If you have or are currently going through menopause, congratulations! You no longer have to deal with your monthly menstrual cycle. And while this may feel like a relief, try not to get too excited just yet. Although you’ve ended your menstrual cycles, menopause marks the start of another slew of internal changes to your body and its functionality.
During menopause, your body experiences a major fluctuation of hormones which causes your internal systems to operate differently. Therefore, we are going to explore menopausal skin changes that commonly occur amongst women as they endure this natural biological process. Plus we will look at available treatment options to combat these concerns.
How Does Menopause Affect the Skin?
To comprehend why skin changes the way it does on account of menopause, it’s important to understand how it affects your skin to begin with. By now, you’re already aware of the hormonal fluctuations that are taking place throughout menopause. But do you know which hormone is mainly responsible for these skin changes? The answer: estrogen.
Estrogen is a hormone that normally promotes plumpness and water retention in the skin. As you begin to go through menopause, however, your estrogen levels rapidly decline. In turn, this causes your skin to have difficulty obtaining the molecules it needs to help keep your skin healthy and hydrated. When this happens, you’re likely to experience one of the following menopausal skin changes listed below:
Menopause Skin Changes & Recommended Treatment Options
1. Increased Signs of Aging
When your estrogen levels decline, so does your collagen production. Collagen is a plentiful protein that is responsible for binding tissues together, meaning a decrease in its production makes it harder for your skin to remain plump and taut over time. In other words, you’re likely to lose the fat that’s under your skin, causing the elasticity of your complexion to plummet. This can lead to sagginess of the skin, specifically around your neck, jawline, and cheeks. As a result of this, you’ll likely start to notice additional signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, and aging spots.
Recommended Treatment Options:
Look for products that contain some sort of retinol ingredient. Retinol works with your body’s existing cell renewal process to speed up cell turnover and increase collagen production. Both of which are necessary for treating this concern. As a derivative of vitamin A, retinol is a solid option for improving your skin in a healthy way.
There are a wide variety of over-the-counter retinol products out there. However, depending on the severity of your concerns, it may be in your best interest to look for a prescription retinol product. Tretinoin (the fancy term for prescription retinol) offers a higher percentage of this active ingredient, making it all the more effortless to combat signs of aging more quickly. Talk to a dermatologist to see if a tretinoin anti-aging cream is suitable for treating your menopausal skin changes.
2. Dryness of the Skin
At the onset of menopause, the decreasing levels of estrogen in the bloodstream can be responsible for dry skin. This menopausal skin change is arguably one of the most predominant, according to experts. As mentioned before, the loss of estrogen in the body makes it increasingly difficult for your body to retain molecules that are used to keep your skin moisturized. Evidently leading to different levels of dryness. Dry skin can be characterized by red, dull, rough, or uneven skin texture. So if you’re struggling with any of these, this is likely the cause.
Recommended Treatment Options:
If left untreated, the dead skin cells that occur from menopausal dry skin can exacerbate acne breakouts. Therefore it’s critical to tackle this issue early on to prevent this from happening. To tackle this, you’ll want to think about investing in an exfoliant. This will make it easier for you to buff away dead skin cells and revert back to a smooth, supple complexion.
If you’re currently using a physical exfoliant to do this, consider swapping it out with a chemical exfoliant. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) are less abrasive to the skin. Plus they are more efficient in removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. Be sure to exfoliant one or two times a week using the product of your choice. And remember to follow up with hydrating skincare products conducive to your skin type and dryness concerns.
3. Heightened Sensitivity to Sun Exposure
It’s no secret that our skin is extremely vulnerable when exposed to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, regardless of whether or not you’re going through menopause. However, menopausal or post-menopausal women tend to notice a heightened sensitivity to their skin when exposed to the sun. Again, this is due to the decrease in estrogen levels that cause your skin to not only become thinner, but also extra sensitive, irritated, and itchy. A lack of sun protection can lead to worsening skin conditions brought on by menopause. And in some cases, may even lead to skin cancer. Needless to say, sun protection is an absolute must.
Recommended Treatment Options:
Sunscreen should already be a part of your skincare routine, but if it’s not, now is the time to start following through on this step of your morning regime. Even on the cloudiest of days, some sort of SPF product is essential to preserve your skin health. Please don’t overlook this as it’s very important to manage this menopausal skin change.
Generally speaking, using sunscreen or another skincare product with an SPF of 30 is ideal for shielding your skin from harmful UV rays. For optimal protection, we recommend using a water-resistant sunscreen with 50 SPF.
Don’t Let Menopause Negatively Affect Your Skin
Going through menopause is an experience like no other. It’s a natural biological process nobody can prepare you for, as the symptoms women endure are unique to each individual. Hopefully, as you go through this phase in your life, you can refer back to this article to better understand the menopausal skin changes that are happening to you and the best ways to treat them as you move forward.
Healthy, happy, hydrated skin starts from within. While your hormone levels aren’t doing you any favors at this time, your knowledge of the skin conditions listed above will provide you with a sense of guidance when it comes to accurately treat these concerns.
|Natalie Shirlaw is a healthy living expert with 10 years of experience in the field of holistic health, wellbeing, and fitness. If you enjoyed this article be sure to pin or share it!|