5 Changes That Happen to Your Skin During Menopause – and Dr Shotter’s expert advice to improving them
In the run-up to the menopause, or ‘perimenopausal’ period, women will start to notice changes in their skin. This starts from approximately the mid-forties onwards when oestrogen levels begin to decline. Oestrogen hormones play a huge role in the signs of ageing. As the hormone levels drop, the skin will go through a significant transformation which can result in many different skin complaints – from acne to dryness to red patches and increased fragility.
We asked Dr Sophie Shotter what to expect when it comes to menopausal skin and which products and treatments will help to combat any unwanted changes.
Collagen production switches off around the age of 25 where they gradually decline by 1-1.5% a year from then to Menopause. In the first five years of menopause, collagen production levels are thought to reduce by as much as 30%. Since collagen and elastin are what plump the skin and give it its youthful bounce, as production levels drop, you may start to notice sagging or loose skin in areas that previously felt firm and youthful.
Try: Emepelle, a skincare range specifically created to treat the effects of menopause. Both the Emepelle Serum and Emepelle Night Cream contain methyl estradiolpropanoate, which Dr Sophie Shotter describes as a nonhormonal way to activate the oestrogen receptor. It activates the oestrogen receptor on the fibroblasts, allowing them to produce collagen and elastin again to reverse menopause skin issues such as sagging, redness and fine lines.
Fine lines and wrinkles
Collagen is crucial for the skin’s support structure. Due to the decline, you’ll notice an increase in fine lines and wrinkles and a decrease in the skin’s plumpness. During menopause, as oestrogen levels decrease, there is also less connective tissue in the skin, which leads to reduced hydration and a compromised barrier function. As a result, the skin becomes thin, dry, dull and wrinkled.
Try: Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers such as Juvéderm will replace lost volume in the lips, cheeks or other sunken areas while boosting the skin’s hydration and stimulating collagen production.
Incorporating retinol into your skincare regime will minimise the appearance of wrinkles, slow down the breakdown of collagen and fade pigmentation or age spots. They work by improving skin cell renewal and stimulating collagen production. Try Dr Sophie’s go-to retinol – the AlphaRet Overnight Cream.
As the skin thins with age, there is also a loss of fat and connective tissue around blood vessels, which makes them more prone to injury. This occurs due to a loss of collagen, water, and elastin which thins the dermis and results in a crepey appearance.
Try: Glycolic acid-based chemical peels are an excellent option for those looking to address thin skin and fine lines as they help to hydrate and plump the skin, stimulating the dermis to become thicker whilst thinning the dull epidermis.
During menopause, the skin functions less effectively as a barrier which results in water loss. This will leave the skin vulnerable to the elements. As well, there is reduced oil and lipid production in the skin. These factors acting together mean that dry and dehydrated skin is one of the most common issues menopausal women face.
Try: A rich, emollient moisturiser will help to revitalise ageing skin. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 which works to refill cellular lipids, nourish dry skin and improve the skins smoothness and overall radiance.
As Oestrogen levels fall, androgen levels become proportionately more dominant, which can drive oil gland activity. Even if you haven’t suffered from acne since your teens or pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for it to occur again during this time, due to hormonal changes.
Try: Speaking to a skin expert practitioner about topical treatments that contain zit-zapping ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Procedures such as the HydraFacial may be an excellent option to clear dead skin cells, eliminate dirt and debris from the pores and restore a healthy complexion.
It doesn’t stimulate oestrogen production – it activates the oestrogen receptor on the fibroblasts, allowing them to produce collagen and elastin again – it doesn’t stimulate actual hormone production.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.