Embracing Change - Menopause And Your Skin.

on Wed 3 Nov


Embracing Change - Menopause And Your Skin.

World Menopause Day is on 18th October 2021, and with that in mind we’re devoting today’s post to a discussion of the effects the menopause can have on your skin. The menopause isn’t exactly something any of us can get excited about, but as we’re stuck with it, the best thing we can do to prepare ourselves is to be as informed as possible. 

The good news is that there are things you can do to mitigate its unwelcome effects, and we’d love you to get to the end of this article feeling a sense of hope. But before we look at the specific skin issues and how to tackle them, let’s start with a look at why the menopause affects your skin.

Oestrogen levels and collagen loss: a brief look at the science behind menopausal skin changes

Collagen is the most common protein in your skin, but from your mid-twenties it starts to deplete in your body. By the time we reach 40, our collagen levels are down by 30% - and the decline gets faster for women during and after the menopause. Women typically lose 30% of collagen in the first five years of menopause.

This collagen loss is due to the hormonal changes we experience during the menopause, and in particular the reduction in oestrogen levels. Lower oestrogen levels mean a reduction in Type I (skin strength) and Type III (skin elasticity) collagen, as well as changes in the ratio of Type III to Type I collagen. So what does this mean for your skin? 

Well, according to 2007 research by Stevenson and Thornton, low oestrogen levels mean a decrease in the thickness of your skin and a reduction in its collagen content, including its production, levels and quality. Not only that, but because oestrogen helps to protect your skin from sun damage, a decrease in it makes your skin more vulnerable to the harmful rays of the sun - which also makes your skin age faster.

That thinning of the dermis spells other problems for your skin, too. The result of your skin’s elastic fibres gradually unravelling, the thickness of your skin decreases by an average of around 6.4% per decade.

This rate is worse for women, and most pronounced on your face, neck and upper chest. As your skin gets thinner, and levels of moisturising hyaluronic acid decline, it becomes increasingly difficult for your skin to retain water, which is a key component of your skin’s elasticity and resistance to trauma. Without water, your skin becomes dry and dull, losing its youthful vitality and making you appear older than you feel.

By Proto-col