How hormones affect your skin? And what are the methods to stimulate it.

Hormones are essential for regulating various bodily functions, and they have a significant impact on both the health and appearance of your skin. Let’s explore the key hormones – cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins – and understand how they affect the skin. We will also discover how to naturally stimulate the production of these hormones and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone.

Stress hormone

Stress Hormones

1. Cortisol:

Cortisol, also known as the ‘stress hormone’, is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. This hormone can have a significant influence on the skin. When cortisol levels are elevated, it can lead to some unwanted effects, especially on the skin.

One of the notable effects of excess cortisol is the reduction of collagen production. Collagen is a protein that gives the skin its firmness and elasticity. When collagen production decreases, wrinkles can form more easily, and the skin can lose its youthful appearance. This process can also lead to reduced skin elasticity, meaning the skin is less flexible and less able to maintain its shape.

But that is not the only adverse effect. Cortisol can also damage the skin barrier. The skin barrier is essential for maintaining healthy and well-functioning skin. When this barrier weakens, the skin becomes more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. This can lead to skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

Fortunately, there is good news. There are natural ways to lower cortisol levels and thus reduce these negative effects on the skin. Reducing stress is the key here. Activities such as yoga and meditation, along with an overall healthy lifestyle that includes adequate sleep and exercise, can help regulate cortisol levels and keep skin healthier. It is important to remember that skin care does not only consist of external products, but also internal factors such as stress management.

Happy hormones

Happy Hormones

2. Dopamine and Serotonin:

Dopamine and serotonin are known as the ‘happiness hormones’ in our body. They play a crucial role in creating positive feelings and promoting overall well-being. The interesting thing is that these hormones not only affect our mental system, but also the condition of our skin.

When you feel happy and satisfied, this has indirect positive effects on your skin. This is because happy feelings are accompanied by the release of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters in your body. These neurotransmitters play a role in regulating your mood and emotions, but also influence other processes in your body, including your skin condition.

They can contribute to better blood circulation in the skin. Good blood circulation ensures that nutrients and oxygen are better supplied to the skin cells, resulting in a healthier complexion. Improved blood circulation can also help remove waste products, making your skin look clearer and more radiant.

Psoriasis is an annoying skin condition that can cause itching, redness and flaking. But did you know that your mood can also play a role in this skin condition? Researchers have found that people with psoriasis have lower levels of serotonin and dopamine. Dopamine and serotonin help reduce stress and promote relaxation. When you are less stressed, this has a beneficial effect on your skin condition. Stress can lead to increased production of cortisol, a hormone associated with inflammation and skin imbalance, which can worsen psoriasis.

Now you may be wondering how you can naturally boost the production of dopamine and serotonin. Fortunately, there are several ways to boost these ‘happiness hormones’. Physical activities such as exercising, dancing or simply enjoying hobbies that bring you pleasure can promote the production of these hormones. In addition, social interaction is of great importance. Spending time with friends and family, and even cuddling with loved ones, can all contribute to a healthy balance of dopamine and serotonin in your body. And as you now know, this not only has positive effects on your mood, but also on the health and appearance of your skin.

3. Oxytocin:

Oxytocin, often referred to as the ‘cuddle hormone’ or the ‘love hormone’, plays a central role in positive social interactions. This hormone is released when we engage in affection and loving touch, such as hugging, kissing and other forms of tenderness.

An interesting small study analyzed the oxytocin levels, facial photographs and lifetime sun exposure questionnaires of six female subjects aged 48 and 61. Notably, oxytocin levels showed an inverse correlation with both skin aging and sun damage scores. In other words, the higher the oxytocin in the blood, the less skin aging was visible.

Although the direct effects of oxytocin on the skin are not fully understood, it is known that the positive feelings it produces can indirectly contribute to radiant skin. When you are happy and connected in intimate and loving relationships, this can be reflected in the condition of your skin. A healthy emotional balance often impacts your physical well-being, which can result in a brighter and healthier complexion.

