Spa Business: Skin and the Hormonal Connection

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Perimenopause, which may begin as early as age 35, marks the beginning of unpredictability in skin behavior, thanks to the relentlessly yo-yo-ing levels of estrogen and progesterone released by women’s hormonal glands during this time. Estrogen is directly related to two key characteristics of skin: moisture levels and thickness. As both of these begin to wane, the drying and thinning skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Not as much is understood about the effect of progesterone, or lack thereof, on the skin, though research is currently underway.

“Estrogens can increase glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as hyaluronic acid, to maintain fluid balance and structural integrity. They can also increase collagen production in the skin, where they maintain epidermal thickness and allow skin to remain plump, hydrated and wrinkle-free,” says Claudia Aguirre, Ph.D., scientific communications manager for The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica.