If you thought that you had all the possible skin aggressors covered, you're wrong. Besides worrying about pollution, junk food and beauty products affecting your skin, here's one more thing to add to that list -hormones.
Everyone has a set proportion of hormones coursing through their body. When this fine balance is upset, the problems begins. When hormones go into overdrive or aren't produced as much as they should be, their balance is shaken which shows swiftly on the skin. Here's what those hormones are and how they influence your skin.
Contrary to popular belief, estrogen isn't a solely female hormone as it's also found in males. In females, estrogen comes from the ovaries and is wonderful for the skin. It builds collagen, decreases pore size and maintains moisture levels so that the skin is smooth and nourished. By 40, estrogen dips in females and leaves the skin thinner and less elastic. That's why many face wrinkles, crow's feet and sagging skin at this stage.
Ever noticed how your skin goes out of whack when you spend your nights working on a big presentation? Cortisol is responsible for that. Popularly known as the stress hormone, cortisol is a produced as a natural reflex to help the body deal with stress. However, if cortisol is sustained in in high doses over a long period of time, it affects the skin and leaves it pimple-ridden and excessively dull.
Along with estrogen, testosterone is needed to maintain the balance in the body. Testosterone is responsible for triggering the sebum production glands which ensure that the skin stays naturally moisturised. However, excess sebum production can leave the skin oily, pores clogged and prone to acne. This is often a symptom of PCOS, where testosterone production can go into overdrive.
There's a reason they call it beauty sleep, you know - and melatonin is the reason why. It is known as the vampire hormone because it is produced in the darkness of the night and declines by the time dawn breaks. Melatonin is known to be a powerful antioxidant as it neutralises free radical damage and turns back the signs of ageing.