Perimenopause marks the transition years leading up to menopause, during which women experience various hormonal changes before menstruation ceases. Menopause is when a woman doesn't have a period for 12 consecutive months. In Canada, the average age of natural menopause is 51.5, although specific medical treatments and conditions can cause it to occur earlier. 90% of women aged 55 -56 years old have gone through menopause.
Perimenopausal skin changes can start as early as your 30s due to the hormonal fluctuations associated with this stage. During perimenopause, estrogen levels can rise and fall unevenly, resulting in several noticeable changes in the skin. These can include redness, acne flare-ups, rosacea, and the development of both dry and oily patches. Some women may also experience increased sensitivity and irritation.
As estrogen levels decline following menopause, so does the skin's collagen. Studies indicate that women may lose up to 30% of collagen within the first five years of menopause. As collagen levels naturally decrease after age 20, the significant drop experienced during menopause exacerbates the changes in the skin during our 30s and 40s. This can include reduced fat and bone volume, sagging and drying skin, and slower skin healing.
Moreover, menopause can contribute to an increase in wrinkles and fine lines and a decrease in skin elasticity. The skin's natural ability to retain moisture also declines, which can lead to a more dry and dull complexion. Hormonal changes during menopause are associated with a higher likelihood of experiencing age spots and hyperpigmentation.
How to Address Menopause-Related Skin Changes
While some of the skin changes related to menopause are inevitable, some steps can be taken to minimize their impact and maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.
1. Adopt a balanced skincare routine: Develop a daily skincare regimen that involves these essential steps: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Make sure to use products that are targeted at increasing hydration and promoting elasticity.
2. Use sunscreen regularly: To prevent age spots and hyperpigmentation, it is crucial to wear sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 30, though we do believe that something higher would be more beneficial.
3. Incorporate a healthy diet: A balanced diet high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can support skin health and combat the visible signs of aging.
4. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day can help maintain skin hydration and elasticity.
5. Consider skin treatments and therapies: There are several treatments that can help resolve the aesthetic issues caused by menopause. These include Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy
Understanding the effects of menopause on skin health is crucial for women seeking to maintain a youthful, radiant complexion during this significant life stage. By implementing a combination of balanced skincare, healthy nutrition, and, if needed, targeted treatments, women can minimize the negative impact of menopause on their appearance and continue to age gracefully