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How does low estrogen affect skin?

With less estrogen around, the three main ingredients that keep skin moist -- basically, sweat glands, oil producers, and the superlubricator hyaluronic acid -- slow their flow. Less estrogen means less collagen and less moisture. So, while estrogen levels may not drop enough to shut down your period, stress may make them dip enough to make your skin look dull and dry. Although it’s not exactly clear why estrogen holds such sway over our skin, we know that women who take hormone replacement therapy can reverse these changes, helping skin regain its youthful strength: It becomes less than paper thin, blood flow to theskin improves, and collagen production rebounds. In one study collagen production was almost 50 percent higher in women taking hormones. The influence of estrogen on several body systems is well documented, but we’re just beginning to understand this hormone’s influence on skin and will likely see more studies done in the future.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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