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Ah, menopause. Gotta love it. That inevitable time in a woman’s life where oestrogen production slows and hormones start to shift. During the period known as perimenopause, a woman’s body and mind undergoes changes that can leave her feeling discombobulated and somewhat divorced from who she used to be. Did you know, however, that in addition to well-documented menopause symptoms such as menopause insomnia and hot flashes, menopause can also directly impact skin health?
The gradual depletion of oestrogen throughout perimenopause means skin is less nourished and your once bright, bouncy skin can soon become dry, irritated and itchy. The body also stops producing as much collagen, meaning that the elasticity and ‘plumpness’ of your skin will likely suffer. This, combined with the dryness caused by that dip in oestrogen, can cause saggy skin to develop around the neck, jaw, cheeks and mouth, and fine lines and wrinkles to develop.
Here's our guide to improving skin health and feeding the goodness back into dry, itchy menopausal skin. In this article we disclose the best vitamins and supplements for menopause skin and the only skincare proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and bring back that youthful glow.
As a leading dermatologist specialising in midlife, Dr Keira Barr has all the intel you need on hormones and skin.
"Sex hormones are interconnected to all our other hormones – insulin, thyroid, cortisol and so on. Your body is a whole symphony of hormones and they are all interconnected."
"Progesterone is the first hormone that starts to decline in perimenopause. It plays a role in skin elasticity and hydration, and also, in its relationship with testosterone, also influences our hair follicles, potentially decreasing our hair density and causing hairs to be finer and thinner."
"Oestrogen plays a crucial role in the elasticity and buoyancy of skin, because of its involvement in collagen formation. You might notice more fine lines and increased skin itchiness and dryness (and therefore sometimes more vulnerability to irritation). As our hormone levels shift, the pH can change too – skin becomes more alkaline. So you might find products you have always used need changing or switching up.
In the way that everything in our body is connected, during perimenopause, as oestrogen decreases, the microbiome gets upset which impacts our ability to absorb nutrients. This in turn affects our ability to nourish our skin, hair and nails from within. We have to go beyond skin deep and topical products to think how we can help.
And let’s not underestimate the importance of sleep. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, one of most important anti-oxidants in our body and helps repair all the damage that goes on to our skin during the day. Sleep rebalances skin hydration and helps to regenerate hormones that repair.
Our primary stress hormone cortisol can have a massive impact in creating hormonal imbalances. Cortisol, and the stress which causes it, can make your menopause symptoms much worse and accelerate problems with skin, hair and nails. Cortisol not only breaks down collagen, it prevents its production in the body.
Both inside and out. Perimenopause often causes dry, itchy skin because a reduction in the amount of oestrogen circulating throughout your body results in reduced oil production and thus drier, less hydrated skin.
The first step is to drink, drink, drink. You cannot hope to achieve hydrated skin on the outside if you do not start by increasing your intake of H2O. You need to be aiming for an absolute minimum of eight glasses of water per day - filtered if possible. You may also consider increasing the amount of hydrating fruit such as watermelon that you consume and cutting back on caffeinated beverages and alcohol, both of which can be dehydrating and detrimental to skin health.
Next, arm yourself with the best hydrating skincare out there. For this, look to LYMA Skincare which contains PrimaHyal™ 50 Hyaluronic Acid a fiercely patented form of HA that floods all layers of skin and creates an anti-dehydration shield. Hydrolysed to a smaller molecular weight of 50KDa, it can enter deeper layers of the skin, rather than just hydrating the outermost layer. Clinical results show skin hydration barrier function increases by 150% and skin hydration by 72%.
Collagen is in short-supply post-menopause. As you traverse perimenopause, something called ‘collagenases’ occurs. Collagenases is the enzymatic breakdown of the skin’s natural collagen and is, unfortunately, an inevitable part of the ageing process.
However, there are steps you can take to mitigate the impact of ‘collagenases’ on the health and appearance of your skin.
Stop wasting hope and cash on generic collagen creams that are seldom compatible with human skin because doctors and derms now recommend getting your body to make more of its own. “A much more effective way of getting collagen to the extracellular matrix is to stimulate fibroblasts to make collagen and this is what truly effective skincare regimens do,” advises Dr Graeme E. Glass MD PhD Plastic Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery.
