How Menopause Changes the Skin
Menopause is a natural but complex process women experience sometime in their lives. It affects the whole body, both internally and externally, and can have a big impact on the skin.
Hormonal changes that happen before during and after menopause change the skin’s physiology in different ways as a woman’s hormones are a key factor in supporting youthful looking skin.
Lower levels of estrogen and progesterone production from menopause leads to various changes in the skin.
One of the more prominent results of menopause is an increased chance of sun damage. As estrogen production is reduced, the number of Melanocytes (cells that make the pigment Melanin) also decreases and results in lighter skin more prone to sunburns.
As estrogen and melanin production is tempered, the body becomes more sensitive to any skin exposed to UV rays of over the years and shifts to exerting more control over hormone production. As menopause sets in, this restriction in the body can lead to brown “age spots” and hyperpigmentation on the face, hands, neck, arms, and chest areas.
As women get closer and closer to menopause, their skin can become weakened if it is not properly taken care of as fine wrinkles may deepen.
Post-menopausal changes include:
- Atrophic withering (skin aging)
- Dryness and scaliness
- Facial hair
- Sagging skin
- Thinning epidermis
Structural changes and further effects have a domino effect on the skin including:
- Decrease in skin renewal: the epidermis (top layer of skin) thins and skin cells don’t renew as rapidly
- Collagen reduction: the dermis (second layer of skin) can lose as much as a third of its dermal collagen
- Water abatement: the dermis also decreases in water-binding substances
- Oxidative stress: damage to your skin’s structures are accelerated affecting cells, collagen, and elastin
The best way to combat these changes is to take care of your skin and ideally do it before you experience any menopausal symptoms. Cleansing, correcting, hydrating, and protecting against these hormonal changes through a daily skin care routine can mitigate the natural transition and assure your skin stays as youthful as possible.
Regular exfoliation helps to build and stimulate collagen renewal – working against any natural loss – at the right amount and frequency. Gentle exfoliation alongside proper nourishment and protection can slow or lessen the skin’s natural aging process by blocking against oxidation through bacterial balance and nutrition.
In a nutshell, your skin dries, sags, and thins with age and it’s more important to boost hydration as oil glands aren’t nearly as active in youth. However, these are natural processes that can be combated, lessened, or dealt with more gentle care and attention to your skin’s changes in tandem with monitoring your overall health.
Source: International Dermal Institute