midlife health and menopause hormone therapy. Climacteric. 2016;19:pg 120. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26872610 2) Thornton MJ. Estrogens and aging skin. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2103;5(2)264-270.Brincat M, Versi E, Moniz CF, Magos A, de Trafford J, Studd JW. Skin collagen changes in postmenopausal women receiving different regimens of estrogen therapy. Obstet Gynecol. 1987;70: 123–7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3601260 3) Son ED, Lee JY, Lee S, Kim MS, Lee BG, Chang IS, et al. Topical application of 17beta-estradiol increases extracellular matrix protein synthesis by stimulating tgf-Beta signaling in aged human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol. 2005;124:1149–61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15955089 4) Stevenson, S. and Thorton, J. Effect of estrogens on skin aging and the potential role of SERMs. Clin Interv Aging. 2007 Sep; 2(3): 283–297. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685269/

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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