Benjamin Franklin once said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, but menopause is most definitely certain for at least half of the population. Menopause usually takes place around age 50 for most women, and many women experience symptoms of menopause for months or even a couple of years leading up to the cessation of menstruation.
Menopause and skin disorders can sometimes go hand-in-hand, but nearly all women will notice some changes to their skin and hair during the process due to changing hormone levels.
How Menopause Affects Your Skin
During menopause, skin breakouts, discoloration, and other changes may occur to different degrees of seriousness. However, dryness is the most common complaint since decreasing hormone levels and the aging process reduces your skin’s ability to retain moisture. Menopause and skin elasticity reduction may be closely associated, resulting in thin or slack skin.
The best skincare for menopausal skin will need to address collagen production. During the first five years of menopause, your skin will lose approximately 30% of its collagen. The reduction is more gradual as menopause continues, at around 2% collagen loss per year for 20 years.
Menopause and skin discoloration are also linked, and you might have age spots and other symptoms of sun-damaged skin if you have spent a lot of time outside without sun protection. Skin cancer and pre-cancerous growths on your skin may also become more common, so you should be sure to get regular skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist.
Acne can also be an issue during menopause, as skin breakouts occur when your female hormone levels drop and your skin’s pH level changes - this normally happens around age 50. In addition to acne and breakouts, skin sensitivity, irritation and disorders such as eczema or psoriasis may develop or become more inflamed if these skin problems already affect you.
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How to Care for Your Skin Through Menopause
The most common complaint with menopause and skin care is dryness. To combat this, you should wash your skin with a mild cleanser instead of soap, which can be too drying. You should also stay away from deodorant bars, in particular. Another important step in preventing dryness is so apply moisturizers throughout the day as well as right after bathing or showering.
Exfoliation may also help with dryness, but be careful which one you choose to use, since menopausal skin can be thinner and a harsher exfoliation treatment may damage your skin. Similarly, your changing hormone levels may cause unwanted hair to grow on your upper lip or along your jawline, and waxing may be too harsh. If your skin is too thin or delicate for waxing, laser hair removal or hair-reduction cream may be better alternatives, but see a licensed dermatologist first.
During menopause, skin discoloration may be a result of hormonal changes, but most often it’s related to how you have protected your sun from skin damage and UV rays. Before going outside, and whether you’re young or in menopause, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.
You can help age spots fade if you include Rejuvenating superfruit power oil in your skincare routine. This oil is a combination of rejuvenating pracaxi and blemish/irritation treating copaíba oil. Praxaxi’s has a high content of behenic acid, a fatty acid that creates a barrier against pollution and environmental hazards. This Amazonian superfruit oil helps promote balanced collagen production to help heal wounds and reduce scarring, and effective treatment for hyperpigmentation.
[ Related Article: Pracaxi Oil: A Powerhouse Superfruit to Restore and Heal Your Skin ]
Protecting your skin from the sun can also help prevent wrinkles and sagging skin, which we’re all trying to keep at bay as we age. Be careful about using age-spot treatments without knowing how to detect skin cancer, since early diagnosis is key for treatability and you don’t want to age-spot treat a skin cancer growth and therefore delay detection and treatment.
Menopausal skincare routines will require a slightly different approach to acne versus when you were a teenager. During menopause, skin breakouts and blemishes will need to be treated with a gentler solution because your skin is likely more dry and thin, and may be damaged if you use a harsh acne-fighting cleanser for teens. Stay away from alcohol-based acne products and others that dry your skin out more and avoid moisturizers with fragrances.
[ Related: 14 Wildly Potent Anti-Aging Ingredients from the Amazon Rainforest ]
How Menopause Affects Your Hair
Menopause affects womens’ skin more than their hair, but there are some changes to be aware of as a result of a changing pH balance and reduced hormone levels. For instance, you might actually find that you grow more hair on your face, and less on your head. You might notice thinning, particularly with a widening part or a receding hairline. However, some women experienced more profound hair loss, known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). This can affect the crown or sides of your head, as well as overall thinning.
While some men will lose hair or go completely bald as they age, this is pretty rare for women and if it occurs, is usually a side effect of a medical condition or treatment like chemotherapy.
How to Care for Your Hair Through Menopause
The earlier you catch and start treating menopause-related hair loss, the better the results! You should try to see a board-certified dermatologist when you first notice the problem, but you can also take steps on your own, including:
- Reduce or eliminate the use of heat damaging tools such as straighteners or hair dryers
- Use thickening shampoos or conditioners
- Review your diet, since a varied and healthy diet contribute to a healthy body and healthier hair
- Protect your scalp from sun damage, particularly any bald areas (don’t forget your part!)
- Double check any medications you’re taking to see if there are hair loss side effects, and talk to your doctor if you think your medication may be causing your hair loss
If hair loss continues or gets worse, your dermatologist may recommend more aggressive forms of treatment such as:
- Topical solutions for hair growth (must usually be used ongoing, and take a few months to show results)
- Low-energy laser devices to stimulate hair growth
- Hair transplants, perucas and wigs may be necessary if you have experienced considerable hair loss
Luckily, most hair loss related to menopause will slow over time.
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For more information about Menopause, or to take a FREE Menopause assessment test that will let you know where you are in the journey at Genneve, a community built platform focused on helping women navigate through menopause. As a bonus, Genneve has kindly offered our customers a 20% discount on any services and products offered on their site, just use: TEADORA20 at check out.
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