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Hormone Triggers Through Women’s Life Stages Puberty to Menopause

melanie-kreutz-2yr4-1-vWxA-unsplash Hormone Triggers Through Women’s Life

Your hormones are one major influence on your skin. They play such a role in your well-being. Hormone triggers through women's life stages.

Recall being a teenager and dealing with acne or those flare-ups when your period came? But it’s not always the sex hormones that are the culprits. So, let’s take a peek at how some hormones affect your skin.

What are Hormone Triggers?

Teenagers have a field day at this time things get so crazy and productive. As you can’t see hormones, they are pretty much a mystery. So, we have to rely on science to tell us about them.

Hormones are chemical messengers created by your endocrine glands. They journey to other locations via your bloodstream to assist body tissue and organs to do their work.

Several important hormones are:

  • Thyroid
  • Insulin
  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Androgen

Main endocrine glands are:

  • Pituitary
  • Pineal
  • Thymus
  • Thyroid
  • Adrenal
  • Pancreas

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Hormones maintain and control:

  • Growth
  • Reproduction
  • Metabolism
  • Mood

Lab tests are done to measure levels by your blood, urine or saliva. These are performed if your doctor suspects a hormonal disorder. Similarly, to a home pregnancy test you would do with your urine.

What Causes a Hormonal Imbalance?

These messengers are powerful. Just a few going astray can upset cells or your entire body. As a result, too much or too little of any certain hormone can cause an imbalance.

Hormonal disorders are due to these imbalances. And you usually don’t notice this until something shows up.

Hormone Triggers Through Women’s Life Stages

Puberty and Acne

Your female body somewhere around 10-14 went through a surge in reproductive hormones. At that time ovaries awoke with an increase in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone bringing on your first menstrual cycle and other physical changes. In addition, the increase in testosterone caused more sebum production leading to oily skin that clogged follicles.

Further, testosterone is not just a male hormone.  However, men make more of this hormone, so they are more acne prone. Your skin has receptors that are sensitive, testosterone makes it produce sebum. Thus, more sebum is an element of acne with puberty.

As your period begins acne breakouts are common because of the change in hormone amounts. Estrogen drops and testosterone goes up. Most importantly, both these hormones team up to balance oil production on your skin. To sum up, when these hormones are imbalanced there is excess oil and breakouts.

Females have the option of going on hormonal birth control pills to treat this. As a result, these stop the production of testosterone by putting your ovaries to sleep you can say.

In teenagers' acne is one of the main skin problems. But its severity can have different degrees. That is to say, hormone imbalances, genetics and environmental factors play a role.

Pregnancy and Melasma

Some ladies may develop a hyperpigmentation of the skin called melasma during pregnancy. This condition is usually characterized by dark areas on the face. But you can observe discoloration on your forehead, upper lip and cheeks as well.

Due to your melanocytes working over-time more melanin is made. This is because melanin stimulating hormone (MSH) made by your anterior pituitary gland has been raised.

That is to say, when pregnant your estrogen and progesterone increases making your skin more sun sensitive. Melasma gets worse with sun exposure. Most importantly, avoid direct sunlight and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Pregnancy-induced melasma is benign and usually disappears postpartum. But with severe cases a prescription cream can be used. Another option to totally take away the discoloration is a procedure.

Varicose Veins and Pregnancy

Being pregnant makes you more prone to varicose veins. Spider veins and deeper engorged veins develop. Due to the raised venous pressure of the lower legs while pregnant along with leaky valves affected because of increased estrogen.

As a result, weak valves let blood flow in the wrong direction and pool in superficial circulation. You’ll be happy to know usually healthy women’s veins tend to vanish or diminish in size months after delivery.

Hormonal Acne

With pregnancy your hormones can also cause acne even if you have never had problems in the past. There is a limit to treatments during your pregnancy because of potential toxicities harming your baby.

Treatments to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Hormonal therapy
  • Oral antibiotics (such as tetracycline)
  • Oral retinoid
  • Topical retinoid

Consult your dermatologist for approval treatments with your pregnancy.


