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Menopause and your skin

Skin symptoms, the causes and what can help



Menopause Advisor
eileentalksmenopause
Ask Eileen


29 January 2024

Common skin symptoms during perimenopause and menopause

Our skin is our body's largest organ, and it can be impacted in so many different ways in the perimenopause and the menopause. So today I'm going to look at common symptoms, why things can develop or get worse, the causes, and what you can do to help yourself. The most common symptoms are things like:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Thinning skin
  • Sagging skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Existing skin conditions worsening, for example eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis

The causes

Here are a few factors that can cause skin symptoms and problems during perimenopause and menopause:

Hormonal changes

This is probably the biggest trigger. During perimenopause and menopause, as your oestrogen levels start to fall, that can have an impact on the thickness of your skin. Your skin naturally gets thinner and, because of that, it can become more prone to irritation, things like allergies. It can cause itchiness too. It's also going to cause dryness because, as your oestrogen starts to fall, that can have a big impact on the way that your body stays dehydrated. And very often, your skin is one of the first areas where you will start to notice that.

It could also have to do with testosterone. Now, a few women find that the opposite happens. Their skin gets really oily. It gets really greasy. If that's accompanied by excessive hair growing in places where normally it doesn't, or you find that you get really irritable and angry, that can often be an indication that your testosterone levels are that little bit high and this is what's causing these particular symptoms.

Unfortunately, the only way you can really find out about that would be to get a hormone test done to see if that's what's going on.

Stress

Now, all of us are stressed in this day and age. I don't know anybody who isn't, in some way. The problem is that stress causes the production of chemicals such as histamine. So, if you're getting a lot of stress, you're getting an excess of histamine and that's going to cause your itchy skin, your rashes, your skin allergies.

Diet

The physical changes that are going on as your body is trying to cope with hormone imbalances require a huge amount of energy, so your nutritional needs go sky-high. The problem is, if you're not getting enough of what your body needs, then your body basically withholds good nutrition from the areas that matter the least, and unfortunately, that nearly always tends to be your skin, your hair, and your nails.

Liver

Our liver can have a huge impact on our skin too, and we know there seems to be some link between liver function and the skin. So, if your liver is under stress, you're more likely to get things like spots and pimples. You might find that you get acne again. Maybe you had it as a teenager, or you may find you suddenly start to get spots where you've never ever had them before. And very often, there's a link to the liver here.

Beauty & body products

It can also be the products that you are using, because a lot of skin products have huge rafts of chemicals in them that can irritate your skin. Maybe you've been using the same skin cream for 20 or 30 years, and suddenly, you find that it's starting to irritate the skin; and that's just due to all these changes going on in your skin.

Things you can do to help your skin

So, what can help in this situation?

Try using natural products: If you haven't done so already, try changing over to natural organic skin care products. Not only, as I mentioned before, do a lot of these skin creams have huge amounts of chemicals in them, but some of these are known as hormone disruptors. So, if you're using lots of different creams, lotions, and makeup, you could be absorbing huge amounts of hormone-disrupting chemicals.

What to do if you've got a favourite cream? There is a fantastic website called the Environmental Working Group. So just Google that, and their Skin Deep database lists the majority of really common skin care creams, and it will tell you what nasties may be lurking in there.

There are quite a few shops in the UK where you can get really good, non-expensive natural skin care products.

I get a lot of mine from TK Maxx, purely because they discount them quite hugely, compared to the other shops. So, it's certainly worth it if you've got one near you.

A.Vogel do a lovely cream called Comfrey Cream. Comfrey is great for ageing skin. It's a skin strengthener. A lot of people find that this is a nice one to use as a day and night cream. I also use it for my nails. I find it helps keep my nails nice and strong too.


A.Vogel Comfrey Day & Night cream


  • Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Brightens tired, dull skin
  • Hydrates for a skin plumping effect
  • Rich, nourishing formula
  • Contains extract of fresh comfrey

“I love this cream and will be back for more. It’s so soothing and nourishing. It goes straight in and there is no greasy residue. This is the cream for me”

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Diet can help

Look at your diet: Remember, your nutritional needs go up. If you find your diet is a bit of a struggle, you can get great skin supplements from your local health food shop and pharmacies that stock a wide range of products.

Have a rainbow on a plate every day. Plenty of protein, because your skin needs protein - it's one of the skin’s building blocks. Just a good, varied diet can go a long way to helping your skin. It feeds your skin from the inside out, which is important.

Include healthy fats in your diet too, because remember, if your skin is getting dry, it needs extra protection.

Drink plenty of water: If you're getting dehydrated or dryness anywhere, then you need to drink lots of water. And remember, plain water is really important.

Sea Buckthorn Oil: The other thing you can look at is a Sea Buckthorn Oil supplement. This can be very helpful for dryness during perimenopause and menopause, including dry skin, dry eyes, dry mouth, and vaginal dryness.

Helpful minerals: You can also look at our Balance Perimenopause Multi-nutrient Drink. This daily supplement can help support you in 10 ways during perimenopause. It includes zinc and magnesium, both of which are known to help your skin, your hair, and your nails.

Exercise: Keep moving every day, because if you are exercising, if you're keeping active, then that's going to improve your circulation, and that's in turn going to help feed your skin.

Nettle: If you're getting itchy skin and rashes, the herb nettle is known as a really good natural antihistamine.

Support your nervous system: If you find that you are getting stressed and that then results in rashes, make sure to support your nervous system. Things like the herb Passionflower can be a really nice one for that too.

So, I hope you found this one helpful. If you have found other ways of helping your skin that have worked, please share in the comments. You know I always love reading your comments and suggestions.

Until next time, take care and have a lovely week.

You may also find these topics helpful:

6 surprising skin problems during menopause
4 more skin problems you can be prone to in menopause
3 menopause skincare dos and don’ts

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Did you know?

You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.

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