How To Age Like J. Lo, According To An Expert
It is a fact universally known that Jennifer Lopez has aged like a fine wine, or in fact, not really at all! While good genes, an impeccable skincare routine, and access to incredible facials have kept J. Lo looking far younger than her years, getting a better understanding of your hormones can help you do the same. And don’t get us wrong, the aging process is beautiful and every change is a celebration of an extra year of life, but if we can enter our 50s like J. Lo did, we wouldn’t complain at all!
So, did you know that your hormones are linked to your collagen levels and therefore, play a significant role in the skin’s aging process? By understanding more about your hormones and how they work in harmony with your hormone levels, you can help to optimize and slow down the aging process. Feeling skeptical? According to our go-to hormonal wellness expert, gynecologist, and Co-Founder of skincare line VenEffect, Dr. Rebecca Booth says, “By understanding and negotiating with the [hormonal] shifts women naturally experience, we can adapt and capture the Venus Effect [when your skin is at its prime] throughout our lifetime to optimize our beauty and our vitality.”
Dr. Booth explained to us everything to do with hormones, from how they impact our skin in our teens and our early 20s, to our 50s and beyond. And of course, how to adapt our skincare regimen to work alongside our hormonal changes to slow down early signs of aging.
The Role of Collagen and Estrogen in Aging
Dr. Booth begins by explaining the basics, “From the early teens through the decades that follow, we experience shifts in our hormonal balance that, in turn, affect the quality of our skin. Not too surprisingly, we are designed to look more attractive when we are in our most fertile years for the simple reason that we, as women, are responsible for the next generation.”
For this reason, our high hormone levels are biologically designed to help us look and feel our best. “Estrogen is a feminine feel-good look-good hormone that enhances all elements of the feminine aesthetic, from the length and texture of our hair, to our metabolism, and certainly the glow in our skin,” says Dr. Booth. You can see how our estrogen fluctuates even on a daily basis in the diagram above. If those “feel good” days tend to happen at the same time every month, chances are your estrogen levels are peaking. Also, notice how our estrogen levels peak just before ovulation? It’s nature’s way of encouraging and helping us to procreate successfully.
However, Dr. Booth adds, “As we age, estrogen is programmed to decline, and there is an accompanying and undeniably linked decline in skin collagen, the matrix that keeps our skin taut and smooth. As collagen declines so do elastin, the “bounce back” molecule, as well as the production of the dewy glow-giving hyaluronic acid in the skin.”
Dr. Booth explains that “Peak skin collagen accompanies peak estrogen around ages 25-27, but don’t panic – be strategic! We have the knowledge and many more tools now to optimize hormonal vitality and beauty as we age uniquely as women.”
How Phytoestrogens Can Help Reduce The Appearance of Aging
Dr. Booth believes phytoestrogens are one of the most impactful anti-aging ingredients. If you’re left thinking “phyto-what?” don’t worry, Dr. Booth explains everything. “Phytoestrogens are tiny molecules derived from the reproductive parts of many plants such as the seeds of grapes, red clover, flax seeds, and nuts and berries. While it has long been known that these nutraceutical foods are good for overall health, there is now growing scientific evidence that phytoestrogen molecules, applied topically, offer multiple benefits in the fight against aging skin. What’s even better is they have all of the benefits and none of the risks of “human” estrogen.”
In fact, Dr. Booth Co-Founded a skincare line named VENeffect with her sister and beauty industry expert, Cecil Booth, which utilizes the anti-aging powers of phytoestrogens. Dr. Booth told us, “VENeffect is formulated with a high potency exclusive complex of plant-based phytoestrogens to inspire skin to peak vitality. We have a library of over 30 phytoestrogens and formulate them based on the intended benefit. Resveratrol, found in certain red grape varietals, brightens and inspires the production of collagen. Pomegranate helps dissolve dead skin cells. Red Clover is a potent phytoestrogen with calming and anti-inflammatory benefits.”
How Your Hormone Levels Impact Your Skin in Your Teens and Early Twenties
It’s no secret that hormonal surges during your teen years can wreak havoc on your skin. Dr. Booth confirms, “Hormonal highs in this age mean that your skin has natural lubricity, but tiny alterations in hormonal balance can result in excess sebum, breakouts, and blotchiness.”
