You’re in menopause (or perimenopause) and now what? The last thing you should do is to feel bad about it.
Yes, menopause brings many symptoms and your skin changes too, but this is an important chapter in your life. It should be celebrated as an inseparable part of womanhood, not feared.
To many women, skin changes during menopause are the primary reason behind low self-esteem. All is not lost! You can have youthful, nourished, and vibrant menopause skin easily with these simple tips.
Why does your skin change after menopause?
In menopause, levels of hormone estrogen start to decline and they also influence your skin’s physiology and appearance.
Reasons your skin changes in menopause are numerous, including the following:
- Decreased collagen- Collagen is vital for youthful skin. It is the loss of collagen that leads to the formation of wrinkles and lifeless complexion. In the first five years after menopause, the dermis loses about 30% of collagen. Over the next 20 years, skin loses an additional 2% of collagen per year
- Oxidative stress- After menopause, oxidative damage in the skin speeds up and causes a greater deal of damage to skin cells, collagen synthesis, and elastin fibers. Although oxidative damage occurs during sun exposure, menopause accelerates the process
- Slower skin renewal- The menopausal transition leads to flattening of the skin’s outermost layer called epidermis. As a result, keratinocytes lose the ability to renew themselves at a rapid rate. Due to water loss, the epidermal layer becomes dry and makes the skin appear dull and scaly
- Water loss- Your skin requires water to function properly. In the dermis, the second or middle layer of the skin, menopause induces the decrease of water-binding substances called dermal glycosaminoglycans which also include hyaluronic acid
What can I do about menopause and skincare? These tips to maintain skin after menopause.
1. Have a regular skincare regimen
To most women, skincare routine consists of washing their face only with nothing else but water.
Although it may seem convenient, it’s not the best thing for your skin at any age, particularly menopause. You see, menopausal skin tends to be dry with visible signs of aging; it needs more than just water.
The very first step toward healthier and more vibrant skin is to establish a regimen that you’re going to repeat every morning and night. The ideal regimen consists of cleansing and hydrating with a rich moisturizer.
2. Stay hydrated
Hydration comes from the inside out. You won’t accomplish much if you cleanse and apply moisturizer, but fail to drink enough water during the day. The International Journal of Cosmetic Science published results of the study which showed that consuming 2l of water a day has a meaningful effect on skin physiology.
Staying hydrated is also beneficial for good memory and basically all processes in your body. Don’t wait to feel thirsty, just drink a glass of water from time to time or download an app that reminds you to do so.
3. Apply sunscreen
Skin protection is essential, but we usually overlook its importance. Sun’s UV rays are active throughout the year and they penetrate into your skin to break down collagen and elastin fibers or to induce oxidative damage.
Give your menopause skin proper care and nourishment by applying sunscreen. One study showed that regular sunscreen use decreased aging by 24%. Scientists concluded that regular sunscreen use reduces skin aging in healthy, middle-aged women and men.
4. Don’t focus on your face only
When it comes to skincare at any age, especially menopause, we tend to focus on the face. That is the wrong approach.
After all, your face isn’t the only body part prone to aging and formation of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Your jawline, neck, and chest need proper care and nourishment too.
When cleansing and moisturizing, make sure you include these areas into the routine.
Lifestyle choices you make also contribute to the appearance of your skin. When we’re talking about menopause and skincare, we simply have to emphasize the importance of the regular physical activity.
A study whose findings were presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine revealed that exercise keeps skin young and has a major potential to reverse the aging process.
Scientists discovered that participants who exercised regularly had visibly younger skin compared to those who didn’t. Another reason to exercise is that regular workouts also reduce the severity of hot flashes.
6. Eat soy
Soy is a phytoestrogen or plant version of estrogen, which is why it is beneficial for women, especially in menopause.
What most of us have never realized is that soy consumption has a positive effect on menopausal skin.
Not only you should eat soy, but you should also look for isoflavone-rich products. A study from the Clinics discovered that the use of isoflavone-rich soy extract resulted in significant improvement in epithelial thickness and the number of elastic and collagen fibers.
7. Learn what to avoid
It’s not only about products you use, but ingredients found in their formula.
During menopause, skin becomes dry and more sensitive, which is why you should avoid products that cause irritations and allergic reactions. Many skincare and beauty products contain fragrances, sulfates, triclosan, and propylene glycol.
The safety and efficacy of these ingredients are questionable because they are known for their ability to irritate the skin. Menopausal and postmenopausal women usually notice their skin is more reactive.
That’s why you should go for products that nourish your skin and don’t contain these harsh ingredients.
8. Acne treatment
Acne isn’t just for teenagers, a growing number of adult and menopausal women deal with this problem. In menopausal ladies, the hormonal fluctuations cause acne breakouts. Using a random acne treatment you find in the store isn’t the smartest decision.
It’s simple, these products are usually made for much younger girls and they contain a harsh formula. You should focus on finding an acne treatment that isn’t irritating, to avoid drying out your skin even more.
9. Eat fruits and vegetables
Diet is yet another factor that influences the quality and appearance of your skin. Everything you consume can either support healthy skin or it can contribute to dull and lifeless appearance.
Ideally, you should increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. It’s simple; they are loaded with antioxidants, known for their ability to destroy free radicals and prevent oxidative damage.
In fact, you should also enhance your menopause and skincare routine by using personal care products rich in antioxidants as well.
At the same time, decrease the consumption of junk food, sweets, desserts, alcohol, soda, and other unhealthy items with little to no nutritional value.
You May Also Like to Read: Everything You Should Know About Menopause And Dry Skin
Menopause skin is prone to damage, dryness, visible wrinkles, and many other signs of aging. As you already know, the primary culprit is declining estrogen, but the natural aging process also plays a role.
Skin needs care and nourishment, regardless of a woman’s age, and menopause shouldn’t stop you from doing so.
Stay hydrated, make diet modifications, exercise, and learn more about common ingredients in products so you can avoid those that could irritate your skin. With regular routine and a healthier lifestyle, your skin will be flawless.