The saying “change is constant” is more true for our skin than we realize it. For girls, the first change in skin is often noticed when they reach the age of puberty, followed by pregnancy and finally during menopause. While the skin continues to experience change between these periods, the changes are most noticeable during the three stages of Menopause.
Menopause and Its Three Stages
In simple terms, menopause is the permanent end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, ceasing the woman’s reproductive years. According to medical experts, menopause usually occurs at the median age of 51, but women who may have undergone surgery to remove their uterus may experience menopause sooner than normal at the average age of 45.
A woman suffering from endometriosis, breast cancer, or other forms of cancer may experience premature menopause caused due to their treatment with antiestrogens and chemotherapy medications.
Contrary to the common belief menopause is not a single-stage condition but is rather a three-stage concept.
In some cases, perimenopause, the first stage, can begin in your 30s, some eight to 10 years before the second and the main stage of menopause. During this stage, the production of estrogen starts to slow down. Perimenopause is followed by a year-long period of menopause and finally concludes with postmenopause, the period when you’re no longer ovulating. Postmenopause lasts for the rest of your life.
How Menopause Affects Your Skin
Estrogen is an essential hormone found in the female body once they hit puberty. It is responsible for the maturity of the body while also affecting physiological features such as skin and hair.
Collagen, the main protein in our body, works to help our tissues defy stretching. During menopause, the estradiol level falls down to nearly zero. A decrease in estrogen levels also affects the collagen content produced in our bodies, as the production of collagen is dependent on estrogen.
Postmenopause, the collagen content in our body decreases by about 30% in the first five years alone. A deficiency of estrogens and collagen results in an increase in dryness and wrinkling, hormonal acne, a decrease in skin firmness and elasticity, thinner, sagging skin and slow wound healing.
Skincare Routine to Combat Skin Problems
Wrinkles and Dark Spots: This is the most worrying factor for women experiencing menopause. While wrinkles may appear due to reasons such as stress, constant exposure to UV radiation reduces the production of collagen and elastin. A deficiency of collagen promotes skin altering and the appearance of wrinkles.
- Irrespective of your skin issues or your skin type, sunscreen should always be the most important product of your skin routine especially postmenopause. With a decline in estrogen and collagen, your skin becomes thinner and has fewer natural skin protecting barriers. Using sunscreen will provide your skin protection from harmful UV rays. Skin experts suggest using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- You must look to introduce topical products with the presence of retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C in your skincare routine. Retinol helps counter the appearance of wrinkles (minimally) by producing new collagen and stimulates blood vessels in the skin to help fight age spots.
Sagging and loss of Plumpness: A lack of estrogen inevitably means a decrease in the production of collagen. Collagen works to keep our skin tissues tight and youthful. With a decline in collagen production, our skin becomes loose, losing its youthfulness.
- Facial massages are a good way to help combat the loss of collagen. Massaging your face and neck promotes the production of collagen. Including a facial oil that is formulated to counter problems of sagging skin and wrinkles in your skincare routine can do wonders for your skin. Experts at SkinQ suggest treating your skin with a facial oil with ingredients such as ferulic acid as it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, L-ascorbic acid which helps fight dark spots and gives a smooth and radiant skin.
Dry and Itchy Skin: Hormones are responsible for managing the thickness of the skin. A deficiency of estradiol hormones and collagen leads to the thinning of the skin and a decrease in the water retention capabilities of the skin leads to its dehydration. Postmenopause, the production of oil in our skin also slows down adding to the dryness and itchiness of our skin.
- Cleansing your skin is a must when it comes to a proper skincare routine. When choosing, you must choose a non-drying cleanser that will also deep cleanse your skin, removing surface oil, dirt and grime. A cleanser should not be harsh on your skin and work without damaging your skin barrier.
- It goes without saying that dry skin is always in need of a good moisturizer especially when our skin is unable to hold water postmenopause. A perfect moisturizer for dry skin must contain ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide.
- Hyaluronic Acid is a super hydrator in Dermatologists Suggest using this to ensure your skin health, especially after menopause. Incorporating SkinQ’s Hydrate Facial Elixir as your monthly routine and The Hydrate Elixir Serum in your daily skincare regimen will take care of the Hydrate Quotient of your skin.
Ceramides are proven to prevent water loss from the upper layer of skin while repairing and restoring the skin barrier.
Hyaluronic acid is known as the super hydrator among skin experts. Dermatologists suggest using products containing hyaluronic acid as it helps in the hydration of the skin and retains skin moisture.
Hormonal Acne: As much as we wish this wasn’t true, you may experience acne even during menopause. A decline in estrogen levels may prompt hormonal acne. While your first thought to counter the acne problem may be to use the same products you’ve used since your first breakouts, you may want to reconsider those products.
Postmenopause, women’s skin becomes more sensitive and cannot handle the harsh skin products it in its younger days. Skin experts suggest using anti-acne products formulated with ingredients like salicylic acid, azelaic acid and retinoids.
Azelaic acid consists of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help in reducing inflammation and combating acne-producing bacteria. Its anti-inflammatory nature also makes it suitable for sensitive skin.
Menopause brings in several life-altering changes in life, and it is certainly not an easy experience, but acknowledging your skin requirements can make your experience more comfortable.
Making small changes like switching your cleanser that repairs your skin cells and reinforces the skin barrier, or a moisturizer that specifically nourishes your skin while preventing the Trans Epidermal Water loss goes a long term. To learn more, talk to a SkinQ Expert today.