Your skin is your largest organ. And although you may not notice it, your skin is constantly responding to its environment. That includes your diet, your skin care products, your hormones, and so much more.
All of this influences how your skin acts and looks. And with the added pressures from social media and advertising to have skin that looks like it’s filtered, I know skin imperfections can negatively affect self-esteem. That’s one reason it is so important to get to the root cause of skin problems.
In many instances, hormonal imbalance is the root cause. For some, it might be an imbalance in androgens.
What Are Androgens?
Androgens are a specific group of sex hormones that play a role in the development and reproductive health. This includes testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone – which is better known as DHEA.
Most people think of testosterone as a “male hormone.” However, testosterone plays an important role in women’s health too. Testosterone is made in the ovaries and adrenal glands – and we need it to help keep our bones strong, protect our brains, support energy production, and balance our moods. When testosterone is low, we may lack drive and confidence – it may even create brain fog.
Another androgen is dihydrotestosterone – or DHT. If you’ve ever experienced unwanted facial hair growth, DHT is a likely culprit. In addition, when DHT is unbalanced, it can cause hair loss on the scalp and acne.
Androgen imbalance can occur for many reasons, including menopause, childbirth, adrenal stress, endometriosis, and taking birth control pills. If you have any signs of androgen imbalance, talk to a natural healthcare practitioner about getting your levels tested.
Androgens and Skin Health
Imbalanced androgens can show up on your skin just like other hormonal imbalances.
For example, testosterone stimulates the sebum-producing glands in the skin, which are essential for protecting the skin with natural oils. However, too much testosterone can lead to sebum overproduction, which can cause acne and blemishes.
In addition, it’s important to know your hair follicles and the sebaceous glands have enzymes and receptors to make androgens. This is one reason androgen-related acne is so common during teenage and young adult years. However, this kind of acne can affect people of all ages and be made worse by stress.
Age-related hormonal changes, such as those experienced during puberty and menopause, may increase the androgens that can lead to oily or breakout-prone skin. On the other hand, when androgens are too low, it can lead to thin and dry skin and a loss of skin elasticity. It can also lead to deeper wrinkles. This includes imbalanced DHEA, testosterone, and other androgens.
Some research suggests that excess androgens can cause acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition that causes dark patches on the skin in body folds.
And if all of that wasn’t frustrating enough, excess androgens can increase the growth of excess hair on places such as the chin and upper lip – while at the same time causing the hair on your head to get thinner. Some hair on our face is normal (peach fuzz), but when it turns dark or grows in excess, it can be a sign of increased androgens.
Balancing androgens is an important part of hormonal health and skin health. One herb that is helpful to reduce androgen levels is saw palmetto. Many women think of this as an herb for men; however, it is useful for women and men. Topical saw palmetto also has skin benefits. Zinc can also calm androgens.
To further support your androgen levels, especially when you exercise regularly, include weight-bearing exercises, and make dietary changes like consuming enough protein and healthy fats such as from eggs, nuts, legumes, and wild salmon.
Elevated cortisol levels can suppress androgens. Minimize stress with mindfulness practices, plenty of exercise, and adequate sleep. Supplements such as ashwagandha can also help to reduce stress.*
Using skin care products free of toxins also helps ensure harmful ingredients aren’t entering your body and creating imbalance. The Daily Essentials 4-Step Skin Care System is designed to cleanse, nourish, protect and revitalize your skin with all-natural ingredients. The Spa Dr. products are also EWG Verified™, meaning they meet the Environmental Working Group’s strictest standards for transparency and health and do not contain ingredients from the “unacceptable” list.
Making Healthy Choices
It may feel impossible to balance androgens and other hormones when first starting out. However, you have more control than you think when it comes to hormonal balance and healthy aging! Your lifestyle choices have a tremendous impact on how your body feels and acts. Improving your mindset, focusing on nutrition, avoiding toxins, and working out can help create balance in your body. And the more you make these healthy choices, the more confident you will feel. Most importantly, you will improve your vitality and energy – and you’ll finally feel balanced and in control.
The Spa Dr.® Approach
At The Spa Dr.®, our approach is to help shine the light on skin and health care information and offer our guidance to support you on your journey.
We’re offering a free 9-part documentary series starting on May 10, 2022, Hormones, Health & Harmony to help you balance your hormones and restore radiance. Register HERE.
The Spa Dr.® offers natural skin care products that are safe and free from chemicals and toxins that can harm your skin and health. Our products are formulated to contain key nutrients in their pure and active form in order to provide optimal results. In addition, our products are pH balanced towards mild acidity to promote and protect a healthy skin microbiome.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.