DHEA and DHEA-S levels decline with age. Unfortunately, once DHEA levels begin to wind down, there are no feedback mechanisms to help restore it.
As DHEA and downstream metabolites decrease, the brain loses the protective effects of sex steroids and becomes increasingly vulnerable to neurotoxic effects of cortisol and other potentially damaging factors.
DHEA is sometimes called the ”anti-aging hormone” or even the “fountain of youth”. Supplementation with DHEA appears to engender a sense of wellbeing and re-establish that "zest for life".
So, what effect does Topical DHEA have on aging Skin?
When administered topically, DHEA restores skin elasticity!
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that DHEA has especially favorable effects on skin health and appearance. Topical DHEA tends to improve skin brightness.
It also helps to counteract the papery appearance of skin and epidermal atrophy, a characteristic feature of hormone-related skin aging. Topical DHEA could also act on skin process related to wrinkles.
In a 2000 laboratory study, DHEA was shown to increase production of collagen—the protein that gives youthful skin its suppleness—while decreasing production of the collagenase enzymes that destroy it.
In 2008, scientists discovered more DHEA “switched on” multiple collagen-producing genes and reduced expression of genes associated with production and cornification (hardening) of the tough keratinocytes that form calluses and rough skin. The researchers concluded DHEA could exert an anti-aging effect in the skin through stimulation of collagen biosynthesis, improved structural organization of the dermis while modulating keratinocyte metabolism.
Other unexpected benefits of topical DHEA on aging skin are emerging. DHEA treatment increases production of sebum, or skin oil. Sebum not only contributes to smooth, supple skin; it also contains myriad antimicrobial components that prevent infection and irritation.