Expert Tips for Menopause Skin Care During Perimenopause and Menopause
3 minute read
As women approach menopause, they may experience a range of symptoms, including changes in their menopausal skin. Fluctuations in estrogen levels and other factors such as sun damage or skin damage from smoking can lead to dryness, fine lines, age spots, sagging skin, and increased skin sensitivity.
However, menopausal skin care is not necessarily a losing game! There are actionable steps you can take to not only slow down skin aging and all of the uncomfortable dryness and itchiness that comes with it but, in some cases, even reverse it.
This article offers medically backed tips for caring for your skin during perimenopause and menopause so that you can enjoy healthy, radiant, comfortable-to-live-in skin. Skin health for the win!
Alloy is a woman-owned and operated menopause treatment resource center that helps women dealing with menopause symptoms access essential menopause information, community support, and medically backed menopause treatment solutions, including treatments for estrogen-deficient skin.
What Causes Menopausal Skin Changes?
Many women assume that dry, aging skin is an inevitability during and after menopause. While this is true to a certain extent, you also have much more control over how much your skin ages than you might think.
There are two broad categories of skin damage doctors recognize: intrinsic and extrinsic. Though the two types of skin damage are often interrelated, these general categories help create easy-to-understand explanations of skin damage.
Intrinsic Skin Damage
Intrinsic skin damage refers to the natural aging processes that occur over time. It is caused by hormonal factors—such as the drop in estrogen associated with menopause—and the steady accumulation of genetic damage to cells that occur with repeated cellular replication.
Extrinsic Skin Damage
Extrinsic skin damage is caused by external factors that can accelerate the natural aging processes and cause damage to the skin. Known factors that contribute to extrinsic skin damage include smoking, pollution, poverty, and—most infamously—sun damage, which not only ages skin but can lead to skin cancer.
As mentioned above, these two types of damage are interrelated. For example, external lifestyle factors or circumstances can contribute to intrinsic factors: you are more likely to have cellular damage to your skin if you smoke regularly.
However, the distinction helps doctors create preventative skin care treatment plans, which include cutting out unhealthy activities—like excessive drinking or smoking—and incorporating positive skincare routines into your daily life—like wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF daily or eating a healthy diet that is rich in healthy fats and antioxidants to protect against UV damage.
The Role of Estrogen in Maintaining Healthy Skin
Even if skin damage has already occurred, it's possible to reduce or even reverse the signs and symptoms of aging skin. To explain how this works, we’ll need to go into greater detail about the role of estrogen in maintaining healthy skin.
As we all know, estrogen is an essential sex hormone for women. Its monthly fluctuations trigger our menstrual cycles, and when we near menopause, our ovaries produce less and less of it. But you might not know that estrogen also plays an important role in collagen production in both women and men.
Collagen is an essential protein that serves a structural role for many of your body’s tissues, including the skin. During menopause, as estrogen production decreases and ultimately ceases, your skin’s ability to create high-quality collagen becomes compromised, leading to a loss of skin elasticity and thickness.
Estrogen is also essential in maintaining skin moisture and producing skin oils. As estrogen levels decline, the skin’s ability to stay moisturized is reduced, leading to drier, itchier skin known as estrogen-deficient skin. Due to the degradation of collagen and the skin’s struggle to retain moisture, it becomes drier, itchier, and more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
Addressing Menopausal Skin Care Concerns
So what can you do for optimal skin care as your body moves through the stages of perimenopause and menopause? We’ll break down common skin-related symptoms of menopause and provide actionable solutions to help you feel comfortable in your own skin!
Though skin changes are inevitable as we age, there are plenty of ways we can improve our skin quality even after menopause.
Dry skin occurs when skin loses its natural moisture and may become rough, scaly, or itchy. To combat dry skin, look for skincare products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which helps to hydrate and plump skin, ceramides, which help to reinforce the skin barrier, or estriol, which can help retain and restore skin moisture. Also, avoid hot showers and opt for lukewarm water, as hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils.
Use a hydrating moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or estriol.
Avoid hot showers and opt for lukewarm water instead.
Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water to help hydrate skin from the inside out.
Consult your dermatologist to determine if your dry skin might result from a different underlying medical condition.
