menopause skin

Seven tips for having healthier skin in menopause 

Friday 16th Feb 2024 |

Menopause is no easy ride for many women, not only are you needing to deal with mood swings and hot flashes, but you also have physical changes happening too- including your skin. 

Dr Dina Keen, dermatologist and owner of Dr Dina Skin Clinic, who worked with tech retailer Currys on a recent study, explains the impact the menopause can have on the skin and tips on how to keep it healthy during the change. 

How does the menopause impact skin? 

Due to the hormonal changes that occur within menopause, namely the decrease in oestrogen levels, the skin can be affected in a few ways: 

  • Dryness: Declining oestrogen levels can lead to decreased oil production in the skin, resulting in dryness and increased sensitivity. 
  • Wrinkles and Fine Lines: Oestrogen helps maintain collagen and elastin production, which are essential for skin elasticity and firmness. As oestrogen levels drop during menopause, the skin may become thinner and less elastic, leading to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as sagging and a more aged appearance. 
  • Thinning Skin: Oestrogen plays a role in maintaining the thickness of the skin. With lower oestrogen levels, the skin may become thinner, making it more prone to bruising and damage. 
  • Increased Pigmentation: Some women may experience an increase in pigmentation, leading to the development of age spots or uneven skin tone, known as hyperpigmentation. 
  • Acne and Breakouts: While some women may experience a decrease in acne after menopause due to decreased oil production, others may experience hormonal fluctuations that lead to breakouts. 

However, there are a few ways in which women can help minimise the impact of menopause on their skin. 

  1. Get more sleep 

recent survey found that over 1 in 10 Brits want to improve their sleep quality in 2024. Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, especially during menopause, where hormonal imbalances and symptoms such as hot flashes, mood changes, weight gain, bone health issues, and memory loss are common due to lack of sleep. Oestrogen, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, plays a crucial role during this period. When oestrogen levels decline, it can contribute to sleep disturbances, making it difficult to both fall asleep and stay asleep. 

To improve sleep quality during menopause, consider establishing a relaxing bedtime routine. This may involve maintaining a consistent sleep schedule or creating a comfortable sleep environment, incorporating aromatherapy candles or guided meditation or for relaxation.  

On average, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to complete the sleep cycle. If you experience waking up at different sleep phases, try using smart wake-up technology on a Fitbit for optimal results. If sleep disruptions persist, consult with a healthcare professional for further guidance and potential treatment options. 

  1. Introduce collagen supplements 

During menopause, the amount of collagen that is produced in the body declines significantly. Collagen is a protein that is essential for skin health, joint pain relief, and preventing bone loss—the decline in collagen results in the skin being drier than normal and loss of elasticity. The issue arises when the epidermis, the top layer of skin does not contain enough water. 

To address this concern, it is recommended that you incorporate Collagen-Supportive Antioxidants Vitamin C, and Collagen Capsules into your daily routine. These supplements can help to stimulate collagen production which contributes to the improvement of your overall skin health. Adding these into your regimen can support your body in maintaining skin elasticity, hydration, and the overall your overall well-being during the challenges posed by menopause.   

  1. Incorporate a collagen support cream into your skin care regimen  

Menopausal skin becomes during this time and using a light cream won’t be enough to moisturise the skin and alleviate dryness effectively. You should consider using a richer, more nourishing moisturiser that can provide hydration and support the skin’s barrier function. At night, you should apply a rich collagen support cream with Vitamin A or hyaluronic acid to your face, neck, and Décolleté. Vitamin A helps to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and rough skin, while hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and helps in reducing the signs of aging.  

Additionally, use a serum or moisturiser containing peptides to make your skin firmer and appear younger. Peptides are small chains of amino acids, the building blocks for proteins like collagen and elastin in the skin. 

  1. Use SPF every day  

It is very important to apply sunscreen (SPF) every day before going outside to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.  

Ultraviolet A (UVA): rays have long wavelengths that come from the sun and can penetrate the skin deeply, leading to premature aging and contributing to the development of skin cancer. 

Ultraviolet B (UVB): rays have shorter wavelengths, primarily affecting the outer layer of the skin, leading to sunburn. 

During the period of menopause, the risk of pigmentation increases as the number of melanocytes dramatically decreases along with oestrogen levels. This is why it is essential to protect your skin from the sun. You should apply SPF 30 or higher to the skin every two hours to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin-related issues. This should be done every single day, no matter the weather. 

  1. Introduce phytoestrogens in your diet. 

Phytoestrogens, also known as dietary oestrogens, are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, and they may offer benefits for women needing to balance hormones. Many of these plants can be found in foods that you may eat daily.  

Foods containing phytoestrogens include: 

• Vegetables – broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale 

• Fruit – apples, pomegranates, and chaste berries 

• Grains – beans, oats, barley, rice 

• Legumes – soybean sprouts, spinach 

Phytoestrogens are a natural alternative to synthetic oestrogen used in hormone therapy. It’s a good idea to eat foods rich in phytoestrogens like soy and red clover to help your skin stay healthy during and after menopause. These supplements are important for keeping your skin in good shape while your hormones are changing. 

  1. Try to manage your stress 

Feeling stressed doesn’t just impact your mood, relationships, work, and social interactions it can also affect your skin causing inflammation, breakouts, or rashes. This stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can disrupt the hormonal balance in your body, leading to a decrease in oestrogen levels and increasing menopausal symptoms. If menopausal challenges persist it can result in adrenal fatigue which is tiredness due to long-term exposure to stressful situations. The most common stress symptoms include low mood, depression, anxiety, and mood swings.  

recent study found that one of the top 5 health goals for 2024 for Brits was to reduce their stress and anxiety- and it is something that could positively impact menopausal women especially, as managing your stress is crucial in regulating the cortisol hormone. 

Eating and maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and prioritising mental well-being can effectively manage stress during menopause. 

Consider incorporating aromatherapy into your stress management routine, using essential oils like peppermint or sage. This can aid in reducing stress levels and discomfort associated with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. By addressing stress proactively, you can promote a healthier and more balanced life during this transitional phase. 

  1. Drink more water 

Although an obvious tip no matter your age, ensuring you are drinking 2 to 2.5 litres of fluid a day. Staying hydrated has numerous benefits for overall health and well-being, including improved energy levels, mental clarity, and mood stability.  

But also, as skin oil production decreases with the fall of oestrogen levels, water will help maintain some of the skin’s hydration, keeping the skin and mucous membranes moist and preventing discomfort.