Are you suffering from breakouts, skin discoloration, oily skin, and generally unhealthy skin? Well, these are all common signs of sensitive skin when it is being irritated by a certain product, but…
They are also signs of a hormone imbalance, too.
Throughout our lives, we only have about 20 good years in our 20’s and 30’s where our skin is kind of perfect. It is that sweet spot between our oily teen years and the ravages of age and menopause in our later years. However, even during our perfect skin years, hormonal imbalances can ravage our skin if we are going through pregnancy, suffer from obesity, or other medical conditions.
While I wouldn’t consider women with skin ravaged by a hormonal balance lucky, per se. However, if you discover your skin isn’t sensitive, but your hormones are running wild, at least that is something you can work towards fixing in many cases. Hormones can be rebalanced or controlled, but skin sensitivities are often forever.
How Hormonal Imbalances Affect Our Skin
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance can manifest throughout the body. However, its manifestation is never more noticeable than when it happens on your face. There are a number of ways it can manifest, but the most common ways can often be confused with skin irritation, and sometimes the symptoms are often exacerbated by the chemicals in the products we use to try and treat or cover it.
Typically if you have a hormonal imbalance, one of the most common things that will happen is that you will have an acne breakout. This is something that definitely isn’t normal if you have been acne-free for a decade or more. Other irritations include random rashes (though these are likely on other areas like underarms or thighs), discoloration (reddening or browning), and excess oil or increased dryness.
Spotting the Different Between Cosmetic Sensitivities and Hormonal Imbalances on Your Skin
It is not always easy to spot the difference between a cosmetic sensitivity and a hormonal imbalance, but there are a few things you can easily do that will pretty much give it away.
- Figure Out When Problems Began – Did your skin problems first start when you tried a new cosmetic? Have they been slowly getting worse over a long period of time? While skin allergies and sensitivities can occur randomly, typically they occur rather suddenly. Hormonal Imbalances manifest on the skin over a longer period.
- Have a Natural Day – Take a day, or better, a weekend to go completely natural. Use no makeup or soap on your face, maybe even take a day or two off from washing your hair. Your skin will likely get kind of oily, but if your irritation is caused by cosmetic sensitivities, you will notice some marked improvement. In hormonal imbalances, often letting your skin rest doesn’t help.
- Look for Other Symptoms – The thing about hormonal imbalance-caused skin problems is that it usually isn’t just the one thing. Symptoms of hormone imbalance can not only be rashes or discoloration on your skin, but increased hair growth, increased appetite, memory fog, sleep disorders, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, thinning hair, and hot flashes. With cosmetic sensitivities, it is just the skin problems unless you have a very serious allergy.
- Schedule an Appointment with a Doctor – When in doubt, have your doctor sort it out. Honestly, if you are that conflict, it is likely hormone problems and you should consult your doctor about it anyway.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
What doesn’t cause hormone imbalance these days might be a more apt question than asking what caused it. Eating junk food high in refined sugars and fats can cause the overproduction of androgens. Stress, smoking, and lack of sleep can all wreak havoc on your hormones. Other natural factors like age, weight gain, and pregnancy or medical conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are often heralded by whacked out hormones as well.
Hormones that can skin problems include:
- Estrogen and Progesterone – Often causes loss of elasticity and collagen in the skin as well as less hydrated skin.
- Androgen (Testosterone/DHEA) – Linked to increase facial hair growth and sagging skin.
- Cortisol – Highly responsible for wrinkles, rashes, and breakouts.
- Thyroid Hormones – Both low and high thyroid hormone levels are linked to thinning and dry hair and skin as well as skin puffiness.
Treating Hormonal Imbalances for Healthier Skin
You know what they say, healthier skin begins within. In the case of skin rashes and discoloration caused by hormonal imbalances, that is very true. You need to wrangle up those natural chemicals within so they can stop wreaking havoc on your skin, among other things.
If you have deduced that your irritated skin is because of your hormone levels and not because of a cosmetic sensitivity, then it is time to get things back in order. Your doctor can help you with it, often prescribing you with medication, but they will also give you some natural things you can do in order to get your skin on track.
A basic timeline to healthier skin and more balanced hormones if you choose not to take your medication looks a lot like this:
- A diet changed to fresh, non-processed foods – This means plenty of fruit and veg.
- Increased water intake – Water is the best for your skin and it doesn’t have any sugars that can irritate it.
- More exercise – This is important if your hormones are unbalanced due to weight gain, but any skin can benefit from it.
- Engage in a healthy skincare routine – Avoid fragrances, dyes, products that use harsh chemicals or alcohol. The more natural your skincare routine, the faster your skin will recover and heal.
- Take the time to de-stress – Cortisol is a major contributor to poor skin. They call it the “stress” hormone because it is released when we are stressed. Take some time to relax each day and keep things in perspective. Don’t forget to see the forest for all those beautiful trees, or rather, the face for that beautiful skin.