Skin Care: How to take care of your skin during menopause?

Did you know that skin care is essential at any stage of life? However, during the menopause women experience hormonal changes and as such a skincare routine is even more important (Muy saludable, n.d.). From the first symptoms of menopause there is a decrease in estrogen and collagen. This impacts the appearance of the skin and causes progressive aging. Hence, it is vital to take care of the skin during this stage (Centradaenti, n.d.). In menopause, the skin may become drier and thinner, since the collagen that produces plumpness in the skin decreases. Likewise, it is normal that there is a greater sagging of the tissues due to the loss of elastin (Muy saludable, n.d.). As such you may wish to take increased care of your skin. Keep reading to find out the best tips for maintaining healthy skin during the menopause.

The importance of a good skin care routine

You want to take care of your skin, but are you practicing the best routines? The skin and body require specific care to prevent premature aging. Right from the perimenopause stage, the importance of taking care of the skin increases. That is why it is essential to design a routine that contains the essential steps for good skin care. Pay attention to the following routine, these are the essential steps to include (Mejor con salud, n.d.):

Cleanse your complexion

It is always the first step of any skin care routine. It seeks to remove impurities and makeup; this should be done in the morning and at night. You need to remove environmental impurities from your skin. This will prevent clogged pores and the appearance of acne or unwanted breakouts.

Exfoliate the skin

Clean out the old and make room for the new. Using exfoliating scrubs removes dead skin cells. At the same time, the cell renewal process, which slows down during menopause, is accelerated. This allows the skin to feel smoother and look luminous and healthy. This is a step that should not be done daily. It is recommended 2 or 3 times a week, to avoid over-exfoliating your skin, which makes it vulnerable to infections and irritations.

Hydrate and moisturise your skin

Your body is made of water... and your skin needs it. You should know that hydrating is about delivering water to the skin with water-based products. While moisturising is about keeping water inside and avoiding transepidermal water loss, with oil-based products. And precisely in menopause, the skin becomes drier, which increases the need to increase the amount of water in all layers of the skin. That is why you should include products that help you hydrate and moisturise, both of which are essential to prevent skin dryness.

Protect

This is the most relevant step, as using sunscreen is the best anti-aging tool. This way you protect your skin from artificial light and sun rays that cause noticeable damage to the appearance of the skin. Over exposure can also increase chances of skin problems and diseases such as melanoma and skin cancer.

What additional skin care steps can I follow during the menopause?

You know the basics of skin care. However, you should know that in menopause these steps should be intensified. The cellular renewal process at this stage slows down (Muy saludable, n.d.). In addition, the loss of collagen and elastin is accelerated. Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention to beauty routines and skin care. At this stage of life, the step of enriching the skin becomes even more important. This special care is mainly about mitigating skin problems that become more pronounced over time. Serums with active ingredients, eye contour products, night creams, and facial oils are recommended and are based upon your skin type (Centradaenti, n.d.). Serums concentrate and recharge their active ingredients. For example, they work very well to correct blemishes, wrinkles, combat dryness, or control oiliness. While eye contour products combat dark circles, wrinkles, and puffiness (Muy saludable, n.d.). Likewise, night creams and facial oils are an excellent option to form a more intense protective barrier and help to not lose hydration at night. This occurs because the skin produces less sebum at night, so it is essential to moisturise it to prevent transepidermal water loss (Camargo, 2018.). In addition, it is vital to take care of the lips, since the skin in this area is the thinnest of all, and with age, it becomes more accentuated (Breastcancer, n.d.). Moisturising and hydrating products are recommended. In addition, you should not forget to use sunscreen on this part of the face (AAD, n.d.). Skin care: how to take care of your skin during menopause?

Menopause: a time of special attention for skin care

If you are going through menopause, you know that it involves many changes in your body. And precisely the appearance of the skin can be one of the most worrisome issues. At this stage, the skin can undergo many changes. Mainly because estrogen (the main female hormone) decreases. This hormonal alteration can cause a notorious deterioration in the aspects of the skin since the cutaneous sebum decreases and less oil is produced. It also reduces the temperature and increases the permeability of the skin (Sotillo, M 2021). Since perimenopause and menopause, there is an accelerated decrease of collagen (the most abundant protein in the body) and elastin (fibers similar to an elastic net that improves the appearance of the skin). These are two vital proteins in the body, since collagen allows the creation of tissues, while elastin is the protein responsible for tissues to stretch and shrink repeatedly (Quirantes, 2020). Therefore, when there is an accelerated reduction of these proteins in the body, the skin can become thinner, flaccid and wrinkles appear (Quirantes, 2020). Likewise, it is common for the skin to become drier, wrinkled, and more vulnerable to acne. This is due to the decrease in estrogen levels during menopause (Medical News Today, n.d.).

What are the most common skin problems in menopause?

