Skin Changes During The Menopause – And How To Treat Them
Words // Mary-Jane Wiltsher
Much has been written about the menopause, but less so about the impact it can have on our skin. Perimenopause and menopause is a natural part of the ageing process for a woman and occurs when she stops having periods and is no longer able to have children. Here, we explore the wider symptoms of the menopausal transition and its impact on skin. We will give you some tips on skin care during menopause and how LED light therapy treatments can help.
When Does The Menopause Happen?
The menopause typically happens between the ages of 45 and 55, when a woman’s oestrogen levels begin to decline. Statistics published by the NHS show that in the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51, though around 1 in a 100 women experience the menopause before the age of 40.
Symptoms of the perimenopause (or ‘menopause transition’), can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer. Around 1 in every 10 women experience perimenopausal symptoms for up to 12 years.
What are the symptoms of the menopause transition?
On the physical front, symptoms include changes to a women’s period cycle – including infrequent or lighter periods – along with hot flashes, night sweats, aches and pains, weight changes, bladder problems, vaginal dryness, hair loss or thinning, and heart palpitations. All of which can take their toll on your mental state and wellbeing, so it’s a time for women to really look after their health, both mentally and physically.
From a psychological view point, the menopause can cause mood swings, loss of libido, feelings of fatigue, anxiety and depression. Eating healthily, getting regular exercise and taking time out for self-care activities such as meditation, yoga or talking therapy can be hugely beneficial.
The hormonal changes of the menopausal transition can also impact the tone and texture of the skin, which we explore below.
What impact can the menopause have on skin?
Common skin changes that occur around the menopause are due to a lower level of oestrogen in the body. Less oestrogen increases the chances of fine lines, loss of volume and sagging – but luckily, there are options you can rely on to take care of your skin’s needs.
Loss of volume and sagging
As hormone levels dip, your skin can become slack and thin. When oestrogen in the body decreases, so does the production of collagen, a skin-plumping protein that binds tissues together. Lower collagen production means that the skin may lose its tightness and volume, increasing the chances of sagging.
Dryness and flakiness
Declining levels of oestrogen may mean that you notice an increase in dryness or flakiness, which can be uncomfortable and itchy. Added to that, the skin’s oil glands aren't as active after the menopause, so regular hydration is key. You can always substitute your current moisturiser for one that’s thicker and richer in consistency, and use gently exfoliating products that shed dead skin cells.
Just like our teen years, the menopausal transition is a pivotal shift underpinned by big hormonal changes in the body. Some women may experience adult acne or sporadic breakouts as their oestrogen levels decline.
The appearance of age spots can become more obvious around the menopause. It’s important to use sunscreen daily – and LED can also help to reduce the appearance of pigmentation.
Skin Care During Menopause
To treat the changes to your skin you should change your skin care regime. This should involve taking some parts of your routine out and adding others in.
Here are our tips and skin care products for menopause.
Which The Light Salon products are beneficial to perimenopausal and menopausal skin?
To support the changes in your skin and mood, we highly recommend the introduction of LED to your skincare routine. The Boost LED Mask, Bib and Patch are portable, flexible and convenient; meaning they can slip into your skincare routine with little forward planning but offer big results!
Each treatment of Near-infrared 830nm and Red 633nm LED wavelengths will trigger a positive reaction in your body, and in turn will help balance your feel-good and stress hormones, reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, and increase collagen production for healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints. However, these skin benefits aren’t just a beautiful thing for a glowing complexion - increased collagen and improved circulation is also helpful for people suffering from musculoskeletal issues or living with chronic pain.