Skin Changes and Menopause: What to Expect and What You Can Do
Jennifer Lea Reynolds | June 3, 2019
Warning: Facial hair and thinning skin are totally normal.
You don’t have to be told twice: Your skin changes during menopause. After all, it’s your body’s largest organ, so it’s not surprising it undergoes a significant transition. But trust us, it’s nothing you can’t handle. There’s a scientific reason for this, and the good news is that you can do something about it.
“During this time, there is a marked decline in the production of the important female hormone called estrogen,” says Jennifer M. Wong, RPA-C Physician Assistant at Advanced Dermatology PC, which has offices in New York and New Jersey. “Estrogen is a very important hormone when it comes to the skin. It aids with elastin and collagen production which are key components in the keeping the skin tight, bright, hydrated, and thick.”
In short, menopausal skin’s unique physiology requires special levels of attention. Here’s what to expect and how to work with it.
Loose, Sagging SkinEstrogen-deprived skin is a common skin change during menopause, leading to a decline in a taut texture and tone. On the medical end, you can head to the derm’s office. At home, there are products and tools you can incorporate into your daily routine.
- Laser treatment. “If you've already hit menopause or are post menopausal, a more effective treatment can include resurfacing lasers,” says Wong. “This is a natural option that stimulates the existing cells in your own skin to reproduce collagen.”
- Fascia Stimulation Tool. Another option worth considering is Pause Well-Aging’s non-invasive tool. In less than five minutes daily, it can help boost collagen-producing cell activity and support skin’s elasticity.
- Appropriate Products: According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin care products containing retinol or peptides are ideal for skin changes during menopause because they can increase collagen.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
According to the AAD, decreased estrogen levels and diminished collagen production contribute to thinning skin, making wrinkles, fine lines, and even bruising more likely to creep up. Take extra care with sun protection and use products made to boost collagen and deeply hydrate.
- Be Sun Savvy. The AAD encourages sun protection, mainly by using sunscreen (at least SPF 30) and avoiding tanning (both from the sun and tanning booths). This can help prevent additional skin thinning, diminish the appearance of existing wrinkles, and prevent new ones.
- Try Skin-Boosting Creams. Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner Sharon Hochhauser, MSN, RN, FNP, with Advanced Dermatology PC, says that skin care products containing retin-A or peptides can be beneficial. Here at Pause™ Well-Agining™, we suggest the Collagen Boosting Moisturizer, a silky cream infused with antioxidants, vitamins, and peptides to help tighten facial contours and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Suddenly, you want plunge into a tub of ice cubes. Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause, and can leave your skin red and irritated. While the Cleveland Clinic notes that hormone therapy can be effective, it’s not for everyone.
- Monitor weight. The Cleveland Clinic notes that overweight women are more inclined to experience bothersome hot flashes, so try hitting the treadmill.
- Layer clothing. You’ll feel cooler with each item you remove and won’t be stuck with the less-than-ideal option of removing your one and only top.
- Think twice about that Pinot or hot pepper. Limit or avoid alcohol and spicy foods, both of which can exacerbate hot flashes.
- Use Pause™ Well-Aging™Hot Flash Cooling Mist, which provides you with instant cooling (that lasts for up to 20 minutes) and redness relief while fighting sweat too. Its proprietary blend also helps boost collagen production. How cool is that?
If you’re breaking out the tweezers more often, don’t fret. It’s yet another way your skin changes during menopause. “Unwanted hair can develop above the lip or on the jawline,” says Hochhauser. “Laser hair removal done by a trained professional at a dermatology practice can remove hair in unwanted places.” Other options include waxing, hair-removal creams, bleaching, and electrolysis.
"The effects of sun damage come out with age,” Hochhauser explains. “Time spent in the sun without sun protection, even at a young age, can cause age spots and large areas of darker skin on the face, hands, arms or chest.” She suggests visiting a dermatologist for sunspot treatment.
Skin changes during menopause are completely normal. These suggested steps can help you tone, hydrate, and stay cool. You’ve got this!
Jennifer Lea Reynolds has written for U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, and more. She’s also a columnist for Psychology Today (Human Kind) and Model Aviation magazine (Sky's the Limit).