DOCTOR SHARES ADVICE ON THE EFFECTS PERI-MENOPAUSE & MENOPAUSE HAVE ON OUR SKIN
Menopause Specialist, Dr Fionnuala Baton, partners with Absolute Collagen to explain the effect menopause has on the skin
Common menopause and perimenopause skin symptoms include itchiness, irritation and even breakouts
To mark Menopause Awareness Month, Absolute Collagen and Dr Barton dive into preventative measures and treatment to help women regain confidence in the skin they’re in
Menopause is something women typically go through in their forties and fifties, and while people are becoming progressively more comfortable with talking about the transition, a recent survey highlighted only 18 per cent of British women consider themselves very knowledgeable about it. 1
October marks Menopause Awareness Month in Britain, a campaign aiming to drive meaningful conversations around menopause and raise awareness of the health impact it has on women, including changes to the skin.
Collagen supplements brand, Absolute Collagen, has teamed up with its Menopause Specialist, Dr. Fionnuala Barton, to help highlight the changes women’s skin goes through during the hormonal transition and how to tackle menopausal skin concerns. Dr Barton responds to some of Britain’s most pressing menopause questions:
What happens to your skin during menopause?
“Going through menopause can have a significant impact on our skin. Oestrogen is a hormone that is important for generating and maintaining skin via a number of mechanisms including collagen production. During perimenopause, oestrogen levels start to fluctuate and progressively decline as ovarian function declines. After menopause, oestradiol levels are persistently low. This reduces the regulatory effect on skin and may accelerate the rate of collagen loss.”
What changes can you expect to see happen to your skin during menopause?
“Skin can become itchy and dry, red, flushed, irritated and more prone to breakouts. As collagen and elastin levels decline, the architecture holding the skin in place and keeping its elastic changes, and we see increased laxity, wrinkling and loss of volume. Blood vessels may appear more prominent and more prone to injury with more bruising, flushing, spider veins and prolonged wound healing.”
What are women’s main skin concerns during menopause?
“Absolute Collagen sees a lot of women come to the brand when they are perimenopausal. This is understandable, as it is within this timeframe that oestrogen – and thus collagen – is produced less and less, and skin changes begin to arise.
“Our skin is one of our most important immune organs, our first line of defence: and often one of the first things people see. As such, skin changes during perimenopause and menopause can have a huge impact on self-esteem and immune function. Oestrogens help maintain hydration, reduce inflammation and promote collagen synthesis. Therefore, when its production decreases, we see dryness and loss of the skin’s barrier function, which can lead to increased infection, eczema, dermatitis and irritation, including acne and rosacea. We also see more pigmentation, loss of youthful plumpness, loss of elasticity, sagging and wrinkles as collagen levels decline. Women often say they feel they have ‘aged 10 years overnight’. This is why supplementation is so important.”
Are there any preventative measures to take to avoid menopausal skin symptoms?
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution: everyone’s menopause will feel different and impact their skin differently. There are no ‘magic bullets’ or potions, but a combination of a healthy diet, good sleep, adequate hydration, and supportive skincare are important non-negotiable foundations. Stop smoking, and avoid excess sun exposure and excess alcohol. Consider proactive HRT and skin-focused supplements for a head start! I personally like to use Absolute Collagen’s Marine Liquid Collagen Drink.”
What treatments and products would you recommend to treat menopause-related skin concerns?
“Depending on the specific skin concern, women can try a whole range of different treatments. Including LED light (blue) for acne, healthy eating, exercise, and using a protective SPF. In fact, wearing SPF 30 or higher before going outside, is one of my main tips! Introducing retinol and peptides into skincare routines to get ahead of wrinkles also can really help, and applying moisturiser throughout the day – not just in the morning and before bed.
“If you’re concerned about wrinkles and sagging, I’d always recommend products that include ingredients that help keep the skin firm and reduce fine lines. Absolute Collagen recently launched its Deep Lift Skincare line, which includes four products – a day cream, night cream, neck and dec cream, and eye cream. Each includes ingredients that improve the skin’s firmness and elasticity, which helps to address concerns about losing that youthful, plump look.
“Each cream in the range works deep into the dermis – the inner layer of the two main layers of skin – which holds a lot of moisture, and so giving it a boost with ingredients such as Dermosculpt™ (Deep Lift Neck & Dec Cream), Matrixyl® 3000™ (Deep Lift Day Cream & Night Cream), and Meiview™ (Deep Lift Eye Cream) ensures the skin is hydrated and as well-maintained as possible.”
For those looking for skincare solutions to ease symptoms of menopause, recent clinical trials of the Absolute Collagen Marine Liquid Collagen Drink for Women found that 100 per cent of women taking the supplement noticed an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines after 12 weeks of use, while 83 per cent of women taking the supplement felt their skin is softer and smoother.
The collagen in the drink is broken down into amino acids and absorbed in the bloodstream, which is then used in the dermis for native collagen production for a plumper, smoother look and feel to the skin – alleviating some of those menopausal skin concerns.