Menopausal skin? The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through this time in your life alone. There are plenty of ways to help ease the discomfort, including using skin care products specifically designed for menopausal women.
The first step is to identify what kind of menopausal skin you’re dealing with. If you’ve been experiencing hot flashes, then it’s likely that you’ll also notice some changes in your skin. For example, if you’re noticing more oily or acne-prone skin, you may want to consider using an oil-free moisturizer instead of one containing oils.
If you’re not sure which type of menopausal skin you have, try asking yourself these three questions:
1. Do you notice any new breakouts?
2. Are your hands and feet drier than usual?
3. Does your skin feel tight or flaky?
Once you know what kind of menopausal symptoms you’re dealing with, you can start looking at specific and targeted skincare options for more advanced skin care.
During Perimenopausa and Menopause, Your Skin Becomes Thinner and Loses Elasticity
The symptoms of perimenopause are similar to those of menopause, except that women experience them earlier in life. They include hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and thinning hair. For many women, perimenopause lasts for five to 10 years, while menopause occurs later in life — usually around age 50. During perimenopause, there is often a decrease in sex drive, and some women report having difficulty reaching orgasm.
Skin changes during perimenopause and early menopause can occur because of hormonal fluctuations. Dry skin, flaking, itching, and redness are common signs of perimenopausal skin changes. These issues may worsen over time, affecting both the hands and feet. Perimenopausal skin changes may even cause discomfort or pain.
“Menopause can cause some really significant changes in the way you look”, says Jennifer L. Rizzotti, board-certified dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group. “It’s important to take steps to prevent these changes from happening.”
The first step? Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. But if you still feel like you need more tips on how to look after your skin during menopause, here are five things you should know about menopausal skin.
1. It’s normal to lose collagen
With age, our bodies produce fewer amounts of the protein called collagen. This results in wrinkles and sagging skin. However, it’s not just aging that causes loss of collagen; hormonal shifts also play a role. During perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause), estrogen levels drop, which leads to decreased production of collagen. When estrogen levels decline further during menopause, collagen production decreases even more.
2. You may notice increased oiliness
Because estrogen helps regulate sebum production, menopausal women often find their skin becomes oily. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, one study found that 75 percent of women reported having an increase in facial oils during menopause.
3. Your skin will become thinner
Estrogen plays a key role in keeping skin elastic, so when estrogen drops, skin loses its elasticity. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, this thinning usually begins around the face and neck and continues downward as skin ages.
4. You may have acne breakouts
The Mayo Clinic notes that hormone fluctuations can lead to an imbalance between oil glands and sweat glands, resulting in clogged pores and pimples. To avoid breakouts, wash your face twice daily with gentle cleansers and use a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher.
5. You’ll probably want to wear sunscreen
Sun exposure can exacerbate any skin problems you already have, including dryness and inflammation. So make sure you slather on the sunscreen every day.
Eating Healthy Foods and Making Lifestyle Changes Can Help Optimize Hormonal and Skin Health
If you want to optimize your skin health, there are several factors to consider beyond just what you eat and how active you are. One factor that many people overlook is stress management. Stress affects your hormones, and those hormones impact your skin.
While some individuals respond well to certain types of dietary changes, others do best when they focus on improving their overall lifestyle habits. Here are four ways to reduce stress and positively influence your hormone levels.
#1 – Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for optimal hormone function. Lack of sleep causes a spike in cortisol, which can contribute to breakouts. Getting enough sleep helps regulate levels of estrogen and progesterone, both of which play important roles in regulating hair growth and maintaining healthy skin.
#2 – Exercise regularly
Exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream that make us feel happy. Endorphins are also known to increase our natural pain thresholds, making exercise less painful. When we exercise regularly, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and increases feelings of trust and safety. These benefits can translate directly to our skin. Oxytocin also plays a role in promoting cell turnover and wound healing, which is why regular exercise is beneficial for keeping skin looking young and vibrant.
#3 – Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption can cause liver damage, which results in elevated levels of cortisol. This can negatively affect your skin by causing it to age prematurely. If you’re drinking alcohol, try cutting back to two drinks per week.
#4 – Keep hydrated
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps your body hydrated, which prevents dehydration. Dehydration leads to low blood pressure, which can result in increased levels of cortisol. Cortisol can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to premature aging and wrinkles.
The bottom line
Menopausal skin care isn’t just about applying products to your face. It’s about taking steps to improve your overall hormonal balance and lifestyle habits. By following these tips, you can help keep your skin looking youthful and radiant.
Follow These 4 Steps to Get Rid of Wrinkles and Look Younger
You’re probably familiar with the three basic steps of skincare — cleanse, tone, moisturize. But what about the fourth step? If you want to keep your skin looking young, it’s important to address sun damage, too.
