With age comes wisdom and sadly the fine lines and wrinkles too and when a woman enters the menopausal age, the body sees a lot of hormonal changes: hot flushes, night sweats, dull skin, dry skin, flaking scalp and looser skin. Additionally, ceramide, collagen and hyaluronic acid levels all drop as the oestrogen levels are depleted and the skin will be slower to heal.
As the collagen fibers break down, the appearance of wrinkles and lines deepen where less hyaluronic acid means the skin isn’t as hydrated, which is why it may be dry, rough, flaky or itchy. Women may also notice that their pores appear larger due to weaker collagen and elastic tissue and athough these changes don’t exactly sound appealing, there are absolutely ways to combat them.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kiran Hebbalkar, Cosmetologist and Dermatologist at Kiran’s Skin Clinic, recommended the rulebook for menopause skincare:
1. Cleanse regularly – Every good daily skincare regimen tends to start with proper cleansing. This is especially important for menopausal skin. Hormone level changes associated with menopause can lead to skin dryness. To combat dry skin, wash your face with a gentle, hydrating, soap-free cleanser. Hormonal breakouts can also occur during menopause, and cleansing will help unclog pores.
2. Wear sunscreen every day – Applying sunscreen daily is essential for healthy skin, no matter the season, age, or skin type. During menopause, however, protecting your skin from the sun is an especially important part of your daily skincare because skin cancer and precancerous growths become more common during menopause. In addition to reducing the risk of cancer, SPF can help reduce age spots and wrinkles as well as prevent new ones from forming. Choose a sunscreen containing anti-inflammatory and barrier-repairing ingredients. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection of at least SPF 30 is best.
3. Stay moisturised – Another way to combat dryness associated with menopause is to apply moisturiser regularly. When choosing products, avoid any moisturisers with drying ingredients such as alcohol or fragrances to avoid irritation for sensitive skin. Apply it twice on your face, neck, and jawline.
4. Retinol and Vitamin C – Retinol, which is essentially Vitamin A in its purest form, alters the behaviour of aged cells so that they act in a more youthful way – regenerating at a faster rate. It promotes skin renewal, brightens skin tone, reduces acne, and boosts collagen production. It also functions as an antioxidant, addressing free radical damage and the visible signs of sun-damaged skin but they can also be drying on the skin at first, so if you’re a first-time user, start to gradually introduce a retinol-based night cream, serum or gel into your routine 2-3 times a week. Additionally, look for vitamin C-infused products. The potent antioxidants naturally help to improve the appearance of your skin. When used consistently, vitamin C serum can help delay early signs of aging, brighten the skin, reduce inflammation and pigmentation, and promote collagen production for youthful-looking skin
5. Skin remodeling treatments – Collagen gives the skin its strength, elasticity, and structure. As we age, collagen levels gradually lessen and the effects are seen in less vibrant, sagging, and wrinkled skin. Other factors such as pollutants, improper diet, smoking, stress, poor sleep, and sun exposure can also affect the production of collagen. Hyaluronic acid is an integral compound for collagen in the skin. It is naturally found in your body, including the eyes, skin, and joints. It holds onto moisture and keeps tissues and joints lubricated. You can boost hyaluronic acid content through remodeling therapies such as Profhilo; an injectable skin remodelling treatment containing one of the highest concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) on the market. Treatment with Profhilo improves skin tone, texture, hydration and overall radiance. It can help to increase firmness and elasticity and promote healthier and softer-looking skin. While it is most commonly used for facial areas, but can also be used to rejuvenating the neck, decollete, arms, and hands. Its ability to biologically stimulate four major types of collagen, proliferate adipocyte stem cells, and elastin makes it a very potent therapy for addressing anti-aging issues effectively and naturally.
6. Nutrition – With the menopause comes a change in hormone levels which can trigger hot flashes and reduced sleep time. A whole-foods diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality protein and dairy products may reduce menopause symptoms. Phytoestrogens and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can also help. Some foods to include are yogurt, spinach, turnips, collard greens, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, kale, tofu, lentils, beans, grilled chicken, tuna and salmon. Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts and pistachios are little power houses of all the good things you need in the menopause. Limit your intake of sugar, processed carbs, alcohol, caffeine and high-sodium or spicy foods.
We must remember that skincare isn’t one-size-fits-all at any point in our lives. If you aren’t feeling good about the skin you’re in or are worried about something on your skin, you should consider seeing a dermatologist. They can work with you to determine the best menopause skincare routine and nutrition to address your specific concerns or issues.