Source: Best Health magazine, January/February 2016
‘At this age, sun damage has accumulated,’ says Dr. Amy Wechsler, a New York-based dermatologist and author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. ‘Combined with the skin’s declining ability to repair itself, this causes an increase in visible hyperpigmentation.’ An uneven skin tone and often dramatic increase in dryness, reactivity and redness can become factors. ‘Stress can also cause a rosacea flare-up,’ says Dr. Wechsler. ‘With the hormonal shifts caused by entering menopause, it’s not uncommon.’
Continuing to monitor your stress levels and maintain anxiety-busting activities, such as regular exercise and breaks from exposure to technology, can be beneficial. Avoiding direct sun exposure and smoking and using gentler skincare products (without artificial fragrances and colours) can also help. But if sensitivities, such as redness, flushing or acne-like bumps, persist, see your dermatologist to help you diagnose more specific issues.
‘Especially during the two-year period entering menopause, you’ll need to use a gentler cleanser and halt the use of any harsh physical scrubs or chemical exfoliants, such as glycolic or salicylic acid, which can strip too many natural oils from the skin barrier,’ says Dr. Shannon Humphrey, a Vancouver-based medical director for Carruthers & Humphrey Cosmetic Medicine.
Also noticeable now is a lack of firmness and radiance. Menopause and wonky hormones ‘ including a reduction in DHEA ‘ play a role in this overall sagging and dullness, says Dr. Vivien Brown, vice-president of Medisys Health Group in Toronto. Target sagging skin by switching to a moisturizer that deals with specific age-related issues, such as hormone production.
Some women will first notice sagging and dryness around their eyes, given that skin is so thin there. ‘Introduce as many collagen-stimulating ingredients, such as peptides or growth factors, as possible. Growth factors are proteins that stimulate fibroblasts when applied to the skin to make new collagen, which helps address fine lines and restore the skin barrier so that skin looks and feels plumper and smoother,’ says Dr. Humphrey. Click here for a quiz that will determine your skincare style!