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 hormonal changes our bodies can go through, 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 and will offer advice on how to look after your skin during menopause!
What Is Menopause?
While many women believe that menopause lasts years, it actually refers to your last menstrual period. Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing eggs, causing estrogen and progesterone levels to fall. Some people notice skin changes when they are perimenopausal in the years leading up to menopause.
Typically, 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!). It’s important to keep an eye on how your body is changing to understand how menopause may be affecting you.
How does menopause affect your skin?
With a reduction in estrogen 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 estrogen 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.
How menopause affects your skin during perimenopause will be unique to you. Many women notice itchy skin during menopause while others find that they experience oily skin that can cause menopausal acne. We’ll talk you through some of the most common ways that menopause affects your skin and offer some guidance on how to combat these changes.
Itchy skin during menopause
Many women find that their complexion becomes much drier and experience itchy skin during menopause. Women with typically oily skin may find that they can achieve a better balance, while those with typically combination skin or dry skin may begin to struggle with hydration.
Dry and itchy skin occurs during menopause as the hormones that create the lipid barrier of the skin are affected by the changes. Lipids promote natural liquids and fats that typically keep the skin healthy and hydrated, so when they’re affected, you’ll begin to notice dry and itchy skin during menopause.
How to treat dry skin during menopause
Hydration is key to combating dry and itchy skin during 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, your teens aren’t the only time you may have hormonal acne. Another common side effect of menopause is hormonal acne. Menopausal acne is created 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 menopausal acne to appear.
How to treat hormonal acne 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 menopausal acne. Look for skincare products that contain ingredients such as eucalyptus, tea tree, or clove – they actively work to reduce inflammation and swelling which can soothe, if not prevent, hormonal acne 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 dull skin 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 on Your Face
Menopause can cause the skin to sag slightly on the face, causing visible wrinkles or eye bags. Most often, women will notice a hollowing of the cheeks, eye bags, or vertical lines in the face. Under your skin, connective tissues and supporting fat deplete along with the reduction of natural oils which causes the skin to sag and slacken.
How to treat menopausal sagging skin on your face
Stem cells are the best ingredient that can fight sagging skin on your face. They 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 menopausal sagging skin on the face, 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 aging 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 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 sunspots and lentigo to form. This is because estrogen controls the cells that produce melanin, so as estrogen 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 like menopausal acne and sagging skin during menopause. HRT replaces estrogen levels, meaning that your skin isn’t impacted by the knock-on effects caused by a continual decline in estrogen. This means that women on HRT during 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 aging.