And while most people think of sunscreen as being essential for protecting against UV rays, there are actually four types of sun exposure that can contribute to premature aging, including indoor tanning beds, overexposure to the midday sun, and even prolonged periods of cloudy weather.
So, whether you’re spending hours under the sun or just enjoying a day outdoors, here are some tips to help you protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun.
The best way to prevent sunburns is to use a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every single day. This type of sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays, meaning it can block out the harmful wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation without blocking out the beneficial ones. Broad spectrum SPFs are recommended because they provide better protection than regular sunscreens do.
2. Avoiding tanning beds
If you don’t mind getting a little darker, a tan is great for adding color to your complexion. However, tans can lead to premature aging, especially if you spend long periods of time in the sun. To avoid this, limit your time spent in tanning beds to less than 10 minutes per session. Also, make sure to apply sunscreen 15 minutes prior to entering the bed. Ideally, it’s better for you to get natural sunlight and avoid tanning beds altogether, as they can be harmful due to the artificial and concentrated light.
3. Protecting your skin during the day
Even when you aren’t exposed to direct sunlight, you still need to take precautions to protect your skin. For example, if you work outside all day, wear a hat and sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun. You should also consider wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
4. Taking advantage of cloudy days
Cloudy days often mean cooler temperatures, which means you’ll have fewer UV rays hitting your skin. The lack of UV exposure will prevent your skin from tanning, so you won’t get dark spots or wrinkles.
Aging gracefully is not only possible but also desirable. With the right skincare routine, you can look younger than ever before.
In Your 50s
You don’t want to look like you’re in your 50s, but you do want to look younger than you are. Here are some tips to make sure you achieve both goals.
1. Exfoliate regularly. “Your skin needs regular stimulation,” says Dr. Fusco. “Exfoliation helps slough off old, dry skin cells, revealing fresher, smoother skin.” Look for products with glycolic acid, salicylic acid or lactic acid. You’ll find them in face scrubs, masks and lotions.
2. Use sunscreen. If you use makeup, choose one that contains SPF 30 or above. Apply it every morning and evening. And wear sunglasses whenever possible.
3. Drink plenty of water. Water keeps your skin hydrated, which makes it supple and smooth. Aim for eight glasses a day.
4. Avoid harsh chemicals. Don’t pick at pimples; instead, treat them gently with over-the-counter remedies. Also steer clear of bleaching creams, which can cause discoloration.
5. Eat well. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps keep your skin looking radiant.
6. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes inflammation, which leads to wrinkles and dark circles under eyes. Make sure you get seven hours each night.
In Your 60s
Your skin changes as you age. Here are some things to know about how to look after your skin in your 60s.
1. Moisturize. As you get older, your skin becomes drier and more susceptible to wrinkling. To combat this problem, apply moisturizer twice daily. Choose an oil-free formula that contains vitamin E and retinol.
2. Fight signs of aging. When you hit your 60s, you may notice fine lines around your mouth and eyes. To reduce their appearance, try using a hydrating lip balm.
3. Be careful of sun damage. Too much time spent outdoors without protection can lead to premature aging. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
4. Take care of your hair. Hair loss is common in your 60s. Try applying a leave-in conditioner to help nourish your strands.
5. Stay active. Exercise boosts circulation, which improves blood flow throughout your body. It also reduces stress levels, which can contribute to sagging skin.
6. Keep up with your beauty regimen. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes eating a balanced diet, drinking lots of water and getting adequate rest.
7. Seek out professional advice. Visit your dermatologist once a year to check for any new problems. He or she can recommend treatments that will help you maintain youthful skin.
In Your 70s and Beyond
As you enter your 70s, you’ll likely see some changes to your skin. Here are some ways to take good care of yourself so you can enjoy your golden years.
1. Protect your skin from the elements. The weather gets colder as you grow older, so protect your skin by wearing hats and scarves. Also, avoid direct sunlight between 10 am and 2 pm, when your skin is most sensitive.
2. Hydrate. To keep your skin hydrated make sure you drink plenty of water. Aim for eight glasses per day.
3. Treat acne. Acne tends to worsen as you age. But don’t worry! There are many effective home remedies for treating breakouts. Try these tips:
• Use warm water and a gentle facial cleanser to wash your skin.
• Mix equal parts baking soda and water and rub into your face. Rinse off after leaving it on for five minutes.
• Rub lemon juice onto your face and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
4. Use sunscreen. Sun exposure increases your risk of developing melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every two hours while outside.
The best way to keep your skin looking young is to protect it from the sun, eat right and exercise regularly. You should also learn about your skin type, whether or not you have sensitive skin, what foods are beneficial for your skin and what foods can make it worse, because everyone is different.
Skin care for younger-looking skin doesn’t have to be difficult during life stages. By following these few simple steps, you can achieve beautiful skin at any age.