As if raging hormones weren’t enough to put up with during menopause – and we won’t even mention the hot flashes and mood swings – it can sometimes seem as if your face and body have abandoned you as well.
That old culprit, hormones, can certainly cause problems as the levels of the estrogen and progesterone rapidly decline and that can leading to accelerated skin ageing. Those wrinkles can be laid at the door of reduced collagen and elastin levels and they result in a softening (or sagging) of the facial skin. At menopause you can expect to lose 30 per cent of your skin’s collagen in five years, making it thin and lax. Using creams containing the vitamin A-derivative retinol can strengthen skin and stimulate collagen and increase skin cell turnover – but check the ingredients as they can also be too harsh for sensitive skin. You can also help by regularly using a gentle exfoliant and buffing the skin to get rid of the dead cells which make it look dry and are ageing.
Hold back the years
The menopause plays havoc with your skin but simple measures can help make a difference. Sadly the best time to start is when you are in your thirties, so too late for most of us, but you can make sure you are taking the right nutrients, getting aerobic exercise and drinking plenty of water, plain, not fizzy to plump up your skin. The right nutrients include omega-3 fish oil and vitamin C which is is a great skin booster. The usual suspects of having lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and minimal amounts of processed foods, sugar and alcohol are what to pay attention to.
Use only natural, moisturising shower gels and soaps as perfumes and additives in them can dry and irritate the skin. You will also need an excellent nourishing day and night cream, and many women do use their natural progesterone cream on their face as part of their rotating site plan, as it is a great moisturiser. Plus it can help to spray or spritz your face to increase moisture. A very good one is Nature’s Hydrating Mist from the New Zealand based company Living Nature. It will uplift and re-energise your skin throughout the day with nourishing plant extracts to leave your skin feeling soft and revitalised. It is also refreshing and cooling, very useful if having a hot flash! www.livingnature.com
While we tend to associate acne with our teenage years it seems that at least 10 per cent of menopausal women will be forced to relive their youth with an outbreak of adult acne.
The change in balance of androgens during menopause can send your oil producing glands into overdrive and result in spots. So it’s not related to eating fries and chocolate, but you can help by keeping your skin scrupulously clean. You could try using Tea tree oil. This is a popular home remedy for acne as it is antibacterial, but you must not use it undiluted. Put a few drops in warm water, pat it onto the affected area and leave to dry.