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, and this affects skin functionality. Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle, controls lactation, is instrumental in bone formation, it improves collagen content in the skin and increases skin thickness, and improves blood supply to the skin. So, 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, 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 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:
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. 50ml RRP $155.00
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.
Avene PhysioLift Smoothing Day Cream
It has to be said, the French know a thing or two about skincare. Avene products use Thermal Spring Waters known for their soothing and anti-irritant properties, so they are perfect for skin going through menopause. Avène PhysioLift Smoothing Day Cream helps to prevent, and corrects the appearance of, pronounced wrinkles, deep furrows, loss of firmness and luminosity, while moisturising your skin for all day hydration. Additional power ingredients help to maintain collagen, plump skin and smooth the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. 30ml RRP $68.95.
Dr. Hauschka Intensive Treatment for Menopausal Skin
As all Dr. Hauschka products are free from synthetic dyes, fragrances, preservatives, mineral oils and parabens, they are gentle for sensitive skins. This is why the Intensive Treatment range, formulated for skin that has lost its natural balance and requires specialised care to return to equilibrium, is 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. Use for 28 days straight, up to 4 times a year (one bottle should last 28 days). 40ml RRP $156.
philosophy ultimate miracle worker SPF 15
With a name like ultimate miracle worker, how can this not be great? philosophy ultimate miracle worker is a true multi-tasker. Utilising multi-rejuvenation technology to help rejuvenate skin by targeting lines, wrinkles, firmness, skin density, pores and radiance, to deliver your best skin in years. Best yet, it targets the full spectrum of sun rays – UVA, UVB, infrared, visible, and light, so skin is protected every day. 50ml RRP $95.00.
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. 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. 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, try a product to clear the breakouts, and blotting papers to control the excess sebum production. Some good ones are:
Dr Natasha Cook Concentrated Micropeel
Dr Natasha Cook is an Australian dermatologist, and she developed this brilliant multi-tasking product here in Australia. Formulated with Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids, the Dr Natasha Cook Concentrated Micropeel works to treat imperfections such as blackheads, whiteheads, and acne (and here is where the multi-tasking comes in – as a bonus, helps fade pigmentation, and minimise pores). Used once or twice a week, over time, collagen production is boosted, resulting in plumper, more youthful skin. 15 x 1.3ml sachet/wipes RRP $125.
ModelCo Blotting Papers
ModelCo Blotting Papers are dual-sided matte papers that absorb excess oil and shine, mattifying your skin without disturbing your makeup. Touch up your complexion by gently blotting around any visibly shiny areas. Use the matte side to blow away shine and the powdered side for occasional touch-ups. They are also perfect for all skin types in humid weather. Pack of 50 sheets RRP $10.00.
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.
I will post more fully on hyperpigmentation separately. It is a big topic and deserves its own post – stay tuned.