What is Estrogen Deficient Skin & How to Treat It
3 minute read
Many older women assume that the reason their skin has become drier, thinner, and more wrinkly has much to do with the aging process—we’re simply getting older, after all.
And while that assumption is mostly true, the actual mechanisms behind those changes to the skin are directly tied to menopause and the lack of estrogen circulating in women’s bodies. The medical and cosmetic communities alike refer to this condition as estrogen-deficient skin.
Estrogen-deficient skin is a treatable condition.
If you are menopausal or postmenopausal and want to treat your menopause symptoms, we have medically proven solutions to help you. In this post, Alloy will explore estrogen-deficient skin and how to treat it. But we’ll have to briefly dive into the science to do that.
So, gather your lab coats, and let’s dig in!
The Link Between Estrogen and Aging Skin
Estrogen is a hormone that has unique functions beyond what it is most famous for—kicking off puberty and regulating the menstrual cycle. As it turns out, estrogen plays a vital role in collagen production in your skin (among other skin benefits, mentioned below).
As you are probably aware (mostly due to all the collagen beauty products and collagen supplements flooding the market), collagen is a vital protein found throughout your body. The structure of bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and skin is supported by collagen proteins. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body.
So, where does estrogen fit into the picture?
The collagen in your skin is produced by cells called fibroblasts. Fibroblasts have receptors on their surface called ERβ receptors. ERβ stands for estrogen beta receptors. For these fibroblasts to function optimally and produce high-quality collagen, they require estrogen.
Estrogen has other benefits on your skin, too.
Estrogen aids in skin moisturization
Estrogen aids in wound healing by affecting the inflammatory response
Estrogen helps hair follicles remain healthy and strong
Estrogen has cytoprotective effects that protect against oxidative stress
Declining Estrogen and Collagen Production
We know that estrogen levels decline steadily over a woman’s reproductive years and stop altogether after they experience menopause. As estrogen levels decline with age, your skin’s ability to produce collagen declines at a rate of about 1% to 1.5% per year, starting roughly in your early 30s.
In the first 5 years of menopause alone, the average woman loses 30% of their facial collagen. And the rate continues to decline at a rate of about 1% - 1.5% thereafter.
What Are the Symptoms of Estrogen-Deficient Skin?
When the quantity and quality of available dermal skin collagen declines, your skin becomes less elastic, thinner, drier, and more prone to wrinkles—especially in areas of high movement and tension, like the face. Let’s explore some of the symptoms of estrogen-deficient skin in greater detail.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles occur in areas of skin that are actively moving and under tension. This affects the face and hands most noticeably. That’s why we have colloquial names for wrinkles, like “smile lines” and “frown lines.”
As skin loses elasticity and suppleness due to declining facial skin collagen, the active areas that get the most wear and tear begin to crease and fold, causing wrinkles.
Thinner, More Delicate Skin
Declining collagen and elastin levels also cause your skin cells to get thinner and more fragile. Not only do your collagen and elastin fiber levels decline, but what you have becomes thinner and weaker.
Thus, estrogen-deficient skin is more prone to ripping and tearing and takes longer to heal, due to an overall decrease in vascularity.
In addition to playing a role in collagen production, estrogen helps skin retain moisture. The presence of estrogen in the skin increases the amount of acid mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid, both water-binding molecules that help skin retain moisture.
As your skin dries out and becomes thinner, it loses the properties that once caused it to glow and appear vibrant.
Most Women Assume It’s Just Aging … But There Are Solutions
Yes, drier, more wrinkly skin is the result of aging, but that’s not the whole story. To leave it at that and call it a day ignores the fact that you do have some say in the health and appearance of your skin.
The primary factors driving aging skin in women are UV damage and a lack of estrogen. By taking bioidentical hormones either topically or orally, not only can you treat vasomotor symptoms and osteoporosis associated with menopause, you get the additional benefit of stronger, healthier skin.
Topical estrogen can—
Increase Skin Thickness
Increase Skin Elasticity
Reduce Wrinkle Depth
Improve Skin Hydration and Moisture
Improve Wound Healing
Reclaim Your Youthful, Vibrant-Looking Skin
Do You Have Estrogen-Deficient Skin?
If you are currently in menopause or have already experienced it and are frustrated by the symptoms mentioned above, you may have estrogen-deficient skin. However, many of the symptoms of estrogen-deficient skin are treatable.
Yes, aging is inevitable. But, our intervention in the process can vastly improve our experience as we age.
Alloy offers several products that help estrogen-deficient skin produce more collagen. Check out our M4 Mega Miracle Menopause Moisturizer, a topical estriol face cream containing glycerin, vitamin E, and oleic acid.
Alloy Has a Proven Solution for Estrogen-Deficient Skin
We got you—
We’re a women-owned menopause care and resource center dedicated to helping you find proven treatments for menopause symptoms. We offer a variety of products, services, and solutions to make your menopause symptoms more manageable.
If you are interested in treating estrogen-deficient skin, check out our topical estriol face cream, M4, and reclaim your youthful, radiant skin. Take our M4 assessment to see if our M4 Mega Miracle Menopause Moisturizer is right for you.
Or, fill out our MHT assessment if you want a more generalized menopause treatment plan by a menopause-trained doctor.
Alexandra K. Rzepecki BS, Jenny E. Murase MD, Rupal Juran MD, Sabrina G. Fabi MD, Beth N. McLellan MD. “Estrogen-deficient skin: The role of topical therapy.” International Journal of Women's Dermatology. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352647519300012
Emmerson, E., Hardman, M.J. “The role of estrogen deficiency in skin ageing and wound healing.” Biogerontology 13, 3–20 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10522-011-9322-y
Glenda Hall MD, Tania J. Phillips MD. “Estrogen and skin: The effects of estrogen, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy on the skin.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0190962204022200
“Low Estrogen.” Cleveland Clinic.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22354-low-estrogen
Rzepecki, A. K., Murase, J. E., Juran, R., Fabi, S. G., & McLellan, B. N. (2019). Estrogen-deficient skin: The role of topical therapy. International journal of women's dermatology, 5(2), 85–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2019.01.001
Thornton M. J. (2013). “Estrogens and aging skin.” Dermato-endocrinology, 5(2), 264–270. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.23872
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