While the menopause occurs when you hit the 50 bracket, skin changes in the build-up. There’s a natural ageing process that starts at about 35, however, the hormone changes associated with the menopause bring a whole host of new delights for your skin to contend with. Andrea spoke with Harley Street skin specialist Dr Aamer Khan to discuss the skin problems associated with the menopause and what you can do to combat them - watch the video above for the full interview…
So what menopausal skin problems can you expect to come across?
Our skin reflects what is going on in our body and there are certain phases through the menopause, which have different effects on the skin. During the peri-menopausal phase there are a lot of changes and an imbalance of oestrogen and androgens. Unfortunately, this means your skin can become quite oily and unfortunately cause breakouts – a second teenage skin phase!
As you move further into the full menopause, skin can become very dry. As skin gets older, the epidermis and the dead skin layer starts to build up because there's a slowing down of skin rejuvenation. This can lead to discolouration where the dead skin piles up and if there's some sun damage the darker spots will become darker, the skin will appear more coarse and less radiant, so there's a dullness to the skin.
There’s also less cellular activity and your skin stops producing as much collagen as it previously did. You may also find that skin suddenly becomes much more sensitive.
As well as exercising regularly, eating a diet rich in antioxidants, including fruit and vegetables in a rainbow of colours, exfoliation is important. Don’t go full on with scrubs though as sensitivity is a definite menopausal skin problem – instead choose products that contain alpha hydroxyl acids, glycolic acids or beta hydroxy acids. Using products with these ingredients will help increase the turnover of skin cells and make skin look more radiant.
If you skin is very dry, using a moisturiser or products that contain hyaluronic acid is a good idea as they will literally haul moisture to the skin.
To help inflammation and redness, try products that contain Vitamin C or peptides.
You don’t have to spend a fortune either – many good high street brands contain these ingredients and will help make a difference to your menopausal skin. As Dr Khan says “This is a natural process. This isn't a disease, it's not a condition. It's a natural progression to the next age and for menopause once we've gone through it - if we manage it properly - it doesn't have to be stressful.”