How Your Skin Will Be Affected by Menopause and How to Care for it Before, During, and After
Menopause is a very complex, yet natural process that every woman goes through as they reach middle age. For some women, it’s a smooth process… their monthly cycle ends, and they move on, none the worse for wear. But, for others, menopause brings on a whole host of symptoms that can last for years. Many women expect internal changes, but menopause can bring changes to your skin, as well.
Hormonal Changes During Menopause
The main cause of these internal and external changes during menopause is the decrease in ovarian activity and hormonal levels that occurs as we age. These hormonal changes are the cause of everything from hot flashes to sagging and wrinkles.
How Menopause Affects the Skin
Unfortunately, these same hormonal changes that occur during and after menopause can also affect the physiology of the skin in a few different ways. The decline in the B-Estradiol levels accelerates the aging of the skin. The lower levels of estrogen and progesterone also lead to changes in the skin.
Sagging skin and wrinkles may also occur because of decreased estrogen levels. As estrogen levels begin to drop, fat deposits from the face, neck, arms, and hands are redistributed to the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. As a result, sagging and wrinkles begin to appear on the face, neck, arms, and other areas, including the breasts.
Estrogen is also responsible for the synthesis of proteins like elastin and collagen. So, as menopause progresses there is less production and repair of these essential proteins in the dermis of the skin. This lack of repair leads to a lack of resiliency in the skin, making it very susceptible to UV damage and other environmental damage.
Blood capillaries in the dermis are also influenced by the decrease in estrogen. As the blood flow in the epidermis decreases, less oxygen and nutrients become available to top layers of the skin. This causes a slower cell turnover rate and a thinning of the epidermis, as well as dry skin and trans-epidermal moisture loss.
How to Care for Your Skin Before, During, and After Menopause
The way that you care for your skin before, during, and after menopause can make all the difference in how your skin weathers the storm. Instead of sticking to the same old cleanser and moisturizer routine that worked fine in your twenties and thirties, turn to an alternative skin care routine that can help to prevent and reverse the signs of aging that accompany menopause.
- To combat dark spots caused by sun damage, look for treatments that contain niacinamides and wear SPF on exposed skin every single day.
- Dehydrated skin just looks older, so look for serums and moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid, which can actually attract moisture from the air and bind it to the skin.
- Treatments that contain marine collagen can help to firm and plump sagging skin while providing much-needed moisture.
- Products containing mild acids should be incorporated into your routine to speed up cell turnover.
It’s never too late to incorporate anti-aging ingredients into your skin care routine, but the sooner you start making changes, the more dramatic your results will be. Better yet, begin incorporating anti-aging skin care into your routine before you notice the signs of aging so you can prevent damage before it even starts.