Dr. Farhaad Riyaz’s Skincare tips for menopause: How to keep your skin healthy and looking fresh
Virginia, United States, 14th Feb 2023 – Menopause is a time of many changes and adjustments in the lives of menstruating people. Natural menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years and brings with it a host of physical and psychological symptoms.
Three distinct periods define menopause:
You might have irregular periods during perimenopause, but the hormone estrogen is still present. Perimenopause typically begins in your mid-forties and lasts for three to four years. In this transition period, you might experience hot flashes, mood changes, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness. As the hormone levels are fluctuating, most of the signs and symptoms come and go.
During menopause, there is a cessation of menstrual periods for 12 months consecutively. This usually occurs on average at age 51. Several changes take place in the body during menopause: skin changes, slower metabolism, decreased ovarian function, lower estrogen levels (resulting in night sweats, hot flashes, and bone thinning), and loss of fertility.
Postmenopause occurs after there’s been no menstruation for 12 successive months. The production of hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone naturally declines, resulting in hormonal imbalances. Symptoms of menopause can persist in the postmenopausal period, however; they’re usually less severe. Some additional issues that might arise include sexual discomfort, depression, changes in libido, insomnia, hair loss, and urinary incontinence.
What skin changes occur around menopause?
It’s common while going through perimenopause to experience red skin, breakouts, and dry or oily patches on your skin. Sometimes people develop rosacea, a chronic skin condition characterized by redness or flushing, pimples, and broken blood vessels visible under the skin.
During perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels decline as their production decreases. There is a correlation between collagen production and skin thickness associated with the reduction of estrogen levels, leading to a natural slowing down of cell turnover and a decrease in skin moisture levels. All this amplifies skin dryness. Other changes in the skin that are caused by collagen loss include acne, skin thinning, sagging, and wrinkles.
As aging occurs, the natural lipids in our skin decrease, prompting a higher pH level on our skin’s surface than optimal. Imbalanced pH levels lead to impaired functioning of our skin microbiome and immune cells, ultimately resulting in skin sensitivity in the form of rashes and dermatitis.
For most people of color, hyperpigmentation (dark patches or spots on the skin) is a major issue around menopause. The rapidly fluctuating levels of estrogen affect the production of melanin, the skin pigment that gives it color. Increased melanin results in hyperpigmentation, usually in the form of melasma or age spots.
What can you do to address skin changes during menopause?
Medical therapy for menopause skin symptoms
Many issues discussed earlier could be alleviated with hormone replacement therapy, but transdermal estrogen is often used as a treatment for menopause, which can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Individual symptoms can be managed with certain medications. Spironolactone can be used to treat acne during perimenopause. Spironolactone suppresses the production of androgens, the hormones responsible for oil production and subsequent acne development. Flaxseed oil is also a great anti-inflammatory for acne.
Several in-house procedures performed by a trained dermatologist can restore the skin’s buoyancy, eliminate wrinkles, and even out skin tone. Neurotoxins such as Botox, Dysport, and Jeuveau, and dermal fillers can help improve the appearance of menopausal skin. Fillers can also rejuvenate hands.
Electrolysis and laser hair removal are the best treatment options for increased facial hair caused by estrogen and testosterone imbalance. Light chemical peels using glycolic or beta-hydroxy acids stimulate collagen production and slough off dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and smoother complexion.
Microneedling utilizes needles to create small injuries to the skin, triggering collagen production for repair. These wounds propel the body’s natural healing mechanisms beneath the dermal layer, prompting it to generate new collagen. This results in a smoother and more toned complexion. For the best results, four to five treatments at four to six-week intervals are recommended, with maintenance visits once or twice annually.
Menopause skin care products
According to Dr. Farhaad Riyaz, you need to change the way you care for your skin during and after menopause. That means finding the right menopause skincare routine and the best products for menopausal skin.
When it comes to acne treatment products, keep it gentle. Use non-drying products, since most acne treatments can be drying. Salicylic acid cleansers are ideal.
Products containing vitamin A, such as retinol, retinaldehyde, or tretinoin, are important to repair the skin and boost collagen production. Retinoids restore the skin’s firmness reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Peptides will also increase collagen production and boost skin elasticity, as your skin thins and sags due to hormonal changes around menopause.
Moisturizing with hyaluronic acid or glycerin will ease the skin dryness experienced by many during menopause. Extra-virgin coconut oil is also an effective moisturizer. It contains saturated fat in the form of lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties that fight inflammation. Coconut oil also has high levels of linoleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid, which works as an emollient. Those with skin prone to breakouts and clogged pores might want to avoid coconut oil as it is comedogenic.
A gentle at-home peel twice a week can help remove dead skin cells, brighten the skin, and allow products to penetrate more easily. To avoid any complications, it’s always best to get such procedures done by an experienced dermatologist.
You should also moisturize your skin and wear sunscreen every single day, even during the winter. Practicing this daily means that your skin is less likely to get dehydrated or damaged by external factors. Facial serums for the daytime containing antioxidants and vitamin C, applied under moisturizers and sunblock, can treat hyperpigmentation.
What’s the best diet to keep menopausal skin healthy?
As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Farhaad Riyaz suggest that you maintain a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein is ideal for anyone undergoing menopause. Colorful Mediterranean diets contain lots of water with lemon, little processed food, and less sugar, making them the healthiest option. Incorporate phytoestrogens (plant-based sources of estrogen) in your diet such as soybeans, whole-grain cereals, flaxseed, chickpeas, and legumes. Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake also helps keep menopausal skin healthy.
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