I’ve had a few questions about what happens to our skin during menopause, and what you should use if your usual skin cream doesn’t seem to work any more, so I’ve decided to update and republish this article (just in case it looks familiar).
So many changes take place in our skin and bodies during menopause that it can seem a bit overwhelming. From the more common hot flushes and cessation of the menstrual cycle, to memory loss, fatigue, and joint pain, and many many symptoms in between. The good news is that not all women will suffer all symptoms, and the changes in your skin can be managed.
Why do we experience such drastic changes in our skin during menopause? The answer is due to the changes in our hormones. As we approach and enter menopause, the production of Estrogen declines (see image below), and this affects skin functionality. Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle, controls lactation, and instrumental in bone formation. It improves the collagen content in your skin (and collagen is all-important in the defense of skin sagging) and increases skin thickness, and improves blood supply to the skin. With Estrogen being so important for our skin, it’s no wonder our skin changes so much during menopause as the production of Estrogen declines.
Below are some of the more common changes in your skin during menopause. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Some women will experience more changes than this, others less – it’s such an individual journey.
One of the most noticeable changes in our skin during menopause is an increase in sagging skin and wrinkles. Frustratingly, as estrogen levels drop, collagen production declines, and fat deposits tend to redistribute from our face, neck, and hands, and move themselves over our stomachs, thighs and buttocks. This is the main cause of this increase in facial sagging skin and wrinkles (although sun exposure is another major cause, and in Australia, this tends to exacerbate the sagging skin we experience). Additionally, during this same time due to hormonal fluctuations, skin may become irritated and out of balance. It is worth investing in a range specifically for skin experiencing menopause, such as:
Dr. Hauschka Intensive Treatment for Menopausal Skin
The Intensive Treatment range, from Dr. Hauschka, is formulated for skin that has lost its natural balance and requires specialised care to return to equilibrium, so it is absolutely perfect for skin during menopause. The Intensive Treatment for Menopausal Skin balances hormonally related skin changes while supporting your skin’s natural processes of renewal. The appearance of blotchiness and spots is diminished for a calm, even complexion. As all Dr. Hauschka products are free from synthetic dyes, fragrances, preservatives, mineral oils and parabens, they are gentle for sensitive skins. Use for 28 days straight, up to 4 times a year (one bottle should last 28 days). 40ml RRP $156.
NIVEA Cellular Anti-Age Volume Filling Pearls
From one of the most trusted skincare brands in the world, comes Nivea’s most powerful anti-ageing product yet. Cellular Anti-Age Volume Filling Pearls helps improve your skins ability to regenerate and works to restores volume, firmness and elasticity, and counteract the signs of skin ageing. Three key ingredients combine to help give skin a plumper firmer appearance, provide energy to the skin and boosts collagen to restore volume and plumpness to skin. The end result – the product creates visibly smoother, refined, and more youthful looking skin. 30ml RRP $32.99.
Shiseido Benefiance NutriPerfect Day Cream SPF 15
Over 100 years of research into maturing skin led Shiseido to create the Benefiance NutriPerfect range. Formulated to help skin through the hormonal changes experienced during menopause, there are special age defying ingredients to boost anti-oxidant and anti-wrinkle benefits. Skin’s defenses against free radicals are boosted, and skin feels smoother and denser, helping to reduce the appearance of sagging and dark spots. The SPF 15 helps to provide moderate protection against future ageing. 50ml RRP $155.00.
L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Day Cream SPF 15
The Age Perfect franchise has been a favourite of Australian women for many years – and for good reason – it’s affordable, and it works. L’Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Day Cream is perfect for women over 50, as it helps to regenerate, plump and add radiance to your skin. The key ingredients and technology offer antioxidant power against free radicals, and cell revitalisation. Fibroblasts help produce collagen in the skin as the natural production declines, helping to reduce the appearance of sagging. The addition of SPF 15 helps prevent future aging. 50ml RRP $44.95.
Another change that can occur during menopause is the tendency towards oilier skin and adult breakouts. As estrogen levels decrease, the mix of testosterone increases in a woman’s body, and it can encourage our sebaceous glands to secrete thicker sebum, resulting in the appearance of oily skin and in some cases, adult breakouts. If you experience this, you should try a product more suited to your delicate, more mature skin, rather than the harsher products we used in our teens. Products we love are:
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout™
Although this product is suitable for any skin prone to oiliness and breakouts, it is perfectly formulated for menopausal breakouts. Bye Bye Breakout™ is specially created to be a drying lotion and concealer in one. Developed with plastic surgeons and perfect for acne-prone skin, the color-infused skincare innovation contains full-coverage pigments to effectively conceal the look of your blemishes, acne, redness and discoloration without creasing or cracking. Infused with anti-aging peptides and hydrolysed collagen, plus oil-absorbing zinc oxide, kaolin clay, witch hazel, tea tree, sulfur and a gentle AHA/BHA complex, it delivers flawless-looking results immediately and more transformative results over time! Available in 7 shades, 10.5ml RRP $42.00.
Simplicite Sage Face Oil & Acne Anti-Bacterial Serum
To help stop breakouts occuring, try Simplicite Sage Face Oil, which uses a combination of fine-textured plant oils and extracts (Lemon, Lavendar and Sandalwood) to deeply rehydrate and keep pores clear as well as help reduce any acne scarring. It minimises the formation of blackheads and pimples through the all natural, medicinal grade formula. Sage Face Oil hydrates without congestion, which is perfect for mature skin experiencing breakouts, which can be dehydrated at the same time. – so necessary but rarely found by combination, oily and breakout skin types. As a bonus for mature skin, it helps all skin types to reduce hyperpigmentation. 55ml RRP $43.20. If your skin is still breaking out, try the Simplicite Acne Anti-Bacterial Serum, used under the Sage Face Oil, it is a powerful acne treatment that doesn’t dry out skin, and also is effective for acne rosacea. With key ingredients Thyme, to help fight acne bacteria, Alfalfa to help reduce redness and help with hormonally induced acne, and Echinacea to help speed healing and reduce swelling and redness, the Acne Anti-Bacterial Serum helps stops bacteria spreading. 30ml RRP $92.70.
As estrogen also controls melanin production, skin is more prone to sun damage and hyperpigmentation during menopause. It is more important than ever to wear a sunblock (and protective clothing) to prevent sun damage. Some great everyday sunblocks are:
Hamilton Everyday Face SPF 50+ Sunscreen
Perfect for everyday use wherever you are, at the beach, or in the city, Hamilton Everyday Face SPF 50+ Sunscreen has a sheer tint and a light matte finish. Fragrance and lanolin free, the sunscreen offers UVA and UVB protection and can be used by all skin types, and is, as the name suggests, a super comfortable way to protect your skin every day. 75ml RRP $12.95.
SunSense Ultra SPF 50+ Sunscreen
SunSense Ultra SPF 50+ Sunscreen offers high protection with up to three hours of water resistance. It is suitable for the face and body and formulated with dual UVA and UVB absorbers. SunSense Ultra SPF 50+ is non-comedogenic, dermatologically tested, fragrance free and suitable for all skin types. Special ingredients in the formula care for your skin and help improve skin tone and texture, whilst offering your skin ultimate protection from the sun. 125ml RRP $10.95. Also available in 50ml roll-on, 200ml, 500ml and 200g tube sizes.
If you are suffering from some of the more extreme symptoms during menopause, always visit your doctor for a check up, and to seek relief. Menopause is a natural part of life – it needn’t be unbearable! Was this article helpful? Do you have any tips for women going through, or about to go through menopause? Let us know in the comments below.