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menopause skin care

Menopause Skin Care 101

Thankfully menopause, perimenopause, and all the associated symptoms which can… let’s be real here… have a very serious impact on your life, how you function day to day, and your long-term health, are finally being opened up for public discussion which will hopefully lead to it being taken much more seriously across the board.

Can you believe that there’s still a taboo around menopause in this day and age? Luckily, here at Skin to Love, no subject is off the table, particularly when it impacts our physical and mental health. We’ve asked nurse Natalia our menopause lead, and Medical-Aesthetic Nurse, to help answer some of the most discussed topics at our skin clinic when it comes to menopause and skin.

 

How Menopause Affects Your Skin

“Typically, between the ages of 45 and 55 menopause occurs, although this is not true for all, some may experience it far earlier, and you could be experiencing perimenopausal symptoms up to around 10 years before you have the menopause, which anyone experiencing symptoms will testify… that’s a long time.

A natural, biological process for those of us born female, it can be a really significant time for us, not only because it marks the end of our reproductive years which in itself has a mixed emotional response-some happy, some devastated, some find themselves in between and on a rollercoaster of these emotions. Then, as if that wasn’t challenging enough for some of us, the significant hormonal changes on our body, specifically a decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone, and the fluctuations of these hormones, can have a number of effects on your skin, amongst other symptoms.

When it comes to your menopausal skin symptoms, estrogen has a lot to answer for. I usually explain to clients that estrogen is vital in not only maintaining your skin health but also the appearance of your skin because it promotes collagen production. Collagen keeps your skin firm, smooth, and youthful looking. As your estrogen declines, so does your collagen production. What a cruel trick of nature, hey.

Estrogen also helps to regulate the oil production in your skin. Oil is your natural moisturiser. Some of us will notice that our skin becomes dryer as our estrogen reduces, this means that your skin can start to feel itchier and more irritated, as well as dryer.

Unfortunately, I’m not quite finished! Estrogen reduction can make your skin thinner which means that it’s more fragile and at risk of tearing and bruising. Your skin can also become more sensitive as your estrogen levels drop. This means that you might react to room temperature or products you’ve always used. Sensitivity may feel like a burning sensation, irritation or redness.

You may also find that with a lack of collagen production, alongside blood supply, your skin heals a lot slower than it used to. Collagen isn’t just about how we look, it’s vital to the functioning of the skin too!

Last, but not least, hormonal changes can help to cause hyperpigmentation issues, where dark patches can appear on the skin.

Of course, each person is unique and some of these symptoms will vary, as will the severity of these skin issues. The key thing to understand is that you do not have to suffer with these symptoms which not only have a physical impact but quite often a psychological one too.”

Early Menopause Skin Changes

“During perimenopause, we can experience various changes in our skin. Perimenopause is the name of the transitional period leading up to the menopause. What we experience can really manifest in so many different ways but commonly wrinkles, sagging skin, adult acne, dryness and irritation, sensitivity, thinning skin, and hyperpigmentation issues.

Stress can greatly impact your skin. Your usual day-to-day stresses can actually become a lot harder to manage and cope with during perimenopause and menopause because you may be dealing with other menopausal symptoms, not related to your skin directly, such as not being able to sleep, anxiety, and feeling like you’ve ‘lost your mojo’, for example. We’ve got a helpful blog that might help you better understand some of the symptoms you may be experiencing. Often these stressful symptoms are mistakenly put down to other things, such as stress, ironically.

Nutritional support, a well-balanced diet, practising mindfulness or other such practices, can really support your menopausal journey. A particularly powerful brand of supplements, which can very much support you during this time is HINNAO, which may be worth looking up.

 

Will Menopause Cause Dry Skin, and Can it Cause Skin to Itch?

“It can indeed cause dry skin. A decline in your hormone, estrogen, can impact the production of your natural moisturiser, oil. Dry, dead skin cells that are left on the surface of your skin can make your skin look dull, feel rough, and make textural issues such as wrinkles look exaggerated. Dryness in turn can cause your skin to itch.

Your skin can become more sensitive during this time too, so you may find that external factors, such as products, make your skin itch or feel irritated. If your discomfort is persistent, it’s advisable to seek professional help.

