Estrogens, the primary female hormone, are a group of steroid compounds. Estrogen is secreted by the ovaries and is the hormone responsible for female sexual characteristics. In an article on MSNBC.com, Dr. Judith Reichman indicates that estrogen receptors are located all over the body. When added to skin cream, estrogen may improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Estriol is a natural estrogen produced in small amounts in the placenta during pregnancy. While European cosmetic manufacturers have been producing estriol skin creams since the 1990s in the United States, these products have not been as popular in part, it is assumed, because hormones cannot be patented, meaning that a product’s active ingredient can be replicated and result in market saturation.
How It Works
Estriol is known to manage symptoms of menopause. Used topically, it can increase collagen and treat diminishing skin structure that occurs with aging. The hormone helps eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, helps nutrients and oxygen circulate, increases moisture in the skin and genitals and can minimize sebum production. When used in low doses, estriol typically has no adverse side effects.
Estrogen vs. Placebo
A 1994 study published in the journal Maturitas, an International Journal of Midlife Health and Beyond compared an estrogen-based skin cream and a placebo skin cream on 54 women aged 52 to 70. After 12 weeks, the group using the estrogen-based cream had an improvement in fine wrinkles; after 24 weeks, there was evidence of significant facial skin thickening for the estrogen group. Those taking the estrogen cream tolerated the hormone well.
A 1996 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology looked at the effects of topical hormone treatment on a group of perimenopausal women. The researchers found that after six months of treatment with estrogen-based skin creams, “elasticity and firmness of the skin had markedly improved and the wrinkle depth and pore sizes had decreased by 61 to 100 percent.” No hormonal side effects were noted.
SafeMenopauseSolutions.com, a website developed by Linda Rola, President of Personal Wellness Network publishing company, reports, “You should always use estrogen with progesterone to keep your hormones balanced.” Progesterone neutralizes and balances excess estrogen, helps prevent osteoporosis and can help improve sex drive.
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Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.