So, how can you naturally boost oxytocin production? Invest time in intimate and loving relationships. Enjoy cuddle moments and loving touches, as these actions can help release oxytocin. In addition, volunteering and acts of kindness towards others can also help stimulate this ‘cuddle hormone’. So in addition to promoting positive social interactions, oxytocin also indirectly contributes to the health and appearance of your skin.

4. Endorphins:

Endorphins are known as the ‘happiness hormone’ that your body produces especially during exercise. This special hormone acts as a natural painkiller and stress reliever.

The release of endorphins can have positive indirect effects on the health of your skin. It helps reduce stress, which is a major factor in skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. In addition, endorphins have anti-inflammatory properties, which can contribute to a balanced and clear complexion.

You don’t have to become a top athlete to stimulate the production of endorphins in a natural way. Simple, regular exercise, such as jogging, cycling, dancing or even brisk walks, can be enough. So, in addition to its positive effects on your mood and overall well-being, exercise can also play a key role in maintaining healthy and glowing skin.

A study compared the hormone levels of young girls (aged 7.5 -12 years) after interacting with their mothers in different ways:

  • In person
  • Via phone
  • Via instant messaging

They discovered that girls who had face-to-face and telephone contact had an increase in the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol.

Communicating via instant messaging with their mothers, they showed no increase in oxytocin, unlike those who interacted in person or over the phone.

The cortisol levels of these girls were unchanged and comparable to those of the control group who did not interact with their mothers at all.

The study suggests that hearing a familiar voice over the phone or in person is crucial for triggering hormonal responses associated with comfort and bonding. This may be due to the auditory cues that are missing from text messages.

Long-term elevated cortisol levels can lead to chronic inflammation, accelerated skin aging, a decrease in skin elasticity and an increased risk of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Yes, positive fluctuations in serotonin and dopamine can improve skin by reducing stress, improving mood and thus indirectly contributing to healthier skin with fewer stress-related conditions.

Although regulating hormone levels can contribute to improved skin quality, a holistic approach, including good skin care, a varied diet, good sleep and lifestyle such as no smoking and low alcohol, is essential for optimal skin.

Oxytocin may have anti-stress and anti-inflammatory effects, potentially helping to reduce symptoms of chronic skin conditions and contributing to an overall sense of well-being, benefiting skin health.

Endorphins can benefit the skin by relieving stress, reducing inflammation and improving overall blood circulation, which can lead to improved skin texture and potentially help with certain skin conditions.

In other words

These hormones affect your skin in a variety of ways, from managing stress to promoting healthy skin. Boosting these hormones naturally involves a positive lifestyle, including exercise, social interaction, and emotional well-being. However, it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist for specific advice and treatment if you have skin problems.

Do you have an irritated skin? Then our Calming cream can support you with this. This cream contains a number of special ingredients known for their soothing properties, such as marshmallow root, avena sativa and ectoine.

Marshmallow root, or marshmallow leaf, has been known for centuries for its soothing and moisturizing effect on the skin. It helps reduce redness and soothe the skin.

Avena sativa, also called oat extract, is known for its soothing and itch-relieving properties. It helps hydrate the skin and reduce irritation, making it ideal for those with sensitive or irritated skin.

Ectoine is a natural amino acid known for its moisturizing and protective properties. It helps protect the skin against harmful external influences, such as UV radiation and pollution, and supports the skin’s natural recovery process.

Together, these ingredients form a powerful formula specially developed to soothe and soothe irritated skin. So if you suffer from skin irritation, definitely try our Calming cream.

While you are here

Skin problems and stress – an unexpected connection! Discover how stress affects not only your mental well-being, but also your skin in our latest dermatology blog. We delve deeper into this complex relationship and reveal how diet and specific supplements can soothe your skin, even during stressful times. Read here for more insights!

Stress Skin Problems Cortisol

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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