Skintegra hormoni i koža

PMS, hormones and their effect on the skin

From the moment we officially enter adolescence and our body undergoes physical and psychological changes, it is necessary to know that the change in hormone levels that made this transition possible is responsible for them. The levels of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone in women vary and fluctuate from month to month, causing numerous changes in the body, including manifestations on the skin. We know this fluctuation under the term "monthly" or "menstrual" cycle. Here we will consider exactly what hormonal changes occur in that monthly period and why in some parts of the cycle we get more acne and other unwanted dermatological changes. Provided that the cycle is orderly and regular, i.e. that it lasts the standard 28 days, hormonal changes are easy to observe over the course of 4 weeks.

In order to know which hormones are responsible for the condition of our skin and in what sense, it is necessary to know that there are hormonal receptors on the skin and that it is most intensely influenced by four hormones that fluctuate throughout the month and change their relative proportions. The skin even produces its own hormones, which is a lesser-known fact because we think that hormones are only produced in glands such as the adrenal gland or perhaps the ovaries or testicles.

The first hormone that needs to be mentioned is certainly estrogen. It opposes androgenic hormones, reduces sebum secretion and has a soothing effect on tissue and inflammatory processes. This is the reason why the skin looks best when the body is in a state of production of large amounts of estrogen, or why in most cases the skin is fantastically "cleansed" of irregularities on hormonal contraception rich in estrogen.

The second and third hormones are androgens - testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone is transformed in the body by the mechanism of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase into the most potent form of the androgen DHT, which directly affects the sebaceous glands and the appearance of acne. This is the reason why acne often occurs with hormonal disorders in which there is a dominance of androgens.

The last hormone that plays an extremely important role when it comes to the skin is certainly progesterone. This hormone works in two ways. If there is a lot of it in the body, it acts on the skin so that the surface tissue swells slightly, which gives it a characteristic plump (so-called plump ) appearance. However, this process simultaneously has an occlusive effect on the pores, which is why progesterone is potentially problematic for people who have a problem with hormonal acne. On the other hand, progesterone in the second half of the cycle opposes the action of androgens, which means that its deficiency can also cause acne.

It is necessary to listen to the skin from week to week and adjust the care to its needs in order to ensure that it remains maximally healthy and unburdened by hormonal changes. The reason why some of us have hormonally sensitive skin, while others do not notice any skin changes during the cycle, most likely lies in genetics, although these mechanisms are still not fully understood. First, we will explain exactly what changes our skin goes through from the first week to the fourth week of the cycle.


The first week of the cycle begins with the onset of menstruation. During this period, the levels of progesterone and estrogen (so-called "female" hormones) are low, which can have a negative effect on the skin. Testosterone is also very scarce, but in an environment of low levels of estrogen and progesterone, it can have a relative dominance and encourage the formation of sebum and irregularities. If testosterone is not dominant, the skin may appear dry and tired due to the lack of estrogen. Prostaglandin is produced, which makes the skin sensitive to pain, so visiting a beautician during this period could be more painful than usual. The same hormone also affects increased redness, due to which the overall impression of the skin can be further worsened. Fortunately, this phase is followed by an increase in estrogen, which has a soothing and balancing effect on the skin.


In the second week of the cycle, the level of estrogen increases, which stimulates collagen synthesis and uniform skin tone, so it looks more beautiful, smoother and less greasy. The skin is more robust, reddens less and better tolerates more aggressive treatments. This is the phase that precedes ovulation, during which we are biologically "programmed" to attract a partner, which means that our skin looks its best then. The relative ratio of estrogen and androgen hormones in this phase is optimal and the skin is least prone to develop irregularities. This is the ideal period to introduce a new cosmetic product as there is the least chance of misjudging it as a comedogenic product.


The first period of this week is marked by a sudden drop in estrogen and a small increase in testosterone, which can cause ovulatory acne. These acnes are of a transitory type and are mostly not cystic in nature, because a few days later estrogen experiences its second slight increase along with the increase in progesterone. The peak of progesterone occurs on the 21st day of the cycle, after which progesterone falls and prepares the body for menstruation. PMS can appear during this period and progressively intensify until the onset of menstrual bleeding, and lower levels of estrogen along with relatively stable testosterone and rising progesterone can negatively affect the skin.


During this period, the skin tends to look its worst. Progesterone blocks the pores, and stable testosterone has a relative dominance over estrogen, which allows its conversion to the most potent androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is DHT that is most responsible for acne, as well as androgenic alopecia (baldness). In addition to the skin, the hair also looks the worst in this period, the scalp becomes very greasy and the quality of the hair deteriorates. The skin may appear puffy due to water retention. With the drop in progesterone, menstrual bleeding will soon occur, which marks the first day of the new cycle, and in accordance with it, the hormones begin to fluctuate cyclically again.


First, know that you are not alone and that most people have the same problem as you to a greater or lesser extent. Hormones cannot be directly influenced by cosmetics, but quality cosmetics can certainly be learned to use wisely in order to maximally correct or even prevent the negative impact of hormones on the skin. Taking into account everything that has been said, skin care can be divided into two concrete units.

During the first 14 days of the cycle, it is important to moisturize and nourish the skin optimally and to make smart use of all the benefits of the period when the skin is relatively resistant, not prone to reacting to new products and hormones. Are you testing a new cream? Fantastic, this is the right time to introduce new products into the routine. Are you planning a visit to the beautician? Make an appointment between the tenth and fourteenth day of the cycle. During this period, the skin also becomes less oily, so it is important not to dry it with products that are not moisturizing and nourishing enough, so that mechanical drying does not stimulate the unwanted production of sebum as a defense mechanism against external stressors. Products without irritants and rich in antioxidants will ensure that you enter the next phase of the cycle with skin prepared for the upcoming hormonal turbulence.

Halfway through the cycle, start thinking about the changes that will follow in a few days. If you're not already using chemical exfoliants, now is the time to introduce them into your routine to prevent clogged pores with the impending progesterone surge. If you notice more intense secretion of sebum during this period, do not continue to insist on using occlusive and heavy creams, but choose lighter textures and serum emulsions that do not burden the skin. Avoid alcohol-based products and perfumes that irritate the skin, as this further stimulates the secretion of sebum. Finally, the period of the last week of the cycle is not ideal for booking aggressive treatments at the beautician or for introducing new products.

Finally, it is not out of place to mention the role of stress in the formation of acne, especially during the PMS period when we are more irritable. Stress stimulates the secretion of hormones from the adrenal gland, such as cortisol, whose high levels, through a feedback loop, increase the levels of androgen hormones responsible for increased sebum secretion and the formation of acne. Stress regulation, a healthy diet and enough sleep, especially in the second half of the cycle, are extremely important and contribute significantly to improving the quality of the skin.

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