Can Menopause Cause Skin Problems?
The simple answer is yes, it can. Lets dive deeper into the specific skincare concerns, lifestyle tips, the role of self-care and some easy, actionable advice.
So let’s kick off with the depressing stuff (don’t worry, we get onto much nicer things in a bit).
What are the specific skincare concerns I can expect during the menopause?
- Dryness: Oestrogen helps maintain the skin’s moisture levels by supporting the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. As oestrogen levels decline during menopause the skin may become drier and lose some of its natural hydration, leading to dry, dehydrated skin.
- Hormonal acne: Fluctuating hormone levels, much like you find during pregnancy, can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body. This imbalance can trigger or exacerbate acne breakouts, particularly along the jawline and chin, as well as increase oil production in the skin.
- Facial hair: Some women may experience and increase in facial hair (absolutely me!) during menopause due to hormonal changes and shifts in hormone levels. The primary hormonal change that occurs is a decline in oestrogen production. As oestrogen levels decrease, the relative levels of androgens (male hormones) such as testosterone can become prominent in the body. The higher concentration of testosterone can stimulate the growth of facial hair.
- Loss of elasticity: Oestrogen is crucial for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. With declining levels, collagen and elastin production decreases, leading to a loss of skin elasticity. This can result in sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
- Age spots: Age spots, also known as hyperpigmentation or sunspots, are darkened areas of the skin caused by the overproduction of melanin. Hormonal changes during menopause, along with years of sun exposure, can contribute to the development of age spots.
- Sensitivity: Menopausal skin can become more sensitive and reactive, again due to hormonal changes. The skin’s protective barrier may weaken, making it more susceptible to irritation, redness and increased sensitivity to skincare products or environmental factors. You may even find that the skincare brand you’ve been using for years suddenly irritates your skin!
Aren’t we lucky!! It’s important to note that while these skincare concerns are common during menopause, not every woman will experience them, and certainly not to the same degree. We are all unique and are experiences will vary widely.
What are some lifestyle tips for looking after menopausal skin?
So, you’re a menopausal woman, you may be juggling a busy family life, a job and have limited time for an extensive skincare routine. I’d love to tell you to put some time aside for yourself, each and every day, but I realise that sometimes it just isn’t possible. More often than not the needs of others can take over from our own. Some of us may even have further obligations such as grandchildren (me again!), which while absolutely amazing, can also drain our ME time.
It's beneficial to start focussing on what you can realistically achieve. Your skincare routine should primarily focus on hydration, gentle cleansing, moisturisation and protection from sun exposure and the use of products containing some special ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and niacinamide (Vitamin B3). And although it would be great to throw in a pamper evening every now and then it just never seems to happen! Believe me, there have been so many times, particularly when my husband goes away, when I think – Yep, some definite me pampering time today. Guess what, can’t remember the last time this happened!
What are some time saving hacks that can still leave us with beautiful glowing skin?
- Simplify your routine: I am a massive advocate of this. Try focussing on the essentials and avoid overcomplicating your skincare routine. So many skincare companies suggest you need an overly complicated range of products, for this and for that, but believe me it really isn’t necessary. Simplicity is the key here. Cleansing, toning, and moisturising should be your core routine. Don’t forget your SPF during the day!
- Use multi-tasking products: Look for products that offer multi-benefits or serve multiple purposes. For example opt for a gentle cleanser that also removes makeup, saving you time and money on a separate makeup remover. Top Tip: Our Oat & Mandarin Cleanser also works as a moisturiser!
- Opt for quick absorbing formulas: Choose lightweight, fast absorbing products that don’t require excessive massaging or waiting time. A true time saver that allows you to get on with your day quickly.
- Streamline your night time routine: If you find it a challenge to complete a full routine in the evening then just focus on the essential steps. I always, always suggest you never skip cleansing as this removes makeup, impurities and the daily build up of dirt and grime. Then just apply a serum and moisturiser, or a facial oil and you’re good to go!
- Overnight treatments: Incorporating something like a facial oil works well as they work whilst you sleep, allowing you to wake up with nourished and refreshed skin without requiring extra time in the morning.
- Keep skincare products within reach: This may sound a little silly but it’s true! Organising your products in a way that they are easily accessible saves times and makes it much easier for you to follow your routine.
