As we go through different life stages, our skin requirements change. Just as our skin is altered by puberty and our menstruation cycle, going through menopause can dramatically change the composition and texture of our skin – and it’s due to our hormones.
Hormones oestrogen and progesterone dip as we enter menopause, which brings some noticeable changes to the skin. Aesthetic experts and GPs Dr Victoria Manning and Dr Charlotte Woodward, founders of River Aesthetics explain:
“The nose drive in hormones causes havoc in the body, and effects every element, from wellbeing to mood, sleep to memory, and of course our skin. Oestrogen is responsible for collagen production, promoting fat storage under the skin and the production of hyaluronic acid. A drop in oestrogen during menopause results in sagging skin, especially around the neck, jawline and cheeks, as well as fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and upper lip. Skin can look dull and lifeless and a hormonal imbalance can lead to excessive melanin production, which can cause pigmentation, known as age spots.”
Collagen production is integral to firm, fresh skin. “Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body”, Dr Manning and Dr Woodward tell us. “It provides our skin with its structure, keeping our face plump and unlined. Collagen levels decline slowly from our early 20s, before accelerating around the menopause, up to 30 to 50 percent in the first five years. This means without assistance, skin will become much more lax and dry.”
As a result, it’s important to update our skincare as we age. “Hyaluronic acid (HA) based skincare is a must. Oestrogen helps the body produce hyaluronic acid, which keeps our skin fresh and hydrated. No matter how much water we drink, without the production of HA, our skin will look dull, but using a HA based serum or cream will help. A rich barrier cream with vitamin B3 for protection and repair is also a good idea.”
Another key ingredient to look out for is retinol. “Skincare products which include retinols increase the cell turnover of the skin, helping the production of key proteins such as collagen and elastin, amongst other benefits”, say Dr Manning and Dr Woodward. “As a result, retinol improves so many skin complaints, including fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and acne.”
While collagen drinks or collagen infused skincare aren’t harmful, Dr Manning and Dr Woodward reveal due to the size of collagen’s molecules, collagen needs to be injected or induced to increase levels within the body.
“Instead, maintain your vitamin C intake” say Dr Manning and Dr Woodward. “Vitamin C boosts fibroblast cells, which help to create new collagen in the dermis.”
The doctors also recommend minimally invasive treatments like Ellansé to boost collagen post-menopause. They say: “Ellansé is the ideal treatment to increase collagen production. It works with your own body to produce healthy new collagen, creating a very natural result. You will see an effect immediately post-treatment, however volumisation and an improvement in skin quality continues over the next few months, as the filler encourages the body to produce collagen.”
A lack of collagen and oestrogen production may cause the skin in the mid-face to descend, causing naso-labial folds, marionette lines and jowls, requiring a greater lift than topical skincare or Ellansé can give. In this instance, Dr Manning and Dr Woodward recommend a thread lift such as Silhouette Soft.
They say: “A thread treatment lifts skin and jowls by up to a centimetre while reducing those folds and lines that drag the face down. The results are immediate and noticeable, and will improve over time as the threads actually stimulate the body to produce its own collagen. This helps increase the volume of sagging areas, restoring shapeliness to the face gradually.”
The menopause is a natural part of getting older, and equipping ourselves with the facts, and the right skincare regime will help rebalance our skin, and our overall equilibrium.
Meet the Experts
Dr Victoria Manning and Dr Charlotte Woodward have over 30 combined years of aesthetic experience and are trainers for Silhouette Soft, PDO threads, Ellanse and Desirial for vaginal rejuvenation.