The average age for menopause symptoms to last is around five years, although the Journal of the American Medical Association says that including perimenopause the average symptomatic period is 7.4 years in total. In this article we wanted to look at the things you can do to support your skin during the third stage of hormonal change - post-menopause.
Post-menopause and its impact on the skin
Broadly speaking, post-menopause is considered to be the time after that one-year mark has passed since your last period, and while those really acute menopausal symptoms should gradually stop, some have lasting effects and there are other health considerations to be mindful of. For example, as a result of lower oestrogen levels, there can be an increased risk of heart disease, osteopenia (loss of bone mass) and osteoporosis (fragile bones).
However, when it comes to skincare (which can help to support wider wellbeing as well), the particular side-effects of post-menopause are an extension of what you might have experienced to date due to the loss of oestrogen and collagen production. The American Academy of Dermatology Association says that skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause and after that women lose about 2% of their collagen ever year for the next 20 years.
In particular, the lasting effects on your skin include:
- Skin can become thinner and more fragile, which can increase the chances of bruising
- Skin loses its elasticity and is more prone to sagging, especially around the neck, jawline and cheeks
- Skin can become more dry with increasing fine lines and wrinkles
- Increased age spots/dark patches
- More facial hair, particularly on the chin or jawline
- Existing skin conditions can worsen (e.g:eczema or rosacea)
- Skin can be more sensitive and prone to reactions
- Skin doesn't heal as quickly
Skincare solutions post-menopause
Post-menopause, in our modern world, there is all manner of things that you can explore when it comes to skincare and feeling your best. That is one of the great joys of living in this day and age.
Some women might like to try aesthetics procedures to help with things like lines and wrinkles. Others might prefer retinoids and other topical solutions. Some prefer an entirely natural approach to skincare, and others prefer a combination of things. It's a veritable pick 'n' mix of options so you can find the right one for you.
For our part, as you will likely know by now, we offer the natural component, with skincare that's been specifically created to help balance hormones using 100% natural ingredients including phytohormones (plant hormones) including naturally occurring oestrogen.
Some of our favourite solutions for common post-menopause skincare include the following:
A good broad spectrum sunscreen is now considered to be an essential part of any skincare routine, filtering both UVA and UVB rays. Post-menopause, sun cream is particularly good for helping to protect the skin in general, but also in helping to prevent age spots and skin from drying out further (also contributing to lines and wrinkles).
We favour the Altruist sunscreen, which has been designed for sensitive skin and contains vitamin E to help prevent cellular damage.
The changes in hormone levels often cause skin to become more dry as we get older. While all stages of a good skincare routine can help with this, the cleanser we use is a key component. While many opt for very drying or astringent cleansers, a gentle, nourishing one will make a world of difference.
We recommend cleansing oils, and have dedicated options for morning and evening. Both contain plant oestrogens and are carefully formulated with oils and essential oils to nourish the skin and offer other therapeutic benefits to suit the time of day. To supercharge the experience a couple of times a week, use it alongside an exfoliating mask, such as the OMS Enzyme Exfoliate & Resurface Mask.
As the pH level of our skin changes with age, in part because of hormonal changes, our skin can become much more sensitive - more likely to react to skincare products, for example. Many women also find that existing skin conditions can worsen, such as eczema or rosacea.
Increased sensitivity is one of the key reasons we favour the power of plants when it comes to post-menopause skincare. It's not that plant ingredients aren’t powerful, far from it. However, if you know which ones to include you can use fewer and far gentler ingredients to create really nurturing products. At Menopause Plus, we use both those approaches to make sure skincare products are gentle but that address the skincare side effects of hormonal change.
For example, our body oils are formulated to moisturise and nourish all skin types, including skin affected by psoriasis, eczema and other forms of dermatitis.
Discover the full collection of post-menopause skincare on MPlus, or explore natural solutions to specific side effects of hormonal change by condition.
EXPLORE POST-MENOPAUSE SKINCARE