Mastering the Change: 16 Ways Menopause Affects Your Skin

Mastering the Change: 16 Ways Menopause Affects Your Skin

  • Sumo

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “menopause”? Most of the time, you associate it with hot flashes, night sweats, a lack of libido and hormonal changes, but wait, dry skin too?

Menopause connotes a significant change in your life; however, this is the time when estrogen levels start to drop and introduce changes in your body, including your skin. This leads to dry or sagging skin and wrinkles, among other skin conditions.

Here’s the good news: there are simple tricks to help you turn things around in the skin department. Check out these 16 simple techniques to undo menopause symptoms and make your skin look younger and more youthful than ever.

1. Understanding Estrogen and Its Role in Your Skin

SkinBefore you learn the different ways to get a baby-like skin, you need to get down to basics and understand the role of estrogen in your body, particularly your skin.

Here’s the deal with estrogen: your skin needs this hormone to keep your skin plump, healthy and youthful. According to the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, estrogen:

  • Aids in the prevention of skin aging
  • Maintains the right amounts of collagen in your skin to keep your skin thick
  • Increases acid mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid in your skin to maintain corneum barrier function
  • Prevents and minimizes the wrinkling of your skin, decrease in skin elasticity, and sagging

In other words, estrogen keeps your skin young and healthy, despite the menopause. Consequently, a drop in estrogen levels may lead to unwanted changes in your skin, which you will learn in the succeeding sections.

2. The Menopause and Estrogen Connection: Your Love-Hate Relationship

skin drynessA drop in estrogen levels may happen anytime. However, this change in hormonal levels often happens during the perimenopause and menopause stages.

Several studies show that post-menopausal skin has increased skin dryness, more wrinkling, and decreased skin elasticity. Aside from reduced estrogen, the menopausal stage is when your skin experiences a decrease in collagen content. This also affects your skin’s thickness and ability to maintain moisture, which is why an estrogen deficiency is often the one to blame for skin thinning.

The bottom line is that menopause is a point in your life when you start to experience changes in your skin due to lower estrogen levels. This follows lower collagen levels, which leads to dryness, wrinkles and less elasticity, while speeding up the aging process.

Can you do something about it to salvage your skin? The answer is a resounding yes. Altering your estrogen levels during menopause may be challenging because it is a natural biological process. However, there are some simple techniques you can use to restore your skin’s youthful glow, which you will learn more about as you read through this post.

3. It’s Not Always About Estrogen: Effects of Testosterone When Crossing Your Menopause River

A drop in estrogen is common during the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal stages. This is the reason why your skin changes as well. However, if there is one thing constant at this point, it is also affected by the level of testosterone in your body.

The truth is, you do have testosterone and your ovaries continue to produce some even after estrogen production stops. The T levels in your body may not be as active compared to the levels you had in your 20’s, but the production continues even after menopause. In other words, testosterone becomes more dominant.

AcneWhat is the effect of testosterone during menopause?

Increased androgens may lead to:

  • Acne, even though you’re no longer a teenager
  • Facial hair, particularly in your chin area
  • Enlargement of the clitoris
  • Voice deepening

Are you ready to learn about the effects of menopause on your skin in detail? Then keep reading to find out lots more to help you look younger.

4. The Law of Gravity: Effects of Dwindling Estrogen During Menopause

One of the common changes associated with menopause is sagging skin. At the same time, you can blame it on the drop of estrogen levels in your body.

EstrogenEstrogen helps stimulate fat deposits all over your body to make sure every area gets enough fat supply. During menopause, your estrogen level decreases, which means fat deposits are re-distributed. The unfortunate part is fat re-distribution is often concentrated on specific areas, particularly your abdomen, buttocks and thighs.

What is the effect on this on other areas in your body? Areas like your arms, neck and hands lose supportive fat, which leads to some sagging. Your breasts are likewise affected due to loss of skin turgor and proper fat distribution. At the same time, the skin on these areas is less easily compressed, thereby losing its mobility.