If hormonal breakouts are all too familiar to you, Dr. Booth recommends reviewing your diet and advises to “Keep sugar and carbs at a minimum, as carbohydrates, and stress raise insulin levels, causing the delicate estrogen and testosterone balance to shift towards testosterone dominance. Instead of carbs, focus on healthy protein from plant sources like walnuts, almonds, seeds, and legumes; such as soybeans, chickpeas, and peanuts.”
Thankfully Dr. Booth says, “If you must cheat with a sweet treat, make sure it is during your hormonal highs, in the week after your period (the Venus Week), not during the PMS time, which can make matters worse for the skin. Better yet, try dark chocolate, as the cocoa bean contains phytoestrogens, plant-derived mimics of estrogen, that support skin collagen and inspire the Venus Effect.”
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Helpful Skincare Tips For Your Early Teens and 20s
If you prioritize skincare from an early age, you’re more likely to maintain a consistent regimen, and any derm will tell you, consistency is key! For all of our product recommendations, check out our derm-approved skincare routine for teens. Otherwise, make sure you’re following Dr. Booth’s skincare tips for your teens and early 20s…
Exercise regularly: “Pump up the exercise, especially in the week leading up to your period, to keep hormones in balance for brighter, luminous skin. We recommend 150 minutes a week – and starting this regimen early will pay off in the long run.”
Use a gentle, effective cleanser: “Excess oiliness associated with hormonal highs can be reduced by using a gentle yet effective cleanser to draw out impurities. We formulated our VENeffect Pore Minimizing Cleanser, $60, with natural willow bark, pomegranate enzymes, and hydrating cleansers to reduce the appearance of pore size, removes excess sebum and help prevent blemish.” We also love the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel, $12, as it’s super lightweight and will gently remove any dirt, oil, or makeup from your skin while hydrating with hyaluronic acid.
Always remove makeup: “Always remove makeup before bed, and for deeper cleansing, a gentle electronic rotating cleansing brush can help prevent blackheads and exfoliate as well.”
Detox the skin: “Acne treatments can dry the skin. Try a detoxifying mask, especially pre and during menstruation, and better if it has calamine to calm. Our award-winning Skin Calming Mask, $60, has all of this and more as the phytoestrogens naturally suppress blemishes.” The L’Oréal Clay Masks, $13, are another affordable option, and each one addresses different skin concerns. Each formula packs three types of clay; kaolin, montmorillonite, and Moroccan lava, which extract oil and purify pores.
When you hit 21, consult a gynecologist: “This is the age women should begin to see a gynecologist, especially if sexually active, or by age 21. When considering contraception, the birth control pill or contraceptive ring adds an additional benefit that comes from the estrogen in these treatments. For example, a reduction in pore size and suppressed sebum for clearer skin. Note that not all hormonal birth control contains estrogen – so if skin benefits are important to you in addition to the main objective of birth control, please discuss that with your practitioner.”
How Your Hormone Levels Impact Your Skin in Your Late 20s to Early 30s
When you enter your late 20s and early 30s, you’re probably becoming aware of the aging process for the first time. However, Dr. Booth insists, “You are at peak hormonal vitality in your late twenties – this is the ultimate age of the Venus Effect, with the potential for naturally glowing, clear skin! Collagen, the primary matrix that keeps skin strong and elastic, is at its peak in your mid-twenties. It correlates to the peak in estrogen during this most fertile part of your lifetime. This is the perfect time to begin a more advanced anti-aging regimen and an ideal time to introduce phytoestrogens in your diet and in your skincare!”
How to Optimize the Aging Process in Your Late 20s to Early 30s
Here are Dr. Booth’s helpful tips to keep your collagen levels high and keep your skin looking plump and soft.
Exfoliate twice a week: “This is a must to ensure cell turnover and prevent milia: bumps resulting from trapped keratin, a surface protector secreted by outer skin cells. Our VENeffect Micro-Exfoliant, $60, has both physical and enzymatic properties – almond powder and finely ground grapeseed to direct to the areas that need it most while pomegranate enzyme gently dissolves dead skin cells.” As you’d expect, we’re obsessed with the WISHFUL Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, $39, which features a unique combination of fruit extracts, acids, and soft exfoliants to buff away dirt and bacteria to brighten and exfoliate the skin.
Be healthy on the inside: “Begin the inside-out approach with supplements and a healthy, plant-protein based diet to sustain the Venus Effect for your entire life.”