Although the skin is constantly changing, there are more visible signs during menopause. Mainly:

Modification of the dermis

During menopause, it is normal that there is a greater decrease in collagen, which minimises the plumpness in the skin and causes a loss of firmness and consistency in the tissues. This causes the skin to be thinner, fragile, wrinkles appear, and the facial oval is blurred (Muy saludable, n.d.).

Changes in melanocyte distribution

Melanocytes are cells derived from the neural crest and their main function is the production of melanin, which is a natural pigment that gives colour to the skin (López, 2019). During menopause, they become less effective in their skin-protecting function. This makes tanning less intense since melanocytes are distributed unevenly in the skin. These changes produce spots and generate the skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet to become thicker (Alonso, 2016).

The skin becomes drier

Due to the progressive decrease in sex hormones, it is normal for the skin to become drier, thinner, scaly, and with less elasticity. This increases the appearance of wrinkles, flaccidity in the tissues and can even cause eczema and skin infections (Fundación piel sana, n.d.).

Menopausal skin care tips

Fortunately, you should know that problems can be solved. Follow our tips for healthier skin:

Daily cleansing

You should never forget a daily cleansing of your face. Cleansing the skin of the face and body is vital to protect it from aging. It is therefore recommended to use cleansing products and make-up removers. During menopause, it is best to wash your face with a mild cleanser to replace the use of soap, which dries out the skin even more (AAD, n.d.).

Permanent hydration and moisturisation

First, it is important to differentiate hydration from moisturising. Hydrating is about providing moisture and moisturising refers to keeping water in the skin. After cleansing the skin, it is advisable to use moisturising products. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most effective because it collects water from the environment and retains it in the skin. While moisturising you should also use a product that contains oil as a base so that it remains within the skin (Sanitas, n.d.). Among the most effective moisturising ingredients are dimethicone, ceramide, and natural oils, such as coconut and shea. Above all, it is necessary to moisturise the skin at night when the skin is at rest and in the process of regeneration (Guía de la piel, 2020).

Sun protection

During menopause, the skin becomes more sensitive. So, why don't you protect it from the sun? To avoid photoaging, it is advisable to use sunscreens and cosmetics with sunscreens. It is necessary that the protection index is at least SPF 30 and you should use it daily (Muy saludable, n.d.). Sunscreen helps fade blemishes and prevents further thinning of the skin. It is best to use sunscreen on all parts of the body that are not covered by clothing (AAD, n.d.).

Healthy eating

This idea applies not only to your skin but also to your health. Taking care of what you eat is essential in skin care. For this reason, it is necessary to increase the intake of nutrients that promote hydration and skin plumpness. These foods are essential to provide vitamins and minerals needed in the body during menopause. Watermelon is a fruit that you should include in your diet during menopause. This food will provide your body with more water. As a result, it will improve hydration and soften the skin (Diabetes juntos por ti, 2016). Cucumber is another excellent food if you want to improve your skin's hydration levels. In addition, it contains vitamin C and potassium that fight dryness and promote collagen production (Diabetes juntos por ti, 2016). When it comes to providing antioxidants to the skin to reduce skin aging, berries are ideal. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries will make your skin smoother, and you will see the changes after the second week. While walnuts have large amounts of omega 3, linoleic acid, and vitamin E, which help fight skin damage caused by the sun's rays and restore its plumpness (Diabetes juntos por ti, 2016).

Essential vitamins during menopause

Vitamin B3 or niacin is responsible for protecting the skin from the sun's rays. That is why it is important to consume fish, chicken, liver, and nuts in which it is naturally present (Clínica Universidad de Navarra, n.d.). Also for skin care, vitamin A or retinol is very important to renew the natural defenses of the skin. You can get it in eggs, butter, cheese, spinach, carrots, broccoli, apples, or oranges (Uned, n.d.). While vitamin C helps collagen to form or regenerate in the body. You can get it in citrus fruits, such as strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, or green leafy vegetables (Healthline, n.d.). In addition, you should consume fatty acids (omega 3) during menopause, which can be found in fish oil. This nutrient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, so how does it affect your body? They reduce collagen loss and increase the synthesis of procollagen (Zavala, 2020). Also, increasing water intake is a daily habit that promotes skin hydration. Remember: this keeps the skin healthy and acts as a moisturiser (Muy saludable n.d.; Mejor con Salud, n.d.). Menopause is an ideal time to rediscover yourself. You should live it to the fullest and be aware of your physical and mental changes. Practicing good skin care is a positive nuance that allows you to maintain high self-esteem. At this stage, skin changes are inevitable. However, it is up to you to apply each of these tips to show off radiant and youthful skin, despite the years. Congratulations! References AAD. (s.f.). Cuidando tu piel en la menopausia. https://www-aad-org.translate.goog/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause?_x_tr_sl=en&_x_tr_tl=es&_x_tr_hl=es-419&_x_tr_pto=sc Alonso, M. (2016, 11 de agosto). ¿Cómo es la piel en la menopausia? Fundación piel sana. https://fundacionpielsana.es/piel-sana/la-piel-durante-la-menopausia Breastcancer. 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