Over 50 Skincare Routine
This post is about a topic that is rarely spoken about or given the importance it truly deserves: Skincare tips for menopausal skin.
What are the effects of your constantly changing hormones as you get older and reach the age of menopause?
This is an important topic for women and it definitely needs to be discussed more openly in society. Hopefully, this post can help shed some light on the necessary changes that skin goes through after menopause.
Key Signs of Menopause
First let’s start by addressing the key signs of menopause, which show that the skin has been affected by menopause. There are three main changes that happen with the skin:
- First, is that the skin thins – Which causes you to lose around 30% of your collagen in the first five years of menopause. Thus, thin skin means more pronounced wrinkling which is the first sign.
- Second, loss of elasticity of the skin – The skin becomes slacker which leads to sagging.
- The third and final sign is the skin becomes drier – It’s harder to hang on to water so the skin becomes increasingly sensitive, leading to the development of eczema in some conditions.
What is the Reason for Skin Changes During Menopause?
Well, according to WebMD, menopause happens as our ovaries produce fewer estrogens and progesterone. This has a really profound impact on the health and the appearance of your skin.
In terms of changing skin, and making it look more aged or wiser as they say, due to the prominent appearance of wrinkles sagging lines, discoloration, and other aging skin conditions.
When speaking of menopause, it is helpful to think about the changes that are happening on the different levels of the body. In this manner, we can think about how most importantly we can help prevent and improve the situation for our skin as we grow older.
First, let’s take the epidermis which makes skin look bright and smooth, and if it’s well hydrated and looks supple as cell turnover slows down, the formation of the outermost layer – the stratum corneum, then the quality diminishes and it means that the slower cell turnover leads to less optically bright cells.
On the surface, however, the skin looks dull and it has less ability to hang on to water, this makes it appear dry and that can potentially lead to barrier issues and sensitivity of skin as it looks coarser. Thus, the skin after menopause is no longer as fresh-looking or firm as it once used to be.
The epidermis layer is where youth lies because the skin has lots of collagen and has healthy elastin and even pigmentation, that is really the definition of youthful skin. During menopause, the fibroblast cells have produced collagen and elastin starts to slow down – so they produce far less collagen.
Menopause is really a time when your behavior premenopausal is revealed. Now if you have a lot of sunshine exposure on your skin, you’ve really embraced the tan and you have been a heavy smoker um you know so enjoying a good life.
This is the time when you really start to see the impact of that lifestyle choice. This is because chronic sun exposure deregulates and essential cuts off your collagen and elastin stores which is a disaster if you want thick healthy resilient crease-free skin.
So, it is important to maintain a good healthy lifestyle for healthy skin and to see better premenopausal behavior of your skin. The other aspect is that your oxidative stress reserves diminish.
Hence, you have fewer antioxidants around to help negate the effects of UV exposure but also pollution and our food intake. This causes free radicals to generate all the time and ultimately that is what leads to a lot of the changes associated with aging.
As we damage cell membranes and proteins in the skin, antioxidant reserves also deplete because we’ve both behaviors prior to menopause and then actual menopause; after which, finally, the reduction in the production of water-binding molecules called glycosaminoglycans takes place.
These are essentially sugar-like structures that help the skin hang onto the water and stay plump and hydrated. That’s really an essential part of skin health and beauty. Thus, you need to be able to hang on to water in both the epidermis and the dermis.
How to reduce the effects of menopause on the skin?
A well-structured skincare routine is all about cleansing properly and delicately in a way that doesn’t disturb skin function. Specifically, with menopausal skin, it doesn’t dry it out as we need to stimulate skin with the right active ingredients to help repair as well as protect it.
Finally, the pace at which you can introduce those active ingredients matters too. This is because if the skin is drier, it is going to take a little longer to accommodate and become tolerant to certain active ingredients.
Thus, it is imperative to build your basics, based on which the skincare regimen and the skincare products can be used as versatile and supportive of skin as possible. Thereby, enabling you to use active ingredients as well in a way that’s easy and won’t cause damage or irritation.
To ensure a good skin routine, first, a gentle cleanser is a must-have. Use a cleanser that doesn’t deplete your skin barrier and doesn’t leave your skin dry and tight. Beware and stay away from irritants like fragrances.
The next step is to stimulate collagen production. That is your first and foremost goal with this skincare routine. Now we know that retinoids are the number one ingredient for anti-aging purposes. If you can gain access to and prescription it, these retinoids will make the biggest difference to your skin.
That is why they are prescription medications that should only be taken with the guidance of a medical practitioner than a counter approach. There are numerous different topical retinoids that can be accessed over the counter as well.
However, if your skin is on the drier side this may well be the right place for you to start retinoid use as that you can build up over time of six weeks and if your skin is particularly dry it might be over blocks of 12 weeks so there’s no rush here.
It is the future of your skin and you didn’t arrive in this place overnight nor should you expect to resolve the skin issues overnight so it is important to take your time and not hurry the process.
Basic treatment and time of application is known by us all, wherein retinoids happen to be applied or taken at night, then your cleansers, retinol and some supportive moisturizer and finally an emollient product than you used to support the skin barrier in order to continue to tolerate retinoids.
In case you have super dry skin, you can do it before your retinoids. However, if your skin is more comfortable, you can apply a retinoid to cleanse the skin and moisturize it over the top.
Thus, during the daytime, you still need the same basics cleanser, and moisturizer and you need to focus on sun protection through sunscreens for daily use, with zinc oxide preferable as it gives the most comfort against UVA which are the most harmful rays responsible for sagging and aging of the skin.
This is why for menopausal skin, it is a must to protect it in the best way possible with zinc oxide-based sunscreen that works for you! This is also a sunscreen that suits sensitive skin types the best which is an added bonus.
Thus, to sum up, how to keep skin healthy and clear includes your cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF sunscreen with antioxidants. Alongside these, other active ingredients like glycolic acid can also be really helpful in improving the quality of the top layer of your skin.
This goes well with vitamin C or azelaic acid if you’re prone to redness which is something that can be even more pronounced whenever you’re experiencing the flushing-related symptoms of menopause.
This sums up the top skincare tips during menopause for women. Hope this article helped shed light on the importance of skincare especially as you grow older and how these changes affect your skin and the body during menopause.