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Allie Talk: Skin Health Is Vital to Whole Health

In August, Veracity is celebrating our inaugural Hormone Health Awareness Month. Join the conversation at one of our virtual panel discussions throughout the month and post on social using the hashtag #ItsYourHormones.

Hormones do amazing things — they allow you to fall in love, bond with your baby, and have plump, juicy skin. They literally control every major health system — your skin, your gut, your fertility, your sexual desire, your mental health, your ability to perform athletically. 

Yet, the only way we as a society really talk about hormones is with a note of negativity and shame. I want to scream every time I hear yet another person say, “You’re just hormonal.” When your hormones are out of balance or having a bad day, it’s their problem, not a judgment against you. As we say at Veracity, “It’s not you, it’s your hormones.”

But it’s hard to internalize that message when, as a society, we still aren’t widely educated about these health MVPs. That’s why I am so excited to be celebrating Veracity’s inaugural Hormone Health Awareness Month this August to spread the message and the hormone love.

I believe the connection between hormones and skin is one of the most overlooked relationships in wellness. Skin is often viewed solely in terms of beauty and cosmetic concerns, but it’s so much more important than that. It’s the largest organ in your body and, let’s be honest, it’s the one we pay the most attention to. You might not notice micro changes in your gut lining, but every day you are looking in the mirror and seeing what is going on with your skin — and what’s going on with your skin can tell you about things you can’t see, like what’s happening in your gut.

My #1 Hormone Health Tip:

Don’t assume you know what your hormones are actually up to. If your skin is going crazy and your energy is flagging, you may think that stress has sent your cortisol through the roof but it’s important to actually know what’s going on. Ask your doctor to test your hormones or take Veracity’s at-home Skin + Health Test, which can shed light on how your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and pH levels are doing.

Around 80 to 90% of women who have taken Veracity’s test report being stressed and assume that their cortisol is going to be off the charts. But where we actually see the biggest hormonal imbalance is with really low cortisol, a health problem caused by chronic stress that has serious effects on the body that are different from those of high cortisol. Know what your hormones are doing and you’ll know how to balance them.

That’s why I am on a mission to spread the word that skin health is health. They aren’t separate. I’ve learned this first hand, which is why this cause is so personal to me.

The first signs that I had a thyroid hormone imbalance were dry, flaky patches that suddenly popped up around my eyes. Unfortunately, I didn’t figure that out until years later when I was deep into a journey with infertility. By the time I was properly diagnosed, I had a full-blown thyroid autoimmune disorder. I am so grateful that I now know what is going on in my body and what I can do about it, but I also look back and wonder, what would those years and those struggles have been like if I had been able to treat my thyroid issues when my skin first started telling me that something was wrong?

Our data shows that almost 85% of skin conditions are caused by your hormones, and these hormones aren’t just affecting your skin. Many of us see this connection every month. In the days leading up to and during your period, you may get breakouts, have more sensitive skin, or notice a flare-up of rosacea. This is caused by wild swings in progesterone and a plummet in estrogen, the same perpetrators behind symptoms of PMS.

If you are experiencing acne outside of your normal fluctuations, a hormone test can tell you which hormones are to blame. If the culprit is high testosterone and DHEA, that might point to a more serious problem like PCOS, which can affect things like fertility and facial hair growth. If your FSH is spiking and your skin feels depleted and dull, that might be a sign that you’re entering perimenopause or menopause.

With any skin issue, getting to the root cause will not only help you figure out the skincare and lifestyle changes you can make to support your skin and more permanently clear up the problem, but it will also help you address any hidden problems that may be silently wreaking havoc on other parts of your health.

Skin is the best window we have into knowing what’s going on below the surface, but that’s not to underestimate the power of its more visible role. When you feel good about your skin, you have more confidence; when you don’t, it can affect your mental health. An entire specialty — psychodermatology — had been created to address the connection between skin issues and your mind, it’s that important.

Many in the Veracity community have told us that being able to attribute “bad” skin issues like acne with changes in their body that can be healed is really empowering. It’s why Veracity is on a mission to spread the word that the problem isn’t your skin or you, it’s your hormones. Once you find the answers you need, you can get your skin and your hormones back into balance.

How to Listen to Your Skin:

  1. Learn to pay attention: Train your mind to see your skin as more than just the face you present to the world. Our skin is the most visible part of our bodies, the one we are already looking at more often than some of us would like to admit. So, while washing your face each day, start paying attention to how your skin is looking and feeling.

  2. Notice the signs that something is off: When you look in the mirror, is your skin happy and radiant? Great — that is another sign that your body is thriving and balanced and your skincare routine is working. But if it’s red and irritated or if it feels like you’ve just walked 100 miles through the Mojave Desert, that’s a sign that you may want to pay a little more attention to what’s going on right now.

  3. Interpret what your skin is telling you: The problem may be temporary, and it may actually be only skin deep. Anything from a change in the weather to being on your period can cause a shift in your skin. During these times, you might need to change up your skincare routine to support more moisture retention or to strengthen your skin barrier to help it acclimate to its changing environment. But if there aren’t any easy answers for this sudden skin flare, you may need to dig a little deeper.

  4. Get answers: 85% of skin issues are caused by hormonal imbalances. Take Veracity’s at-home Skin + Health Test or consult with a doctor who can order hormone tests to figure out if there is an imbalance at the root of your issue. Getting answers will help you not just clear up this breakout, but also soothe the root problem to give you prolonged relief for your skin and your whole health.

Have a question for Allie? Email knowledge@veracityselfcare.com.

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