What happens during menopause?Menopause symptoms can vary from person to person, but experts define menopause as the moment when we notice the permanent termination of menstruation. There’s the loss of ovarian activity and our bodies produce less of the hormone estrogen. “The peri-menopause step is defined as the changes your body goes through leading up to menopause. This sees the monthly cycle becoming irregular and can be followed by months of regular menstruation,” says Sarah Gora, Ph.D., Medical and Scientific Relations Leader of Vichy Canada. What are we really saying? This loss of estrogen can have significant effects on your physical and emotional well-being. “This can result in menopause symptoms like: hot flashes, sweating, mood swings, cardiovascular complications, osteoporosis and a decline in collagen in our skin,” says Dr. Gora.
Your skin during menopause
As you age, your skin can become victim to stubborn wrinkles, fine lines, dryness and a lack of radiance. But with the onset of menopause, these skin changes become even more apparent – it’s like the aging process begins to fast-forward. Menopause manifests on your skin as a loss of lipids, thus drier and thinner skin. “There’s a decrease in epidermal cellular layers, a flattening of the cells and a slowing down of the cell renewal process,” says Dr. Gora. Not to mention, the lower levels of estrogen often means a loss of volume in our face so skin can appear saggy and sallow overnight.
Moisturizers are vital to treat the signs of aging.
True. “Without proper hydration, the skin’s cells can’t regenerate – and it shows!” says Florence Benech. Tell-tale signs include under-eye wrinkles and expression lines. “Constant hydration is vital to stop the skin from drying out, and it’s also important to protect it from environmental aggressors such as UV rays and free radicals,” advises our expert.
Skin needs extra TLC at night
Considering your skin is more fragile and thinner during menopause, avoid any harsh scrubs or alcohol-laden products that can make dryness worse. Look for cleansing creams that boost moisture with an oil-based serum or a moisturizing balm. “It is important to remove makeup carefully with a cream or a gentle water-based formula,” says Dr. Gora. Skin tissue stores more water at night during menopause, causing puffiness. Choose an adapted skincare product that can reinforce night drainage and compensate for the loss of water and lipids. “It is also the perfect time to pamper your skin with a mask and/or to reshape the face with a facial massage that will allow the product to penetrate.”