Perimenopause & your skin: What you need to know

Shrouded in secrecy, the menopausal transition is a time of great change for a woman. Lines, wrinkles, hot flashes, and skin changes are all symptoms you may suffer if you experience perimenopause. Your body is rapidly changing as your hormone levels shift and collagen levels drop. But what can be done to help save your skin?

Don't panic! You are not alone! The menopausal transition can start to happen as early as age 40, but the average age is 51. The good news is that there are various ways to treat perimenopausal symptoms.

Do you want to learn more about symptoms and what to expect during perimenopause? Read on for our tips on how to support your skin through this stage of life. 

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the period of transition that links a woman's childbearing years with menopause. The defining factor is when a woman stops having her period (usually for at least a year). Many women suffer from a range of symptoms, though most of them only become noticeable over the course of a long period of time. 

Menopause is a natural part of ageing and occurs when a woman's oestrogen levels decline. Around 1 in 100 women experience menopause before the age of 40. This is known as premature menopause. 

Symptoms of Perimenopause

The good news is that there are lots of treatments for the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Some of the most common symptoms of perimenopause are:

  • Irregular periods
  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Hot flashes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Dry skin

As your body's estrogen levels begin to decline, so does the production of collagen. Your skin loses its elasticity and there is less fat under your skin. 

There are various treatments and products that you can use to help care for your skin during this transition. Diet and lifestyle changes can make a big difference to how your body looks and feels during this time. 

You can also look into the benefits of botanical skincare products that are rich in natural ingredients. 

Caring for Your Skin During Perimenopause

As hormone levels decline, you can experience thin skin, lines and wrinkles and even sagging skin. To protect your skin from further damage and to obtain a healthy glow, there are several things you can do.

1. Apply Sunscreen

During perimenopause skin cancer and pre-cancerous growths become more common. Your body produces less melatonin, which is what protects your skin from UV rays.

Give your skin the protection that it needs by applying sunscreen each day before you go outdoors. This can help reduce the risk of skin cancer and fade age spots. Avoid thick, greasy creams and opt for a light, glowy SPF.

2. Upgrade your Skincare Routine

Nourishing your skin with a good skincare regime is important if your skin is feeling dry and lifeless. Use a cleanser and moisturiser for dry skin, with a high-quality facial serum for extra moisture. 

Avoid products such as foaming cleansers and face washes that will strip your skin of moisture. Focus on hydrating, natural products that will help with skin texture and tone. Try not to use hot water and avoid hot showers where possible.

3. Moisturise Your Hands

The back of your hands can lose moisture during perimenopause. The collagen and fat production in your skin declines, which leaves your hands looking dry and overworked. Wear gloves when gardening or washing the dishes and invest in a hydrating hand moisturiser.

Products that contain hyaluronic acid can help your hands retain moisture and keep them looking soft and supple. Ingredients such as Vitamin E and glycerin are also excellent options to look out for when purchasing soaps and moisturisers.

4. Consume Antioxidants

Antioxidants help to defend the skin from free radicals that can accelerate the signs of ageing. A study suggests that a diet rich in antioxidants is linked to lower menopausal symptoms. Among the foods tested, those high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E were most beneficial. 

You can also choose skincare products that contain antioxidants. Look out for ingredients such as coffee oil that are high in Vitamin E.

5. Rest and Relaxation

Stress can trigger a range of responses in your skin, from psoriasis to dry, sensitive skin. Take time out to practice deep breathing and meditation to help with stress relief. Exercise such as yoga is also excellent for blood circulation, emotional regulation, and digestion. The extra blood flow will help your skin look brighter and healthier. 

Getting enough sleep is also vital for your skin during perimenopause. A good nights sleep gives your body a chance to recover and recharge ready for the following day. You may find it difficult to sleep whilst experiencing perimenopausal symptoms such as insomnia, hot flashes and breathing difficulties. 

Around 12% of women experience trouble sleeping whilst transitioning to menopause. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising will help you get a better nights sleep. You should also try to avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. Speak to your doctor about treatments that can help improve your sleep quality. 

For more information on how to deal with the effects of the Perimenopause, and the Menopause, head to our Q&A with Jen Brown (aka @meet_you_at_the_barre). 

October 07, 2021 — Five Dot