Menopause marks the date one year after a woman’s last period and it can bring about some noticeable, and often, unwanted changes to your skin and hair. Yup, that includes the dreaded chin hairs!
Menopause skin’s appearance can change for many reasons and we’ve written about that before. The production of hormones—our body’s chemical messengers—may increase or decrease, and, the impact of your lifestyle and genes are bound to catch up with you.
These 3 Hormones Have the Most Impact on Your Menopause Skin
Our bodies produce lots of hormones, but these 3 are most implicated in the skin changes you may notice.
- Estrogen. The mother of hormones in women, estrogen levels decrease as you age, leading to a drop in collagen and elastin production. Menopause skin ends up being thinner, saggier and more wrinkled. It also becomes drier because estrogen is involved in the production of hyaluronic acid, which helps to keep the skin moist. This can affect the skin not only on your face, but also on the rest of your body and is one of the reasons that so many women experience vaginal dryness as they transition to menopause.
- Progesterone. Like estrogen, progesterone levels drop with age. This hormone has been shown to increase skin thickness and elasticity so a decline will have a noticeable impact on your skin.
- Testosterone. Thought acne was something you only had to suffer through your teen years? Sadly, aging tends to increase testosterone levels and is a reason why women may suffer with acne and blemishes at midlife. Chin hairs? You can blame testosterone for those as well!
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5 Tips for Radiant, Glowing Menopausal Skin
- Wear Sunscreen Every Day (and consider adding in an antioxidant) Sun damage accounts for over 80% of skin damage–unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays contributes to brown spots, thinning skin, dryness and wrinkles. Find a good broad-spectrum sunscreen, with a minimum SPF 30 protection and use it every day, year round. Even in the winter, on cloudy days and when sitting next to a window, long-penetrating UVA rays can lead to damage.
Layer on an antioxidant along with your sunscreen to help boost protection against the damaging impact of UV rays—they result in free radicals, unstable molecules that harm skin. There are lots of antioxidants you can choose, green tea, reservatrol, coenzyme Q10, ferulic acid. We love them all but especially Vitamin C because it has oodles of research to support its benefits in boosting collagen production, brightening the skin and evening out its tone. You can never use too many antioxidants – the more the merrier! Check out our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum, made with a cocktail of antioxidants and other skin beneficial ingredients to help make your skin glow.
- What is the Best Moisturizer for Menopause Skin? Menopause skin is drier for several reasons, including a decreased ability to hold onto moisture. It can be an issue especially in areas where the air is dry. Moisturize as much as you need, making sure to include these 3 types of ingredients:
• Humectants. Water loving ingredients that draw moisture into the skin’s top layer. ie. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, propanediol
• Emollients. Prevent water loss and help soften and sooth skin. ie. Oils and butters including shea, squalene, fatty acids and fatty alcohols.
• Occlusives. Provide a physical barrier to help prevent water loss, while also protecting the skin from external irritants. ie. Waxes, some oils and petrolatum.
*some ingredients can be both emollient and occlusive (caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, squalene, shea butter, etc)
Many moisturizers, including our Daily Infusion Moisturizer contain a combination of these 3 ingredients. Especially dry skin can benefit from layering—start off with a serum, follow with a moisturizer and then end with an oil like our Antioxidant Face Oil.
- Become Friends With a Retinoid. Retinoids are backed by multiple studies that show their benefits in helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen and elastin production. They also help to increase skin cell turnover, fade age spots, even out pigmentation and soften skin.
Give it time – you’ll notice benefits with 3 to 6 months of regular use. Retinoids can irritate skin, so you may want to introduce them gradually. We’re big fans of retinaldehyde, found in our A is for Anti-Aging Serum because it is the most gentle, yet still highly effective form of retinoid. Retinaldehyde also decreases oil production and has antibacterial effects so it can also help to manage blemishes that many women experience at midlife.
- Be Gentle. You may be tempted to throw the kitchen sink at your menopause skin, but too much, is definitely too much! Be selective with the products you choose, watching out especially for those that contain irritating ingredients like drying alcohols and fragrances. Go easy on acids, which can thin skin leaving it open to irritation from external irritants; use gentle cleansers, especially if you have dry skin. And use warm, not hot to shower and wash your face.
- Pay Attention to the Skin on All Your Body’s Places. You pay attention to your face, but are you looking after the skin on the rest of your body?Dry skin is an issue in places you may not have considered—that includes vaginal dryness, which more than 50% of women suffer with during perimenopause and menopause. The burning, itching and painful intercourse associated with vaginal and vulvar dryness can be treated with a vaginal moisturizer.
More Than Lip Service is made with hyaluronic acid (an ingredient that hydrates skin and which naturally declines as we age) and vitamin E, to give fast, long-lasting & hormone-free relief from the burning, itching & pain associated with vaginal atrophy, vulvar and vaginal dryness.
In clinical studies, the combination was shown to be just as effective as hormonal options, without the risk of side effects associated with hormonal solutions. And, unlike many lubricants that just slip right out, ours not only immediately alleviates dryness symptoms but also lasts so long, you may not even need to use it every day.