Still, this doesn’t mean you should allow saggy skin to plague you forever. You can firm up your skin after menopause by doing the following techniques:

  • Try a glycolic acid moisturizer coupled with gentle exfoliation to firm, smooth and hydrate your skin.
  • Consider collagen-building creams to generate collagen in your skin. This could help improve your skin’s thickness and elasticity, as well.

Did you know that this process could affect your face too? Read the next section to find out how.

5. Wrinkles: Another Skin Condition to Watch Out For During Menopause

WrinklesIt turns out that your arms are not the only body parts affected during menopause. Sometimes, your face decides to revolt in the form of wrinkles, or so you thought.

Just like in sagging skin, the drop in estrogen levels is the reason why you are prone to wrinkles. When estrogen decreases, the level of collagen, or the key protein in your skin, likewise decreases. Your face also loses supportive fat due to decline in estrogen, which causes wrinkles to appear.

Is there a way you can prevent, or at least minimize wrinkles? The answer is yes. You can try the following techniques:

  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Moisturize with natural oils like coconut oil, argan oil, or olive oil.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Add gelatin to your diet.

6. Thinning Epidermis or Dry Skin: A Common Menopause Symptom

It’s a known fact that dry skin is a common symptom during menopause. Are you wondering why this happens?

The growth and maintenance of blood capillaries in your skin’s dermis are partially controlled by estrogen. During menopause, estrogen levels decrease, thereby reducing the blood flow to your skin through dermal capillaries.

waterWhen this happens, the outer layer of your skin receives less nutrients and oxygen, which leads to dry skin and water loss. Sun damage and decreased hormone production could contribute more to dry skin.

Thankfully, there are simple and effective ways to rehydrate your skin. These are:

  • Drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day to keep your body and skin cool.
  • Stay away from deodorant soaps or soaps with fragrance, perfume, and other chemicals that irritate your skin.
  • Skip long, hot showers and instead, go for shorter showers with cool water.
  • Splatter your body with generous amounts of moisturizer to lock in the moisture in your skin.

7. Another Menopause Problems: Why Itchy Skin is Common in Your 50’s

Aside from dry skin, hormonal changes during menopause could also lead to itchy skin. The itchy sensations may be from mild to severe, where episodes of itching feels like there are insects crawling all over your body. Other symptoms include:

  • irritated skinRed or irritated skin
  • Small bumps on the skin surface
  • Dry skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Abnormal touch sensation like numbness or tingling

The culprit: estrogen loss, which slows down the production of natural oils and interferes with your body’s ability to maintain moisture in your skin.

You can get relief from itchy skin by increasing your water intake, managing your stress, eating more fatty acids, and avoiding hot showers. You can also ask your doctor if antihistamines or other medications to relieve itching might help you.

8. Feed Your Skin With the Right Fats When Cruising the Menopause Road

natural treatmentsDo you want healthy skin? Then make sure you feed it well. Skin care products may help boost your body’s natural moisture. However, nothing beats natural treatments to ensure your skin’s health.

This means feeding your skin well through eating the right food and drinks.

Here’s the truth: Your diet plays a crucial role in your health, including keeping your skin healthy. To make sure that your skin is in its best shape, then don’t forget to add omega-3 fatty acids to the list.

Omega-3 rich foods like tuna, mackerel, salmon and flaxseed keep your body’s cell membranes healthy enough to ensure the proper transport of nutrients. They also help produce your skin’s oil barrier and keep it hydrated. At the same time, it will be easier for you to eliminate toxins and waste products to keep your skin healthy.

Here are tips to add more fatty acids to your diet:

  • Eat seafood like salmon and tuna three times a week.
  • Toss those chips and have nuts, flaxseeds, walnuts and seeds for snack.
  • Use olive oil in the kitchen whenever you cook or make a salad.
  • Add more fruits and vegetables like squash, sweet potato and leafy greens in your daily diet.
  • Replace white flour and other refined baked goods with whole grain flour, bread and cereal.
  • Drink herbal tea more often.