Fine lines are shallow wrinkles that appear on the face and are a natural part of aging. They may be known as crow’s feet (around the eyes) or smile lines (around the mouth). Since declining estrogen levels can exacerbate the appearance of fine lines, look for skincare products that contain ingredients like vitamin C or estriol, which can help to stimulate collagen production.
Use a moisturizer or serum with vitamin C or estriol.
Wear sunscreen of at least 30 SPF daily to protect your skin from further damage.
Consult with a dermatologist or beauty professional to learn how to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve your skin's elasticity.
Itchy skin can be a result of the decreased levels of estrogen during menopause. To soothe itchy skin, look for skincare products that contain ingredients like oatmeal, which can help to calm irritation and inflammation. Also, look for moisture-boosting products that contain hyaluronic acid or estriol to keep your skin healthy.
Use a moisturizer with oatmeal to soothe itchy skin or estriol to restore skin moisture.
Avoid wearing tight clothing that can irritate the skin.
Consult with your doctor to determine if your skin itchiness is due to another underlying medical problem.
Age spots result from sun damage or damage from smoking and can become more prevalent during menopause as your skin loses moisture and structural support. Be sure to wear sunscreen and look for skincare products that contain ingredients like estriol, vitamin C, or niacinamide, which can help to brighten mature skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.
Wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 every day.
Use a moisturizer or serum with vitamin C, niacinamide, or estriol.
Consult with a dermatologist to learn how to reduce the appearance of age spots and to have them checked for signs of skin cancer.
Menopausal skin can become more sensitive to irritants because it is drier and thinner. When you have thinning skin during menopause, it’s important to choose gentle skin care products, including those free of fragrances, alcohol, and other potential irritants.
Look for gentle, fragrance-free skincare products; a mild cleanser will do.
Avoid using products that contain alcohol or other potential irritants.
Consult with a dermatologist to discover whether there is another health issue causing your skin sensitivity.
If you are experiencing other skin conditions during menopause, such as acne, rosacea, hair loss, easily bruised skin, or a skin infection, it is important to consult with your medical doctor and a dermatologist. They can recommend the best course of treatment for your individual needs.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) and Skin Care
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is medically proven to reduce and, in some cases, reverse skin damage in menopausal women. Numerous clinical studies have shown that reintroducing estrogen to menopausal and postmenopausal women increased their skin moisture, thickness, and collagen levels.
Alloy offers a topical estriol facial cream—the M4 Mega Miracle Menopause Moisturizer—that contains estriol, glycerin, vitamin E, and oleic acid. This facial moisturizer is medically proven to:
Increase collagen production
Retain and restores skin moisture
Increase skin firmness
Decrease pore size
Decrease wrinkle depth
Increase skin elasticity
If you are curious about our M4 moisturizer, take our M4 assessment to see if our M4 Mega Miracle Menopause Moisturizer fits your skin care needs.
Creating Your Skin Care Routine: Before, During, and After Menopause
Creating a healthy skincare regimen is important for maintaining healthy skin during and after menopause. Here are some tips for creating a skincare routine at any stage in the life cycle!
Pre-Menopausal Skin Care
In the years leading up to menopause, it is important to establish a good skincare plan that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen every day. Look for skincare products that contain antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients to help maintain healthy skin.
Menopausal Skin Care
As skin changes during menopause, it may be necessary to adjust your skincare routine. Focus on using gentle, hydrating products to help combat dryness and sensitivity, and look for products that contain ingredients like estriol to help minimize the appearance of fine lines.
Post-Menopausal Skin Care
As you age, taking care of your skin becomes even more important. Continue to use gentle, hydrating products, and consider adding a serum or cream that contains glycerin, topical estriol, or other skin-protecting ingredients. Also, be sure to stay hydrated!
Alloy Has Solutions for Menopause Symptoms
Dry, irritated skin got you down? Don’t worry—we’ve got you!
Check out our M4 Moisturizer, and reclaim your youthful, radiant skin. Remember to take our M4 assessment to see if it’s right for you.
If you want to treat other menopause symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, take our MHT assessment to receive a personalized menopause treatment plan from a menopause-trained doctor.
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