“A study says owning a dog makes you 10 years younger. My first thought was to get two more, but I don’t want to go through menopause again.” – Joan Rivers
Throughout our lives, we realize that there’s plenty to celebrate about being a woman. Unfortunately, certain aspects of womanhood make us feel less like partying — specifically: menopause. During menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, which are the hormones associated with fertility. This dramatic change in hormone development affects much more than a woman’s ability to reproduce, however. Read on to find out how menopause might affect your skin and how you can up your skin care game in response.
The hormone depletion that occurs during menopause can cause skin to become thinner, which can reveal blemishes caused by prior sun damage. While consistently wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before going outside can’t undo sun damage or thinning, it can help fade age spots and prevent further thinning. It can also protect against skin cancer caused by sun exposure.
Other symptoms you may notice — drier skin and bruising more easily — may also be improved with the regular use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Choosing a daily moisturizer that includes SPF to treat dry skin also creates a barrier against the elements and can prevent thinning that causes skin to be more susceptible to bruising.
Adapt Your Routine
Menopause wreaks havoc on your entire body, so the less trauma you can subject your skin to, the better. As the elasticity and thickness of your skin changes, it’s important to be aware of how it reacts to certain products and routines. If rashes develop when they didn’t before, opt for fragrance-free products that are less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Pay attention to any changes in how plucking, shaving and waxing affect your skin — it may be time to try something different, especially as you see more hair sprouting where you’d rather it didn’t.
Swap out the products in your daily skin care regimen that list alcohol as a main ingredient for those with lower or no alcohol content. For hair removal, try using a water-activated moisturizer or even a conditioner with natural ingredients instead of traditional shaving creams that might contain alcohol or other chemicals to produce foam. Consider switching from waxing, as menopause causes skin to become more delicate, which could result in tears or bruising.
Talk to Your Dermatologist
Consult a professional to explore other options for treating your changing skin. Treatments such as laser hair removal and major restorative procedures can only be administered by a doctor, but may be the best option for your skin. Your dermatologist can also advise on options to treat hair loss caused by menopause.
If you have questions about how to best care for your skin during menopause, call our caring Derick Dermatology professionals in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, McHenry, Park Ridge, Naperville, and soon in Oak Brook.