Menopause Skin Care - Tips and advice to keep your skin looking healthy
By: Silvia Rotemberg, MD • Posted on January 18, 2012 • Updated March 09, 2021
Skin Changes During Menopause
Women tend to experience changes in their skin during menopause. They may notice that it is becoming thinner and more sensitive. Brown spots and wrinkles may start to appear. It can be a challenging time for women because what they used as a skin care regimen in their 20s and 30s might not be the best for their 40s and 50s and beyond.
4-Step Menopause Skin Care Regimen
To help, I recommend following the menopause skin care regimen below. The four-step process will restore, stimulate and protect the skin.
- Cleanse – Clean the skin twice a day with a facial cleanser. Some cleansers can be harsh on sensitive skin. If you notice that your skin starts to get tight 30 minutes after you have cleansed your face, switch to a moisturizing cleanser.
- Correct/Prevent – Typically, a lot of women get breakouts after menopause. I recommend spot treating the area with an over-the-counter acne treatment product containing salicylic acid. During this time, women might also start to develop hyperpigmentation, also known as brown spots, aging spots or melasma. These can be treated through spot treatment using a bleaching cream, retinoic acid and vitamin C. In addition to this, you must apply a daily full spectrum sunscreen with meroxyl.
- Stimulate – Collagen builder, like Retinol, can help your skin renew itself more quickly than it does naturally. Plus, an exfoliant can improve your skin’s appearance and reduce pimples and blackheads, as well as allow your moisturizer to properly penetrate the skin. Retinol is available over the counter; however, the dosage is not as strong. For best results, ask your skin care doctor for a prescription.
To get the most out of your Retinol treatment, I recommend that my patients only apply in the evening, when the skin is sheltered from the sun, wind and other damaging environmental factors. Plus, your skin absorbs ingredients better at night.
- Protect - In addition to your menopause skin care regimen, protecting your skin from the sun is a must! Even the smallest amount of sun exposure can burn your skin and cause age spots. To ensure that you truly protect your skin from the sun, apply full spectrum sunscreen every morning.
I recommend a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection. Many sunscreen products do not require UVA to be included, but most have it. For optimal protection, you will want to purchase a SPF 30 UVA/ UVB broad spectrum sunscreen. You can purchase a higher SPF, but there is little difference between the two.
Note: An SPF 15 moisturizer on top of an SPF 15 foundation does not equal a SPF 30 sunscreen. While it may seem logical, it just doesn’t offer the same protection that a true SPF 30 would provide.
The reality of it is, many women see changes in their skin during menopause. The earlier you start following a skin regimen like the one listed above, the better. However, the good news is that sun damage is reversible and skin cancer is treatable. That is why it is so important to see a dermatologist once a year for a complete skin exam, as well as follow a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, stop smoking and drink lots of water.
Remember hydrated skin is healthy skin!
– Silvia Rotemberg, MD
Silvia Rotemberg, MD, is a plastic surgeon in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. She is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Her special interests include body contouring after weight loss, cosmetic surgery of the breast and abdomen, surgical and non-surgical facial enhancement and liposuction.
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