Menopause can affect your skin in many ways. We know that the decline of B-Estradiol during menopause is one of the culprits in the accelerated ageing of the skin. We also know that menopause is mostly caused by age-related changes in the ovaries. This results in lowered oestrogen and progesterone production, which in turn leads to changes in the skin.
How Does Menopause Affect your Skin?
For some, symptoms appear to be a mere end to the monthly cycle. For others there is a noticeable transition. Hormonal changes and declines, as well as the slowdown in ovarian activity (which includes the decrease in B-Estradiol levels). The adrenal glands and ovaries of postmenopausal women secrete increased androgens. These hormones, in the absence of estrogens, cause some menopausal symptoms such as the appearance of facial hair. Read our comprehensive breakdown on Ageing Skin treatment.
What does this have to do with the skin?
The hormonal changes that occur during and after menopause tend to change the skin’s physiology. We know that the decline of B-Estradiol during menopause is one of the culprits in the accelerated ageing of the skin. We also know that menopause results in lowered oestrogen and progesterone production, which in turn leads to changes in the skin. As a woman gets closer to menopause, the following changes begin to occur in the skin:
During menopause, as oestrogen levels decrease, testosterone (produced by the adrenal glands) is no longer masked in the woman’s body. Testosterone reveals itself by stimulating oil glands to secrete thick oil, giving the appearance of oily skin and the tendency toward adult acne in some women.
Tip: Try Clear Skin Serum to balance oil without drying the skin.
Sagging skin & wrinkles
As oestrogen levels drop during menopause, the supportive fat below the skin of the face, neck, hands and arms decreases; this allows sagging and wrinkles to appear. The skin over these areas is less easily compressed, and loses its mobility.
Tip: Try Hydrating Peptide Serum to treat sagging skin on the face and neck.
During menopause, lowered oestrogen levels result in less production and repair of collagen and elastin in the true skin (dermis). The lack of repair is increased if the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays are very destructive to collagen, and if we lose our repair mechanism, we lose our skin’s resiliency, which results in elastosis.
The growth and maintenance of blood capillaries in the true skin (dermis) are under the control of the oestrogen. Thus, blood flow through the skin capillaries is reduced during menopause, and less nutrients and oxygen are available to the lower living layer of the skin. This contributes to the thinning of the dermis and a slower cell turnover rate, which is accompanied by a reduction in the barrier function (protection) of the epidermis, leading to increased dehydration and dry skin.
Easily prone to sun damage
The maintenance of Melanocytes (pigment cells) is also under the control of estrogens. As menopause progresses, the number of melanocytes in the skin is reduced (they degenerate). With less melanocytes, we produce less of the protective melanin and skin appears lighter. Menopausal skin is, therefore, more prone to sun damage, making it even more important to protect the skin with a sunblock.
Tip: Try Zinc SPF+ with natural zinc to protect from sun damage.
Hyperpigmentation / Age Spots
Estrogens also temper melanin (pigment) production. That is, estrogen exerts a regulatory effect on the production of melanin; it keeps it under control. In areas of the skin that have been exposed to UV rays over the years, as menopause arrives, melanin synthesis increases (due to lack of regulation by estrogen). This can result in brown “age spots” appearing on the face, hands, neck, arms and chest of many women.
Tip: Try Lighten Botanical Serum to treat hyperpigmentation.
Other Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause affects much more than the skin. Some possible internal symptoms can include dizziness, numbness, heart palpitations, insomnia, backaches and dry mouth, among others. About 85%of women have menopausal symptoms both before and after they reach it; the occurrence and intensity of symptoms vary from woman to woman.