How Does Menopause Affect Your Skin?
As you probably already know, our skin is our largest organ. Its purpose isn’t just to keep us looking pretty; it also protects us from outside factors. It works as a barrier between our organs and the outside world. Thanks to our skin, we are protected from infections, pollution, and other external aggressors. With age, our skin will change, and those changes won’t only manifest in the form of wrinkles and age spots. Let’s take a closer look at how our skin is going to change once we hit menopause.
How does my skin change after menopause?
Skin changes after menopause will be different from woman to woman. Some will experience only slight differences, while others will see significant skin changes in only a couple of months. Menopause doesn’t only mean that you are no longer getting your period. It completely changes different hormone levels that previously had a huge effect on your body. First of all, menopause will make your skin age more rapidly (we know it’s unfair). That will make you more prone to wrinkles, sagging, and also thinning of the epidermal layer. The first change you will notice in your skin after you hit menopause will be that your skin will be dryer than usual. In addition to that, you will also notice a loss of elasticity and firmness.
Why do these changes occur?
It all comes back to that little hormone that already has a tool on our lives as women. Yes, it’s estrogen. Estrogen has a huge effect on the anatomy and function of our skin. Lower levels of estrogen affect parts of the skin, such as estrogen receptors (parts of the cell that bind to estrogen and use it) and collagen levels. Estrogen helps our skin get thicker, which keeps it from getting old, reducing wrinkles and keeping it well-hydrated by reducing transepidermal water loss. Once a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels drop. This, in addition to your life-long exposure to UV rays (please, just wear your SPF), will change the way your skin looks. We know that this sounds dramatic. However, that does not mean that you will wake up with a face full of wrinkles the second you stop getting your period.
What can I do to reduce these changes?
Changes in the skin after menopause are inevitable. However, that does not mean that you should completely give up on your skincare routine and just wait for wrinkles to form. While your skin will change, and you will be more likely to develop wrinkles, all of these changes will be insignificant compared to what continued sun exposure does to our complexion. If you religiously wear SPF, and you don’t have as much sun damage accumulated, chances are that your skin will still look fabulous even after you stop producing as much estrogen as you used to. In addition to SPF, two other things can make a major difference as well. The first one is retinol. Your best bet would be to ask your dermatologist to prescribe you the good stuff, aka Tretinoin. But you can also see differences from using over-the-counter retinols. And if everything else fails, you can also try Botox. Yes, we know, needles are scary. However, nothing will fight dynamic wrinkles quite as well as good old Botulinum toxin.
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