Menopausal Skin Changes and How to Tackle Them
The awareness of menopause, and perimenopause has massively increased this year, with an increasing amount of press around the topic and more women highlighting the normality of the symptoms we can expect during this time in our lives, which can only be a good thing
With years of experience as a beauty therapist, many women have often complained of tired looking, dry skin with ageing skin being high on their list of concerns. Even to the point of feeling defeated that the facials won’t change the look of their skin during this time in their life but purely act as a relaxing experience. While the relaxing element is true, not being able to improve their skin is false. There’s lots that can be done to improve the skin at any stage of our lives, including the huge hormonal rollercoaster menopause presents to us.
As the skincare expert for Simone Thomas Wellness, Alexandra, I’d like to discuss the normality of these changes and how they affect our skin, what we can expect and what we can do to manage these symptoms, so that we can maintain a youthful, glowing appearance and age naturally.
The Main Skin Concerns During Menopause
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Age spots and pigmentation
Menopausal Skin Changes and How to Tackle Them
How Can Hormones Affect Your Skin?
The average length of perimenopause, the stage before having missed a period for more than 12 months, is 4 years, but can last substantially longer for some women. Changes in hormone levels, including a decrease in oestrogen, progesterone and also testosterone, will affect the appearance and texture of the skin and this starts during the perimenopause stage for many women. This can also be managed and lots can be done through diet, lifestyle and what you’re using on your skin to alleviate these symptoms.
Our skin type is something we are born with. If you have always had an oily, blemish prone skin, you may still expect to have the odd blemish throughout menopause and beyond. Your skin may also feel dryer, and therefore it is important to understand the hormone changes in the body that can cause this.
Oestrogen will improve skin elasticity and hydration in the skin, so when this starts declining, we can expect our skin to feel dryer. Progesterone stimulates oil production in the skin firmness and elasticity, so you will notice less spots with the decline in this hormone, which is a bonus, but you may also notice less tone to the skin. Testosterone declining will also lessen the amount of oil being produced in the skin. As these are hormonal changes, we may still face typical symptoms of the skin type we have always had. Those with an already dry skin type may really feel their skin is soaking up any creams they are applying.
The Benefits of Vitamin C and Collagen for Menopausal Skin
Collagen is the main structural protein found in the body’s connective tissues, making up 25%-35% of the body’s protein content. Collagen drops by 1% each year for both women and men and therefore also slows down during perimenopause and menopause. Collagen is an important factor when it comes to the tone and elasticity of our skin so supplementing with marine collagen supplements can help to alleviate this. By taking regular collagen supplements such as our Skin Quencher Supplement that contains grade 1 marine collagen and vitamin C, you are topping up your skins natural levels of collagen in order to reduce the signs of ageing and increase hydration, elasticity and firmness of the skin. The other key ingredient supplemented during menopause is vitamin c, also found in our SkinQuencher. Vitamin C will help to hydrate your skin from within to encourage improved cell renewal as well as slow down the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to reveal youthful skin. Trust us, these two ingredients will be your best friend during menopause.
Other Ways to Improve Menopausal Skin
Hydration is Key
Water, water and more water. Hydration is fundamental to improve hormone balance as well as skin elasticity and appearance. During the menopause, our skin changes in many ways including becoming more dehydrated. Our bodies are working so hard to deal with the changing hormones, that often our skin is the last to be served. Water helps to keep the whole body hydrated. Improving circulation to our organs, including the skin, keeps the joints more supple and also makes us feel 100x better in our minds. You should try to consume a minimum of 2 litres per day.
Healthy Lifestyle & Balanced Diet
Fruits and vegetables hold a substantial amount of water as part of their makeup. Ensuring you actively give yourself a rainbow of foods on your plate each day is another way to get that key ingredient of water into our diets. Many of us love coffee and we live in a coffee driven market with beautiful cafes popping up across the country day to day. My recommendation would be to stick to one high quality coffee per day, made with freshly ground beans if possible. Coffee does have some amazing antioxidant properties but too much of it can really affect our hormone levels. Instead, incorporate hot water and lemon or mint green tea into your mugs during the day.
Sugar is also something many of us go to as a vice. A spike in sugar levels will affect our hormone levels in the body and slow down our body functioning at its best. Aim to reach for healthier sweet treats. One delicious-yet-nourishing treat Simone has recently introduced to me to, (which I think I will need to get a box full of), is Nourish organic cacao coconut macaroons - the chocolate flavour ones are amazing!
Incorporating Black Cohosh
A super ingredient to consider implementing into your diet is black cohosh. Black cohosh and chasteberry reduces hot flashes, targets vaginal dryness, stabilizes hormone levels and will reduce skin roughness, provide elasticity and smoothness. Black Cohosh is available as a tea, perfect before bed to help alleviate hot flushes at night. It is also available as a powder which can be added into smoothies or a capsule form. Some black cohosh products are not suggested for long term use and it is important to follow the recommended dosage for the product you find. Usually, teas are less potent and can be used longer term.