Changes in your skin can start becoming noticeable a few years before you actually hit menopause, usually around your 40s. Estrogen supports your body to produce collagen and all the natural oils that are responsible for keeping your skin’s health and elasticity.
Studies show that women’s skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first 5 years of menopause and 2% of their collagen every further year.
As estrogen levels plummet, skin feels drier, rougher to the touch, slack and itchy. You may start noticing that your overall complexion becomes more dull and dry, flaky patches may appear. In addition, skin becomes thinner because of the decrease of estrogen levels.
The right skincare is of great importance at this time in a woman’s life. With the right care, you can lessen these effects and improve your skin’s wellbeing.
- Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day (even in winter) to protect further thinning of the skin. You want to apply sunscreen onto your face, neck, hands, and any other areas not covered by clothing.
- Wash with a mild cleanser instead of soap. For mature skin, soap can be too drying.
- Apply moisturizer after bathing/showering and throughout the day when your skin feels dry.
- As levels of female hormones drop before and during menopause, some women develop teenage like acne. Because a woman’s skin is thinner and drier, treatments for teenage acne are not recommended. Make a dermatologist appointment to get the right treatment for your condition.
- Hormones play an important role also in healing our skin. When hormone levels drop, skin takes longer to heal, give it time.
- Around 50, the pH level of our skin changes as well making the skin more sensitive, and women are more likely to develop irritations and rashes of the skin. To avoid irritation, use a mild cleanser and fragrance free moisturizer.
REPAIR THE NATURAL WAY
Body butters and natural oils are a great way to moisturize and nourish mature skin. Unfortunately, many commercial body butters and lotions contain harmful chemicals which can do more harm than good. Here are a few of the best ingredients to use either on their own, or to make your own body lotion/butter with added benefits.
Shea Butter – the superb moisturizer
Is rich in vitamin A which is extremely important for skin conditions like wrinkles, blemishes, eczema
It gets deeply absorbed and hydrates the skin
Has anti inflammatory properties
Contains vitamin E, a powerfully regenerative antioxidant with hydrating and softening properties when applied on the skin
Provides deep skin moisturizing and it is best used especially during winter
It is a great source of antioxidants from the cocoa beans as well as saturated fats beneficial for healing dry, cracked skin because they are easily absorbed and stay in the skin for hours
Contains polyphenols from the cocoa bean, which can help diminish signs of aging.
It also contains saturated fats that keep the skin moisturized for hours.
Has antibacterial and antifungal properties helping soothe inflamed skin, reduce redness and rehydrate
Lavender essential oil
Boosts many benefits for the skin because of its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics. It soothes and nourishes treating acne, healing dry and rough skin, soothing itchiness and reducing the appearance of dark spots
It encourages the formation of healthy skin cells
Geranium essential oil
Geranium oil is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to skin care especially for mature skin.
Has anti inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties
Helps moisturize by locking the moisture in the skin
When applied topically, its antiseptic properties can be helpful for preventing the bacteria on your skin from entering the pores and causing breakouts.
Regulates the skin’s oil production
Helps regulate imbalanced hormones, which are a common acne trigger. In particular, the hormones estrogen, progesterone and insulin are linked to acne flare-ups.
Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense oil can be used to protect skin cells, reduce acne blemishes, reduce large pores, prevent wrinkles and even tighten the skin and slow down signs of aging
Tea Tree oil
Contains strong antibacterial and antifungal compounds known to reduce inflammation (acne)
Helps dry out whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and other blemishes
Is great as makeup remover, mix a quarter cup of extra vergin olive oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil, shake well and use it.
DIY INTENSE MOISTURIZER BODY BUTTER
1/4 cup organic cocoa butter
1/4 cup raw shea butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops geranium oil
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops frankincense oil
Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a pan under very low heat, remove and let it cool until it is opaque but not completely solidified. Add the essential oils into the butter using a stand mixer, whip until the ingredients are combined, transfer to a small glass container and store in a cool place.
Apply whenever needed.
Laura Peischl, BA, INHC
Laura is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Holistic Menopause Health Specialist and Certified Hormone Health and Wellness practitioner. She is the founder and owner of Feel Good Menopause.