What Is Menopause? Does Menopause Make A Woman Look Old?

Most are aware of the common symptoms of menopause like night sweats, mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness. But did you know that menopause can also lead to changes in skin and hair health in a woman?

Let us first try to understand why that happens. Menopause is a phase in a woman's life that begins 12 months after her menstrual cycle stops. It is a significant shift in her life as her body goes through a host of changes that may not be pleasant or, in some cases, tolerable.

When a woman goes through perimenopause and ultimately menopause, the hormone levels in her body begin to fluctuate. The estrogen levels might suddenly decline or shoot up until it finally drops to zero. Estrogen is responsible for maintaining a woman's skin's elasticity and keeping it hydrated. So, when the levels of this hormone drop, it has a direct effect on her skin. It can become dry, thin, wrinkly, and saggy, thus making it appear older.

How Does Menopause Change A Woman's Skin And Hair?

Let’s outline what happens to our skin and hair as a result of menopause. We will then look self-care options to address them.

  • Skin sagging and wrinkles
    Women's skin swiftly loses collagen during menopause. The loss of collagen is responsible for the skin losing its firmness and plumpness and the appearance of wrinkles.

  • Dryness and itching
    Dryness is one of women's biggest complaints during menopause. Because women's skin loses the ability to hold water, it can get quite dry, especially in areas with dry air. Moreover, their skin's pH levels also change, making the skin extra sensitive and irritable. It can cause rashes and itching.

  • Age spots and other skin damage
    The effects of spending excess time in the sun without proper sun protection will start showing in earnest in menopause. Age spots, also known as dark spots, may begin to appear on the face, hands, chest, or neck. In the worst-case scenario, there may also be chances of developing skin cancer.

  • Pimples and acne breakouts
    Menopause does not make your acne go away. While some women get acne all their lives, others may develop more teenage-like acne during their menopause due to a drop in estrogen levels in their bodies.

  • Facial hair
    The fall in levels of estrogen is also directly connected to an increase in facial hair growth. As the hormones fall, women may notice hair on their chin, upper lip, or jawline.

  • Hair loss and thinning
    Estrogen is responsible for hair growth, density, and volume. As the estrogen levels drop during menopause, women start to notice increased hair fall, hair thinning, maybe even several patches of baldness, and deflated hair volume.

How Can A Woman Improve Her Skin Health After Menopause?

There are several changes in the skincare routine that women can make to care for their aging skin in menopause.

  • Choose the right cleanser
    As a woman's skin gets drier, using a foam or gel cleanser can accelerate the dryness. Instead, it is best to opt for a creamy cleanser that will hydrate the skin.

  • Constant hydration is key!
    Using hydrating moisturizers post bath on damp skin can help boost skin hydration. Moreover, switching the moisturizer for a heavy night cream is a great way to lock in moisture and keep the skin supple, soft, and hydrated.

  • Sunscreen is the holy grail
    Although your skin has gone through sun damage over the years, it doesn't end here. Your skin loses its natural protection by a considerable margin in menopause. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above can help keep the skin protected.

  • Eat healthy, workout, repeat
    Eating foods rich in antioxidants can boost collagen, which can help increase skin elasticity and hydration. Exercising and meditating can also help improve skin health by relieving stress and boosting blood circulation.

  • Sleep well
    Sleeping for 7-9 hours a day makes skin look fresh and healthy. It can also prevent dark circles and improve metabolism.

  • Try Supplements
    DIM supplement for women not only eases menopause symptoms but also helps manage menopause-induced skin issues (for example, acne).