Menopause brings a myriad of physical and emotional transformations. As well as well-known symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, skin also undergoes significant shifts during this period. The onset of menopausal dry skin especially can take many by surprise.
Dry menopausal skin isn't a myth, it's a real issue that leaves many women seeking relief and answers. It's more than just the occasional rough, flaky patch or sensation of tightness. But why does this happen, and why is dry skin, particularly dry skin on the face, so closely tied with menopause?
In this article we'll delve into the connections between menopause and dry skin, exploring the causes and providing expert solutions to manage and restore your skin's health. Let's get started!
- sHow Menopause Changes the Skin
- s5 Ways to Care for Your Dry Skin During Menopause
- sHOW TO PREVENT DRY SKIN DURING MENOPAUSE
- sEmbracing Your Menopause Skincare Journey
How Menopause Changes the Skin
Does menopause cause dry skin? Generally, one of the earliest symptoms of menopausal skin changes is dryness¹. As you hit menopause, your oestrogen levels drop. Oestrogen isn't only connected with reproduction, it's also a hydration hero for your skin.
Oestrogen helps regulate skin’s oil production and maintain its barrier function, preventing excessive water loss. With less of it to spread around, your skin might start to feel as parched as a desert.
Sometimes you may even start experiencing this dryness during perimenopause, which often kicks off from the mid to late 40’s. So even if you haven't hit menopause yet, changes in your hormone balance can still impact your skin's moisture levels² .
There are a few signs and symptoms of menopausal dry skin. Here’s what to look for:
Tightness on the skin and a feeling of discomfort.
Itching and irritation.
Dull and lacklustre complexion.
Increased sensitivity to skincare products.
Peeling and flaking.
As well as dryness, there's also a loss of skin elasticity³. Oestrogen is needed for collagen production, which helps keep our skin springy. As oestrogen takes a bow, your skin might lose some of that bounce. In fact, within the first five years of menopause, you can lose up to 30% of your skin's collagen⁴.
Even when your skin is dry, you might notice some unexpected breakouts. This is because your body may try to compensate for a decrease in oestrogen by producing more androgens, which can lead to greasy skin during menopause⁵. You may find yourself in a bit of a skin paradox, oily and dry at the same time. Excessive oil production can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, a bit like a throwback to being a teenager!
All these skin changes can feel like experiencing rapid ageing after menopause, but don’t worry. These changes are normal and understanding what's happening can help you tackle these menopausal skin problems head on.
5 Ways to Care for Your Dry Skin During Menopause
Feel like you've lost control of your skin? Don't fret, we've got you covered with some top tips to help manage dry skin during menopause.
1. Avoid Hot Steamy Showers
Hot water, although comforting, can be a bit of a trickster. It slyly strips skin of its precious natural oils, leaving it parched and longing for moisture. So next time you want to take a hot shower, treat yourself to a warm bath instead.
2. Use a Gentle Cleanser for Dry Skin
When dealing with dry menopausal skin, it's essential to choose a cleanser that is gentle and moisturising. It should effectively remove dirt and impurities without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
We recommend Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm and Lift Face Wash. It cleanses without drying, helping to maintain your skin's hydration levels.
Remember to cleanse your face with lukewarm water to avoid further skin dehydration.
3. Embrace the Power of Exfoliation
Exfoliation helps whisk away those pesky dead skin cells that can make your skin look dull and tired and return your skin's natural radiance. It also helps your moisturiser penetrate deeper into your skin. With no dead skin cells in the way, your moisturisers can work more efficiently, leaving your skin feeling more hydrated and nourished.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
We cannot emphasise enough, hydration is the key to tackling dry skin during menopause. Moisturising helps restore balance to your skin by replenishing moisture and strengthening skin’s natural moisture barrier.
TOP CHOICE: OLAY COLLAGEN PEPTIDE 24 MAX DAY FACE CREAM FOR DRY MENOPAUSAL SKIN
Collagen peptides are one of the most effective ingredients to assist with menopausal dry skin. These are amino acid chains derived from collagen - a protein found abundantly in the body. Unlike larger collagen molecules, collagen peptides are small enough to penetrate the skin and be readily absorbed.
