The peri-menopausal stage of life is characterised by a decline in reproductive hormone levels, including estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal imbalances can have far-reaching effects on various physiological processes, including skin health. In this review, we will explore the underlying mechanisms by which hormonal changes impact the skin during peri-menopause and discuss strategies for maintaining optimal skin health during this time.
The decline in estrogen levels during peri-menopause can lead to decreased skin hydration and elasticity. Estrogen plays a key role in regulating the production of natural moisturising factors (NMFs), substances that help skin retain moisture. When estrogen levels drop, NMF production also decreases, resulting in dry, dull, and wrinkled skin.
In addition to decreased hydration, peri-menopause can also trigger changes in sebum production. Sebum is the oil produced by sebaceous glands that helps maintain skin hydration and elasticity. The decline in estrogen and increase in androgens during peri-menopause can alter sebum production, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.
To combat these changes, it is important to adopt a comprehensive approach to skin care that addresses hydration, nutrition, UV protection, and sleep. Hydrating the skin from both the inside and outside can help maintain skin hydration and elasticity. Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can also provide the skin with the nutrients it needs to maintain optimal health. Shielding the skin from UV damage with a broad-spectrum sunscreen and obtaining adequate sleep are also crucial for skin health during peri-menopause. In addition, incorporating skincare products that contain ingredients that mimic the effects of estrogen, such as phytoestrogens, may help to boost skin hydration and elasticity.
In conclusion, peri-menopause can have a significant impact on skin health, leading to decreased hydration and elasticity and increased breakouts. Adopting a comprehensive approach to skin care that addresses hydration, nutrition, UV protection, and sleep, and incorporating skincare products that mimic the effects of estrogen, can help to maintain optimal skin health during this time. It is important to seek the advice of a dermatologist or healthcare provider to determine the best strategies for maintaining skin health during peri-menopause.