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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Main image credit: Getty
Have you gone through menopause? Do you have any tips to deal with the impacts on your skin?