Your skin during the Menopause
Most people associate the menopause with hot flushes and night sweats or the drop in hormones but not many know about how the skin is also affected, nor what you can do about it.
In this blog, you’ll learn some practical ways to help support the natural process of the menopause with some easy things to do at home that may help prevent the rapid degeneration of the skin.
Women have many significant stages to their hormones during life, one of which is the menopause. Unlike going through puberty and the link with acne, menopause isn’t often explored a lot in context with the skin and how it changes during this time.
It may not come as a surprise to read that eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water will help, but what are the key aspects to our diet and skincare that we could focus on to really make a difference.
Let’s find out…
We’ve all heard of collagen and it’s connection to skin, but you might not know why it’s important and how it is affected during menopause. Collagen is a proteinous substance that forms the connective tissue in our skin and also around our bones. It’s a soft structure that keeps skin plump and when there is a wound in the body, collagen glues the separated tissue together, holding everything in place.
In the first few years of menopause, our collagen stores drop fairly rapidly. This huge drop unfortunately leaves skin sagging, as there’s much less of the soft tissue to support the skin’s structure. It can also leave skin dry and flaky, and the skin loses its firmness and rigidity.
To reduce the rapid decline in collagen that occurs during menopause, we can support our bodies to continue producing as much collagen as possible. However, there will always be a vast proportion lost. Whilst there is not enough evidence to recommend taking collagen supplements specifically for the skin, you can increase vitamin C in both your diet and skincare that helps your body to produce collagen. By ingesting collagen supplements in either powder or capsule form, the collagen mostly stays in the gut. There is some scientific research to suggest it can help with joints but we’ve yet to see any solid evidence that it directly reaches our skin. I am personally hopeful that one day we will be able to produce collagen that will travel through our gut and into the skin - in time.
Here is a list of some of the foods that contain a good amount of Vitamin C naturally:
Vitamin C is also known as an antioxidant in the body which means it can repair damaged cells. This will help with skin quality when going through the menopause. Most people will be able to meet the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C with a varied diet that includes fruits and vegetables.
Aside from dietary interventions, some also believe in facial massage to help stimulate collagen production.
Use Kinvara’s Rosehip Face Serum daily to include some vitamin C into your skin care routine.
Omega-3’s are a type of healthy fat called polyunsaturated. These healthy fats are essential because we cannot make them in our bodies so we must get these from our diet. These fats are used in every single cell in our body as each cell wall is made up of a double layer of these polyunsaturated fats. Including these fats in our diet and topically on our skin, keep each cell strong and sturdy which reflects in our skin being plump and firm.
In addition to every cell in the body, all hormones made in the body are also partly made up from these fats. It’s no wonder that during the menopause when our hormones drop, we can be supporting the production of hormones by including these healthy fats in our diet.
Foods containing omega-3 include:
-oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, tuna and trout.
-seeds such as chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and sesame.
It’s good to be aware that the vegetarian sources of omega-3 take longer to convert to the absorbable form in the body, and sometimes an omega-3 supplement can be beneficial in supporting that conversion. You may also want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement especially if you don’t eat fish.
From a skincare perspective, you can also use an oil or hydrating moisturiser such as Kinvara’s multi-award winning face cream to lock in the moisture and provide substance to the cell walls to maintain skin structure and firmness.
Drinking more water is always a good idea, menopause or not, but you have to find habits that will work for you. For instance, having a water bottle beside you at work or at home to encourage you to drink more, or setting reminders for yourself on your phone.
Interestingly, the effects of hydration on the skin have been shown in bodybuilders who can drink a staggering +5L before competition. They do this because water is attracted to the glycogen stored in muscles which can make them look bigger but also help keep their skin tight and firm. This is hardly going to be realistic for us but what it does show us is how plump and hydrated their skin is when drinking a large volume of water.
Drinking coffee and tea, including herbal tea, do also all contribute to your overall water intake. Coffee, black and green tea all have a mild diuretic effect, however, only when drinking a large amount, it may have a significant dehydration effect.
You can also increase your water intake from foods such as:
- soups with stock
-veg like cucumber
-fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple and oranges.
However, it’s not just the water intake that is important. By also avoiding having very hot baths or showers that actually strip our skin of water, we can preserve some of the water content in our skin to keep it hydrated and plump. Try adding this Hyaluronic Youth Boost serum to your skincare for a boost of hydration whilst softening fine lines.
There is no doubt that menopause can be difficult to navigate and the effects on our skin can be upsetting. After all, menopause is inevitable but with cautious dietary and lifestyle interventions, you can maintain some of the skin’s natural integrity and reduce the rapid decline of collagen loss and dehydration.
Disclaimer: please consult your doctor or dermatologist if you would like any further information on the menopause and how you can help support your skin health.