The menopause and effects on our skin

Hot flushes, weight gain, night sweats, forgetfulness, mood swings – as if the menopause was not challenging enough, women also have to deal with problems and changes with their skin.

As women approach the menopause, average age around 51, their oestrogen hormone level starts to drop due to the slowing down of ovarian activity. The hormone reduction leads to reduced sebaceous gland secretion resulting in a duller and lacklustre skin and dryness. Collagen production drops by 1% a year from the age of 20, but during the menopause this drop is accelerated and elastin fibres become more brittle. This results in lines and wrinkles and sagging skin.

The epidermis begins to thin as cellular turnover reduces and capillary blood flow slows down. A side effect of this is a reduced barrier function resulting in dry, flaky and reddened skin.

During menopause melanocytes degenerate and produce less melanin, our natural protector against sun damage. This makes the skin more prone to sun burn and increases brown spots on the face, chest and backs of hands.

This all sounds very depressing for anyone approaching this time in their life! But if you are aware of the pitfalls you can prepare your body in advance and even if you have already reached menopause all is not lost.

Diet has a huge impact on helping you through the menopause and afterwards. Increasing your intake of Vitamin C will improve your collagen production – try eating 2 kiwi fruits a day. If you smoke, now is the time to give up as smoking prevents absorption of vitamin C and thus effects your collagen production. Make sure you increase your water intake to combat the dehydration. Also increase your healthy fat intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, think salmon, walnuts, hemp seeds. These will help protect against hydration loss and improve the health of an impaired skin barrier. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and cutting down on any foods or drinks containing sugar is a must for a healthy skin and body.

Due to our climate we are as a nation depleted in Vitamin D which we need to boost our immune system. A small area of skin should be exposed to the sun for 20 minutes twice a day without sun screen to build up our reserves whenever possible. We need to protect our hands, face, neck and chest from the sun because those areas are most exposed to the elements at all times of the year throughout our lives, and are more prone to brown sun damage marks as we age.

At Hough Green Clinic our skin care ranges and treatments concentrate on prevention and improvement of the visible signs of ageing due to the menopause.

Our Venus Freeze Facial Treatment delivers Multi-Polar Radio Frequency and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields to the skin to rebuild collagen, improve blood circulation to lessen lines and wrinkles and tighten sagging skin.

Elizabeth Arden PRO skin care contains Lactic Acid that naturally accelerates the turnover of new cells, massively increases moisturisation and naturally and gently exfoliates the skin, and Vitamins A, C and E improve collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

The Elizabeth Arden PRO Barrier Repair Complex is ideal for barrier impaired skins. The essential skin nutrients replenish and revitalize. Reddened skin is soothed and healed.

Skin Brightening Serum is excellent for reducing the appearance of age spots and pigmentation.

Our Prescriptive Facials and Skin Peels are perfect treatments to help boost moisturisation, exfoliate, improve circulation and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Jane Bryant,

Advanced Skin Health Specialist

Hough Green Clinic