Endocrine System & Hormones is Your High Score
When it comes to skin, the hormones most often talked about are reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and androgens. However, hormones in the body do not work in isolation, and other hormones such as cortisol and insulin can play a large part in the health of your skin.
In fact, all of your hormones are on a constant feedback loop with one another, and all of them need to be working optimally for you to feel your best. When one hormone starts to become slightly out of balance, your body may begin to overproduce other hormones, or actually convert existing hormones into new ones to compensate and adapt to situations. For example, stress can lower progesterone as the body may “steal” it and convert it to cortisol to deal with stressful situations.
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common causes of hormonal acne. It can also affect androgens in the body, increasing sebum, or oil, production in the skin and leading to breakouts. There are a number of ways in which the body may become estrogen dominant, such as:
- High blood sugar can raise estrogen and testosterone, which can lead to even more estrogen being created in excess fat cells.
- A compromised gut can cause your body to reabsorb hormones intended for elimination in your poop.
- A sluggish or congested liver can impair proper metabolism of hormones.
- Poor digestion can lead to a deficiency in the essential nutrients required to make hormones, causing an imbalance.
- Exposure to synthetic environmental endocrine disruptors called xenoestrogens, found in pesticides, chemicals, plastics, etc, can mimic estrogen in the body and cause an imbalance.
Addressing hormonal acne takes having an understanding of all body systems. Often an imbalance in another part of the body will have an effect on acne. Nothing in the body works in isolation, so having a holistic approach is key!