How to use estrogen cream for face

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Jules Walters • Updated: July 27, 2023

Keeping a youthful looking skin gets more challenging with every year of age. But a new ingredient in skin care can help, particularly for women after menopause.

This step-by-step guide shows how you might use estrogen cream for face, as part of good menopause skin care.

What role does estrogen have on skin health?

Our skin is held up and given structure by a protein called collagen. It holds everything in place and without collagen our skin starts to sag.

Most of us have heard that estrogen is an important female hormone, but did you know that, as part of its many roles, estrogen encourages our body to make collagen. Estrogen also supports our skin’s dermal thickness and tells our cells to produce more elastin, which makes our skin lovely and elastic to the touch.

So, pretty crucial, right? The problem is that once we finish menopause, our estrogen levels will have dropped to near zero. No wonder we’ve got aging skin!

Hormone estrogen level measuring scale. 3D rendering
Diagram of estrogen hormone levels dropping with age to explain how estrogen cream for face could work.

Can you put estrogen cream on your face?

The good news is: yes. We can put estrogen cream on our face. Telehealth companies like Alloy specialize in menopause and have created a face product to help collagen production in the run up to and after menopause.

Alloy’s face cream is called M4 and contains a small amount (0.3%) of a type of estrogen called estriol, plus glycerin for skin moisture, oleic acid as an antioxidant and vitamin E.

I’ve used M4 estrogen cream on my face for sometime now and find it makes a real difference in reducing fine lines and giving my skin its former plumpness, for want of a better word.

And it’s not just me. Research has shown that using estrogen on skin for six months noticeably decreased wrinkles and improved moisture.

So, what’s surprising is that we’ve known about the benefits of estrogen in face cream for some time. The first studies on skin improvements thanks to estrogen cream were published way back in 1996; nearly 30 years ago! And it’s only now that it’s starting to be more commonly used by peri-menopausal and menopausal women.

Is it easy to find estrogen cream for my face?

Companies like Alloy have specialist doctors who will screen you through an online form to check that you’re suitable for estrogen face cream. Don’t worry. The company says the cream is for any woman looking to reverse the effects of a lack of estrogen on skin.

Estrogen face cream can be used alongside menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) as it only affects the local area where you put the cream. MHT may also be referred to as hormone replacement therapy. It doesn’t affect the whole body, according to research.

How often do I use estrogen cream for face?

Alloy will send a three-month supply in the post. You apply one pump of the cream to your face once a day. I use it in the morning after my shower.

Alloy’s cream uses the weakest of the three types of estrogen called estriol. The three kinds of estrogen are estrone, estradiol and estriol. Estriol is the weakest of these three kinds of estrogen, and less likely to cause side effects, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

All pharmaceutical products in the US approved so far to treat menopause, particularly hot flushes, use estradiol.

Creams with estriol are not approved as pharmaceutical products. They are made instead by compounding pharmacies.

That means a pharmacist mixes up the ingredients, which can include hormones like estriol. The mixtures have not approved by the drugs regulator, the FDA, when made by a compounding pharmacy.

That could be because it’s an emerging treatment, like estriol, and the necessary studies have not been done, like comparing its effects to placebo, which you need to get FDA approval. Studies are expensive and take a lot of time. If you’re interested in finding out more on the difference between compounded drugs and FDA approved, you can read the FDA’s Q&A on compounding drugs.

Can estrogen cream get rid of wrinkles?

Yes. Research published by in 1996 showed that a cream with two types of estrogen in it, 0.01% estradiol and 0.3% estriol, and used for six months, resulted in a big improvement in wrinkles.

More studies on estriol in skin care is ongoing. Much less is known about estriol than the more commonly used estradiol.

Quicksilver Scientific uses a form of estriol in a face serum that’s derived from soy. One pump of Quicksilver’s serum delivers 0.5mg of estriol to smooth skin. The company says you can use it on smooth skin areas, including wrists, inner arms and neck. I would think you could put it on your face as well, although the company says to avoid the eye area.

Hand-written chemical formulas of naturally-occurring Estrogens - estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), with black pen

Soy is an unusual plant as it contains a type of plant estrogen called a phytoestrogen that works like human estrogen but is not as strong. A phytoestrogen from soy can bind to estrogen receptors in our skin and lesson skin aging symptoms.

In summary: Estrogens and the treatment of skin aging

If you’re interested in skin firmness and boosting collagen levels in your skin, then estrogen cream for face is definitely worth looking at.

This a great article on the evolution of estrogen in face cream by beauty editor Erin Flaherty. It includes the revelation that one female dermatologist in New York has been using an FDA-approved cream for vaginal dryness as an eye cream for 20 years! She calls it her secret to gorgeous skin.

I, for one, would like more research done on this potentially miracle hormone for skin. Yes, it’s important to treat hot flashes and vaginal dryness. We have FDA-approved drugs for that using estrogen.

But what about estrogen to prevent skin aging? Now I’d vote for more studies on that.

In the meantime, if you don’t want to wait years for the research to be done, check out companies like Alloy and Quicksilver Scientific for estrogen creams today.