"We lose about 30 per cent of collagen in the first five years of menopause," says Etre Vous Expert Balsam Alabassi, Founder of DermRefine Skin Clinic. "After that it’s about 2 per cent each year." There are three key hormones that can cause changes to the look and feel of our skin – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
How decreasing hormone levels impact skinOestrogen helps to stimulate collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production, keeping skin plump and firm. When oestrogen levels drop this leads to thinner, slacker skin, facial volume loss and sagging, lines and wrinkles. Skin may also be more prone to bruising and blemishes take longer to heal.
In addition, changes in the pH (acid/alkaline) balance of the skin during menopause may cause skin to become more sensitive and prone to irritation and rashes. A decrease in progesterone and testosterone causes a decrease in the skin’s natural oil (sebum) production, making it look less dewy and youthful. Hormonal imbalance may also trigger skin breakouts and adult acne.
Switch your skincareIf you shudder at the prospect of hurtling into your older years with a tired, lined complexion and saggy jowls, there’s no need to panic. "Every woman is different and a lot also depends on your general constitution and genetic make up," says Etre Vous Expert Gemma Clare, Holistic Skin and Wellbeing Expert. "Diet and lifestyle are important, but choosing the right skincare can make a huge difference."
Recent technological advances mean we’re seeing more new products specifically formulated to target menopausal skins. "Many women find that as they hit menopause, products they’ve been using are no longer as effective," says EV Expert and Aesthetic Doctor Dr Vincent Wong. "So, you may need to switch your skincare to better suit your needs."
Key ingredients to look out for
Hyaluronic acid for plump, dewy skinHyaluronic acid, also known as the miracle molecule, is a clear, viscous substance that your body produces naturally. "It works like a sponge, holding water up to 1000 times its weight," says Clare. "Using hyaluronic acid is like bathing skin cells with fluid for a softer, plumper, more dewy appearance."
Collagen to maintain firmness and skin elasticityCollagen is a protein made by the body. It’s the major building block of skin, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. "While there are products that contain collagen, it’s more beneficial for the skin when taken as supplement," says Dr Wong. "For example, you can take it as a liquid drink, capsule or powder."
Vitamin C to boost collagen productionVitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin. "As well as taking a daily supplement, you can also apply vitamin C topically," says Dr Wong. "This will help boost collagen production and help keep skin plump and firm." Altrient C Liposomal Vitamin C, a gel supplement taken daily in water or juice, is the most bio-available form of vitamin C you can get, claiming a 98 per cent absorption rate.
Retinol for firm, healthy skinDerived from Vitamin A, retinol is added to skin products to boost collagen production, plump the skin, speed up skin renewal and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. "Retinol is an amazing ingredient and there is a lot of research to show it can be beneficial for skin ageing. But, products vary in strength and may cause redness or irritation in some cases," says Clare. "If you’re new to retinol, I’d recommend seeing a skincare practitioner first who can advise on the right strength to use."
Give your skin a lift by using the latest products specially formulated for menopausal skin...
- Vichy Neovadiol Plumping Day Cream is a lightweight moisturiser formulated to hydrate, brighten and plump up peri-menopausal and menopausal skins. It’s formulated with Vichy volcanic water, hyaluronic acid, proxylane (a sugar protein derived from beech trees) and cassia seed extract.
- The new generation Emepelle Serum is specifically formulated for menopausal skins, with MEP technology (a patented non-hormonal ingredient) to restore the natural function of oestrogen deficient skin. It also contains vitamins C, E, ferulic acid, retinol, peptides, plant extracts, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.
- VENeffect Anti-Ageing Intensive Moisturiser is deeply hydrating and combines phytoestrogens, peptides and hyaluronic acid to plump, firm and hydrate menopausal skin.
- Prai MenoGlow Hot Flush Cool Fix Serum features a cooling rollerball gel that's perfect for those moments when you feel yourself burning up with a hot flush. Formulated with a signature M complex to stimulate collagen and boost hydration, cooling menthol and hyaluronic acid to plump and smooth fine lines.
- Meg’s Skincare Collection devised by Meg Matthews, founder of megsmenopause.com includes: S.W.A.L.K. (Sealed With A Loving Kiss), a skin smoothing hyaluronic acid serum; Rosey Rain, a rose oil and marshmallow infused cooling spray, and Meno Blend, a vanilla flavoured nutrition supplement.
- Bioeffect EGF Serum is an award-winning serum that helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and boost hydration in older skins. It’s formulated with EGF (epidermal growth factor), a protein derived from barley plants that supports collagen production and has a moisture binding effect.
- AlphaScience Surface (CR) Ultra Smoothing Wrinkle Corrector – this smooths and firms skin thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid and L-glutamine.
- Vitamin Injections Vitamin B Miracle Serum nourishes skin with ingredients including vitamins B3, B5 and hyaluronic acid to reduce inflammation, minimise pores, improve skin texture and rebalance acne-prone complexions.
- Apply the intensive AlphaScience Alpha Bright Pigment Correcting Serum twice daily on affected areas to reduce dark spots and pigmentation which can become more pronounced as skin ages. Contains vitamin C, phytic acid and gingko biloba.
Vincent Wong, Cosmetic Doctor
Dr. Vincent Wong is one of London’s leading cosmetic doctors. He is trained in advanced non-surgical cosmetic treatments and is a specialist in facial...Book with Vincent Wong
Balsam Alabassi, Owner and Founder of Dermrefine Skin Clinic
I am an Independent Prescriber and hold level 7 in Aesthetic Medicine. I adopt a personalised approach to provide you with a complete care solution, thereby...Book with Balsam Alabassi
Gemma Clare, Holistic Health Skin & Wellbeing Expert
I am a Holistic Health Skin and Wellbeing expert with 20 years experience working in exclusive settings. My qualifications include a Science Degree in...Book with Gemma Clare