As estrogen is higher with pregnancy the opposite takes place post-partum. Your estrogen goes down significantly after delivery and your skin feels this. Therefore, you could experience more flare-ups.

You can also experience very dry skin as well as cracked heels. When you’re breastfeeding your baby, you need to consult your dermatologist about any topical medication before using it. Above all, when you stop breastfeeding and your menstrual cycle is normal again your hormones return to your regular pace also.


Perimenopausal skin includes an increase in redness as a result of hot flashes. The appearance of overall aging of the skin is due to lack of elasticity and dullness. In addition, with estrogen levels fluctuating these effects lymphatic circulation and tissue health. Further, the decrease in lymphatic drainage leads to stagnant lymph fluid sitting in tissue which could contribute to cellulite.

If you are going through perimenopause, you could be thinking about hormone replacement therapy. This is medication to replace the hormones your body doesn’t create anymore. In conclusion, either just estrogen or a combination of both estrogens along with progestin is prescribed.

Menopause Alters Skin

I have discussed menopause with you in a couple earlier post. When the change arrives the loss of estrogen is connected with dry skin everywhere and I mean everywhere. This includes your vagina. Furthermore, dryness causes skin to feel itchy and uncomfortable.

As estrogen decreases during menopause there is trans-epidermal water loss. That is to say, loss of elasticity and firmness shows on your skin.

With the aging process the skin suffers in handling oxidative damage such as sun exposure. This results with more pigmentation issues including age spots or solar lentigo. In addition, your risk of skin cancer goes up. So, it is important to do your annual general health screening.

Make sure to schedule your appointment for a full body skin exam with a board-certified dermatologist for screening. Most importantly, early detection for skin cancer the more treatable it is.

Post Menopause

Your skin continues to become drier and less elastic when you are post-menopausal. As a result, collagen loss makes it thinner, more wrinkled with volume depletion. Furthermore, the dermis because of its thinness causes a droopier appearance.

Due to this decline in estrogen levels undesirable aging effects are worsened. Estrogen replacement therapy can assist skin thickness by increasing collagen. However, there could be risk factors for breast cancer. So, this should be closely monitored with your physician.

Other Hormone Triggers


Ah stress and the cortisol hormone. Once you become stressed your brain sends a memo to cortisol to get moving. And this can impact things from an aging perspective.

As collagen and elastin are the building structures of your skin, they keep it firm and supple. Along comes cortisol to upset the party by breaking tissues down. Thus, fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, cortisol keeps the skin from repairing itself.


It is so vital to get a good night sleep, but it can be a challenge. Too little sleep can result with dark circles under eyes, sallow skin and a dull complexion. However, melatonin can dramatically limit its repair.

Melatonin is essential to your skin and plays a huge part in its repair from:

  • Environmental exposure
  • UV lights
  • Stressors
  • Pollution

And it is only created while you sleep. So, if you’re not resting your body is not producing melatonin and you’re gonna have those dark circles.

suhyeon-choi-NIZeg731LxM-unsplash hormone triggers


You intentionally purchase a product because it says it will have this effect on your skin. However, it can also influence your hormones. As a result, that product can contain endocrine disrupters (a reason to purchase Ayurveda products).

Therefore, many beauty products can include preservatives that can irritate your skin and lead to endocrine disruption. Endocrine disrupters are ingredients that interfere with your natural hormone levels. For example: phthalates.

This can occur in different ways. First, they copy your body’s normal hormones. Next the ingredient can influence your hormone receptors. On the other hand, they can keep your natural hormones from getting to those hormone receptors.

Lastly, the endocrine disruptors can easily increase or decrease your usual amounts of hormones contained in your body.

And to grasp the full scope of things it gets more dramatic. Take into account your skin makes its own hormones as well. Amazing, huh?

Wrapping it up

Hormones play a major role with influencing the condition of your skin. The shift in hormones experienced through your life can be seen as skin changes. Thus, this can be a challenge figuring out how to work with them and give your skin what it requires.

The severity can vary from person to person. But the symptoms and changes are similar. Most importantly, if you have any skin concerns at any stage in life consult your dermatologist.


Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.

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