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At around the age of 50, a woman will experience menopausal skin changes as a result of declining hormone levels. These hormonal changes can create skin conditions such as acne, breakouts, dry patches, dullness and wrinkles to arise. Menopausal skin is one of the most common effects of menopause. Think puberty for middle agers and you can understand the emotional and physical challenges that may present during this time and how they impact your skin. With a specific plan and products that fit your skin’s needs, you can prepare and take care of your skin now and see the benefits. It’s never too late to start.
As a result of declining Oestrogen levels, menopausal skin conditions may resemble puberty with skin breakouts, pigmentation issues, dry or oily patches also eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. Declining hormone levels reduce blood flow to the skin, which can result in changes to its appearance. The decrease of Oestrogen also causes collagen production to slow, leading to more wrinkles and drooping of the skin. Couple that with an increase in dryness caused by the changing levels of hormones, and you’ve got yourself some skin care challenges.
Menopause can be a confusing time for your body, but you don’t have to let it get the best of you! Maximize your menopausal skin care routine with collagen boosting vitamins A, B, C & E. These contain cell building proteins that stimulate collagen and elastic production repair and restore damage to the skin.
Vitamin A helps to regulate the production of sebum as well as regenerate cell growth which can help reduce the appearance of acne scarring. Vitamin A also helps to maintain healthy skin cells and moisturize the skin from within.
Vitamin B is a group of essential nutrients that includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin B6. Vitamin B is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells from damage caused by free radicals. When applied topically, it can alleviate symptoms of dermatitis and eczema. Vitamin B also helps regulate sebum production so oily skin types can have smoother skin without excess shine.
Niacinamide contains vitamin B-3 and controls sebum production to minimise pores. Find a serum that contains Vitamin B and add this vital step before you apply your day or night moisturiser.
Vitamin C can repair sun damage, protect against free radicals that cause wrinkles, and reduce acne. It also has powerful anti-aging benefits like reducing the appearance of dark spots.
Vitamin E, which is found in many products, is great for fighting wrinkles, preventing acne breakouts and evening skin tone.
Hydration is key to treating your skin during this time. Menopausal skin is easily aggravated by harsh ingredients or environmental factors that can compromise the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Whether skin is super dry or oily, use oil control creams, serums or oils that contain proteins or peptides to minimise transepidermal water loss. For acne-prone skin consider lotions and serums which are lighter in texture.
Look for ingredients that support moisture control and keep the skin feeling hydrated such as glycerin that balances the skin and adds moisture. Shea butter is a popular anti-ageing product that helps to break down collagen and elastin fibers which are responsible for the elasticity of the skin. The high concentration of anti-oxidants found in shea butter is also very effective at repairing skin damage caused by the sun and other environmental aggressors.
Other ultra hydrating ingredients to look for are nourishing oils such as macadamia, avocado or jojoba oil. Lighter ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate, witch hazel and aloe vera act as humectants and draw moisture to the skin.
Antioxidants protect your skin against harmful environmental factors and neutralize free radicals that damage skin cells and contribute to aging. Look for skincare products containing plant derived antioxidants such as Kakadu Plum, Bilberry, Wild Rosella and Bearberry. These are nutrient rich and provide a vital source of antioxidants including polyphenols to relieve inflammation and provide nourishment to the skin.
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that helps keep cell membranes strong and healthy. These illuminate the skin, improve pigmentation to provide a healthy glow or radiance to your skin’s complexion.
Exfoliating your skin helps to gently remove dead skin cells and surface dirt and impurities. Stay away from harsh exfoliants with abrasive particles. Opt instead for a gentle scrub or cream based masque to support your skin’s natural moisture barrier and protect delicate skin. Try not to over exfoliate. Limit to 2-3 times a week.
Did you know that the sun is one of the main reasons for skin ageing? Ultra violet rays penetrate and damage the skin which inhibits the production of vitamin D, another factor in skin ageing. Protect, protect, protect your skin. Try to wear sunscreen everyday on top of your moisturiser and before your make up. Alternatively try using a moisturiser with added SPF protection. Re-apply every 2 hours (no exceptions) to avoid unnecessary skin damage. Remember to wash your sunscreen off every evening with a cleanser. If you have wear make up, try a ‘double cleanse’ or masque and tone your skin before applying your serum.