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Home/Blog/Menopause and Skin Health: How It Changes and Tips that Help

Menopause and Skin Health: How It Changes and Tips that Help

By Ethan Boldt

September 11, 2023

Menopause and skin health

It’s common for many women starting in their early 40s or even late 30s to begin noticing signs of perimenopause, as ovarian function and estrogen production start to become erratic … and a woman’s cycle also becomes somewhat unpredictable. This is all normal. 

Signs of perimenopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, menstrual changes, weight gain (especially in the abdomen), vaginal dryness, mood changes, decrease in breast volume, hair thinning and skin dryness. 

Wait, dry skin? Yes, due to the natural decrease in estrogen levels, smooth and hydrated skin isn’t as easy to retain. In fact, during perimenopause and menopause, many women notice their skin starts to show accelerated signs of aging, such as wrinkles, less elasticity and more.

Below are some tips for helping to promote healthy skin during menopause and before. 

Healthy Skin and Menopause

Estrogen includes three types of female hormones (estoril, estradiol and estrone) that are mostly secreted by the ovaries. These three types of estrogen are primarily responsible for giving a woman her female qualities, including her reproductive capabilities, appropriate fat around her hips/thighs and her smooth skin.

But with perimenopause and menopause, the ovaries begin to stop releasing eggs, periods become irregular and then stop, and estrogen production starts to dwindle. Again, this is all normal. Among its many roles, estrogen helps promote natural collagen production and oils in the skin, making it smooth. But when estrogen starts to wane, the skin can be impacted and may lose some of its moisture and be less elastic. 

When the body stops retaining as much moisture, its effects can often start to appear at the elbows, knees, face and even genitals. 

But while this is a natural reduction in estrogen, you can help combat these skin changes with some simple skin care tips, including improving your daily skincare routine. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen. 

Recommendations for Healthy, Moisturized Skin During (and Before) Menopause

1. Wear a Quality Moisturizer Every Day

Skin moisturizers work by rehydrating the epidermis and sealing in moisture to help keep the skin healthy. Applying moisturizer to your skin regularly also signals to your skin how much oil it should be producing, which can keep skin happy and healthy.

After washing your face with a gentle cleanser twice daily, apply moisturizer, as well as a serum first if you’d like. Opt for heavier creams over thinner lotions once the weather starts to become colder or if you live in a very dry climate. 

Recommended dry skin moisturizers often include ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, lecithin, silicon, lanolin, mineral oil, coconut oil and shea butter. 

2. Add More Healthy Fats to Your Diet

Your body is better able to produce lipids (natural oils) that hydrate your skin from the inside-out when you include plenty of healthy fats in your diet. 

Add nourishing sources of fat to your meals each day such as: flax seeds or flaxseed oil, fish such as salmon and sardines (which are rich in omega-3 fats), nuts like almonds and walnuts, olive oil, coconut oil and avocados.

3. Use a Collagen Supplement

Collagen is a structural protein that your body produces to help form and promote your skin health, giving it elasticity and strength. You can also acquire collagen from supplements, such as Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein or Collagen Peptides, which features hydrolyzed collagen peptides, making it easy for the body to use and absorb.

These products also feature a clinically studied fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient that improves trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), meaning that it supports overall skin moisture. 

When you add more collagen to your diet, the amino acids it contains go to work on your skin, contributing to overall improved skin elasticity and tone. Multi Collagen Protein also comes in superfood beauty formulas designed for specific interests such as skin support, thanks to added ingredients like vitamin C (an antioxidant that generally helps support the body fight against free radicals). 

4. Don’t Over-Wash Your Skin

Every time you wash your skin, including in the shower, you remove some of your skin’s natural oils that help to keep the epidermis in balance. Avoid washing your face more than 1–2 times per day, and skip any cleansers that contain irritating ingredients, dyes or fragrances.

When showering, keep the temperature from becoming very hot, even though this is tempting when it’s cold outside. Stick to shorter warm showers and try washing your hair only several times per week at most to avoid a dry scalp. Right after showering, use body lotions containing ingredients like mineral oil, lanolin or ceramides.

5. Gently Exfoliate

Using a mild scrub or exfoliant two to three times per week, such as one with glycolic or lactic acid, can help to remove dead, dry skin that blocks moisturizers from doing their job properly.

However, it’s best to avoid scrubbing too aggressively or exfoliating too often, which will irritate skin. If you have severely dry skin, skip the exfoliators and try gently brushing your skin with a warm washcloth instead to gently buff the surface of your skin.

6. Go Easy On Drying Products

You may experience great results during the warmer months of the year when you use things like charcoal or clay masks, spot treatments (such as those with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide) or Retin-A serums. However, using these too often can lead to increased redness and irritation.

Try opting for gentler ingredients instead when your skin is already sensitive. If using retinol products, lower your usage to every other day. 

All year round, consider applying an antioxidant serum, such as one with vitamin C, first thing in the morning after washing your face. Make sure it’s alcohol-free and not one that is perfumed or irritating. This approach can help keep your skin in tip-top shape.  

7. Get a Humidifier 

Indoors, dry heat can really lead to tight, dry skin. A simple way to add more moisture to the air inside is to use a humidifier (such as a cool air humidifier). Place one in the rooms where you spend the most time, such as your bedroom overnight.  

Also during colder months, keep the temperature setting in your home on low if possible, rather than making it overly warm.

8. Drink More Water

Your body needs to be hydrated internally in order to keep your skin smooth and healthy, which means you need to drink plenty of water. This is especially important if you’re losing fluids due to things like exercising, drinking alcohol or other reasons.

Try sipping on hydrating beverages throughout the day, such as water, herbal tea, fresh pressed juice or bone broth. And go easy on alcohol and coffee, which are diuretics that can increase urination and water loss.

9. Try Gua Sha 

Gua sha is an ancient Chinese therapy that uses a tool to rub or scrape the skin’s surface in long strokes. A study researched gua sha and found that it was effective in helping to relieve dry skin.

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