You probably know estrogen as the hormone that kickstarts puberty and regulates the menstrual cycle. But did you know that this helpful hormone does so much more? In fact, our hormones have a huge impact on our health, and estrogen, in particular, helps manage our metabolism, insulin sensitivity, body weight, and skin health. Before and during menopause, however, it’s common for women to experience estrogen deficiency. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including Estrogen Deficient Skin, or EDS for short.
To help you better prepare for (or manage) EDS, we’ll take a look at how low estrogen levels can affect the skin and what you can start doing to roll back the clock.
What causes estrogen deficiency?
Our bodies experience a variety of changes and symptoms as we approach menopause. This transitional period is called perimenopause, and during it, our estrogen levels begin to drop more rapidly.
Younger women can also experience estrogen deficiency. Things like excessive exercise, eating disorders, and problems with the pituitary gland can all contribute to low estrogen. If you think you might be experiencing low estrogen, your doctor can order blood work to check and see.
How low estrogen can affect the skin
EDS can negatively affect the skin in several ways. For starters, you may start to notice that your skin is drier than before and that your favorite moisturizer might not be able to work its magic like it used to. Low estrogen can also mean your skin loses its natural “glow” and becomes duller. In women of color, EDS can lead to patchiness or depigmentation, along with changes to the skin’s texture.
Of course, to top things off, EDS makes it easier for fine lines and wrinkles to form as well. Basically, it’s a recipe for aging, and it’s something many of us would like to avoid if possible. The good news is, low estrogen isn’t something you have to just deal with anymore. With the right blend of skincare products and lifestyle changes, you can help fight the effects of your body’s changing hormonal landscape.
How to help your skin recover
If you’re fed up with EDS, you don’t just have to grin and bear it. Keep reading to learn how to prevent and manage the effects of estrogen deficiency on your skin.
Change up your skincare routine
Of course, one of the easiest ways to introduce more estrogen into the skin is by switching up your product lineup. If you haven’t already been using them, now is the time to start using products specifically designed for dry or mature skin. Ingredients like collagen, argan oil, hyaluronic acid, goat’s milk, and more are all great for dry, dull skin.
Another great way to combat the effects of EDS is to stimulate collagen production. Products made with vitamin C and/or retinol are a great place to start and will help reduce the visible effects of hormone reduction – like sagging skin.
Don’t forget to take care of your neck, arms, and legs as well! Instead of taking super hot showers, turn the heat down a notch and use a nourishing body lotion formulated for extremely dry skin to keep things smooth and glowing.
Prioritize a healthy lifestyle
Along with keeping up with a targeted skincare routine, it’s also important to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle as well. While healthy habits alone won’t ramp up estrogen production, they’ll certainly benefit the skin in other ways, like fighting free-radical damage.
It’s important to get plenty of sleep and enough exercise. Along with this, certain foods can provide a powerful boost to the skin. For example, adding flaxseed to your oatmeal or smoothies provides your body with phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogen that functions similarly to the kind of estrogen our own body produces. Other foods, such as berries, fish, and garlic, can all stimulate collagen production as well.
New MEP technology
There’s also a new ingredient on the market today that shows a lot of promise when it comes to managing EDS. Methyl Estraodiolpropanoate, or MEP, is a new skincare technology that can help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier and reduce the effects of estrogen deficiency. Right now, the only brand using MEP is Emepelle, and it can be found in their morning serum and night cream.
How MEP works is by targeting collagen loss. It is a non-hormonal estrogen receptor activator that strengthens the skin’s epidermis and boosts collagen production. Over time, this can help diminish fine lines and wrinkles, along with creating brighter, more youthful-looking skin. While this ingredient is still relatively new, it holds a lot of promise, and it’s sure to be featured in a lot more products moving forward.
Looking to get rid of fine lines for good? Check out our post on DAXI, a new innovation that’s like Botox – but better.
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