Women and hormones, you could say it’s a blessing and a curse … Hormones are substances produced by our body and controlled by organs and tissues through the bloodstream. Hormones influence many body processes such as growth, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, but also our skin! In particular, the female sex hormone oestrogen has a great influence on our skin and its ageing process.
Oestrogen is the main female hormone. During puberty, oestrogen levels rise, causing the sex organs to change. The breasts, uterus and vagina grow and the menstrual cycle starts. Oestrogen is important in many body processes, among other things, it can contribute to:
- A beautiful, healthy skin
- Strong bones
- A normal blood pressure
- Normal cholesterol levels
- Good brain functions
- Emotional balance
- Blood circulation and moisture in the vagina
- Development of the endometrium
Hormones and menopause
During the fertile period, the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone regulate your periods. They cause an egg to mature each month and ensure that your womb is ready to receive a fertilised egg. If fertilisation does not occur, they drain the endometrium through your period and the monthly cycle begins again.
For many years, oestrogen and progesterone are in balance in your body. From the age of 40 onwards, the production of oestrogen and progesterone slowly decreases. At first you do not notice this. On average, your body produces about 60% less oestrogen after the menopause. The production of progesterone drops to almost zero. The balance between these hormones changes. Your body has to adjust to this new situation. As a result, you may experience menopause symptoms.
Hormones and skin ageing
The hormones oestrogen and progesterone not only play an important role in our female cycle, they also have a very important role in skin ageing. The hormone oestrogen affects the formation of new collagen tissue. The hormone progesterone ensures the preservation of existing collagen. Due to the rapid decrease in hormone levels at the beginning of and during menopause, many women notice that their skin suddenly ages rapidly: the skin becomes thinner and less voluminous, wrinkles suddenly deepen.
Collagen and oestrogen
Studies have shown that up to 30% of skin collagen is lost in the first five years of the menopause. Collagen can be seen as the building blocks of the skin, keeping it firm and elastic. When this collagen decreases, the skin slackens and wrinkles appear. So it is not surprising that women during and after the menopause notice that their skin suddenly ages rapidly. Moreover, the production of oestrogen decreases earlier, starting at the age of 40. As we have read above, oestrogen is important for the formation of new collagen. It is therefore advisable to add foods rich in plant oestrogen (phyto-oestrogen) to your diet around that age, and certainly during and after the transition.
When oestrogen deficiency increases, certain plants stimulate the action of the original hormone. In this way, it is possible to improve the elasticity of the skin and increase both the hyaluronic acid content and the production of collagen!
There are three different groups of phyto-estrogens: isoflavones, coumestans and lignans.
- Isoflavones: Isoflavones are found in soya sprouts, beans, fermented soya, cocoa, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, red clover and linseed.
- Coumestans are found in red clover, pomegranate seed oil, alfalfa sprouts, soya beans and gooseberries.
- Ligans are mainly found in linseed, peanuts, hemp seeds, garlic, mustard seeds, wheat flour, fruit, berries, vegetables, tea and coffee.
Other important sources of phyto-estrogens are: celery, sweet potato, maca, dried apricots, dates, humus, lentils, sesame seeds and pistachios.
Beautiful aging instead of anti-aging
We all hope to grow older and skin ageing is part of that. Therefore, Skin for Skin does not focus on ‘anti-aging’ but on ‘beautiful aging’. Our collagen supplement can be a nice addition to supply the skin with building materials and thus create new collagen. In addition, our Berry tea contains black and red berries and green tea, sources of phyto-estrogens. With these two products and adding more phytoestrogens to your diet, you can work on beautiful aging from the inside out!