Though admittedly during menopause, our bodies need a collagen-manufacturing leg-up. Beta glucans are by far the best ingredient for speed making collagen.
“Beta glucans benefit skin by signaling that it has been injured. This sets off a coordinated reparative response, kickstarting the regeneration process and the increased production of fibres such as collagen, elastin and ceramides. So inducing a regenerative response, ultimately makes the skin look younger,” explains Dr Glass.
LYMA Skincare Serum and Cream is formulated with the gold standard of beta glucans Wellmune® Hydrolysed Beta Glucans - a tightly patented, scientifically modified yeast beta-glucan, hydrolysed to a smaller molecular weight, thus allowing it to be fully accepted into the epidermis.
On the inside track, The LYMA Supplement contains Lycored Lycopene™, a powerful, technology-enhanced natural carotenoid, and is the most potent strain of lycopene there is. Lycopene is a renowned antioxidant and has long been touted by beauty experts for its miraculous anti-ageing properties. It works by inhibiting the aforementioned collagenases, keeping your skin plumper for longer.
The body cannot produce Lycopene itself and therefore supplementing is necessary. In LYMA, Lycored Lycopene™ is coupled with LipiSperse® which enhances the bioavailability of the Lycopene by up to 1000%.
Sun damage is particularly detrimental to older skin and can encourage dryness, wrinkles, sagging and lines to develop prematurely.
In addition to supporting collagen production, supplementing with Lycored Lycopene™ has also been demonstrated to be an effective way to protect the skin against UV damage caused by overexposure to the sun. In one study where participants were either asked to supplement with lycopene or given a placebo, those in the lycopene group experienced reduced sun damage compared with those who took a placebo.
Another study concluded that a daily dose of lycopene equivalent to the 30mg that is formulated in LYMA could reduce the likelihood of suffering sunburn by as much as 50%.
Age spots - also known as sunspots, or liver spots - are small, dark, flat patches of hyperpigmentation that begin to appear most often on the hands, face, forearms and shoulders with age. They tend to impact women more than men, and are linked to overexposure to the sun in earlier years.
Age spots are totally harmless (although if you’re concerned about them, or are worried that your dark patches may be something other than age spots, do check with your doctor), but their development can be an annoyance and an unwanted addition to one’s overall appearance. The at-home LYMA Laser can be a great remedy to sun induced age spots if you are looking for a short-term solution.
Lycored Lycopene™ can also help to diminish age spots and has been demonstrated in clinical trials to have a gentle lightening effect on skin, and to reduce the appearance of dark patches, particularly when sun-induced.
Oxidation and the accumulation of free radicals in the body over one’s lifetime are responsible for the breakdown of cells over time and can lead to ‘inflammaging’ and encourage premature ageing of the body, brain and, yes, skin.
Antioxidants can be obtained through diet and by focussing on filling your plate with anti-inflammatory foods - mostly whole grains, legumes and fruits and vegetables.
LYMA also contains two powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients to help fight age-related oxidation:
KSM-66® Ashwagandha is an industry-leading, full spectrum adaptogen, that works wonders for improving a number of unwanted side-effects of the ageing process and of menopause, and in the unique LYMA formula, it is blended with HydroCurc® - the most effective form of anti-inflammatory compound curcumin known to scientists and dieticians.
HydroCurc® is formulated at a daily dose of 250mg in LYMA and is at its most bioavailable in our formula (clinical trials have suggested that the curcumin in HydroCurc® is up to 250% more available to the human body than curcumin in dietary form).
Of course, less than perfect skin is just one of the myriad symptoms associated with this period in a woman’s life. Some of the more commonly discussed menopause symptoms include the aforementioned hot flashes and insomnia, but also mood changes, weight gain, reduced memory and concentration, brittle bones, reduced sex drive and night sweats. LYMA contains patented ingredients, each of which has a role to play in putting one or more of these symptoms to bed.
Morning and evening, apply three pumps of LYMA Skincare Serum to double cleansed skin, using gentle circular motions. Ensure equal coverage across the face and neck. Leave for 30 seconds to ensure full absorption before applying LYMA Cream.
Apply three pumps of LYMA Cream using gentle circular motions until you see a visible white film. Leave for 60 seconds to allow the actives to penetrate. Massage into the skin using circular motions until fully absorbed.