Young Asian woman touching her face with a finger

Hormones can affect everything from your growth and metabolism to reproduction and mood. These chemical messengers, produced by your endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream to the tissues and organs. Women, however, also produce female hormones in the ovaries. 

Overall, the human body produces 50 different hormones, including cortisol, insulin, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. Even the slightest imbalance can trigger major changes, such as weight loss and gain, mood swings, fatigue, heart rate, and sex drive. Skin, in particular, reacts to estrogen and testosterone. These can make your skin oily, dry, or breakout-prone. If you’re wondering how female hormones affect your skin, then read on. 

Bear in mind though, if you’re pregnant or you have hormonal conditions, consult your doctor for the best treatment.

Hormones Can Make Skin Oily

As mentioned above, the skin reacts to hormones like estrogen and testosterone. They directly affect the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing sebum. Androgens such as testosterone make the sebaceous glands produce more oil. On the other hand, the female hormone estrogen suppresses it. In one study published in the National Library of Medicine, sebum production increased a week before, and during menstruation.

Help prevent breakouts by cleansing oily skin with Eskinol Naturals Micellar Water Clear with Natural Lemon Extracts. This mattifying formula with 0% alcohol cleans the skin of impurities without drying, while the lemon extracts leave it feeling fresh. Double cleanse with Eskinol Naturals Micellar Facial Wash to remove any leftover oil or dirt.

Hormonal Imbalance Can Cause Acne

Getting more breakouts around your period? They might be hormonal pimples!

Hormonal or period-related breakouts are common. The same research suggests this is because of the increase in sebum production right before a woman gets her period. This is when androgen levels are high and estrogen levels are low. Similarly, people who naturally have higher androgen levels are more likely to have acne and excess hair growth. Taking hormonal birth control pills can help treat acne. The estrogen in the pill suppresses ovulation, which in turn suppresses the production of androgen in the ovaries.

If you’re not into the pill, wash your face with POND’s Clear Solutions Facial Scrub with herbal clay and neem extract. This can help prevent breakouts by removing excess oil and bacteria that clog the pores. It reduces blackheads and strengthens skin, helping keep acne at bay.

Hormones Make Skin More Resilient

Estrogen plays an important role in skin health. In fact, a 2017 study in the NLM cites that it is associated with increased collagen production, thickness, hydration, and wound healing. It also increases barrier function. To add to these, the study found more women reported sensitive skin during their period. This is when women experience lower levels of estrogen. Further, women reported having sensitive skin after menopause, which is when estrogen levels decrease.

Hormones Can Cause Melasma

Change in hormonal levels can cause dark patches on the face, also known as melasma.

Melasma is a common skin condition where people develop darker patches of skin. Another study in the NIH cites that hormones may play a role in melasma. Pregnant women are susceptible to developing melasma because of the increase in the body’s progesterone levels. This manifests in brown or gray patches of skin on the face. Women who are fair and often exposed to the sun are prone to melasma. In light of this, always wear sunscreen indoors and outdoors to protect your skin. 

Different kinds of hormones — not just female hormones — can cause skin conditions. Estrogen is one of the two main reproductive hormones in women. However, testosterone and progesterone can also be factors in certain skin issues.