How menopause is affecting your skin, according to the experts

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After years of periods, pregnancies and childbirth, the joys of being a female finish with one last big and beautiful hormonal bang. 

This bang, otherwise known as menopause, can come in the form of hot flushes, weight gain, mood swings, vaginal sensitivity, and in a side effect we thought we kissed goodbye to in our adolescence, problematic skin.

RELATED: How to choose the best moisturiser for dry skin

RELATED: Why hyaluronic acid is an anti-ageing star

Complexion issues such as skin thinning, dryness, dullness, exacerbated UV sensitivity and even acne, tend to arise at the average age menopause commences (FYI it’s 51) or even earlier.

Speaking to Well and Good, dermatologist Howard Murad, founder of the trusted skin care brand Murad reveals “as women lose estrogen, their collagen production also decreases.” And as collagen is one of the major contributing factors to skin plumpness, it’s for this reason the skin may start to thin out and sag at a slightly faster rate. 

And while unfortunately we can’t stop the natural ageing process and press pause on our 20s and 30s, we can keep the impacts on our skin manageable and under control. 

1. Avoid harsh sun exposure 

As we get older, pre-existing damage to our skin can easily worsen. For example, dark spots get darker, the sun breaks down already depleting collagen stores and after years of exposure, pre-cancerous growths start to appear far more frequently. According to Dr Murad, we should be using a minimum of SPF 30 and ensuring we reapply every two hours.

Bh recommends: Nature’s Way Beauty Collagen Mature SkinMurad Anti-Aging Acne Moisturiser SPF 30 

2. Be mindful of hormone-triggered breakouts

Just when you thought you were done with your teenage skin woes, as long as your hormones are fluctuating, you are susceptible to acne. 

Try incorporating beauty products that are non-comedogenic into your routine to limit the potential for clogged pores and ensure you are thoroughly washing your face daily. It’s also a good idea to avoid any acne-triggering foods such as dairy and sugar.

bh recommends: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF 50+ Facial Sunscreen,  Rodan + Fields Active Hydration SerumBIODERMA Sensibio H2O

3. Stay hydrated

When it comes to keeping menopausal skin hydrated, you’ve got a few big factors working against you. Depleting collagen is resulting in thinner skin, and the abundant supply of estrogen, which was once responsible for maintaining our skin barrier and preventing water loss, is now reducing. 

Yes, drinking water is going to help, but Dr Murad is encouraging us to take it one step further and tp start eating our water too, “when you consume water-rich fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers and watermelons, the water is gradually released into your body as you digest to keep you hydrated for longer,” he explained.

To get the most out of our skin care, start to consider moisturisers that will seal in moisture, soften skin and attract water. These qualities are found in occlusives, emollients and humectants.

bh recommends: L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler [HA] Revolumising SerumAveeno Dermexa Daily Emollient Body Wash Colloidal Oat + Ceramides

As if a dry face wasn’t enough, another common side effect of menopause can be a dry, sensitive and irritated vaginal area. Keeping your water intake up will help here too, but if you’re looking for topical relief, try Sebamed pH 6.8 Feminine Intimate Wash.

4. A holistic approach

When it comes to treating different menopause concerns, it’s important not to get too focused on just one side effect. To ensure you are providing your body with the proper vitamins and support it needs, taking a supplement can be an easy method of balancing your hormones and nourishing your body to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

bh recommends: Harmony Menopause, Nu Skin Estera Phase II, Swisse Ultiboost Menopause Balance

Main image credit: Getty

Have you gone through menopause?  Do you have any tips to deal with the impacts on your skin?

Share your thoughts

Comments 34

  1. Thank You BH for some great advice regarding hormonal changes due to menopause so many changes, women go through and the hot flushes can be unbearable at times and yes I have noticed changes in my skin, so many age spots and I stay out of the Sun as much as possible.

    Trying to even out my skin tone and at least fade the age spots so they don’t look as bad. Feeling that much more confident about being Me grey silver hair and all.

  2. Still in the peri-menopausr stage. Oh joy! Not! Pretty terrible, got all the symptoms. I have wrinkles on the top of my cheeks when I smile. Hang in there. Great products listed.

  3. I’ve been freakishly sensitive to the heat since childhood, so I expected to have hot flushes with a vengeance. I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been – no hot flushes, no night sweats or mood swings, no weight gain. My only symptoms have been no premenstrual migraine, period cramps or mood swings every single month. I’m LOVING menopause!

    I read a tip about drinking sage tea (cooled) to help with hot flushes, but I never got a chance to see if it works.

  4. I’m 52. Due to ‘female issues’ my body decided to go into menopause at age 24. I eventually needed to have a full hysterectomy, and I’ve been having oestrogen replacement ever since. Thankfully I’ve never had any skin issues, but I have always looked after it.

  5. I think avoiding excess sun and staying well hydrated make sense for everyone no matter what age you are.

    My Doc kept testing me for signs of menopause but the answer was always ‘not yet’ ….my body even held on when I had a hysterectomy as they left me with an ovary. Im guessing that I have now gone through menopause but if I have then I didnt notice so no big deal for me.

  6. I started menopause 20 years ago when I was 46 and just sailed through it, and I don’t remember any changes to my skin. These days I’m very conscious of previous sun damage and have regular checkups with my dermatologist.

  7. I’m 57 and I noticed a difference in my skin in my early fifties. Longstanding health issues became worse in my fifties, so it is possible that menopause exacerbated things. Having said that, many people say that I look younger than my age. A family member older than me has always had oily skin, but she still looks quite youthful for her age – so for all of the younger women moaning about their oily skin, it might be a blessing when they’re older.

  8. Going through this process now – hot flushes drive me nuts and generally feel hotter than before – i have a tonne of face and general beauty products to keep skin up together- not looking forward to getting old

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