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HOW DOES MENOPAUSE IMPACT THE SKIN?

WHAT IS MENOPAUSE EXACTLY?

Menopause is officially marked as one year after your final period. It generally happens any time between your mid-forties to mid-fifties. The period before menopause is called ‘perimenopause’. This can last for months to years, and may be accompanied by irregular periods, hot flushes, mood swings and significant skin changes. Your skin goes through some gradual but dramatic changes during menopause because of the significant dip in your estrogen, progesterone and even testosterone levels.

 

HOW DOES IT IMPACT THE SKIN?

Estrogen is very important for the development of collagen – a supporting protein found in the skin – and provides strength and structure to it. 

As estrogen levels reduce during the menopause and perimenopause, your skin can become less mobile and thinner.

Scientific studies have demonstrated the following structural changes that happen in your skin after menopause.

  • Decrease in skin cell renewal. As the top layer of your skin, called the epidermis, flattens and thins, the skin cells in this layer (called keratinocytes) don’t renew themselves as rapidly. The epidermal cell layer is also drier and holds water less effectively than before menopause. This results in your skin becoming scaly, rough, and dry looking.
  • Collagen reduction. The second layer of your skin, called the dermis, loses as much as 30% of your dermal collagen within the first five years after menopause. This is followed by a slower loss of about 2% per year over the next 20 years.
  • Water abatement. Also, in the dermis, important water-binding substances, called dermal glycosaminoglycans, (including hyaluronic acid) are decreased.
  • Oxidative stress. Oxidative damage in your skin is accelerated after menopause, causing greater damage to skin structures such as cells, collagen, and elastin. This damage is beyond the normal amount that occurs from sun damage and natural aging.

What products/skin care practices and treatments work best to reverse the skin changes of menopause?

  1. Build collagen in the dermis, the second living skin layer. This is really important. Look for products with medical grade formulations of retinoids, like retinol ( Retinol from SkinCeuticals or Retinol Charisma Delicate from Noon Aesthetics ), glycolic acid products, and vitamin C products ( CE Ferulic from SkinCeuticals)
  2. Rebuild the living epidermal cell layer of your skin. This can be done by retinoids, which can help strengthen your skin.
  3. Stimulate your skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. Look for products with glycolic acid and Hyaluronic acid.
  4. Rejuvenate the appearance of the outer dead cells in your stratum corneum skin layer.This will brighten your skin and give it a more youthful glow. Products with glycolic acid, retinoids, and BHAs like salicylic acid will do this.
  5. Slow skin aging. Medical grade antioxidant products (CE Ferulic , Phloretin CF) and broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher (Mineral Radiance UV Defence SPF 50) can help slow the effects of aging.
  6. Hydrate and avoid drying products so skin stays moist. Look for moisturisers and serums rich in humectants such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which bind water into the skin and protect the barrier function (Lacto-Ceramid-15 from Noon Aesthetics or Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2).

 

Once a targeted skincare regime is in place, a world of in-clinic treatments awaits. There are a number of aesthetic treatments that can help skin texture and tone, in addition to boosting collagen production during menopause.

We recommend fractional and Nd-Yag lasers (Fotona 4D treatment or Fotona deep peel) and Microneedling to help boost the skin’s own natural collagen production, as well as Botulinum toxin (or Botox) to soften deep lines in the upper part of the face, and chemical peels (like Meline) to remove pigmentation.

 

 

How to choose the right sunscreen

1. SPF
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is indicated by a number on a scale from 2 to 100. These numbers represent the ability of a product to block the sun’s rays. It’s wrong to say that the effectiveness of a particular SPF is the time required for the skin burns to correlate with the exposure value. The appearance of burns is actually influenced by many internal and external factors. From the external factors, the duration of sun exposure, the daytime, the geographical location and other weather conditions should be taken into account.

The official system for interpretation and labeling of SPF
– low protection SPF 5-10
– average protection SPF 15, 20, 25
– protection high SPF 30-50
– protection of very high level 50+

1) A composition with SPF 15 provides protection of about 94%
2) A composition with SPF 20 provides sun protection of about 95%
3) A composition with SPF 25 provides sun protection of about 96%
4) A composition with SPF 30 provides sun protection of about 97%
5) A composition with SPF 50 provides sun protection of about 98%

2. UVB radiation (290-320 nano meters) penetrates into the atmosphere and is associated with sunburns. UVB produce inflammatory reactions that manifest through redness, swelling and pain. The skin begins to degrade as the affected cells become dead cells.

3. UVA radiation (320-400 nano meters) penetrates deeper into the skin and is responsible for the skin aging and cancerous cells.

-the glass does not block UVA rays but only acts as a UVB filter
When tanning, the darkening of the skin is due to the effects of UVA and UVB rays that increase melanin production. Melanin is a pigment that has the ability to absorb the ultraviolet rays. Bronze is therefore a self-defense reaction of the body and its getting is a slower process that lasts for 2-3 days.

4. Chemical sunscreen filters
Because of a specific structure on a molecule level, chemical sunscreen filters make it possible to absorb some of the UV rays. The disadvantage is that they can often cause irritation and allergies, and from an environmental point of view they are not at all “eco-friendly”.

5. Hypoallergenic, for the sensitive skin.
If you have a sensitive skin or suffer from certain dermatological conditions, it’s recommended to buy special beach lotions with hypoallergenic ingredients from the pharmacy.

6. No perfume
Perfume lotions can often lead to the skin patching when it comes into contact with the sun’s rays.

7. Water resistance
“Water Resistant Sunscreens” retain their stated SPF value after a certain time (up to 80 min) in water or while sweating. The testing is conducted by an independent laboratory and involves application of sunscreen to a human subject’s arm, submerging that arm in water, then measuring the SPF via usual testing procedures. This is a very important characteristic that allows us to swim and submerge in water and still be protected against the sun.

Most products promise a water resistance of no more than two baths, but it is advisable to reapply every time.

8. Consistency and texture
Cream, body milk, spray or oil – it does’t matter what you choose if you meet the conditions above.

How to use sunscreen products?
Before using any product, it’s important to carefully read the instructions. Probably the biggest mistake regarding sun protection is the amount of product we are applying. Often we do not use a satisfactory quantity.
Remember that sunscreen products need time to penetrate the skin. To benefit from optimal efficacy, we need to use the lotion 15-20 minutes before sun exposure. Reapplying is normally done every 2-3 hours and after swimming / sweating.