November is National Healthy Skin Month, an annual event that serves as a reminder to put your skin health at top of mind. There are certain skincare practices that everyone should follow as a general rule of thumb, like protecting the skin with SPF daily. Other skincare routines depend on factors such as skin type and age. Because everyone’s skin is different, it’s important to treat your personal skin problems and their causes.
For women in or approaching their 50s, hormone changes associated with menopause can affect the skin. Menopause can cause a wide range of symptoms and physical changes, including noticeable effects on your skin.
Menopause Skincare Tips
Take the first step towards caring for your skin during National Healthy Skin Month and continue to follow these menopause skincare tips year-round.
1. Apply SPF 30 or higher every day
Wearing sunscreen daily is essential for healthy skin no matter your age or skin type. During menopause, however, protecting your skin from the sun is an especially important part of your daily skincare because skin cancer and precancerous growths become more common during menopause. In addition to reducing the risk of cancer, SPF can help reduce age spots and wrinkles as well as prevent new ones from forming.
2. Get a skin cancer screening
The earlier cancerous growths or skin cancer are detected, the more treatable they are. With the increased risk of skin cancer that comes with age and menopause, you should receive regular skin cancer screenings from a healthcare professional. You can also perform self checks to look for signs of skin cancer. Cancerous spots can sometimes be confused for age or dark spots, and a professional will better be able to detect skin cancer.
3. Cleanse regularly
Hormone level changes associated with menopause can lead to skin dryness. To combat dry skin, wash your face with a gentle cleanser (as opposed to a soap, which can be drying). Hormonal breakouts can also occur during menopause, and cleansing will help unclog pores.
4. Stay moisturized
Another way to combat dryness associated with menopause is to apply moisturizer regularly. When choosing products, avoid any moisturizers with drying ingredients such as alcohol or fragrances. Moisturizers free of fragrances will also reduce irritation for sensitive skin.
5. Pay attention to product ingredients
When choosing skincare products during menopause, pay attention to their ingredients to ensure you are promoting healthy skin. Some ingredients are particularly harsh on skin, and you want to choose products that will help rather than harm.
Some product ingredients you may want to add to your menopause skincare routine are:
- Hyaluronic acid: hyaluronic acid bonds with water to retain moisture, helping dry skin recover. Hyaluronic acid is available as an ingredient in some moisturizers, as a topical serum, and more.
- Retinol: Retinol increases collagen in the skin to help combat jowls, slack skin, and wrinkles.
- Salicylic acid: To combat menopause-related acne, try a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. It penetrates the skin to dissolve dead skin cells and unclog pores.
There are many products and ingredients out there that can help treat skin problems related to menopause. Consult your dermatologist to find out which ingredients are right for you.
6. Look beyond your face
Menopause skin care goes beyond your face. Menopause and aging can cause changes to the skin on your neck, chest, and hands. Like your face, these areas lose moisture and collagen, leading to issues like wrinkles, dryness, and dark spots. Don’t forget to moisturize and apply sunscreen to the neck, hands, and decolletage during your skincare routine.
7. Stimulate collagen production
Collagen is a protein in the body that promotes the appearance of strong, youthful skin. As we age and during menopause, collagen production slows, leading to skin sagging and the loss of plump, youthful-looking skin. Stimulating collagen production can help fight sagging skin. A few ways to boost collagen include products like retinol and aloe vera and eating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
8. Consult your doctor
If these tips aren’t helping manage your skin problems, consult your doctor or a dermatologist. They can work with you to determine the best menopause skincare routine to address your specific concerns or issues.
Talk to a Menopause Specialist
Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is a certified menopause practitioner, experienced in helping patients manage the symptoms of menopause. If you have questions about menopause symptoms, contact Chapel Hill Gynecology today. Chapel Hill Gynecology is open for office visits (using recommended protocols for preventing COVID-19 exposure) as well as telemedicine visits. Call (919) 960-2720 to schedule an appointment.