Team Inspiriko - April 2023
Changes In Your Skin During Menopause - What Is Happening & How to Make It Better?
As a woman, you’re probably aware of the many changes perimenopause and menopause bring about in your life. This is the stage where your female hormones plummet, so you say goodbye to your monthly period and hello to hot flashes and mood swings.
But did you know that menopause can also affect your skin? Fine lines, wrinkles, rough texture, blemishes, and brown spots can start to appear, and not all of them result from ageing only. Sun exposure, your diet, and, of course, your dwindling hormones can impact the way you feel and look, particularly regarding your complexion.
Read on to learn more about how menopause can impact your skin - and what to do about it.
The Impact of Menopause on Your Skin
When you hit perimenopause, your estrogen levels start to drop, causing your period to disappear gradually. This deep change in your hormone levels causes other effects on your body, from hot flashes and mood swings to changes in your skin. For example, you might notice that it becomes drier and more prone to itchy patches (1). That's because the female hormone estrogen plays a vital role in helping to keep our skin moisturized and youthful.
Thus, a decrease in estrogen levels results in a reduction in the production of sebum, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides, which are essential for preventing moisture loss. When estrogen is in short supply, we're left with a bit of a desert on our faces.
Also, this loss of estrogen can impact your collagen production, which can lead to wrinkles and fine lines (2). As you age, your skin pH changes, exacerbating existing skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Additionally, facial fat redistribution plays a crucial role in the aging process. Certain facial compartments may increase in size while others may shrink, resulting in a sunken appearance in the upper face and sagging heaviness in the jaw area.
Last but not least, it’s quite common to feel an increased sensitivity and thinning of the skin during menopause (3), making you more susceptible to adult acne and age spots and also resulting in uneven skin tone.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin During Menopause
Undoubtedly, all of these changes in your skin can affect how you look and impact your self-esteem. But we have some good news: you can take several measures to ensure your skin remains youthful. Here are some top tips to help you navigate this stage of life with a radiant, glowing complexion:
Protect Yourself From the Sun
Menopausal skin is more sensitive and prone to sun damage, so ensure you're wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 at all times. Apply it at least 15 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours, or more often if you're swimming.
● Try to avoid being out in the sun during peak hours and wear protective clothing that covers your arms and legs.
● Also, a wide-brimmed hat can protect your face, neck, and ears from the sun. Look for a hat that shades your face and neck while providing ventilation.
● Stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
● Don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays by wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
Sun exposure can seriously damage your skin, so don't let it get the best of you.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for good gut health, which, in turn, can lead to healthier skin.
● Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your skin moisturized and reduce inflammation (4).
● Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.
● Colorful fruits and vegetables: Berries, oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens are all rich in antioxidants and vitamins that can help keep your skin looking youthful and healthy (5).
● Water: Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining your skin hydrated. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day!
● Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains flavonoids (6), which can improve skin hydration and protect your skin from UV radiation.
A well-balanced diet can provide you with most of the nutrients you need for optimal health, but many times it is hard to achieve. For example, some people may have limited access to a variety of nutrient-rich foods due to factors such as geography, budget, or food allergies. And this is when supplements come to the rescue. For example, our Love Thy Gut supplement can help keep your digestive system in tip-top shape, which ultimately benefits your skin. And while we're on the topic of supplements, consider adding our Super Green Energy to your routine for a boost of B vitamins and vitamin C to help keep your skin looking its best.
Level Up Your Skincare
Next, it's time to switch up your skincare routine. Look for products specifically designed for menopausal skin, and make sure they contain ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. These elements can help boost collagen production, hydrate your skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (7). Don't be afraid to invest in some high-quality products - your skin will thank you.
Take Care of Yourself
Don't forget to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and try to reduce your stress levels. Menopause can be a challenging time, but taking care of yourself both inside and out can make a world of difference. So, grab a glass of water, take a deep breath, and remember that you've got this.
Medical Interventions for Changing Skin
Lifestyle changes are not the only solutions available for your changing skin: you can also resort to safe medical interventions that can improve your complexion and appearance. One option is prescription-level retinoid skin creams made from vitamin A extract. These creams can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. However, they can also have possible side effects such as skin irritation, redness, and flaking, which can be mitigated by starting with a lower concentration and gradually increasing it (all with the help of you doctor!).
Another option is using peptide creams that use amino acids to help boost your collagen production, although they may be less effective than retinoids. These peptides can help improve the texture and tone of the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote new skin growth. It is important to note that results may vary, and it may take several weeks or months of consistent use to see noticeable improvements.
Microdermabrasion is another intervention that can help encourage new skin growth by removing the top layer of your skin. This minimally invasive procedure is usually performed in a dermatologist's office and has minimal downtime. Laser resurfacing, on the other hand, is a more aggressive intervention that can tighten loose skin and do away with wrinkles. In this treatment, high-intensity light removes the top layer of your skin and stimulates collagen production.
There is also a newer non-ablative laser resurfacing option that does not cause wounds to the skin and has a quicker recovery time. The heat generated by the laser also promotes collagen production, causing the skin to tighten and look younger and healthier.
Lastly, you may also choose chemical peels to remove the upper layer of your skin and encourage new growth, thus reducing the number of wrinkles and fine lines on your face. There are different types of chemical peels, ranging from mild to more aggressive, so it is important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best option for your skin type and objectives.
The Bottom Line
During menopause, changes in hormones can impact the appearance of your skin and affect your self-esteem. However, wearing sunscreen, eating a healthy diet, investing in skincare, and taking care of yourself can do wonders regarding skin health. And rest assured that you have many safe medical interventions at your disposal, such as retinoid and peptide creams, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels, to improve the appearance of your skin. Complement your routine with excellent health supplements, and you’ll enjoy a healthy, young-looking complexion!
1. Tončić, R. J., Kezić, S., Hadžavdić, S. L., & Marinović, B. (2018). Skin barrier and dry skin in the mature patient. Clinics in Dermatology, 36(2), 109–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2017.10.002
2. Wallace, J. M., Erickson, B., Les, C. M., Orr, B. G., & Banaszak Holl, M. M. (2010). Distribution of type I collagen morphologies in bone: Relation to estrogen depletion. Bone, 46(5), 1349–1354. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2009.11.020
3. Raine-Fenning, N. J., Brincat, M. P., & Muscat-Baron, Y. (2003). Skin Aging and Menopause. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 4(6), 371–378. https://doi.org/10.2165/00128071-200304060-00001
4. Calder, P. C. (2010). Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes. Nutrients, 2(3), 355–374. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2030355
5. Evans, J. A., & Johnson, E. J. (2010). The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health. Nutrients, 2(8), 903–928. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2080903
6. Evans, J. A., & Johnson, E. J. (2010). The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health. Nutrients, 2(8), 903–928. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2080903
7. Levin J, Momin SB. How much do we really know about our favorite cosmeceutical ingredients? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Feb;3(2):22-41.