Except for maybe puberty, there is no greater time when your skin is met with such challenges as when a woman goes through menopause. Like opposing forces of nature, your skin must battle against both breakouts and wrinkles, giving you definite obstacles when it comes to choosing treatments and products to keep you looking your best.
As you may have guessed, it is the hormonal shifts which play the major role in your skin changes. Surges of testosterone cause acne, not only on the face but anywhere else including the back and chest. Stress also creates precursors to hormones which serve to increase breakouts.
The same hormonal shifts which are giving you pre-pubescent skin issues are working on the other side of the spectrum to break down your collagen and elastin, thin the dermis, which thins your skin, giving you fine lines and wrinkles. Women going through this time in their life may also notice their skin lacks luster and radiance, and becomes looser than before. On another note, many women also experience hair and nail changes. Nails become more brittle while hair may thin and lack vitality.
So, what’s a woman to do? While this may seem almost hopeless, there are several things you can do to restore balance to your body and your skin.
- Exercise – Yes, this seems like the cure-all to everything, but exercise is critical. All women 35 and over need to exercise 20-30 minutes a day. Exercise increases your circulation and gets oxygen to your tissues, not only will you feel better, your skin will thank you.
- Diet – Again, a tool in everyone’s arsenal is the food they eat. Approximately 30% the calories you consume should be from carbohydrates, and of those carbohydrates the majority should come from fresh fruits and vegetables, high in vitamins and minerals. Make it a goal to have a steamed green vegetable with at least one meal. 40% of your diet should be in the form of lean protein, and 30% from healthy fats. Keeping salt to a minimum is also important for fluid retention.
- Water – The magic elixir comes to play once again. Drinking your 8 glasses of water per day will flush your system and help your skin reclaim its glow. Distilled water is best, and you may also opt for mineral water.
- Skin Care – As important as what goes into our body is what goes on our body. Choosing a skin care regimen that is right for you is vital. Look for products which use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
- Exfoliate – During this time, women must exfoliate the skin using a gentle polish. Exfoliating invigorates the skin, removes dry, dead skin cells, promotes collagen production, and brings oxygen to the skin.
- Cleanse – Proper cleansing rids the skin of debris, preparing it for the rest of your skin care regimen.
- Treatments – Specific treatments designed for your skin type should definitely be part of your routine. Always make sure you treat your skin with some sort of antioxidants. All antioxidants are anti-aging and they act to protect your skin. Vitamin A (retinoids), Vitamin C, Green Tea and Resveratrol are among the top antioxidants.
- Moisturize – During menopause the skin often becomes dry. The use of a proper moisturizer will help with water loss and seal the skin.
- Sunscreen – The use of a broad-spectrum SPF is a must in all skin care regimens.
Menopause is a multi-faceted issue facing all women. Remember to add a dermatologist to your team of experts when choosing what treatments work best for you.