How To Look After Your Skin During Menopause
We know that our menstrual cycle can affect our skin as hormone levels change in our bodies, so it stands to reason that as one of the biggest hormone changes our bodies can go through, the menopause can have a huge impact on our skin too!
If you’re approaching or beginning menopause, our guide will prepare you for any changes you can expect your skin to go through and will offer guidance on how to look after your skin during menopause!
What Is The Menopause?
While many women believe that the menopause lasts years and years, the term menopause actually refers to your last menstrual period. The menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing eggs, causing oestrogen and progesterone levels to fall – these changes in hormone levels can have a huge impact on your skin!
The years leading up to menopause are when most women will begin to notice these changes and can start to combat the effects, but this period of time is actually known as being perimenopausal.
When does the menopause start?
Typically, the menopause will affect women between the ages of 45 to 55, but it is possible for perimenopausal symptoms to begin earlier than this! Symptoms can include irregular periods, hot flashes, problems sleeping, mood changes, a change in metabolism and changes to skin condition (just to name a few!) so it’s important to keep an eye on how your body is changing to understand when and how menopause may be affecting you.
How does the menopause affect your skin?
With a reduction in oestrogen comes a reduction in collagen. Collagen is hugely important to the structure and strength of the skin, it’s a protein that supports elasticity and a plump appearance. While oestrogen levels won’t drop overnight, as it lowers throughout the perimenopausal period, you’ll find that less blood flows to the upper levels of the skin, your skin holds less water and loses that healthy glow.
Many women going through menopause complain of changes to their skin, but that’s not to say that you can expect to face all of these changes at once! How the menopause affects your skin during the perimenopause will be unique to you; some women find that their skin becomes much drier, while others find that they have to face issues such as spots and acne for the first time since their teens! We’ll talk you through some of the most common ways that the menopause affects your skin and offer some guidance on how to combat these changes.
Menopausal Dry Skin
Many women find that their skin becomes much drier during menopause. Whether this is a negative effect will entirely depend on the condition of your skin! Women with typically oily skin may find that they can achieve a better balance, while those with typically combination or dry skin may begin to struggle with hydration.
Dry skin occurs during menopause as the hormones that create the lipid barrier of the skin are affected – lipids promote natural liquids and fats that typically keep the skin healthy and hydrated, so when they’re affected, you’ll begin to notice dryness.
How to treat dry skin during menopause
Hydration is key to combating dry skin during the menopause – look for lipid-rich products such as moisturisers that contain hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a fantastic ingredient found in serums and moisturisers that can hold 1000 times its own weight in water. This holds in moisture which can restore a youthful appearance in no time!
Unfortunately, breakouts of spots can be a common occurrence during the menopause, not just your teenage years! As the lipid barrier of your skin begins to break down, your skin will try to recreate the barrier by overproducing sebum. This upsets the overall balance of your skin which then creates ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive and cause breakouts.
How to treat breakouts during menopause
Breakouts can occur any time, but particularly when you’re feeling under the weather or stressed out. There are a couple of ingredients that you can work into your daily skincare routine to help combat oily and stressed out skin. Look for skincare products that contain ingredients such as eucalyptus, tea tree or clove – they actively work to reduce inflammation and swelling which can sooth, if not prevent, breakouts.
Menopausal Dull Skin
Another consequence of the lipid barrier being compromised, dull skin can occur when the natural oils that promote luminosity in the skin break down. As well as the natural oils reducing, melanin cells also begin to reduce which can make it easier for dark spots and sunspots to occur.
How to treat dull skin during menopause
You can brighten your complexion by using products such as brightening face masks which contain enzymes and probiotics that can smooth the skin, plus SPF to protect your skin from harmful rays!
Menopausal Sagging Skin
Menopause can cause skin to sag slightly, causing visible wrinkles or bags. Most often, women will notice a hollowing of the cheeks or vertical lines in the face. Under your skin, connective tissues and supporting fat deplete along with the reduction of natural oils which causes skin to sag and slacken.
How to treat sagging skin during menopause
Stem cells are the best ingredient that can restore the skin’s moisture barrier and improve its function and response to daily challenges. Moisturisers and creams containing ingredients such as collagen and elastic can reinforce the structure of the skin and keep it looking fresh and plump for longer.
Menopausal Fine Lines
While vertical lines may be a by-product of sagging skin, fine lines tend to appear on the face in the form of horizontal lines on the forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes, and a deepening of the lines around the jawline, nose and mouth. Fine lines are a result of the body’s temperature changing, which we’ll usually experience as hot flushes. Hot flushes cause the density and structure of the skin to change which then leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
How to treat fine lines during menopause
The eyes and lips are likely to be the most affected areas, so finding skincare that specifically targets rehydration in these areas is a must. Face creams and serums that contain plant stem cells are most effective for protecting ageing skin thanks to their self-repairing properties!
Menopausal Sun Sensitivity
It’s important to look after our skin in the sun to protect it from harmful rays regardless of age, but during the menopause you’ll find that skin is much more susceptible to UV damage. Aside from causing deeper wrinkling, this can cause sun damage such as sun spots and lentigo to form. This is because oestrogen controls the cells that produce melanin, so as oestrogen reduces, so does the protective melanin.
How to treat sun sensitivity during menopause
Make sure that if you’re heading out in the sun that you choose sun cream with at least an SPF30 rating to protect against harmful rays. Even if you’re not specifically going out to enjoy the sunshine, you can ensure that your skin is protected by investing in skincare and foundation with an SPF rating!
How does HRT affect your skin?
HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can be hugely effective in preventing many of the skincare issues women face during the menopause. HRT replaces oestrogen levels, meaning that your skin isn’t impacted by the knock-on effects caused by a continual decline in oestrogen. This means that women on HRT during the menopause notice an improvement in the firmness, hydration and elasticity of their skin. HRT isn’t without its risks, but it does offer a wealth of benefits when it comes to skincare.
However the menopause may be affecting your skin, make sure that you browse our full skincare collection to make sure that your skincare routine contains all the essential ingredients you need to combat changes in your skin and signs of ageing.