Your body goes through many changes at menopause. In this blog, I discuss skin changes you can experience and my top tips for achieving amazing skin.
Menopause is the absence of menstruation for 12 months. But the transition period before you stop your periods can last 4-5 years. During this peri-menopausal period, hormonal changes cause many signs and symptoms. A familiar example is impairment of your body’s temperature regulation. As a result, you get hot flushes and night sweats. What are the skin changes at menopause and how can you manage them?
What are the common skin concerns experienced by women at menopause?
Sagging, wrinkling and thinning skin
Loss of radiance and hydration
More prone to age spots and hyperpigmentation
Thinning of hair and hair loss on the scalp and unwanted hair growth on the face and body.
Why do you get these symptoms at menopause?
At menopause, your ovaries start to shut down and stop the production of the female sex hormones. First, your progesterone and oestrogen levels decline suddenly. Then, your testosterone declines slowly. You end up with more testosterone for the available oestrogen and progesterone levels. As a result of this transient imbalance, you develop symptoms abruptly.
How do the hormonal changes at menopause affect your skin?
Your sebaceous glands
These glands, attached to the hair follicles, secrete sebum. Oestrogen stimulates these glands maintaining sebum production in the skin. This helps to keep your skin moisturised. Hence, a reduction in oestrogen level will give you dry skin.
Your sebaceous gland receptors are much more sensitive to testosterone. Therefore, if there is a relative excess of testosterone, you are likely to have surplus sebum production leading to breakouts. Incidentally, there are more receptors in the chin and jawline area. This explains why you get the classic breakout pattern seen in menopausal acne. The sensitivity of these receptors is genetically determined. So, menopausal acne can run in families.
Your fibroblast skin cells
Fibroblasts are cells found deep within the dermal layer of your skin. This is where collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production takes place. Fibroblasts have receptors for oestrogen therefore their activity can be stimulated by oestrogen. Collagen is what gives your skin its strength while elastin gives it elasticity.
Oestrogen stimulates hyaluronic acid formation. This sugar molecule draws water in giving skin its firmness and bounce. When the levels drop, your skin lacks elasticity, wrinkles become more pronounced and hydration level drops.
Dropping oestrogen levels make age spots darken. This is via a reduction in melanin regulation. You may notice new pigmentation or existing pigmentation can worsen.
Your ceramide production drops with low oestrogen. Ceramides are fatty acids normally found in abundance in the skin. They help to support the skin barrier and retain moisture.
Oestrogen promotes wound healing. So, the skin’s healing ability declines resulting in persistent scars.
The other female hormone, progesterone, reduces the break down of collagen in the body. So, when the levels drop at menopause, you experience an even faster collagen loss.
Studies have shown that your skin’s collagen level drops by 30% in the first 5 years of menopause.
Your facial bones
Oestrogen prevents bone loss. However, during the transitional phase and after menopause, bone loss increases. It has been shown that women have a faster loss of bone in the jaw and chin area compared to men. So, compared to men at the same age, women will develop jowls rapidly. Read more about how your face ages here.
What are my top tips for your skin at menopause?
Targeted medical grade skincare can help in many ways. They can help reduce pigmentation, tackle acne, hydrate your skin and increase collagen production. In fact, this is no different from non-menopausal skincare. You should always protect your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Emepelle is specifically designed with MEP technology for menopausal skin. MEP is a new class of cosmeceutical ingredient that is not a hormone but it targets oestrogen receptors. By acting this way, it is able to stimulate your skin just like oestrogen does. Emepelle® incorporates MEP technology into medical-grade ingredients to create a unique product.
Hormone replacement therapy either taken orally or applied on the skin can improve the skin in the peri- and post-menopausal period. Some women prefer a more bespoke approach with Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
There are some in-clinic treatments you can consider to help improve your skin.
- Medical skin peels can exfoliate the skin and give back its radiance while improving skin texture and tone.
- Microneedling stimulates collagen and restores skin hydration and elasticity.
- Skin tightening treatments with laser and radiofrequency devices can help to give a more youthful appearance.
Skin boosters reduce skin laxity of the face, neck and décolleté. Profhilo initially hydrates the skin then starts stimulating collagen and elastin production for a rejuvenating effect.
Antiwrinkle injections can smooth out wrinkles especially in the upper face such as the forehead and around the eyes. Read more
Dermal fillers can be used to restore volume in the cheeks and lips. Cheek augmentation can improve the appearance of jowls but occasionally they require a direct approach to contour the jawline. Subtle reduction of lines around the mouth and supporting the corners of the mouth with fillers can help women regain their confidence in their appearance. Everyone is different therefore a treatment plan is best formulated after an assessment.
In conclusion, women often complain of a drastic change in their appearance at the time of menopause. I often hear expressions like ‘I have aged 10 years in the last year’. You can see how the imbalance of hormones can contribute to this opinion. There is always something for everyone, creams and serums or injections that can make you look and feel good for your age. This is what I love to offer my patients.
If you would like to get a bespoke approach to your skin concerns or menopausal symptoms, contact me at Skin Enhance And Wellness where I offer a variety of treatments and products.
For further enquiries:
📱07825 999 144 or
☎️ 01277 549 006
Website: Book an appointment