How to care for your skin during menopause
Although post-menopausal skin is one of the most visible physical changes to your body, changing up your skincare routine can help you to embrace the ageing process while supporting dryness, fine lines and loss of elasticity.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is when periods stop due to lower hormone levels. Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. The gradual process beforehand is called perimenopause, and menopause is reached when there hasn’t been a period for 12 months.
Symptoms of Menopause
How does Menopause affect skin?
The biggest changes happen within the first 5 years of menopause, with studies showing that skin loses as much as 30% of its collagen content due to the reduction of estrogen and progesterone levels. There’s no need to panic, as this then slows down to about 2% every year for the next 20 years. Collagen plays a very important role in giving our skin strength, elasticity and hydration. With less collagen, skin tends to become thinner, drier and more susceptible to wrinkles and sun damage.
The most important aspect of menopausal skincare is keeping your skin moisturised and protected from UV rays. Dry skin can lead to itchiness, while sun exposure can worsen sun spots and pigmentation. Prior to menopause, the production of melanin (the pigment in your skin) is regulated by estrogen. As estrogen levels reduce, the production of melanin can increase, causing unwelcome darker patches of skin typically on the cheeks, upper lip and forehead. Since UV exposure stimulates melanin production, using a good SPF can help to keep skin looking more even in tone, as well as preventing wrinkles.
As skin becomes more sensitive, it's important to reduce the frequency of use of products that contain retinol, glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These ingredients can cause irritation in some people so you may want to switch to a gentler, non-stripping cleanser like SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser to remove makeup and impurities. Avoid using hot water which can irritate, cause redness and strip your skin of its natural oils, making menopausal itchiness worse.
Quench dry, thirsty skin by using a hydrating serum prior to your moisturiser like Medik8’s Hydr8 B5 Intense. The combination of hyaluronic acid and natural moisturising factors (NMF) supports immediate and long-term hydration, helping skin feel more comfortable and plump. Medik8’s Clarity Peptides helps to restore a natural glow to lacklustre skin, while tackling inflammation and fine lines.
Hydrate & Moisturise
One of our absolute favourites for menopausal skin is Cell Shock Perfect Profile Remodeling Cream. Not only does it have a cooling effect that’s soothing to hot flushes, but it features an advanced Anti-Glycation Complex that promotes collagen renewal and helps improve the elasticity and tone of the skin. Ceramides and peptides are two skincare ingredients that are especially beneficial to menopausal skin. Peptides encourage repair, while ceramides plump and restore the skin’s natural defence barriers. Medik8’s Advanced Night Restore contains both for a powerful overnight formula, while SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 offers an optimum ratio of ceramides, natural cholesterol and fatty acids to improve skin smoothness, firmness, clarity and glow.
The decrease of collagen can make lips appear thinner, and wrinkles around the mouth area to become more pronounced. Use SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair to deep lines, improve elasticity and nourish dry, irritated skin.
The hands can often be a tell-tale sign of ageing as thinning skin causes veins to become more visible. It’s also easy to forget how much our hands go through—often being exposed to hot water, soap and cleaning products which strip the skin of its natural oils. Rebuild the skin barrier and boost hydration levels without greasy residue with Swissline's Cell Shock Age Intelligence Make-Peace Hand Balm.
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days and in the winter months. This can help prevent sun damage to your skin, including wrinkles and age spots. Try to use a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher, as well as lip balm with SPF that you can apply before heading outdoors—and don’t forget your hands.