From full-blown breakouts to dry and itchy rashes, you can count skin changes among the side effects of menopause. Here are the skincare products to help combat them
If you have periods, the menopause will eventually be a fact of life. This, of course, does not make menopause symptoms – from hot flushes to lost libido and even hair thinning – any less frustrating to deal with. While some women turn to hormone replacement therapy to help with these issues, menopause skin problems are best tackled with menopause skincare. So, here’s what can change with your skin as you reach menopause and, by consequence, our skincare selections for menopausal skin.
Menopause skin changes
What unites all women going through menopause is a loss of oestrogen. “Oestrogen is a key hormone to keep skin hydrated and elastic so once this starts to deplete, many women find their skin is much drier and much more fragile,” says aesthetician Dija Ayodele. In addition, collagen (the protein that keeps your skin supple) production decreases by 2.1% “every year throughout the menopause,” states skin and wellness expert Marie Reynolds.
“The menopause can affect everyone’s skin differently,” says Dija. “So if you’re struggling with redness or acne, it is important to seek advice from your GP or pharmacist.” Read on for some products that could help you tackle the effects of the menopause on your skin.
Skincare for menopausal skin
Hydrating cleanser for menopausal skin
Try: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (£16.50)
Whatever life stage you’re at, any decent skincare routine always starts with a cleanser. With cocoa butter to moisturise and rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus to soothe, the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is our choice for menopausal skin. Not convinced? Maybe the 135 awards it has received will sway you.
Serum for dehydrated skin
“With menopausal changes, it is important to keep skin hydrated,” says Dija. And where better to acquire this hydration than in a serum? Containing glycerin to increase hydration and squalene to seal in that moisture, our pick is the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex.
Serum for hyperpigmentation and dark spots
Dark spots and hyperpigmentation are some of the last things you want to contend with when you’re already battling against menopause symptoms. The Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum should help with that, though.
Peptide serum for firmer-looking skin
Try: The Inkey List Hepta-Peptide Serum (£14.99)
As Marie says, “The menopause also causes various changes to the texture and elasticity of skin,” leaving it looking – for want of a better word – crepey. A Hepta-Peptide Serum, however, should put a stop to that. And this one by The Inkey List also makes an excellent makeup base.
Retinoid serum for a gentle alternative to retinol
Try: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane (£7.80)
“Retinoids can help to stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles during menopause,” says Dija. Granactive Retinoid, in particular, has been shown to offer better results than retinol without the accompanying irritation.
Anti-ageing day cream
“During the menopause, the skin’s level of oil production drops, which can contribute to creases in the skin and deeper wrinkles,” says Marie. The Vichy Neovadiol Anti-Ageing Compensating Complex Day Cream – an anti-ageing day cream from a range that’s actually formulated especially for menopausal skin – can help.
Moisturiser for dryness
Try: Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin™ Cream (£30)
It’s important during the menopause to “reinforce the skin barrier with ingredients such as ceramides,” says Dija. It’s convenient, then, that the Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin Cream should be packed with them. It’s a lifeline for dry skin.
Non-comedogenic and lightweight moisturiser for breakout-prone skin
“Some women also find that, with hormonal fluctuations, their skin becomes prone to acne,” says Dija. While she recommends “introducing a face wash, for example, with salicylic acid to help to calm breakout-prone skin without irritating it,” it might also be worth following this up with a suitably lightweight moisturiser. And, as the Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra Grape Water Gel Moisturiser also serves to soothe skin that may be red and itchy, you’d be silly not to.
Facial sunscreen for menopausal skin
Try: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Age Correct SPF50+ (sale £18.75, full £25)
As Marie tells us, redness is “an added stressor” in the world of menopausal skin changes. So, what you definitely don’t need is sun exposure making you look even redder. The best way to avoid that? SPF50, of course – worn every day. We like this one by La Roche-Posay as it also contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
Cooling and hydrating facial mists for hot flushes
It’s all well and good having a stringent routine for your menopausal skin, but what if you want some relief from dehydrated skin, sensitivity and hot flushes on the go? We suggest making some room in your handbag for a cooling and hydrating facial mist.