It’s important to understand what happens to your skin during menopause. It can be a scary time when you are not sure how much of your body is going to change and how long it will take for you to go through the entire process. Due to the drop in estrogen production, women going through menopause may experience a variety of symptoms.
Menopause, also known as the change of life, is a natural and normal process that occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen. Perimenopause marks the time when your body begins to prepare for menopause. This can last for years before you actually reach menopause—it’s different for everyone. Some women will experience only mild symptoms during perimenopause; others may have more severe symptoms. You should always talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any changes in your health or well-being so that menopause can be correctly diagnosed.
Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes (feeling flushed), night sweats, mood swings (irritability), headaches (migraines), insomnia/sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness and sex drive loss.
While there are many symptoms associated with menopause, in this post, we’re talking about menopause and your skin.
One of the major biochemical changes that happens during perimenopause and menopause is a drop in estrogen levels. Estrogen is a hormone that plays an important role in maintaining skin health. It’s involved with cell-to-cell signalling, which means it helps your skin keep itself resilient and firm.
During perimenopause, there’s an initial drop in estrogen levels that happens before menstruation stops completely. Beyond that first change, there’s another significant drop in estrogen production during menopause—this is when you stop producing your eggs for good and no longer menstruate regularly.
Skin loses fatty tissue due to lower levels of estrogen during menopause, which can make it look thinner and more fragile.
One of the main reasons that women experience sagging skin during menopause is due to a lack of collagen production. Collagen is a type of protein that gives skin its structure and helps it retain moisture. As you age, your body produces less and less collagen which can cause the skin to become loose and saggy. In fact, by age 40, you’ve lost half of the collagen in your body!
During menopause, dry and sensitive skin is another common symptom that occurs due to the skin’s loss of estrogen. Which means you need to be extra careful about what you’re using on it. Avoid comedogenic creams and products containing ingredients that clog pores—these include but are not limited to: parabens, mineral oil, alcohol, lanolin and cocoa butter. Some people also find that fragranced skincare products cause irritation during this time of life. Making a few tweaks in your skincare routine can help minimize the excessive dryness and other symptoms associated with menopausal and perimenopausal skin.
The onset of menopause is a critical time for your skin, and so it’s good to make sure you’re well-equipped to serve your changing skin needs in the best way possible.
Switch to non-foaming cleansers that are ultra-hydrating and you’ll feel an immediate difference in your skin.
Try: Renew Gel Cleanser
Keep up the acids at this time to keep the surface of your skin fresh and bright. A good glycolic acid toner will keep menopausal skin toned and hydrated. If you find you’re suffering with hormonal acne, include a gentle salicylic acid toner in your routine.
Invest in a nourishing night oil, preferably retinol-based as it encourages collagen production and reduces photo-aging.
Upgrade your spritzes, serums, and moisturisers to ones with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, niacinamide & peptides – and use them regularly to boost moisture and hydration.