Bad hair day? Pimples going out of control? Let us all come together and collectively blame our hormones.
By: Aly Walansky for YourTango.com.
Hormones can be tough.
We know we need them for our bodies to operate; they work nonstop to control all aspects of our physical and sexual health; but these chemical messengers also shake up our bodies from puberty, through menopause, and beyond.
Although we have hormones to thank for making men men and women women, we also recognise that they can swing our moods, give us pimples, and make our hair go haywire. And that’s just the beginning.
“Most of us know about how hormones affect moods, digestion, cravings, sleep and sex drive but in fact that complicated dance that occurs between the brains signalling molecules, like FSH and LH, the ovaries and the adrenal glands in fact can impact every single cell in our body”” says Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD board certified in OB-GYN and Integrative and holistic medicine.
1. Clear skin, thinking (and then some)
Ever have one of those days where you mean to put dry shampoo in your hair and instead put cooking oil? Your brain just isn’t in its right place! Gilberg-Lenz says cognitive function is closely related to our hormones.
“We are more verbally expressive in the first half of our cycle due to increasing oestrogen and it can also affect appearance!” Gilberg-Lenz says the healthy glow of pregnancy is a great example.
“Progesterone rises in order to maintain a pregnancy but progesterone also is the dominant female hormone in the second half of our cycle, from ovulation on, called the luteal phase,” she says. There is also evidence that at mid cycle—when we are most fertile—our skin is more beautiful and we feel better in in our bodies, causing us to feel and act sexier. Nature (much like our mums) wants us to mate and make babies.
More about acting sexy: Do you know if your hobbies are “sexy”? Apparently they could stop you getting laid. Pfft.
Hormones play a big factor in whether you develop acne, says Dr. David E. Bank, a dermatologist, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age and Founder & Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. As a general rule, the hormone oestrogen diminishes acne, while progesterone stimulates acne.
Hormones cause oil glands to enlarge and to produce more oil during puberty and throughout the teen years. Hormonal fluctuations are strongly correlated with acne breakouts, concurs Joshua Zeichner, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.