As with most aspects of life, your skin’s needs change as you get older – and at no stage is this more apparent than around the menopause. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, and you’re officially menopausal when you haven’t had a period for 12 months. Before that, you’ll experience the transition phase known as perimenopause, during which your reproductive hormones – oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone – decline until they reach a critical level. This leads to irregular periods and symptoms like headaches, hot flushes, night sweats, low mood and low libido.
But often, I find that women aren’t so well prepared for how this transitional phase – and the menopause itself – can impact their complexion. So, whether you’re approaching perimenopause or have just started to notice changes in your skin, here are a few of the most common issues women experience, and how to best combat them.
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. Only, this time, your T-zone is in the clear, with spots more likely to crop up around your chin and jawline.
Speak 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.
Loss of elasticity
You may notice that the lower face becomes less defined as low oestrogen levels cause a significant recession of supportive facial fat pads, paving the way for sagging in the neck and jawline.
Collagen production switches off around the age of 25, with levels gradually declining 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 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.
Emepelle is one of my hero products for menopausal women. It’s a skincare range specifically created to treat the effects of menopause. The Emepelle Serum and Emepelle Night Cream contain methyl estradiolpropanoate, a nonhormonal way to activate the oestrogen receptor. It activates the oestrogen receptor on the fibroblast cells, allowing them to produce collagen and elastin again to reverse menopause skin issues such as sagging, redness and fine lines.
In terms of professional treatments, there is a lot that we can do, and often we’ll combine procedures for the best results, from restoring lost volume and definition with fillers to tightening the skin with energy devices like Sofwave or Profound RF.
During this time, the skin functions less effectively as a barrier, resulting 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 that menopausal women face.
A rich, emollient moisturiser will help to revitalise ageing skin. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 which works to replenish cellular lipids, nourish dry skin and improve the skin’s smoothness and overall radiance. Nucleofill, an injectable moisturiser that I offer in clinic, is an excellent choice for menopausal skin. It differs slightly from other skin boosters, as it’s a bio-stimulant polynucleotide gel rather than a hyaluronic acid formulation. Yet it still does the all-important job of stimulating fibroblasts – the major cells responsible for the production of collagen. Nucleofill is fantastic for the more mature age group as it regenerates sagging and dehydrated skin and thickens the tissues.
If you’re experiencing any of these changes, and would like some more advice, click here to enquire or to book a consultation.