Menopause, by definition, is when a woman has not had a
menstrual period for 12 months. The time leading up to eventual cessation of
these periods is referred to as ‘peri-menopause.’ This is marked by commonly
known symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and sleep disturbances. Women
typically experience this in their late 40s to early 50s with an average age in
the US of 51. Some women go through menopause quite smoothly while others
struggle with this troubling myriad of symptoms. Technically 85% of women have
menopausal symptoms. For most these symptoms may stop within a year but in
others may last up to 2-3 years. A decline in estrogen levels is the main
contributor to these symptoms, although decreased levels of progesterone and
testosterone play an important role as well.
While the overall trend is for estrogen levels to decrease
it is not always a steady decrease. Women have a wide array of experiences with
menopause, but one quite universal fact is how decreased estrogen levels affect
What happens to
the skin during menopause
1. The Epidermis
(top skin layer) becomes thinner and drier.
Estrogen help improve blood flow to the skin through capillaries in the
dermis (layer below epidermis). These capillaries supply nutrients and oxygen
to the basal layers of the epidermis (where new epidermal cells are being
made). Now with less estrogen and fewer epidermal cells, the epidermis becomes
thinner. A thinner epidermis means more water loss and an overall drier
surface. Try our Hydratime® and Nutritime® range. The Hydratime® and Nutritime® systems also sustain, protect
and re-establish the skins’ barrier properties to resist moisture loss by
delivering a range of water binding ingredients into the skin. They also
provide sun protection using the latest organic pigments. Antioxidant and free
radical scavenger activity is provided by special absorbable forms of Vitamin C
and Vitamin E which support the natural calming ingredients. Click here to read more
about this range.
2. The Dermis has less collagen. Decreased estrogen
levels result in decreased synthesis and repair of the collagen and elastin in
the dermis. Collagen is the architecture that supports the skin. The skin now
loses elasticity, tightness and firmness. When the skin (and collagen) is
exposed to environmental insults such as UV-rays, the skin struggles to repair.
The end result is the presence of more fine lines and wrinkles. Try our Fillast range. FILLAST is the most effective solution for treating:
- Deep wrinkles and
Sagginess and loss of elasticity
Signs of age
here to read more about Fillast.
3. Changes in skin
Melanin production. The cells that produce melanin (melanocytes) are also
regulated by estrogen. With less melanin the skin becomes lighter and more
prone to sun damage. Women around the age of menopause (and everyone else)
should use sun block with a minimum SPF of 20 on exposed skin, particularly of
the face, neck and hands. Our Enerpeel JR
and Thiospot ranges can help with this. Click here to read
more on Thiospot and Click here to
read more on Enerpeel JR.
4. Acne may
develop. During adulthood, with adequate
estrogen available, the fluid secreted by sebaceous glands is thinner and less
likely to block pores. The estrogen and testosterone are in balance. During
menopause, the testosterone can exert a greater effect as the estrogen levels
decrease. With more testosterone and less estrogen the sebaceous gland
secretions become thicker making the skin more acne prone. Try our Aknicare range. AKNICARE®is an
Acne Treatment Range which has a superb antibacterial action without using
antibiotics. It stops new spots forming and has a spot reducing & calming
action. AKNICARE®reduces oil by an average of 53%. Click here to read more about Aknicare.
skin during menopause
At its core, medical aesthetics and skin care is about
improving the top layer of skin while helping increase the supporting layers
(collagen and elastin). Ideally we achieve a smooth, vibrant epidermal layer
with an elastic, toned and firm architecture supporting it. So with menopause
we will utilize every possible (and safe) treatment in our arsenal.
Estrogen. Understandably everyone cannot take estrogen replacement but if you
can, this is clearly step #1. This is a hotly contested area especially with
the arrival of ‘bio-identical hormones’ as an alternative. Certain types of
cancers including breast or uterine cancer, a history of heart attack/heart
disease, stroke, liver disease, or blood clots are conditions which preclude
women from taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is something that
needs to be taken on an individual basis and discussed at length with your
doctor. Suffice it to say if there is no contraindication to taking HRT, your
skin will be much happier with more estrogen around.
2. Avoid Skin
Irritants. Changes in humidity, particularly a lower humidity in the winter
months can dry out your skin. Wear gloves and a scarf to protect your hands and
face in the winter and keep your home at 67-70 degrees. An optimal humidity
level is 45-55%. Keep your showers brief with cooler water and avoid
‘scrubbing’ your skin. Hot and long showers combined with aggressive scrubbing
strips your skin of its protective, moisture preserving oils.
Avoid any soap or shampoo with heavy perfumes which can be
irritating to your skin. Unscented is universally better for your skin.
Do not neglect to realize that bed sheets, clothing, dryer
sheets, laundry detergents and shampoos may contain irritants that may irritate
the skin. If your skin is newly irritated or dry, try to remember if you have
tried a new detergent, shampoo or soap.
3. Moisturize your
Skin. Hyaluronic acid should be an
ingredient somewhere in your daily skin care regimen due to its amazing ability
to keep moisture in the skin. It is almost like an anti-wrinkle vitamin. It
doesn’t end there as the list of effective ingredients to help moisturize and
hydrate your skin is lengthy. Some favourites to look for in your skin care
regimen include petroleum, glycerin, lanolin, ceramides, dimethicone, jojoba
oil and coconut oil. Try our Hydratime and
Nutritime range! Click here to read more.
4. Treat Acne (if
present). Many women around age 50 may
find themselves wandering through the ‘acne isle’ at the local pharmacy. With a
relative increase in testosterone due to the lower levels of estrogen, sebum
thickens on what may already be dry skin. This is a recipe for adult acne.
While no acne treatment regimen is ‘one size fits all’ (nothing is like that
anywhere in medicine for that matter), improvements in diet along with the use
of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are certain to help. Try our Aknicare range. Click here to read more about Aknicare.
procedures known to increase cell turnover and collagen in the skin. Three
procedures that come to mind are chemical peels, micro needling and laser skin
resurfacing. In different ways these treatments all increase new cell
production in the epidermis making it thicker and more vibrant while also
boosting the amount of collagen in the layers beneath the epidermis. Click here to
read about our Enerpeel range.
having a cosmetic treatment such as Botox or dermal fillers (Restylane,
Juvederm, Radiesse) to give you some real help in reducing fine lines and