WEEKEND WEB: How does the menopause process affect your skin?
HeEALTH AND WELLBEING: A monthly column by Jo Esdale, of Essential Well-Being of Spalding
Menopause is a complicated process that all women experience, it not only affects the internal body, it affects your skin as well.
Having experienced this myself, I would like to explain a few of the changes which women endure and help you to understand the effects that hormonal change has on our bodies.
During menopause hormonal changes, ovarian activity and the reduction of oestrogen may cause hot flushes with intense feelings of warmth particularly of the face.
These can be accompanied by profuse sweating as well as a rise in body temperature and increased heart rate.
The skin’s physiology changes as oestrogen levels deplete, in some women testosterone stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete thicker sebum which gives the appearance of oily skin and increases the risk of adult acne.
Increased androgens and the absence of oestrogens can cause voice deepening and the appearance of facial hair, particularly in the chin area and upper lip.
Unwanted lines and wrinkles occur as fat deposits are redistributed to the abdomen, thighs and buttocks.
The loss of supportive fat below the skin on the face, arms, neck, breasts and hands causes sagging and wrinkles.
I recommend that you maintain your body shape with regular exercise, yoga and Pilates which are particularly good for core body maintenance.
Eat a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and massage oil or cream into your skin daily. This helps with circulation, the removal of toxins and body moisture levels. As oestrogen levels reduce, so does the production of collagen and elastin and ageing is much more apparent. Collagen is the support under our skin, and elastin keeps our skin supple.
This lack of support and repair is particularly pronounced if the skin is exposed to sun.
Sadly, as menopause progresses, women produce less protective melanin, their skin becomes lighter, hyperpigmentation (brown age spots) can occur on the face, neck, chest and hands.
Wearing a sun protective cream is vital, I recommend SPF 50 for the face, body and hands. In addition, the epidermis starts to thin as the blood flowing through the dermal capillaries is reduced, less nutrients and oxygen are available to the basal cell layers, slowing down cell turnover leading to dehydration and dry skin.
Regular skin treatments and the use of anti-aging serums will help to maintain the skins natural moisture levels. Exfoliate both your face and body regularly to remove the dead skin cells, this will encourage skin cell renewal resulting in brighter fresher skin. I advise the use of anti ageing products with vitamins and peptides.
For further advice please contact my clinic on 01775 249425.