Menopause and the Skin

Menopause and the Skin

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years and a time that women often view with some trepidation. This is because the symptoms of this transition phase can be quite uncomfortable and bring about unwanted changes to the body. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decline in oestrogen levels, can have various effects on the skin. The primary hormonal changes associated with menopause involve a decline in oestrogen and progesterone, two key hormones that play crucial roles in the menstrual cycle and reproductive system.

Here are some of the hormonal changes and what effect they have on the skin:

Oestrogen is a group of hormones that includes oestradiol, oestrone, and oestriol. These hormones are primarily produced by the ovaries, and their levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. As women approach menopause, there is a significant decline in oestrogen production. This decline is a result of the ageing of the ovaries and the eventual cessation of ovulation. Low levels of oestrogens cause osteoporosis, fatigue, hot flushes, loss of libido and depression. As oestrone is the main oestrogen in postmenopausal women, it is thought that low levels may worsen these symptoms (which are also common during the menopause), particularly in the case of osteoporosis. However, further research is needed to confirm this.

The reduction in oestrogen in the body also has a negative effect on the skin. Oestrogen plays a role in maintaining skin hydration by promoting the production of hyaluronic acid therefore a decrease in oestrogen can result in dry and dehydrated skin, leading to an uneven texture, increased sensitivity, and a reduction in the plumpness of the skin. Thinner skin is more prone to bruising, and blood vessels may become more visible, leading to an uneven tone. As collagen levels decrease and skin loses its elasticity, the formation of wrinkles and fine lines become more prominent, especially around the eyes, mouth, and forehead.

Progesterone, another key reproductive hormone, is produced by the ovaries, specifically after ovulation. During perimenopause (the transitional phase leading up to menopause), there can be irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including anovulation (lack of ovulation). This can result in fluctuations in progesterone levels. The effects of this are like those seen when oestrogen declines.

Role of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). As oestrogen levels decrease, the body responds by producing higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH plays a crucial role in stimulating the ovaries to produce oestrogen and facilitate the development of eggs. Elevated FSH levels are often used as a marker to diagnose menopause.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH) along with FSH, is involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. During perimenopause, LH levels may increase, and the ratio of LH to FSH can change. This is known as the "LH surge" and is associated with the transition to menopause.

Androgens, often considered "male hormones," are also present in females. The decline in oestrogen during menopause can unmask the effects of androgens, leading to symptoms such as increased facial hair or changes in skin and hair texture. Some women may experience adult-onset acne during menopause due to hormonal imbalances. Hormonal fluctuations can stimulate sebum production, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Hormonal changes may affect hair growth patterns. Some women may experience increased facial hair, while others may notice thinning of scalp hair.

Various topical medications prescribed by a Gynaecologist after conducting blood tests for safety to promote wellbeing and energy is recommended. Pap tests and mammograms go hand in hand.  Not usually suggested if there is a cancer gene in the family or perhaps other medical concerns.

Vitamin A, B, C and Omega oil along with Vitamin D being vital together with other supplements working in tandem in an anti-ageing program. A diet of balanced protein to help form new collagen is popular. Beware of the sugar content and artificial colouring and flavouring in “Collagen shakes”.  

Changes in hormone levels during menopause can trigger an overproduction of melanin, leading to hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin. Sun exposure can exacerbate this effect.

Vitamin A and its derivatives plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health, and its effects can be particularly relevant during menopause. Here are some ways in which vitamin A can influence menopausal skin:

Collagen Production: Vitamin A is essential for collagen synthesis, a protein that provides structure to the skin. Adequate vitamin A levels support collagen formation, contributing to skin firmness and elasticity.

Wrinkle Reduction: In various forms such as retinol or retinoids, is known for its anti-ageing properties. This helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by promoting cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. This can be beneficial for addressing signs of ageing that may become more noticeable during and after menopause.

Cellular Renewal: Vitamin A is crucial for skin cell turnover and regeneration. It promotes the shedding of old, damaged skin cells and the generation of new, healthier cells. This process is essential for maintaining a youthful and vibrant complexion.

Moisture Retention: Vitamin A helps to regulate the production of sebum, the skin's natural oil. Adequate levels of vitamin A can contribute to balanced sebum production, helping to prevent excessively dry or oily skin. This is particularly relevant during menopause when hormonal changes can lead to increased skin dryness.

Sun Damage Protection: Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Exposure to the sun can accelerate ageing, and maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin A can contribute to the skin's resilience against environmental stressors.

Hyperpigmentation Reduction: Menopausal skin may be more prone to hyperpigmentation, such as age spots or sunspots. Vitamin A, especially in the form of retinoids, can help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation by promoting even skin tone and fading dark spots.

Improvement of Skin Texture: Vitamin A supports the maintenance of smooth and healthy skin texture. By promoting collagen production and cellular turnover, it contributes to a more refined and even complexion.

Products to include in your skin care routine that can address the effects of menopause on the skin include:

DermaFix Vitamin A Propionate – utilizes both Retinyl Propionate as well as Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) to improve facial wrinkling, coarse wrinkles, actinic lentigines, treatment of photo-ageing skin. Acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

 DermaFix ACC Retinol + - is a liposome encapsulated serum which activates Dermal Fibroblasts for collagen and elastin production, Dermis is thickened, skin is firmer and younger looking.

 Another essential ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid. Not only does this ingredient supremely hydrate the skin, but it also aids in the production of collagen in the skin. DermaFix Hyalu⁷ Boost offers advanced hydration with seven different molecular weights of Hyaluronic Acid for instant plumping and hydration of the skin as well as long-term wrinkle reduction.

Ceramides are important for retaining your skin's moisture. DermaFix Ceramide Complex, rich in DMAE, enhances the effects of the powerful blend of active ingredients. These target fine lines and wrinkles whilst improving skin elasticity. Formulated with 4 different age-defying Ceramides, DMAE, Hyaluronic and Apple Stem Cells, Ceramide Complex rejuvenates skin, instantaneously lifts, and repairs the natural lipid barrier of the skin.