In celebration of National Menopause Day on the 18th of October, I’ve decided to take a deep dive into the world of menopause, to better understand how a change in your natural balance of hormones can affect anything from your well being down to your skin.
Firstly, if you’re experiencing menopause symptoms you’re not alone! Approximately 13 million women in the UK are either pre-or post-menopausal (that’s 20% of the total population) with 1 in 4 women experiencing severe symptoms; yet 9 out of 10 women, feel they are unable to talk to their manager about menopause symptoms that are significantly impacting their daily life.
There are only so many things that are 100% certain in life, and menopause is one of them, yet there continues to be a lack of education and support around the matter. Well, I’m here to break the taboo and talk about how menopause can affect the skin; whether you fly through menopause unphased or go through hell, I’m hoping these recommendations will bring you some comfort during this natural cycle.
How Does Menopause Affect Skin?
As we begin to age our bodies produce fewer hormones, which results in a drop in oestrogen levels; this decrease affects collagen and elastin levels, resulting in thinner skin which is more prone to dryness and sagging. In fact, during this period of life (pun intended) you lose as much as 30% of your collagen within the first five years due to the cutaneous ageing of all three layers of your skin.
On average, symptoms continue for between five to seven years after your last period, with the average menopausal age in the UK being 51. However, if you’re undergoing breast cancer treatments, or have an underlying condition such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease this process can happen in your earlier years; the good news is incorporating skin comforting formulas into your routine and a healthy, balanced diet can help you get through the long haul.
You may be reading this thinking ‘I’ve got my anti-ageing routine sorted’ but as your body and skin change, it can be a good idea to rethink your bathroom cabinet. Keep reading to discover my skin saviours for four common menopause symptoms…
1. Dull and Dehydrated Skin
During menopause, you may notice that your oily skin has taken a 360 and suddenly becomes dehydrated and irritated. Well, you’re not alone; 36.2% of women suffer from dry skin throughout menopause, which is predominantly caused by reduced activity in the oil glands and your body’s reduced ability to retain moisture.
This is where a hard-working night cream comes in, to protect your skin barrier and provide a moisture boost! And the trending Vichy LiftActiv Collagen Specialist Night cream is a perfect fit; the hypoallergenic formula helps to reinforce the skin barrier against external aggressors, all while targeting pre-existing damage whilst you slumber.
When you suffer from dryness, there’s nothing better than the feeling of drenching your skin in a rich formula before bed and this nourishing night cream is no exception; if that wasn’t enough the cream also helps combat visible signs of collagen loss caused by menopause – including a lack of firmness.
2. Hot Flushes
Hot Flushes are probably the most well-known symptom of menopause, with 8 of 10 women experiencing the rising heat. Hot flushes are harmless, but can be extremely uncomfortable especially when out in public; the creeping feeling of intense warmth is caused by your hormone levels affecting your body’s temperature control.
When you feel a hot flush coming on, it can be beneficial to spray your face with cool water. But if you’re looking to target two concerns in one, the DHC Super Collagen Mist is a menopause handbag and/or desk must-have; the skin-firming formula instantly quenches your skin and senses for a youthful, fresh feeling that will undoubtedly bring you a sense of relief during flushes. Plus, the skin-enriching mist contains collagen-boosting peptides so you can achieve supple, plumper skin all while enjoying a cooling spritz.
3. Redness and Irritation
A less common side effect of menopause is itchy red skin; the lack of estrogen during menopause can increase skin sensitivity. Hand in hand with the thinning of your delicate skin, this can increase the likelihood of a rash or redness as a result of fabrics, perfumes and dyes, which perhaps previously didn’t irritate your skin. But don’t panic! Moisturising your skin with an effective complex can rebuild the skin barrier and reduce the likelihood of irritation.
Introducing…the PAYOT Roselift Collagen Jour Lifting Cream, a re-densifying and lifting moisturiser that is enriched with anti-inflammatory rose and hydrating hyaluronic acid that leaves your complexion lifted and more youthful. The collagen-boosting peptide helps to increase your cellular metabolism of skin tissue, as a preventative to skin thinning and ageing.
For some women, menopause can cause disruptions and discomfort which may result in feelings of isolation. If this sounds familiar, reach out to your GP or family and friends who may have experienced menopause for support, and take a moment of self-care to relax. The luxuriously whipped texture of PAYOT’S cream envelopes the skin in a cooling sensation; the perfect self-care treat for a little relief after a long day.
4. Loss of Elasticity
As we earlier established, our collagen begins to degrade as we go through menopause, resulting in more prominent jowls and fine lines – you may have a preexisting cream to combat loss of elasticity on the face (If not, refer to point 1), but what about our delicate lips?
Our mouth’s plumpness is due to the large amount of collagen that it contains, as the body produces less protein during menopause, you may notice that more prominent smile and frown lines begin to appear. In fact, the skin on our lips is 3x thinner than our face, so it’s usually one of the first places we start to see ageing. This is where the Clarins Extra-Firming Lip and Contour Balm comes in; the nourishing formula smooths wrinkles and fine lines leaving behind a more youthful pucker. An added bonus is the delicate blend of cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla that makes for a luxurious lip treat!
If you’re struggling with menopausal symptoms or are interested in learning more, check out the British Menopause Society for information and guidance or contact your GP.