9. Say Yes to Sunscreen to Protect Your Skin

SunscreenMenopause is a point in your life where your skin is more prone to sun damage. This is because estrogen controls melanocytes, or the cells that manufactures melanin. As you reach menopause stage, the number of melanocytes reduces and degenerates.

At this stage, you will need more protection than ever. When there are less melanocytes, your body produces less protective melanin. It makes your skin lighter, but there is less protection against the sun, which makes you more at risk of sustaining sun damage.

What should you do?

Apply sunscreen before heading outdoors, regardless of the weather or the season. At the same time, choose a sunscreen with a broad spectrum and with an SPF 15 or higher. Apply it on your skin, focusing on areas that are often exposed to the sun, like your face and arms.

10. Age Spots: A Sign of Sun Damage to Your Skin

sun exposureDuring your younger years, you probably couldn’t care less about sun exposure. Young people are more willing to go under the sun anytime of the day. Apparently, your skin knows how to seek revenge as soon as you hit your menopausal mark.

Keep in mind that estrogen plays a crucial role not just in controlling melanin production but also in keeping your skin in tip-top shape. As you age, the areas in your skin most exposed to the sun’s UV rays experience an increase in melanin synthesis due to lack of estrogen regulation. This leads to brown spots, often called age spots, on your face, neck, arms, hands and chest.

Don’t worry. You can lighten those spots by trying any of the following techniques:

  • Try skin lightener creams with up to two percent hydroquinone concentration.
  • Consider retinol, an anti-aging product that not only fights wrinkles but also hyperpigmentation.
  • Apply lemon juice on brown spots once a day to reveal a fresh new layer of your skin.
  • Use aloe vera gel and apply it directly on the affected area one to two times daily to remove dead skin cells and lighten brown spots.

11. Understanding Menopause and the Oily Skin Connection

When you were younger, the hormone B-Estradiol stimulated fluid sebaceous gland secretion, also known as the anti-acne effect. As you cross the menopause line, estrogen level decreases and testosterone starts to take over your body.

What’s the effect of testosterone at this stage?

Two words: oily skin.

Testosterone stimulates your skin’s sebaceous gland to produce more oil or sebum, which results in oily skin, sometimes even oilier compared to your younger years. This leads us to the next topic.

12. Mirror, Mirror: Dealing with Adult Acne During Menopause

testosteroneYou already know that low estrogen minimizes your body’s ability to fight unwanted substances on your face. At the same time, your body continuously manufactures testosterone, despite your drop in estrogen levels. When this happens, there is more oil on your face that can clog your pores and lead to acne.

If you think you graduated from acne, or you will never get one because you were acne-free during your teenage years, then you are sadly mistaken. Adult acne exists and it is more prominent during menopause. It is because of the combination of estrogen drop and increase in testosterone, which triggers breakouts, especially in your chin and neck areas.

Just like teenage acne, you can treat adult acne with benzoyl peroxide and other topical antibiotic medications. At the same time, a regular skincare regimen is important in dealing with menopausal acne. This includes:

  • Washing your face twice a day using gentle cleanser.
  • No picking, scrubbing or pricking of pimples.
  • Steer away from harsh products that could worsen or irritate your skin.
  • Avoid vigorous scrubbing.
  • Say no to tanning beds, at least until the acne heals.

Proper skincare, especially during menopause is crucial. When it comes to skin care, moisturizing and exfoliating your skin are likewise important, which you will learn more about as you finish this article.

13. Moisturize: One of the Simplest and Effective Ways to Undo Menopause-Related Skin Conditions

MoisturizeHow many times have you seen the word, “moisturize,” in skin care articles? For sure, you saw it many times already. This is because moisturizing your skin brings tons of benefits, especially when you are in the menopause stage.