Pregnancy and Post-Partum: “These are often the baby-making years,” says Dr. Booth. “The good news – pregnancy sets up the ultimate Venus Effect with soaring estrogen (the recipe behind the “glow” of pregnancy). The downside comes after-baby; postpartum blues and simple lack of sleep can wreak havoc on the skin. Hormonal lows after pregnancy can also set off rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions. The phytoestrogens in VENeffect can balance the hormonal upheaval, and phytoestrogens are naturally anti-inflammatory; helping to calm ruddy, irritated skin.” For more deets on what to expect during pregnancy, check out our pregnancy skin guide.
How Your Hormone Levels Impact Your Skin in Your Late 30s to Early 40s
“By our late thirties we are often starting to see the effects of waning estrogen on our skin, along with other factors such as stress, less sleep, and balancing life’s challenges,” says Dr. Booth. Hence, why “There’s no better opportunity to seriously up the ante on your skincare regimen. You have earned it – invest in your skin and your overall wellness and it will carry you beautifully through the years that follow.”
Dr. Booth adds “In spite of the fact that we are living much longer, our estrogen levels seriously decline in these years and a significant decline in skin collagen occurs with it. It was during these key years that we began to look for a solution for ourselves. Preparation for perimenopause and menopause is key during this phase and will serve you well for years to come.”
How to Optimize the Aging Process in Your Late 30s to Early 40s
Keep the skin lubricated: “Stay well hydrated and use Omega three oils to support lubricity in the skin.”
Invest in a more advanced moisturizer: “Or better yet add a serum/moisturizer combo to your daily routine. Our Intensive Moisturizer, $156, is the first product we created and has the highest level of our phytoestrogen complex. We created the Firming Phyto-Lift Serum, $185, to layer before our signature moisturizer to amplify and add benefits with firming and lifting effects. We call it the luminosity duo!” Find more amazing advanced anti-aging formulas here.
Stay out of the sun: “Sun damage begins to take a stronger toll on aging skin in the face of waning hormones. Sun protection is a must and instead try a self-tanner, bronzer, and products designed for brighter skin.” Check out our fave drugstore sunscreens to keep your skin protected.
Keep up vitamin D: “To keep vitamin D at a good level, take a 1000 IU supplement [like the NOW Supplement Vitamin D Soft Gels, $7] each day to support collagen as well as multiple other health benefits.”
Keep stress levels low: “De-stress to keep cortisol at a low point, as this stress hormone can wreck healthy skin. Consider practicing meditation or breathing exercises to mute surges of stress hormones.”
Prioritize sleep: “It gives your skin and your body time to repair. Be generous in applying an anti-aging treatment at night and wake up to better skin.”
How Your Hormone Levels Impact Your Skin in Your 50s and Beyond
“Fifty is a magical number for women,” says Dr. Booth and we couldn’t agree more. However, she does add “While we look and feel younger than ever, one key aspect that has not changed is the simple fact that this is roughly the age of what we refer to as “the ovarian retirement plan.” That’s right, the ovaries do not disappear, they are simply programmed to retire, and while we can experience some level of liberation from our menstrual cycle, we must be aware of an accompanying decline in estrogen production.”
For this reason, Dr. Booths says, “It’s the age that many women seek advice from their gynecologist on an approach that is right for them. Whether a woman decides on or is eligible for, hormone therapy, there are many ways she can address the changes in skin, metabolism, and mood that are risk-free.”
How to Optimize the Aging Process in Your 50s and Beyond
Good skincare is an absolute must: “By this age, you have found a product or two that works for you. Keep using it, but also incorporate something new that gets at anti-aging from a different perspective. Perhaps a dedicated neck creme and a splurge on a facial with an aesthetician who understands menopausal skin. A deeply hydrating lip treatment like the VENeffect Lip Treatment, $85, that minimizes vertical lines is a must. This is our top seller as there’s nothing like it!”
Eat for your skin: “A diet high in phytoestrogens, including nuts, seeds, soybeans, chickpeas, apricots, and even dark chocolate (one ounce a day) will help keep skin elastic and support collagen.”
Workout regulating: “Exercise to stabilize blood sugar, which tends to creep up after 50 and can destabilize the matrix of the skin.”
Stay out of the sun: “Avoid the sun at all costs, as skin loses its own protections from sun damage and brown spots and skin cancer begins to pop up. Invest in good accessories such as sun-visors, hats, scarves, and large-lens sunglasses to protect your more delicate eye area skin from the sun, wind, and environmental toxins.”
Probiotics: “Take probiotic supplements that help keep skin pH normalized to reduce infections and inflammation.” Check out our probiotic guide here.
For more info on how your hormones are affecting your skin, check out this post.
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