When nearing the end of the reproductive phase of life, women go through a natural stage known as menopause. While this can usher a number of physical and hormonal transformations in the body, menopausal skin changes are all too often overlooked. Hormonal fluctuations that occur in this period of life can trigger a range of skin concerns. We want to help you understand the truth behind menopausal skin, address common concerns and give you a comprehensive guide for supporting your skin through this changing stage.
Understanding menopause and your skin
While you might be familiar with the physical and mental effects of menopause, have you ever considered how these hormonal shifts can affect skin health? When women go through menopause, the body experiences a significant drop in estrogen levels, ultimately leading to a reduction in skin collagen and elastin. Studies have found that in some cases collagen can reduce by up to 30% in the five years after experiencing menopause. These are both proteins that play a crucial role in skin firmness, elasticity and “youthful glow”. When the production of collagen and elastin slows, you might notice the feeling of drier, thinner skin or the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Common concerns with menopausal skin
One of the most common menopausal skin complaints is increased dryness and dehydration. During a decrease in estrogen levels, the skin barrier can find it harder to retain moisture and hydration, which ultimately leads to more dryness.
Hot flashes are a regular symptom for women going through menopause. These flashes lead to widespread feelings of sweat and heat throughout the body, including redness in the face. Despite being very uncomfortable at the time, they only last a few minutes and the redness will soon dissipate.
Common so-called “signs of ageing” (aka fine lines and wrinkles) are a natural part of growing older and should be considered signs of a life well lived rather than something to be ashamed of. You are however likely to notice through menopause that these symptoms accelerate in line with dropping levels of collagen.
Thought acne was only for youngsters going through puberty? Think again. An increase in, or sudden arrival, of acne can be hugely triggered by hormonal changes, meaning you might also be susceptible to breakouts as you get older. This can prove more challenging to treat than in teenagers as menopausal skin tends to be thinner and drier.
The combination of collagen and elastin loss may also mean your skin doesn’t quite “bounce back” as it used to during and after menopause. Firm and plump skin requires structural support from these two proteins, and without them, you might experience increased sagging and lack of tightness.
During menopause, female skin can also become thinner and less resilient. Again, this is due to a plummet in hormone levels and a weakening of the skin barrier. You might find during or after this time that your skin bruises much more easily than before or has become more susceptible to environmental damage.
Any hyperpigmentation or age spots that may have developed throughout your life have the likelihood to become more prominent during menopause. This is due to increased production of the hormone progesterone, in turn leading to more melanin in your system. It mainly affects areas of the body exposed and unprotected against sunlight like the face, hands and neck. Let this be a reminder to never stop topping up that SPF!
Skin thinning and a weaker skin barrier can often lead to greater feelings of sensitivity. Common symptoms include redness, itching and irritation due to environmental factors or certain skincare products and ingredients.
If you have previously lived with skin conditions like rosacea, eczema or psoriasis, you might find that going through menopause triggers and makes their symptoms worse. Again this is due to increased skin sensitivity, linked to a drop in pH level that occurs around the age of 50.
As we get older and collagen production drops, our skin finds it harder to heal and repair itself after damage. Healing from environmental or sun damage and wounds often take much longer for women going through menopause than their younger counterparts.
Your guide to menopause skincare
While the prospect of menopause seems a challenging one when it comes to skincare, we promise hope isn’t lost! You may not be able to necessarily stop the onset of these skin concerns when growing older, but there are certain steps you can take to alleviate symptoms and look after your skin as it moves through this new chapter of life.
Tip #1 - Stay hydrated
With the skin dryness that comes with menopausal skin triggering a range of different concerns, you’ll want to focus on packing as much hydration into your menopause skincare routine as possible. Stock up on products that contain moisture-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
Here at Alivio, we’re experts when it comes to hydration. Our entire range features our hero ingredient Hemp Seed Oil - a superstar that supports natural skin barrier strengthening and moisture retention. No menopausal skincare routine is complete without the addition of our Facial Hydrator Serum and Hydrating Night Cream.
Tip #2 - Keep protected
With skin becoming thinner and more prone to damage during menopause, this is no time to start skimping out on SPF! Keep topped up daily to limit the likelihood of increased hyperpigmentation and age spots, a high and broad spectrum factor 50 is always a good idea. If you’re suffering from newfound dryness, choose a hydrating, glow-boosting SPF like this one from Ultra Violette.
Tip #3 - Get your antioxidants and retinoids
You might want to start incorporating more active ingredients and antioxidants in your daily beauty regimen to counter the effects of menopausal skin. Actives like retinol can help stimulate collagen production and antioxidants that can be found in vitamin C and niacinamide assist in protecting your skin barrier against free radical damage and environmental stressors.
We’ve created a range of powerful, yet natural, skincare that can work wonders even with the most sensitive cases of menopausal skin. Along with keeping your skin moisturised and nourished, our Hydrating Night Cream contains ingredients like bakuchiol (also known as nature’s retinol) to help you combat the common skin concerns of menopause. You’ll also find a healthy daily dose of antioxidants in our Nourishing Day Cream, allowing you to defend and glow on the go!
Tip #4 - Gentle cleansing
When experiencing dryer skin throughout menopause, be cautious not to strip your skin of oils further with harsh, soapy cleansers. Instead, opt for cream or gel consistencies that will help lock in moisture and nourish. Our Glycolic Facial Cleanser is formulated with comforting and soothing ingredients like cucumber and green tea extract that act like a cushion with the exfoliating glycolic acid. Say goodbye to tight post-cleanse skin and hello to a purified, hydrated glow.
Alivio Wellness: here to support your skin through every chapter of life
We take pride in supporting our customer’s skin no matter what stage of life they find themselves in. If you’re currently experiencing perimenopause, menopause or postmenopause, our range of natural, sustainable skincare products means you never have to give up on glow. Shop all of our products here.