Tag Archives: menopause

How Menopause Affects Your Skin

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Menopause drastically affects the body. It makes sense given it entirely changes the balance of hormones in one’s body. Hormones are incredibly important when it comes to determining how your skin looks, feels, and how well it can take care of itself. Affecting these levels changes a lot. That’s why we end up seeing so many changes during menopause. These are important to understand if you want to have a hope of countering them and helping your skin age gracefully. We’re going to touch on the major ways that skin changes during and after menopause so that you can plan accordingly. There will also be suggestions on how best to counteract the specific changes that happen to the skin. Don’t expect them to permanently fix things as there is very little that can stop of the skin changes after menopause apart from hormone therapy. However, our few tips will at least keep the worst effects at bay and let changes happen more gradually than they would otherwise.

Pore Health
The ability to keep your pores healthy and relatively indistinguishable becomes a bit harder thanks to menopause. Estrogen is incredibly important to the skin and actually helps to keep your pores constricted. This makes them visually smaller as it is harder for things to get caught in them and also minimizes the amount of natural oils that your skin is able to secrete. Menopause means these benefits are going away as testosterone levels rise. Skin gets a little bit rougher looking overall and you may have issues with oily patches on your skin. Both of these end up making the chance of experiencing various shorter term skin conditions a little more likely. The circumstances that allow them to happen will simply be more readily able to happen. Good skincare can help offset this though. Remember that oil control and regularly cleansing your face are important for countering these problems.

Thinning Skin
This change is at once easy yet hard to see thanks to how it changes your skin. You’ll generally notice the visual changes this brings more than the actual thinning itself first. Veins become more visible, under eye bags will get darker, and anywhere that blood might potentially be visible under the skin just gets that much easier to see. That’s part of why we bruise easier when we’re older. It is partly because it is simply easier to see the full extent of the damage beneath the outer layers of skin. The only way to really counter this thinning is to help boost collagen production in your skin. Skin nourishing and anti-aging products are ideal for this. We recommend topical vitamin C in particular as a good way to give collagen production a boost. This won’t fully counter the effects of menopause, but it will help minimize the problem. A good full body massage now and again will also help.

Drying Out
Interestingly enough, you can have issues with oily patches at the same time that your skin as a whole becomes more susceptible to drying out. This is because the layers of collagen that help to keep your skin thick and firm also act as a moisture seal for your skin. Your skin will simply get drier the more collagen you lose. This in turn makes the skin even more easy to damage as dry skin is inherently more sensitive. There’s no real escaping this problem beyond remembering to regularly moisturize. You’ll want to target your face, your hands, and anything else regularly exposed with moisturizing each day to keep them happy and healthy. This will help to prevent damage from dry skin aggravating things and making them worse. Additionally, properly moisturizing your skin will help it to be more resistant to damage and retain a little more of a healthy plumpness to it despite the loss of collagen.

Menopause may cause plenty of changes in your skin, but you can work against these changes. Making the effort will help minimize the worst of the effects, but the permanent changes to your hormone levels are going to change your skin unless you alter those changes. This isn’t always the best approach and is something to discuss honestly with your doctor and accept if it isn’t a good fit for treatment. Good skincare will still help us look like the best you each year even if we have to accept the changes that each year brings.

The Connection Between Hormone Therapy and Your Skin

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Your skin is one of the largest organs of your body. It serves are, in many ways, one of the first lines of defense for your general health. By serving as the outermost barrier, it helps prevent countless collection of bacteria, debris, and other things from ever reaching your more sensitive insides. That’s why it has such a sophisticated series of systems that help it to support and maintain itself. Our skin is also the first thing many will notice about us. All of these reasons are why we try to take good care of it. Most of us have an idea of the conventional ways in which to do this and maintain at least a passable skincare routine. Not everyone is aware that there are more advanced ways to care for your skin to make up for some skin issues we begin to experience as we age. Shifting hormone balances throw our skin off from what it was and hormone therapy can sometimes be just the thing to help deal with these problems.

Hormones and Your Skin
Most of us generally don’t think about hormones in relation to our skin. They are this nebulous concept that we tend to use to handwave teenage behavior or any particular desires we feel when looking at someone we deem attractive. Hormones are a lot more than that though. They are responsible for helping to regulate the complex interplay between the various systems of the body. Your body receives cues from its hormone levels and what specialized ones get released due to various circumstances. Skin is far from immune to this and in fact many of the things we see as different between broad categories of people, such as men and women, are caused by varying levels of hormone balances. Estrogen and testosterone each play a major role in how the skin behaves as much as they regulate other functions. How oily or how dry your skin is, apparent pore size, softness to the touch, and other factors are all related to the balance of hormones in your body.

