Under the skin with Adriana

Here at System Akvile we’ve been talking about hormones and how our hormones affect our skin. We’ve mainly focused on women, our monthly cycles and what happens when we quit the pill.

But we also wanted to find out how hormones affect those who have to take them to transition to another gender. 

We caught up with a friend of ours - Adriana. She went through the transition to become a woman in 2014. Here she shares her story of how taking hormones affected her skin. 

System Akvile: Please tell us your skincare story. 

Adriana: I have always been very bad and forgetful when it comes to taking care of my skin. I  have always had dry body skin, even before the transition. After starting my hormonal treatment I notice more softness since the hair became weaker but it always has been dry and atopic. I usually need a lot of hydration. The skin of my face has suffered too many changes, from having it very oily to super dry. I have been taking hormones for 4 years and right now I can say that the skin of my face is mixed.

SA: Do you have a skincare routine? 

Adriana: Yes, when I wake up I use a facial cleanser and a "vegetable sebum" I love these products using vegan products for mixed and oily skin. I also use a dark circle remover, and finally I hydrate the drier areas like the nose, chin with a day moisturizer.

SA: Did you notice changes in your skin before/during/after your transition? 

Adriana: YES

SA: What kind of changes? Did you get hormonal breakouts? 

Adriana: I have always had dry skin and so my skin was dry before and after the transition. My skin went through many changes throughout the transition depending on the season. In winter it is very dry and atopic, in summer it is still dry but more stable. In terms of hormonal acne, I had acne before the transition because testosterone causes breakouts. But the hormones I had to take raised my estrogen levels which actually meant that my acne disappeared. I don't have any acne now, just some pimples from time to time.

SA: What other changes did you experience for example in terms of your mental health, mood swings etc. 

Adriana: I had a lot of mood swings, I also experienced a lot of depression and anger. I also experienced hair loss. The hair that has grown since then is very thin. My mood continues to change and I continue experiencing mood swings during each cycle of hormones. Just like women who menstruate, I also have days when I experience mood swings, depression and tiredness. 

SA: How did the changes in your skin make you feel? 

Adriana: I didn’t feel alarmed by anything, especially since the hormones seemed to help my skin. All I did was to continue hydrating my skin since it’s always been dry and sensitive. 

SA: If you had to give some advice to your younger self what would it be? 

Adriana: To never stop hydrating the skin. Hydration is very important, especially if you want to avoid stretch marks and redness.

Thank you for sharing your skin story with us, Adriana! 

Here at System Akvile, we’re on a mission to demystify skincare and that starts with finding out everything we can about what causes acne for everyone, regardless of gender. If you’ve recently been through a transition and your acne has flared up, or simmered down, we want to know. Get in touch and let us know. In the meantime, stick to your routines, people!