We all know that some degree of skin aging is inevitable. Yet, most of us don't realize that it doesn’t have to be drastic. Certain factors are known to accelerate imbalances within our bodies and cause stress, which results in visible aging signs such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity, laxity, and rough appearance. Learning to manage these factors can allow us to control the rate at which our bodies age.
For example, as we age there are structural and functional changes in the extracellular skin matrix that affect collagen and elastin production. Generally speaking, aging results in greater degradation of elastin and the overproduction of cartilage, which makes the skin thin, wrinkle, and fibrotic. One factor behind these changes is the hormone estrogen.
Estrogen, Hyaluronic Acid, and Skin Aging
Youthful skin is rigorous, resilient and pliable. This is largely due to its high content of water. However, regular external injury, oxidative stress, and the stress of aging can cause loss of moisture and result in aging. The key molecule involved in skin moisture is hyaluronic acid, which has a unique capacity to retain water and promote skin youthfulness. 1
There are multiple factors in the body that affect hyaluronic acid synthesis and degradation, but the most dominant are hormones, particularly estrogen. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that degrades or breaks down hyaluronic acid. It happens to be activated by stress, shock, and estrogen.
Plastic surgeons use both hyaluronidase and estrogen to expand tissue and weaken it, which allows it to be worked on. Two things that occur in aging is a rise of estrogen and a decrease of hyaluronic acid.
As estrogen rises, hyaluronidase increases in the tissues. This results in the degradation of hyaluronic acid, the major water-retaining component of connective tissue. This not only causes a loss of skin youthfulness by decreasing hyaluronic acid but hyaluronidase also increases in the bloodstream where it exerts a pro-inflammatory effect that further contributes to skin aging. 2
In addition to breaking down hyaluronic acid, estrogen promotes skin aging by a variety of other mechanisms. For example, estrogen stimulates the production of inflammatory mediators like serotonin, histamine, lactic acid, and various pro-flammatory cytokines and prostaglandins that contribute to skin weakening and leakage.
Protecting the Skin from Estrogen
Considering estrogen's catabolic effects on the skin, proactively regulating estrogen levels will prove to be a novel anti-aging therapy. Below are some tips for correcting high estrogen levels and protecting your skin along the way.
Reduce Total Stress
Exertion exercise and mental/emotional stress are two common forms of stress that increase the tendency of skin aging by stimulating estrogen. We suggest avoiding exercise that leaves you feeling depleted. Instead, focus on low-impact strength training and only working out until you feel energized, not exhausted.
You can also use adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and schizandra featured in our Revitalize formula to help increase your resistance to both physical and mental stress.
You should also ensure optimal progesterone levels. Progesterone is the opposing (or regulatory) hormone to estrogen, and it exerts broad range protective effects aging stress.
Progesterone also decreases your reliance on the stress hormone cortisol, which can age the skin. Cholesterol and vitamin A are essential for the production of progesterone, so eating quality pastured egg yolks, beef, lamb, liver and ghee/butter are great for increasing progesterone. Also, herbs like ashwagandha found in Revitalize can increase progesterone.
Say No to Booze and Weed
Alcohol and marijuana are both highly estrogenic substances, which explains most of their toxic effects. Beer is especially estrogenic because it contains the phytoestrogenic herb known as hops. All alcohol contains estrogen producing yeasts so its best to avoid it in all forms if you want to preserve your skin's youthfulness.
At the skin level, a rise in estrogen and a decrease in protective hormones drive skin aging. A loss of density and elasticity can be directly related to an increase in estrogen. Therefore, identifying compounds that are able to decrease the level of estrogen, while increasing the level of progesterone and testosterone appears to be an attractive anti-aging strategy. To learn more about maintaining vibrant and youthful skin, download our e-book below.
The Natural Path to Perfect Skin
30 PAGES FULL OF SKINCARE SECRETS