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Estrogen and Skin Health

During the menopausal years, the age-related decline in skin thickness accelerates by as much as 1.13% per year. [191] The decline in estrogen during this stage results in gradual decrease in collagen, water, and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) content, which ultimately leads to thinning and sagging of the skin. Fortunately, these age-related skin imperfections can be diminished with ERT. Studies show that estrogen exerts potent anti-aging effect on the skin by reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity, which helps maintain a younger, tighter skin:
1. In postmenopausal women, six months of oral estrogen administration results in an increase in skin thickness, volume, and number of skin cells (keratinocytes). [192-193]
2. In elderly men and women, application of estrogen on the skin increases keratinocyte proliferation and epidermal thickness after only two weeks. [194]
3. In postmenopausal women, one year of oral ERT increases dermal thickness by 30% while six months of treatment increases skin collagen by 6.49%. [195-196]
4. In elderly men and women, application of estrogen on the skin appears to increase levels of type I, II and type III procollagen. [197-211]
5. In women who were at least five years post-menopause, continuous oral estrogen therapy significantly reduces wrinkles. [212]
6. Estrogen appears to fight skin aging in both men and women by increasing collagen and moisture content and maintaining skin barrier function. [213-221]
7. In cultured human epidermal keratinocytes, estrogen stimulates proliferation and DNA synthesis. [222-227]
8. In cultured human epidermal keratinocytes, estrogen provides protection against photoaging. [228-230]
9. In postmenopausal women, estrogen administration alleviates skin atrophy (thinning of skin) and xerosis (abnormally dry skin). [231-233]
10. In postmenopausal women, ERT reverses progressive skin slackness, resulting in younger, tighter skin. [234-235]
11. In perimenopausal women, ERT reduces the number and depth of wrinkles. [236-238]
12. In early menopausal women, ERT mitigates age-related changes in tensile properties. [240-241]
13. In postmenopausal women with sagging skin, both transdermal and oral estrogen preparations increase forearm skin elasticity by 5.2%. [242-243]
14. In women with wrinkles caused by pregnancy and menopause, ERT use is associated with significant reduction in facial wrinkling as assessed by an eight-point photographic scale. [244]
15. In postmenopausal women, ERT mitigates the effects of skin aging as assessed by a computerized suction device measuring facial skin distensibility, viscosity and elasticity. [245]

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