One thing that can keep dryness at bay is by moisturising daily. If you’re noticing that you’re sensitive, I suggest a bland moisturiser rather than one that has lots of bells and whistles. There is a high street brand that is designed for sensitive, reactive skin, even suitable for those with eczema, called Avene which you may like to research.”

 

Does Menopause Cause Sagging Skin?

“Yes, menopause can contribute to sagging skin. To some degree, sagging skin is a natural part of the ageing process, however, perimenopause and menopause can accelerate this.

To help reduce this risk, please wear a daily SPF to help protect your collagen and elastin. There are also non-surgical treatments that can effectively address sagging skin, such as Thermage radiofrequency, the Thread Lift, Sculptra, and HIFU.

If you’d like to see what your options are for sagging skin, or indeed other signs of skin ageing, we’d be happy to discuss them with you at our CQC-registered skin clinic. We absolutely love helping our clients who are perimenopausal and menopausal feel more confident about their skin and help them look their best, at the age they’re at.”

 

Contact us here to arrange a consultation.

 

Menopausal Skin Help

“With my clients, I often recommend looking up Balance App, by Dr Louise Newson. Here you can find plenty of evidence-based information about menopause, it also has a symptom checker too.

In terms of your skin, how you experience perimenopause and thereafter is going to be different to your best friend. Your skin probably didn’t act the same before perimenopause or menopause, and it probably won’t do during or after it too, although you may have some crossover in symptoms. You’ll also have a medical background that’s unique to you. Therefore, if you’re considering investing in a skin treatment or active ingredients to add to your skincare regime to support your skin health and appearance during this phase, please seek professional advice.”

 

Menopause Skin Treatments

“As mentioned, you should get specific advice about what skin treatments are best suited to you, your unique concerns, as well as factoring your medical background into this. However, I can tell you that there are some firm favourites amongst our perimenopausal and menopausal clients.

For sagging skin, the Thread Lift, dermal fillers, HIFU, Thermage, and Profhilo are all exceptional, results-driven treatments designed to improve the signs of skin ageing without having to go under the knife.

For dry itchy skin, Byonik can be a really wonderful treatment that helps to repair your skin’s barrier. If you have an impaired skin barrier, not only can things get into your skin to further irritate it, but it also allows moisture to get out, exasperating dry, itchy skin. Byonik also helps to reduce inflammation, rehydrate and plump your skin, improve signs of ageing, and generally improve your skin health.

Other non-surgical skin treatments that can help dry and, or itchy skin are Profhilo, some skin peels, and HydraFacial. The additional bonus with these treatments is that there will be other issues they’ll address at the same time, including things like wrinkles.

Menopausal acne can be really disheartening if you’re going through it, particularly as there’s no overnight cure. In part, this is because there are several factors that can be contributing to your acne, alongside your hormones. Skin treatments will not cure acne, particularly if your hormones are driving the breakouts, but there are ways to successfully manage it until the hormonal influences change or subside. Some of the clinically proven acne treatments we use at our skin clinic are Isolaz, Regenlite laser, Byonik, skin peels, and HydraFacial.”

Are any other points worth mentioning when it comes to menopause and skin?

“Maintaining a good, personalised skin routine is vital to support your skin each day. It doesn’t need to be a busy, involved regime that takes ages to do. A few key ingredients are often all you need, for example, a very basic but effective skincare regime always includes a daily SPF as this is going to help prevent sun damage. Sun damage essentially translates to ageing skin. Please ensure that you do not rely on the SPF in your makeup because you’ll need to apply it much thicker than you usually would to get the suggested protection. Use your SPF as a moisturiser and apply your makeup on top. Vitamin A and a Hyaluronic Acid serum can be very helpful for skin that’s showing signs of ageing but do get advice specific to you when it comes to these powerful, active ingredients.”

Hopefully, this little slice of the internet will help you manage your skin during perimenopause and beyond. Should any of your menopausal symptoms become unmanageable or disruptive, please seek the advice of a medical professional, and please don’t be worried about seeking a second, or third opinion; your quality of life matters, as does your long-term health.

Should you like to discuss your skin and skincare goals, we’d be really pleased to help. The first step is a consultation at our CQC-registered, Save Face-accredited skin clinic in Hertfordshire; you can contact us here to arrange this.

Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. This blog does not give individual advice and any information given should not be taken as such. We are all unique which means that any treatment results, recovery, and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.

 

Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.

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