Menopausal Skin: Signs, Symptoms & Tips
Have you ever wondered about the effects menopause has on the skin?
While a wide variety of changes [emotionally, physiologically] will occur during this time which are all connected, I want to focus specifically on how to address the changes in the skin.
Signs of menopausal skin changes begin sooner than we think…
It's actually a three-part phase: peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Peri-menopause can begin 8-10 years before menopause when the ovaries progressively produce less estrogen and can start as young as our 30’s.
Menopause is the year-long process when a woman doesn't have her menstrual period.
Post-menopause comes after menopause and can last for up to a decade or longer.
Entering our 40’s and beyond, brings about a series of hormonal changes that transform our skin in many ways. Even if you've been using the same skin care routine consistently you may be caught off guard with unexpected changes brought on by menopause.
I realized that caring for my menopausal skin was an opportunity for me to practice some gratitude for myself…and it actually makes me look forward to caring for my skin. It got me this far, right?
Menopause is a time when a woman transitions into the next chapter of her life. It is a time when almost everything about us physically, mentally, and physiologically may transform. Although menopause is an inevitability for women, it is not something that is typically discussed.
For example, not many women know that peri-menopause can last up to 10 years before reaching menopause. Menopause is a natural progression for a woman, but each experience can be radically different; it may be relatively easy for some while very challenging for others.
Menopausal Skin Symptoms
The hormone decline causes an internal hormone imbalance, which is a primary contributor to skin aging. It can be a frustrating process involving many rapid skin changes, including wrinkles, dryness, flakiness, sagging, and thinning… [one that would make any woman not look forward to this part of the aging journey…]
All layers of skin (epidermis, dermis, and the subcutaneous layer), become progressively thinner. Typically, estrogens are responsible for stimulating fat deposits in the female body and supplying blood flow to the skin.
When there is a drop in estrogen, loss of supportive fat under the skin of the face, neck, hands, and arms occurs, which makes for sagging and wrinkles to appear.
Dryness: As estrogen levels decrease, women will experience increased dryness due to decreased sebum (or oil) production.
Dehydration: As we age, our hyaluronic acid levels (which keep the skin hydrated) decrease.
Enlarged pores: Pores will appear larger due to weaker collagen and elastic tissue.
Acne: Due to hormonal changes (less estrogen and more testosterone), women may break out during peri-menopause and menopause.
Discoloration: Begins to appear from the sun worshipping of our 20’s as our melanocytes (cells that give us color) are not as active. As testosterone becomes more out of balance, the skin sebaceous glands go into overdrive, producing excess sebum that can clog pores.
Undoubtedly, skin begins to age more rapidly at the onset of peri-menopause. The inflammation genes become more active, causing certain skin disorders to develop or exacerbate, such as rosacea, pigmentation, and eczema.
The production deficit of elastin and collagen fibers goes hand in hand with decreased skin elasticity this equates to loss of volume in the lips, a concave appearance surrounding the eye area, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
There is also a significant drop in hyaluronic acid in the body, thus the skin, which is key to keeping skin looking plump. The overall slower cell turnover rates contribute to thinning skin and a reduction in the barrier function of the epidermis, leading to increased skin water loss and a lack of skin lubrication.
Step by Step Routine
Ultimately, menopausal skin has a little bit of everything going on and it can be confusing and frustrating to decide where to start first. It is possible to address many of these skin changes through an appropriate routine that balances the skin and includes retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides and lactic acid to help slow things down a bit.
The expected result of the following routine is improved skin texture and clarity and increased moisture and hydration.
2x per week evening routine:
Amaranth Gentle Cleanse or a creamy cleanser (a gentle cleanser that leaves the acid mantle intact).
Tonic Firm & Tighten - an alpha hydroxy acid that hydrates while it exfoliates; Promotes cell turnover which stimulates collagen production.
Sugar Cane Fruit or Raw Cacao. Apply mask slowly with a small fan brush and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes.
Then remove the mask with wet warm cotton pads starting in the areas of the most sensitivity. Remove any leftover traces of the mask.
Tonic Replenish - spritz all over face…
If you are experiencing any puffiness or water retention in your face perform a manual lymphatic massage with the gua sha to stimulate the lymphatic glands of the face to help carry away excess lymph into the bloodstream where it can be broken down or removed.
Organic Honey Mask - Spread a thin layer of honey mask over the entire face and neck. Leave on for a minimum of 30 minutes up to several hours. Remove mask with warm washcloth remove any traces of mask with toner.
Tonic Replenish - Spritz entire face with tonic replenish.
Hyaluronic Intensive or Skin Boost Peptide of Vita A Complex
Vitamin B for wrinkles – Corrective for hyper-pigmentation – Sulfur or Oxygen 2.0 for Acne.
Apply eye cream then go to bed.
Cleanse - Tone - Hyaluronic Intensive or Skin Boost Peptide - Moisturizer - spf
Cleanse - Tone - Retinol - Moisturizer - Eye Cream/Eye Serum
If skin is feeling exceptionally dry, apply the honey mask several times a week and leave it on while cooking dinner, washing clothes or other chores. This is the one mask that can be left on as long as you want.
The main goal for menopausal skin care is to stimulate collagen and elastin production, protect and strengthen skin as well as increase hydration. The key to preventing premature skin aging in menopausal women is to preserve moisture and suppleness.
Use nourishing moisturizers, serums and masks to insulate facial skin and incorporate quality ingredients such as rosehips, olive, jojoba and coconut oils into your skin care routine.
MORE THAN SKIN
It is important to note that a well-balanced healthy aging skin care regimen also includes healthy and balanced lifestyle choices. Be sure to incorporate an antioxidant-rich diet high in anti-inflammatory foods, get proper sleep, and exercise and manage stress.
This combination will help that you feel and look more energized while enjoying a healthy skin aging journey as well as maintain an amazing skin glow.