Your hormone replacement therapy may come with a hidden benefit. Yes, it can decrease or stop your hot flashes, improve your memory and help you finally get a good night’s sleep. But the estrogen it includes may also help make you look younger.
But what’s the link between HRT and skin improvement?
Menopause and Estrogen
Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop producing the female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. You’re officially in menopause when your period has stopped for more than a year. But see your doctor, because there are other medical explanations for amenorrhea (the loss of your period).
Because other organs, including your skin (which, fun fact, is the largest human organ), are affected by these hormones, you’ll notice several changes, which may begin to happen before you’re officially in menopause. That time period is called perimenopause.
These changes include:
- A change in periods (longer, shorter or a change in the time between them, potentially lighter or heavier)
- Vaginal dryness (potentially causing painful sex)
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Trouble focusing
- Thinning head hair
- Increase in hair on the face
- Dry, older-looking skin
The hormone primarily responsible for the changes in your skin is estrogen.
Estrogen and Your Skin
Estrogen is a key component of the development of collagen in the skin. Collagen is important because that’s what keeps your skin plump and youthful. Your skin will also become thinner and less elastic due to the loss of elastin caused by lower estrogen levels.
A lack of blood flow to the epidermis (upper layer of your skin) will make you lose moisture, meaning you’ll look and feel less hydrated. You’ll develop fine lines and wrinkles and may look more tired than you used to. You may even develop acne or skin discoloration, known as melasma.
Moreover, a 2005 study published in the Yonsei Medical Journal showed that lower estrogen rates negatively impact the length of telomeres, small structures at the tips of all chromosomes. They get shorter as you age, causing, among other things, older-looking skin.
HRT and Skin Improvement
Estrogen can be replaced in the body using hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. While many people have heard that hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of cancer, the medical community believes the benefits may outweigh the risk for most women over 60.
The benefits of HRT for skin probably aren’t the most important thing to the average woman. I mean, how awful are hot flashes, ladies? But they are a nice bonus.
So, how does HRT make you look younger?
Estrogen strengthens collagen and elastin fibers. The benefits of estrogen for skin include increasing hydration levels and making the skin brighter and more elastic.
The benefits of HRT for skin depends on how much estrogen you’ve already lost. If it’s not much, you’ll notice less improvement than someone who’s lost more.
Whether it actually improves your skin in your eyes depends on your expectations.
Can HRT Reverse Aging?
Technically, no. Nothing can actually reverse aging. But it can delay some of the processes of aging, including collagen and elastin loss. It also slows the rate of telomere damage, but it can’t stop it or repair any damage that’s already been done.
Does HRT Make You Look Younger?
It might. The increase in collagen and elastin stretches fine lines and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. But you should be prepared to use other products to get the results you’re looking for. A telomerase-based antiaging serum can rebuild telomeres.
Does HRT Improve Skin’s Texture?
It might. Because it increases hydration, the dry appearance of aging skin might reverse. Hydrated skin appears brighter and more youthful.
What if I Have Sun Damage?
Unfortunately, it seems that sun damaged skin doesn’t improve significantly with estrogen use.
What if HRT Doesn’t Improve My Skin?
All isn’t lost. There are many products on the market to reverse or slow the signs of aging. But which ones work?
Might work, but there are catches: Retinoids work by increasing cell turnover and decreasing collagen loss. This reduces fine lines and wrinkles. They claim they can also reduce the appearance of age spots, improve the color of your skin by stimulating the production of new blood vessels and soften rough patches.
The problem is these are surface issues. You’re not actually repairing anything. What’s more, many people find that retinoids dry out their skin to an uncomfortable level. But dryness is one of the things that makes you look older.
Moreover, they claim they can show results in six to eight weeks. But if they do work, it’s likely closer to six months.
Work to a point: Moisturizers formulated for aging skin can help improve skin’s hydration. Moisturizers are an important part of any skin routine. But they can’t actually improve collagen production or reduce lines or wrinkles significantly.
Works: Sunscreen itself won’t reverse the signs of aging. But it will prevent further sun damage from creating more areas of the skin that the other products can’t treat.
Work for fine lines: Peptides are great to use around the eyes. They stimulate collagen production, smoothing out those pesky crow’s feet. But they don’t do as well on the deep wrinkles, so it’s best to use them in conjunction with other products.
One of the most important things you can do is apply a telomerase-based serum. Telomerase rebuilds damaged telomeres, which are a major cause of the appearance of aging. If you’re not noticing improvement while taking HRT, you might have too many damaged telomeres.
And our One Truth 818 Serum works in as little as 30 days according to clinical trials.
For many women, that might be the best place to start since it’s faster and doesn’t have all the nasty side effects of retinoids.
Well, that and the sunscreen. Definitely, don’t forget the sunscreen.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
HRT and skin improvement is tricky business. Doctors won’t prescribe HRT to everyone. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. A telomerase-based serum is the best place to start.
And if you’re a smoker, stopping could help future you look younger. And don’t forget about diet and exercise. In fact, check out these nine foods that can help reduce the signs of aging. You can thank us later.