Why should you moisturize? Here’s why:

  • Moisturizing products contain humectants or ingredients that absorb water from the air around you.
  • It also contains emollients, which fill in spaces between the skin cells to smoothen the appearance of rough skin.
  • Daily moisturizing minimizes wrinkles and other signs of skin aging from appearing earlier than expected.
  • If you have sensitive skin, moisturizing regularly eases irritation.
  • Moisturizing regularly increases hydration in your skin.

Check out these tips on how to moisturize properly:

  • Make sure to remove dead skin cells before moisturizing.
  • Apply moisturizer within three minutes from getting out of the shower to trap the moisture on your skin.
  • Go for moisturizers that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores.

Moisturizing often come hand-in-hand with exfoliation. Read more about exfoliation on the succeeding section.

14. Exfoliation: Another Skincare Habit You Should Always Practice

ExfoliationDead skin cells, dirt, bacteria and other substances thrive in pores in your skin. Apparently, clogged pores could contribute to various skin conditions like acne and skin pigmentation. While there are products and treatments that could address any skin condition, nothing beats early prevention.

This is where exfoliation comes in. It is the process of removing dead skin cells on your skin’s surface to reveal a healthier and more youthful glow.

Why exfoliate?

  • It gets rid of dead skin cells and other substances that clog your pores.
  • Proper exfoliation removes excess oil and dead skin cells to uncover the fresh new skin below.
  • Exfoliation prevents your skin from looking dry, rough and dull.
  • It minimizes acne, blemished, and other skin conditions.

Given these benefits, here’s how to exfoliate your skin the right way:

  • Before stepping in the shower, brush your dry skin using a loofah or exfoliating gloves to remove loose skin.
  • While in the shower, apply an exfoliating scrub according to your skin type and scrub it in your body in circular motion.
  • Use an exfoliating product that is gently formulated for the face.
  • Rinse your body with warm water, then follow it up with the coldest water you can tolerate.
  • Apply moisturizing lotion immediately after you get out of the shower.

15. Exercise and Proper Diet Everyday Will Shoo Your Dry Skin Away

ExerciseCollagen is crucial in keeping your skin healthy and in its best state. Unfortunately, the decline of estrogen levels during menopause means a decline in collagen, too. In this case, you need to restore collagen in your skin to maintain your skin’s natural glow.

What’s the better way of encouraging your body to make collagen? Exercise and proper diet, of course.

A diet rich in protein, particularly plant proteins like soy, nuts and hummus, support phytoestrogens, which have positive effect on your collagen levels. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish like salmon and tuna, and flaxseeds. Vitamin D also improves your skin, while vitamin C from citrus fruits is also essential in supporting healthy collagen.

Aside from a proper diet, regular exercise could do the following:

  • Strengthen your heart and bones and minimize stress, but also ensure your skin’s health.
  • Stimulate growth of collagen and prevents atrophy or the loss of muscle mass through muscle development. This minimizes sagging arms and declining bone density.
  • Increases nutrients and oxygen into your skin to keep it healthy and more youthful.

The bottom line is to push yourself to do physical activities. You can start with cardio exercises like walking, biking, jogging and swimming. Then try yoga, meditation, dancing and even Zumba. Yes, doing household chores and yard work counts as exercise, too.

16. More Skin Care Tips When Crossing Your Menopause River

Wash your faceSkin care is crucial in keeping your skin healthy and youthful, even if you are in your 50’s. At the same time, your skin needs more attention now more than ever. Aside from what was mentioned, here are other skincare tips you need to remember during menopausal stage:

  • Wash your face twice a day.
  • Skip the steamy shower and hot baths.
  • Go for gentle and unscented soap or cleanser more appropriate for your skin type.
  • Always use skin care products according to your skin type.
  • Provide your skin with natural antioxidants to further protect your skin.
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol to prevent premature aging of your skin.

In Conclusion

Menopause is an inevitable process and will always be part of aging for women. At this stage, many areas in your body may suffer, including your skin. Try some of these 16 tips to make sure that your skin is healthy and in its best state despite being a bit older.

More importantly, just enjoy this phase in your life. Menopause is a wonderful thing if you look at the brighter side.