Lifestyle Hints and Tips
It’s important to recognise the impact that your lifestyle can have on how you feel throughout the menopause. Factors such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and quality sleep all play a major role in supporting not only healthy skin but also your mental health. We dive much deeper into these factors in our eBook: Radiant Skin at Any Age. You can access it by using the QR below:
As we’ve already touched on, menopausal women often prioritise the needs of their family and work, neglecting self-care. This is truly ‘a thing’. Carving out time for you allows you to better navigate the physical and emotional changes, improve your overall wellbeing and embrace this new phase of life with a positive and empowered mindset. It’s essential to find self-care practices that resonate with your preferences and needs and to regularly engage in activities that promote nurturing and self-compassion.
Easier said than done? Well, yes it is. A lot of women see it as being selfish but it shouldn’t be viewed that way. For instance, my husband runs, A LOT, to keep himself sane. I, on the other hand, feel guilty at finding time to go to an aerobics class. But it’s a mindset shift that is really needed here. I work hard and deserve to look after my mind and my body. And if I don’t do that, and I end up stressed, or worse, sick, then I won’t be around to look after anyone anyway! Remember to giver yourself permission to look after you.
Well clearly I’m going to say that Puremess products are the best! But I do have some other recommendations as well. But let’s start with some of my own:
Oat & Mandarin Cleanser: Is gentle but super effective at removing dirt and grime but makeup too. Bonus, it can also be used as a moisturiser, an overnight hydration hit or on patches of really dry skin too.
Lip balms: Try using the excess as a cuticle cream
Sleep Balm: Rub on the soles of your feet for a great night’s rest but try on eczema as well.
Replenishing Serum: A fabulous, hard working product that contains all the right ingredients to target menopausal skin, such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B3, Lupine peptides and Marine algae.
A note about SPF
I often get asked about SPF. Our Rejuvenating face cream has a natural SPF of about 6, but I would always suggest you use a higher level than this. There is research to suggest that anything above a 30 is a bit of a waste of time but I use one that is factor 50 and find it works well for my skin.
I also always suggest using a mineral based SPF rather than a chemical based one. The reasoning behind this is although both types offer protection against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV radiation they work in different ways. Here’s why mineral SPF is often considered better for the skin:
- Broad-spectrum protection: Mineral sunscreens, typically containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. They act as physical barriers that reflect and scatter the UV rays away from the skin. In contrast, chemical sunscreens absorb and chemically filter UV rays.
- Immediate protection: Mineral sunscreens start protecting the skin as soon as they are applied because they form a physical barrier on the skin’s surface. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, require about 20 minutes to be fully effective as they need to be absorbed into the skin before they start working.
- Gentle on sensitive skin: Mineral sunscreens are generally well tolerated by sensitive skin types. They are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions compared to some chemical sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone or avobenzone.
- Stability in sunlight: Mineral sunscreens are photostable, meaning they do not degrade or break down when exposed to sunlight. Chemical sunscreens , especially certain ingredients like avobenzone, can degrade over time when exposed to UV rays, potentially reducing their effectiveness.
- Lower risk of skin irritation: Mineral sunscreens are non-comedogenic and less likely to clog pores, making them suitable for acne-prone skin. Additionally, they are generally fragrance free and free of potential other irritants, reducing the risk of skin sensitivity.
- Environmental considerations: Mineral sunscreens are considered reef-safe and environmentally friendly (something that is super important to me). Chemical sunscreens, especially those containing oxybenzone and octinoxate have been found to contribute to coral reef damage and may have negative ecological impacts.
It's important to note at this point that advancements in sunscreen formulation have improved the texture and appearance of mineral sunscreens. They are available in more lightweight and easily blendable formulations, reducing the white cast that was once a common concern.
Some of my favourites are:
Eclat, Matt finish mineral sunscreen (SPF 50). My favourite and a really good price too! Available from:
La Roche-Posay Anthelios oil control SPF 50 gel cream. Slightly more expensive!
Space NK: Summer Fridays Broad spectrum SPF 30. The most expensive!
Well, I truly hope this goes some way to answering your questions and concerns about menopausal skin. I would absolutely love to hear about your struggles, skincare or otherwise. Maybe I can help!! Please feel free to contact me:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07801994460