We recommend Olay’s Collagen Peptide24 MAX Face Cream, enriched with collagen peptides and niacinamide (99% purity). Olay’s most potent collagen peptide formula is supercharged with +50% hydrating ingredients (vs. Olay Collagen Peptide 24 Cream) especially suited for menopausal dry skin.
Collagen Peptide MAX day cream is dermatologist tested.
Olay Collagen Peptide 24 MAX Face Cream can aid your dry menopausal skin in several ways:
Enhanced hydration: Olay Collagen Peptide 24 MAX enhances the skin's ability to retain moisture, alleviating dryness and keeping your skin hydrated and plump.
Increased skin elasticity: It boosts the skin's collagen and elastin production, promoting skin firmness and elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Stronger and restored skin: Powerful formula combining collagen peptides and niacinamide helps strengthen the skin's barrier function, reducing water loss and shielding the skin from environmental stressors, resulting in healthier and more radiant skin.
Kind to the skin: Skincare products with collagen peptides, including Olay Collagen Peptide 24 MAX, are ideally suited for menopausal dry sensitive skin due to peptides’ gentle yet effective nature. The risk of irritation is significantly less with peptides compared to certain anti-ageing ingredients, making them safe for use even on delicate areas such as the skin around the eyes.
Olay Collagen Peptide 24 MAX face cream is a rich moisturiser designed to deliver intense hydration for 24 hours and strengthen your skin's natural protective barrier. It's dermatologically tested and suitable for all skin types, even sensitive ones.
Pro tip: Slather on your moisturiser while your skin is still damp. This simple trick helps lock in extra moisture and makes your skin feel super soft and hydrated.
5. Use a Retinol Moisturiser at Night
Known as the superstar of anti-ageing, retinol has been widely researched and praised for its powerful skin benefits. It speeds up skin cell turnover, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin texture and reduce spots. That's why it's a fantastic addition to your nighttime skincare routine, especially during menopause.
Retinol is a potent ingredient, so it's wise to introduce it to your skin slowly. Make sure to choose a product with high quality ingredients, without artificial dyes or perfumes.
If your skin is dry and sensitive, start by using a retinol product 2-3 times a week. This will help your skin adjust without becoming overwhelmed.
You may want to try a skin cycling routine where you use products with different active ingredients throughout the 4 day cycle to get the most benefit for your dry sensitive skin.
We recommend Olay Retinol 24 MAX Night Face Cream for menopausal dry skin. Packed with hydrating ingredients, Retinol and Niacinamide, this cream works its magic while you sleep, leaving you with smoother and brighter skin when you wake up.
Remember to always follow up with an SPF 30+ cream in the morning.
How to Prevent Dry Skin During Menopause
Menopause can be a bit of a rough ride for your skin, but there are things you can do to keep it in check.
Say goodbye to habits like smoking and alcohol, which can seriously dry out your skin.
Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin from the inside out.
Make SPF your best friend, applying it diligently every day and reapplying every four hours to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays.
Consume more foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. They help fortify your skin's cell membranes, locking in moisture and helping your skin stay hydrated. Incorporate Omega-3 rich salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds into your daily diet.
Embracing Your Menopause Skincare Journey
Menopause can feel like a rollercoaster, with your skin taking the brunt of the ride. And just like you, your skin is transitioning and looking for new ways to thrive. It's time to nurture your skin, responding to its new needs for extra moisture and gentle care. Our guide to menopause skin care is packed with tips to help you navigate this journey and maintain that glowing skin you love.
Barbo DM. The physiology of the menopause. Med Clin North Am. 1987;71:11–22. [PubMed]
Brincat MP, Baron YM, Galea R. Estrogens and the skin. Climacteric. 2005;8:110–23. [PubMed]
Brincat M, Moniz CJ, Studd JW, Darby A, Magos A, Emburey G, et al. Long-term effects of the menopause and sex hormones on skin thickness. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1985;92:256–9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1985.tb01091.x. [PubMed]
Khunger N, Mehrotra K, Menopausal Acne – Challenges And Solutions. Int J Womens Health. 2019; 11: 555–567. [PubMed]
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