Menopause, which officially begins one year after your last period, can bring with it some noticeable changes to your skin and hair. As hormone levels plummet, your skin can become dry, slack, and thin. You may notice more hair on your face and less on your scalp.
With the right menopause skin care tips, you can lessen these effects. Here’s what dermatologists recommend.
For women in or approaching their 50s, hormone changes associated with menopause can affect the skin. Menopause can cause a wide range of symptoms and physical changes, including noticeable effects on your skin.
Age spots and other signs of sun-damaged skin
If you’ve spent ample time in the sun without sun protection, you’ll likely see the effects now. Age spots and larger areas of darker skin can appear on your face, hands, neck, arms, or chest.
Skin cancer and pre-cancerous skin growths also become more common.
What you can do
To protect your skin, you want to:
- Apply sunscreen every day before going outdoors. To give your skin the protection it needs, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply it to all skin that clothing won’t cover.
This can help fade age spots, prevent new spots from forming, and reduce your risk of getting skin cancer.
- Make an appointment to see a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening. Your risk of getting skin cancer increases with age. As your risk rises, skin cancer screenings become so important. The earlier you find skin cancer and pre-cancerous growths, the more treatable they are.
- Start skin self-exams. During your dermatology appointment, ask your dermatologist how often you should examine your own skin. You’ll find everything you need to know to examine your skin at, Detect skin cancer.
- Ask your dermatologist to recommend treatment for age spots. Before you buy any treatment for age spots, see your dermatologist for a skin exam.
Read about The 6 Most Popular Skin Care Routine Before Bed.
Menopause Skin Care Tips
Take the first step towards caring for your skin during National Healthy Skin Month and continue to follow these menopause skin care tips year-round.
1. Apply SPF 30 or higher every day
Wearing sunscreen daily is essential for healthy skin no matter your age or skin type. During menopause, however, protecting your skin from the sun is an especially important part of your daily skin care because skin cancer and precancerous growths become more common during menopause. In addition to reducing the risk of cancer, SPF can help reduce age spots and wrinkles as well as prevent new ones from forming.
2. Get a skin cancer screening
The earlier cancerous growths or skin cancer are detected, the more treatable they are. With the increased risk of skin cancer that comes with age and menopause, you should receive regular skin cancer screenings from a healthcare professional. You can also perform self checks to look for signs of skin cancer. Cancerous spots can sometimes be confused for age or dark spots, and a professional will better be able to detect skin cancer.
3. Cleanse regularly
Hormone level changes associated with menopause can lead to skin dryness. To combat dry skin, wash your face with a gentle cleanser (as opposed to a soap, which can be drying). Hormonal breakouts can also occur during menopause, and cleansing will help unclog pores.
4. Stay moisturized
Another way to combat dryness associated with menopause is to apply moisturizer regularly. When choosing products, avoid any moisturizers with drying ingredients such as alcohol or fragrances. Moisturizers free of fragrances will also reduce irritation for sensitive skin.
5. Pay attention to product ingredients
When choosing skin care products during menopause, pay attention to their ingredients to ensure you are promoting healthy skin. Some ingredients are particularly harsh on skin, and you want to choose products that will help rather than harm.
Some product ingredients you may want to add to your menopause skin care routine are:
- Hyaluronic acid: hyaluronic acid bonds with water to retain moisture, helping dry skin recover. Hyaluronic acid is available as an ingredient in some moisturizers, as a topical serum, and more.
- Retinol: Retinol increases collagen in the skin to help combat jowls, slack skin, and wrinkles.
- Salicylic acid: To combat menopause-related acne, try a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. It penetrates the skin to dissolve dead skin cells and unclog pores.
There are many products and ingredients out there that can help treat skin problems related to menopause. Consult your dermatologist to find out which ingredients are right for you.
6. Look beyond your face
Menopause skin care goes beyond your face. Menopause and aging can cause changes to the skin on your neck, chest, and hands. Like your face, these areas lose moisture and collagen, leading to issues like wrinkles, dryness, and dark spots. Don’t forget to moisturize and apply sunscreen to the neck, hands, and decolletage during your skin care routine.
7. Stimulate collagen production
Collagen is a protein in the body that promotes the appearance of strong, youthful skin. As we age and during menopause, collagen production slows, leading to skin sagging and the loss of plump, youthful-looking skin. Stimulating collagen production can help fight sagging skin. A few ways to boost collagen include products like retinol and aloe vera and eating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
8. Consult your doctor
If these tips aren’t helping manage your skin problems, consult your doctor or a dermatologist. They can work with you to determine the best menopause skin care routine to address your specific concerns or issues.
What happens to skin during menopause & why?
As us women go through menopause, our ovaries age just like the rest of our bodies and release fewer hormones, which can have an impact on our skin. Bad news is the skin from your 20s won’t be coming back – the drop in oestrogen reduces production in collagen and elastin levels, making skin thinner, more prone to drying out and more prone to sagging (this one’s noticeable around your cheekbones and jaw). The good news is you can help to look after your skin starting now.
What changes will you make?
Now that you know what to expect, you also know there’s a lot you can do to diminish these changes. If all this seems overwhelming, a board-certified dermatologist can create an effective treatment plan that delivers noticeable results.