Menopause & Your Skin

Looking after your skin during menopause

Ah menopause … usually occurring between the ages of 45 and 60, it’s a period of intense changes to all parts of your body. Yet with knowledge comes control and the journey of menopause can be a time in life in which we take the reins and approach this new period with positivity. Whilst most think of the commonly spoken about effects like hot flushes, night sweats, erratic moods and a change in menstrual cycle (*you can find a comprehensive list of symptoms further below), menopause will also often have an effect on your skin due to a drop in estrogen levels.

Estrogen is key to keeping your skin in good condition as it stimulates and moisturises your skin by maintaining production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, elastin, as well as sebum secretion which is essential for skin hydration and elasticity. A reduction in estrogen will see your skin start to sag and wrinkles form as your skin is less able to retain moisture, leading to dryness and flakiness. Your skin becomes more fragile, and a lack of collagen can result in you bruising more easily and wounds taking longer to heal. The integrity of skin’s barrier also becomes compromised, leading to irritation. For male clients, testosterone also plays a part in ageing skin. Levels drop with age, and this is linked to wrinkles, weight gain, muscles loss and thinning hair.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is another major hormone linked to ageing. This crafty protein is produced by the pituitary gland, which stimulates cell, muscle and bone growth. HGH also declines as we age and impacts skin, metabolism, energy, body fat and even sleep.

However, like other aspects of perimenopause and menopause, there is no one size fits all when it comes to skin during menopause. Whilst many women will suffer from dry skin, others may see a return of oily skin and acne from their teenage year often caused by a relatively higher ratio of male hormones being present.

A daily skincare routine for menopausal women should include a gentle cleanser, followed by a ‘selective estrogen receptors modulators’ (SERM) based serum or concentrate, and lastly a moisturiser rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. All products should be microbiome friendly and enriched with prebiotic and probiotics. Below are some useful product ingredients you should look out for that could either be used alongside side, or as an alternative to HRT: 

  • Phytoestrogens are Polyphenol and Isoflavones compounds such as clover Extract & soya bean- derived, which have no known adverse effects after long term use. New soy-based probiotics, like soymilk ferment filtrate are used for topical application, all help to up oestrogen deficiency.
  • Resveratrol derived from grapes is scientifically proven to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A new form of bio-fermented resveratrol (metabiotic resveratrol) can increase collagen 1 & 111 production
  • Epidermal growth factors (EGF) can help improve the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss. A new version of EGF is derived from Australian wild tobacco leaves which is more bioidentical than a lab-designed version used previously
  • Peptides such as remodeled Matrixyl can strengthen the skin and plant stem cells that are rich in cytokines to help restore the regenerating abilities of the skin as well as its integrity
  • LED light therapy should become apart of your routine once or twice a month as assists the skin with ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is effective in providing anti-aging protection, as well as skin-moisturizing and soothing properties
  • Hyaluronic acid, carrageenan, glycerine and polylactic acids are all moisturising agents that should be included in your daily skincare regime

Menopause not only affects the skin on your face, which only accounts for 3% of the body surface area, but the entire skin surface, including the hands, lower legs, back and genital area. Don’t despair though, lifestyle, stress management, sun exposure, physical activity and healthy diet are all pillars of skin and body health during menopause. So, to age gracefully look after yourself by maintaining an appropriate skincare regime, covering up, applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, eating well and staying active!

More on menopause in general:

*While the body is adjusting to the changes of estrogen level, symptoms may vary but most women experience at least one of the following:

  • Irregular periods
  • Heavier or lighter periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Vagina dryness and discomfort
  • Urinary urgency
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Change in mood like irritability, depression, or mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Joint and muscles aches and pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Eye and mouth dryness
  • Headaches and migraines

One of the most unpleasant symptoms of menopause is hot flushes, affecting about 75% – 85% of women. You can minimize these effects if you eliminate or reduce the following triggers:

  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Hot saunas
  • Spicy food
  • Stress
  • Tight clothing (comfortable, natural fibres are best)

Hormonal changes can lead to bone thinning, development of osteoporosis, changing cholesterol levels and cardiovascular problems, so it’s important to have regular check-ups with your medical professional to monitor changes.

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