Estriol 3% Cream for Fine Lines and Wrinkles: What the Studies Show

Menopause causes systemic changes that are treated successfully by oral and topical hormone replacement therapy. More recently, studies have shown a successful reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with the use of low-dose topical Estriol creams.

Key takeaways:
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    Identify the difference between estrogen and estriol.
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    Estriol skin can be an effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles.
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    The potential side effects of using estriol creams.
  • arrow-right
    What the studies say about using topical estriol creams.

Over the last decade, the skincare market has exploded with treatments for stubborn issues women face with aging skin. Topical estrogen (estriol 3%) treatments have been used as a form of treatment to combat these issues, however, can be hard to come by without a prescription.

The purpose of estrogen

Estrogen is used to group three female hormones: estriol, estradiol, and estrone. When professionals talk about "estrogen," they generally refer to estradiol, as this hormone makes up the highest concentration of estrogen, at 80% of its total makeup.

Estradiol is the most common hormone found in women of child-barring age. Estradiol is responsible for developing female characteristics like breast tissue development, wider hips, and overall fat distribution. It is also essential to help maintain female reproductive tissues and other tissues such as skin, liver, and bone.

Estrone is typically higher post-menopause and, like estradiol, it helps support female sexual development and function. Increased or decreased estrone levels may cause symptoms such as irregular bleeding, mood swings, and fatigue.

Estriol is only about 3% of the total makeup of estrogen and is considered one of the weakest hormones in the estrogen makeup. It is classified as a weak steroid hormone and helps the uterus grow and stay healthy during pregnancy. It also prepares the female body for childbirth and breastfeeding. When a woman is not pregnant, the estriol levels are almost undetectable.

Why estriol is used for facial creams

Estriol is the primary hormone produced during pregnancy and is found in the placenta and fetus. More recently, scientists have been able to artificially replicate this hormone in labs. Due to the low concentration needed, the artificially produced serum is the most cost-effective alternative to the true estriol hormone.

Estriol cream, currently used in the treatment of vaginal dryness, is formulated to be applied directly inside the vaginal canal to help promote lubrication and prevent dryness and irritation.

Estriol facial cream is a prescription-based cream consisting of Estriol, DMAE (Dimethylethanolamine), and hyaluronic acid and is used to help combat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

DMAE (Dimethylethanolamine) is a nutrient that occurs naturally in the brain and helps to stimulate muscle contraction, which can enhance the tightness and overall appearance of the skin.

Hyaluronic acid is an active ingredient known to retain moisture, plump the skin, and aid in the appearance of more youthful, healthy-looking skin.

When used in conjunction with estriol, these ingredients are said to increase collagen and help to stimulate skin thickness and elasticity. This cream is known to help improve the appearance of aging skin in postmenopausal women and helps to improve the overall tone of the skin and skin elasticity.

How it works

Collagen is a protein found in the body. It accounts for almost 30% of the body's total protein. Collagen is considered the "building block" of the body and helps to provide strength and support for healthy skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Collagen also is found in the intestines, organs, and blood vessels.

As people age, less and less collagen is produced, and it also is broken down at higher rates, therefore, causing a significant reduction in collagen production after menopause. A reduced rate of collagen can generate higher rates of dryness and increase the look of aging on the skin's surface.

Estrogen is a female hormone that increases overall collagen in the skin. Over time, collagen production decreases with age and therefore causes wrinkles and sagging skin. Restoring this balance with a topical solution, such as estriol 3% cream, is said to help restore your skin's ability to produce more collagen.

Important considerations

Although estriol 3% creams are considered mild, they come with serious considerations that may keep companies from selling these products on the market today.

Possible side effects include:

  • Allergic reactions, such as breathing difficulties, hives, or swelling.
  • Memory concerns and atypical behavior.
  • Breast tenderness or abnormal lumps.
  • Liver function concerns.
  • Chest pains and weakness.
  • Vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and muscle weakness related to calcium levels.
  • Interactions with other medications.

Estriol creams of any kind should also never be taken by those who experience any of the following:

  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
  • Those who are pregnant.
  • Those who have a history of liver or kidney disease and blood disorders.
  • Anyone with a personal history or family history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

Although the science is promising, and estriol creams are slowly making their way into the everyday skincare market, they come with some serious considerations.

There may be a place in the future for estriol 3% based creams to help eliminate fine lines and wrinkles and, ultimately, treat the effects of aging skin, but at this time, the side effects outweigh the results and those seeking Estriol 3% cream will need a prescription to obtain it.


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