Skin ages, along with the rest of our body, post-menopause. Women over fifty who want to age with vitality are encouraged to know that we can do something to have and maintain healthy, radiant skin. The key lies in three crucial hormones that impact the way skin ages.
Hormonal shifts, which occur during and after menopause, affect how the entire body navigates the aging process. These changes impact the appearance of skin, resulting in age spots, fine lines, deep creases, dryness, sagginess, and a dull, lackluster look. Sound a bit discouraging?
Not to worry… There’s more!
Is Rapidly Aging Skin Inevitable?
While it may seem that you’re powerless to control the unwanted advances of time on your skin, there is, in fact, quite a bit that you can do! You don’t have to accept rapid, accelerated aging of your skin. And when you understand the science behind the process, remedies and preventative measures offer powerful solutions. Hormones are at the root of skin’s aging, and there are three in particular that influence their effects. Several natural approaches support the hormonal shifts your body goes through during and after menopause.
3 Crucial Hormones That Affect Your Skin’s Appearance
There are many hormonal fluctuations in the aging process, but three play a significant role when it comes to the aging of our skin. Let’s explore each, along with what we can do to limit their negative impact.
Hormonal Culprit #1: Estrogen
For women over fifty, estrogen levels decline. This leads to skin that is drier, more fragile, and less elastic. The result is skin that’s thin and droopy, with fine lines and areas of deep creases. Additional indicators that you need estrogen support can include night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, moodiness, memory issues, decreased bone density, weight gain, or vaginal dryness.
Radiant Skin Remedy: Supplement your diet with maca root and black cohosh to remedy declining estrogen.
Maca Root (Peruvian ginseng)
A member of the radish family, maca has been consumed by the indigenous people of the Andes for centuries. Containing several minerals and essential fatty acids, it’s an excellent solution to declining estrogen. It’s also been found to noticeably increase bone density markers.
Dosage: 2000 mg daily in capsule form. Mix the powdered form into smoothies, hot tea, or lattes.
Note for women with thyroid conditions: Maca contains iodine. Some healthcare practitioners feel it can worsen thyroid disorders. If you have known thyroid imbalances, consult your doctor before taking Maca.
Black Cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa)
Studies show that this herb alleviates many menopause symptoms, even preventing bone density loss. Women in my private practice report black cohosh to be effective in reducing hot flashes and night sweats. While it won’t improve symptoms for every woman, it’s certainly worth a try!
Dosage: Varies based on the form of delivery. Tablet typical dosage is about 80 mg once or twice daily. Liquid extracts, while harder to find, are my recommended form. Dose depends on the manufacturer.
Caution: Any substance influencing hormonal actions should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner. If you have a medical condition, take any medication, or have a history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor before taking herbs.
Hormonal Culprit #2: Thyroid
Most of my female patients over fifty aren’t aware that they might have thyroid imbalances (unless they’ve already been diagnosed). Hypothyroidism, which is an under-active thyroid, is very common – especially in women. The likelihood of developing hypothyroidism becomes even greater with age, leading to coarse, dry skin, causing fine lines to appear as deeper creases. Other indications of hypothyroidism are weight gain, difficulty losing weight, fatigue, low libido, and depression.
Radiant Skin Remedy: Get a comprehensive thyroid test, and follow up treatment if needed.
Most annual bloodwork only tests TSH. However, these five components must be evaluated for an accurate assessment:
- Free T3
- Free T4
- Reverse T3
- TPO antibodies
Read about why these tests are necessary, and discover the optimal ranges (not what conventional labs say is “normal”) here. Even if you’re already taking thyroid medication, you still need comprehensive blood testing to determine if your meds are providing you proper support – or if you have autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s).
Hormonal Culprit #3: Cortisol
In our culture, stress is a fact of life at every age. By age fifty or better, chronic, cumulative stress is common. This affects the adrenals, resulting in elevated cortisol. An inflammatory response ensues, causing the breakdown of collagen – which accelerates skin aging. Adrenal dysfunction drives sugar cravings. Consuming even small amounts of sugar increases inflammation, which in turn ages the skin.
Radiant Skin Remedy: Manage stress to heal adrenal dysfunction, age with vitality, and improve your skin’s appearance. While it’s a good idea to limit stressful situations and avoid overcommitting yourself, changing your current life situation isn’t always immediately possible. You can, however, make time for yourself to manage the stress you have.
Daily practices that elicit the relaxation response are powerful ways to deal with stress and lower cortisol levels. Make them a mandatory part of you day, even if only for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes again in the evening. Here are a few suggestions:
- Deep breathing
- Walks in nature
- Hot Baths
- Tai Chi
Be open to trying something new. Be sure to choose something you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stay consistent, which is what matters most!
Healthy, Radiant Skin From The Inside Out!
The best way (by far) to achieve radiant, healthy skin is from the inside out. Keep up with healthy lifestyle habits such as adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and moving your body on a regular basis. Couple this with some of the radiant skin remedies here to support your hormonal shifts, and your skin will thank you for years to come!
Acupuncture is one of the most powerful ways to manage the effects of chronic stress.
If you’d like to experience the benefits, contact us for an appointment, we’d love to meet you in person. For those of you outside of the Houston metro area, you too can work with me via Skype. I offer techniques that incorporate the principles of acupuncture that you can benefit from right in the comfort of your own home.
If you reside outside of the Houston metro area, you can opt to work with me via Skype. For distant women, I offer techniques which utilize the principles of acupuncture. My proprietary protocol combines EFT and auricular acupuncture (using a special tool that you can purchase along with ear seeds). You can enjoy the benefits of a treatment, personalized just for you, right in the comfort of your own home.