The hormonal shifts of menopause can bring on hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and other symptoms. Menopause can also wreak havoc on your skin. Even as you deal with aging skin issues, you may be having flashbacks to puberty as fluctuating hormone levels lead to oiliness and acne. That's why it's important to change your skin-care routine when you hit menopause. With the right products, you can maintain healthy, glowing skin even as your hormone levels start to drop.
Consult a Dermatologist
Some menopausal women may find that their skin becomes extremely dry, while others suffer from increased oiliness and acne. Thinning, sagging and loss of elasticity are other skin issues women may face. To develop the most effective skin-care routine for your needs, consult a dermatologist. Your doctor can evaluate your skin to help you create a regime that keeps your skin as healthy as possible. This may include prescription creams, such as retinoids, or in-patient treatments, such as acid peels, that are more effective in treating your issues than over-the-counter products.
Whether your skin has become dry and rough or oily and acne-prone, stay away from harsh products when you’re going through menopause. Avoid soap-based cleansers that can strip the skin of moisture and cause irritation and redness. If your skin is oily and acne-prone, opt for an oil-free foaming cleanser that won’t clog your pores and trigger breakouts. For dry skin, an oil-based cleanser is an effective option for removing dirt and makeup without drying the skin.
Exfoliation is especially important during menopause and for aging skin, but stay away from harsh scrubs that can tear and irritate the skin. Instead, opt for chemical exfoliators that help remove the dead cells on the surface of your skin that can lead to dryness, dullness, acne, fine lines and hyperpigmentation. For dry skin, choose a product with an alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic or lactic acid. For oily complexions and acne-prone skin, select exfoliators with beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid. These can dissolve oil and exfoliate inside the pore, as well as on the surface of the skin. If your skin can tolerate it, exfoliate daily. For sensitive skin, try every other day.
Moisture with Antioxidants
A good moisturizer can definitely help when you hit menopause. Even if your skin is oily, it requires moisturizer, which is meant to add water -- not oil -- to the skin. Choose an oil-free formula for oily skin, but go with a richer, heavier cream if you have dry skin. Whatever type of skin you have, look for a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, which can help repair free radical damage. Some potent antioxidants to look for in your moisturizer are vitamin A, vitamin C, resveratrol and green tea.
No matter how old you are or what type of skin you have, sunscreen is essential. During menopause, when your skin is thinning, it’s especially vulnerable to sun damage. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect against UVA and UVB rays -- and apply it every day, year-round. Look for a formula that contains ingredients that help restore your skin’s barrier, such as ceramides and glycerin, to protect it from environmental damage, too.