top of page
Search

My skin is changing as I go through perimenopause and menopause. What can I do??

I am writing this blog as many of my patients have expressed concern about the changes to their skin as the go through perimenopause and menopause.  Although we all know the skin changes with age there are more noticeable changes that occur during these stages that can clearly can be quite distressing.  The hope is that I can demystify this topic and hopefully provide some direction.


This blog will explain:


  • KEY CHANGES: Exactly the types of changes that are happening during menopause

  • REASON: Why these changes are happening

  • TIP: Provide you with some golden nuggets and give some real practical tips to help if you, or anyone you know, are going through this really important stage in life

During menopause the one of the key changes is a reduction in oestrogen production.  This is the driver for many of the changes. None of these changes that are happening during perimenopause or menopause sound great but there are so many things you can do to make sure your are well equipped to help counteract these changes.


KEY CHANGE: Reduced Collagen and Elastin Production leading to sagging and wrinkling


Skin during menopause

REASON: Oestrogen contributes to collagen and elastin production in the skin.  These are two really vital components of the skin because collagen provides structural support.  This means that collagen acts like a scaffold giving the skin it’s firmness and structure.  Elastin maintains skin elasticity which basically means this allows skin to stretch and return to its original shape quickly.


The decline in oestrogen levels can lead to a decrease in collagen and elastin and this results in less structural support and elasticity which leads to sagging and wrinkles.


TIP: Use Retinol as part of your skin regime


Retinol and menopause

Retinol is derived from vitamin A and can be added to your daily skin regime to help promotes collagen synthesis in the skin, which can minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that become more apparent during menopause. It has also shown that retinol may have a benefit to certain parts of the elastin fibres called fibrillin-1.


It is important to note that retinol can be irritating for some individuals, especially those with sensitive skin. It is advisable to start with a lower concentration and gradually increase use to allow the skin to acclimate. Additionally, sunscreen should certainly be used daily when using retinol, as it can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun. Please feel free to come and discuss the use of retinol with me before you do so as well as any other items in this article!


TIP: Consider skin rejuvenation treatments


Skin rejuvenation treatments such chemical peels, microneedling and laser therapy are used to help promote to production of new collagen and elastin. This will help when skin is going through menopausal changes.


KEY CHANGE: Reduced skin barrier function leading to skin dryness


REASON: The skin acts as a protective barrier that prevents excessive water evaporation and escaping from the skin.  When the barrier is weakened or damaged, it becomes less effective in keeping the moisture, leading to increased water loss from the skin and therefore the feeling of dryness.


In addition the stratum corneum, the top layer of the skin, contains natural moisturising factors and lipids that contribute to skin hydration.  A weakened skin barrier may result in a reduced ability to keep these essential components, leading to dry and dehydrated skin.


TIP: To combat dryness use products that promote hydration and do not lead to further dryness.


It is best to have a good moisturiser and cleanser. A good moisturiser would typically contain some of the following:

  1. Ceramides - these help maintain the integrity of the skin barrier and play a crucial role in reducing the loss of water through the skin and in skincare products ceramides are often included to help replenish and support the skin's natural lipid barrier

  2. Glycerin (otherwise known as glycerol) - glycerin is a powerful humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. When applied to the skin, glycerin helps draw water from the environment and the lower layers of the skin to the outermost layer, keeping the skin hydrated. Due to its ability to retain moisture, glycerin helps prevent dryness and maintains the skin's natural moisture balance. As it has soothing properties, it makes it suitable for individuals with sensitive or irritated skin

  3. Hyaluronic Acid - I will discuss these in more detail later but in essence hyaluronic acid attracts and retains water and therefore provides a hydrating effect


You would also want to us a non-stripping cleanser (i.e. cleansers that are designed to effectively cleanse the skin without causing excessive dryness. These may also contain the cermaides, glycerin and hyaluronic acids just mentioned but also look out for:

  1. Gentle Surfactants - Non-stripping cleansers often contain mild surfactants (surface-active agents) that effectively remove dirt, oil, and makeup without overly disrupting the skin barrier. Examples of gentle surfactants include cocamidopropyl betaine and lauryl glucoside

  2. pH-Balanced Formulation - The skin's natural pH is slightly acidic, typically around 4.7 to 5.75. A non-stripping cleanser aims to maintain or match this pH level to avoid disrupting the skin's acid mantle, which is important for its barrier function

  3. Fragrance-Free - fragrances can irritate sensitive skin and so best avoided

  4. Non-Comedogenic - Products that are non-comedogenic means that they won't clog pores. This quality makes them suitable for various skin types, including those prone to acne, which may become more apparent during menopause.


KEY CHANGE: Decreased antioxidant function which leads to accelerated skin aging


Antioxidants and Menopause

REASON: In the environment around us we have free radicals which are generated by things like pollution, radiation and tabacco smoke).  We are unable to see these free radicals but they are all around us and when they are unstable. They can interact with parts of our skin and lead to something called oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress can lead to damage to various parts of our skin including the collagen and elastin as well as causing inflammation and even damage to the DNA in our skin cells.  This leads to skin aging.  Antioxidants help neutralise the free radicals before they interact with the skin and so this helps reduce oxidative stress and so reduces the aging consequences.  Unfortunately there is a decreased antioxidant function during perimenopause and menopause.


TIP: Use Vitamin C as part of your daily skin regime


Most of you would have heard of Vitamin C and would often associate this with something found in oranges.  Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and has been incorporated into many skin care products.  This would be something really important to add to your daily skin regime if it is not already included as this antioxidant can start to help replace some of the deficit you will have during perimenopause and menopause.


KEY CHANGE: Decreased glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the extracellular matrix, such as hyaluronic acid, leading to decreased skin turgescence and reduced hydration


REASON: In simple terms think of GAGs as sponges in the skin providing structure, flexibility and the ability to retain moisture.  So, if you reduce the amount of GAGs in the skin you are reducing support and the ability to keep the skin as well hydrated.


TIP: Consider skin boosters or Profhilo®



Profhilo and Menopause

We can use skin boosters or Profhilo® to help provide your skin with hyaluronic acid at a deeper level than creams can.  Hyaluronic acid is a GAG, which when injected via skin boosters or Profhilo®, this can add additional hyaluronic acid to your skin which will help with hydration of your skin as well as adding structure and promoting collagen function.


KEY CHANGE: Increased sensitivity to the sun and higher risk of burning and photoaging including pigmentation.  


REASON: A reduction in oestrogen levels makes the skin more susceptible to damage from UV radiation. This increased sensitivity to the sun can result in a higher risk of sunburn and other sun-related issues such as photoaging, skin ageing due to exposure to the sun, which can lead to further fines line, wrinkles and pigmentation


TIP: A good quality sunscreen should be part of your daily skin regime at any age but if for whatever reason it has not been, it is more important than ever to make sure you are doing this.  With the skin offering less protection, the opportunity for it to age due to photoaging increases even more!  As I always mention - daily sunscreen is a non-negotiable for everyone!


Please read my blog on sunscreen for further information.


Summary


The focus of this article was to help you manage your skin during perimenopause and menopause and hopefully demystify what products and treatments may help.


There was a lot covered and some items may not be completely appropriate and so I would always suggest having a discussion with me first to ensure you are on the right lines for you as an individual and, so by all means, feel free to contact us here.


There are certain items that I have not touched on in this blog such as the effect of HRT (Hormone replacement Therapy) on the skin as well as things like nutrition, stress and sleep and also facial changes caused by changes to deeper layers of the face (e.g. facial fat) which I hope to cover on future blogs.


I do hope you found this article useful and your feedback would be much appreciated!




41 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page