Estrogen And Skin
Most of the time you’ll find that estrogen tends to have the most profound impact on the skin. This is for a number of reasons. A major one is the simple fact that estrogen actually helps to constrict your pores. People with high estrogen levels tend to look like that have smoother skin because the overall appearance of their pores is diminished. This actually helps and hurts at the same time too. Constricted pores reduce the overall amount of natural oils that your skin can secrete to protect itself. This helps make it easier to resist some conditions, but at the same time increases the susceptibility such skin has to drying out. Estrogen is also important for helping to motivate the production of collagen within the skin. People with higher estrogen tend to maintain firmer and younger looking appearances longer because estrogen keeps motivating a higher production of collagen and thereby allowing the skin to repair itself more effectively. This is why menopause tends to have such a dramatic impact on the skin of many people and why some seek out hormone therapy.

Benefits of Hormone Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a larger category that defines several forms of treatment. There are forms for men, transgender people (which is further subdivided into smaller categories), and women undergoing menopause. The last one is the one we’re going to highlight here. True to its name, this form of hormone therapy focuses on maintaining estrogen levels in many cases or maintaining them at a lower level that will have a less pronounced impact on the body overall. In this case, you won’t be looking at improvement of the skin so much as it maintaining itself without getting worse. If you wanted to start, you might notice a minor improvement to the skin in response to returned estrogen levels as the skin reacts to a more familiar balance of hormones. This is the same reason that transgender people who desire estrogen experience their skin changing. The human body knows what to do with any healthy balance of hormones and adjusts its systems accordingly.

Hormone therapy is an option to help maintain or boost skin after levels of estrogen have fallen due to either a medical procedure or menopause. It is important to note that it will note that there are risks associated with such therapy, but they can be mitigated by talking to your doctor about healthy practices during hormone therapy. Most of them will focus on staying healthy and potentially taking your medication in a specific way. In the long run, it can help your skin remain healthier, but it is up to you to determine if you wish to start a therapy you may need to maintain for a long time to maintain its benefits.

How Estrogen Levels Impact Skin Health

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Your skin’s health is influenced by a variety of factors. The ones we tend to most common think about are environmental factors that we can control for through good habits. For instance, we put on sunscreen to avoid sun damage and remember to moisturize daily to prevent dry skin. These are common habits that indicate good skincare. Many of us also work to control various aspects of our health that can end up impacting our skin as well. We eat right while making sure to enjoy a healthy exercise routine. These work to maintain the health of our body and skin by ensuring enough nutrients are available and circulating in the body to keep it well stocked on what it needs. One thing that we can’t really control for are fluctuations in our hormone levels. Estrogen in particular is directly tied to our skin’s health in a number of ways and without a sufficient amount it tends to suffer.

A Different Balance
Before we get into exacting detail, let’s take a larger scale look at the effect of varying hormone levels between men and women and what it does to the skin superficially. Every human has a mixture of both testosterone and estrogen in their body that allows the body to function properly. You genuinely need both if you expect to live a healthy life. Their purposes are what help define some of the easily noticed differences. Skin differences can be particularly pronounced. Men are prone to ruddier, rougher skin that is oilier and has far more noticeable pores than women. That’s because their balance of hormones favors testosterone over estrogen. Women, by contrast, are credited with smaller pores, smoother skin, and an overall more even complexion thanks to being estrogen dominant. Shifting these balances at all will affect the skin and flipping the balances, as is done in hormone replacement therapy for transgender people, likewise flips how skin looks, feels, and behaves. Let’s take a closer look at why.

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Oil and Company
Ruddier skin is generally a hallmark for most men. This is because estrogen levels are lower. Testosterone tends to promote a fairly consistent release of your skin’s natural oils. The constant drip helps to protect the skin, yes, but it also creates some of the clear signs of ruddy skin: larger pores and oily skin. Higher estrogen levels actually constrict pores and as a result not as much oil can get out of them. In turn, pores are visually smaller as they don’t allow as much oil out and as a result don’t end up picking up as many dead skin cells or as much debris from exposure. Estrogen is also tied deeply into the production of collagen and fat distribution in the skin. This helps it to support a youthful look for a longer amount of time than does testosterone. One of the most important takeaways from this for those of us fond of anti-aging products is that estrogen is a natural collagen booster that helps minimize wrinkles. That’s part of why menopause can be so hard on the skin.

Tweaking The Levels
Unfortunately for all of us, hormone levels are hardly consistent across our lifetimes. Illness, pregnancy, menopause, and other life changes can all cause the expected levels of hormones in our bodies to shift around. Menopause is one of the more lasting changes though and tends to have the most dramatic impact due to falling estrogen levels. This causes a lot of problems for many women who aren’t used to figuring out how to do skincare with less estrogen supporting their skin’s health. This is one of the other instances where hormone replacement therapy is often used. It helps to take the edge off of menopause, but hormone levels will never really return to the ones that were had in youth. As a result, we all need to make an effort to moisturize and nourish our skin to support collagen and elastin production. Anti-aging products are your friend as they can make up for the shortfall of natural help to a degree and help ease the overall impact falling estrogen levels have on the skin.

Estrogen is important for skin health. It helps to maintain an overall more youthful appearance even if it makes skin a bit thinner overall. Without expected levels, skin begins to shift towards a new normal that reflects how the balance as changed. Many women will experience their skin getting a bit ruddier after menopause for this very reason. Good skincare will help decrease how much of an impact this has, but ultimately cannot stop the effects of shifting hormone levels.