What's really happening to your skin during menopause 

幼女视频在线视频 Skincare companies are finally turning their attention to nurturing midlife skin – before, during and after the menopause

During menopause, skin becomes drier and less plump
During menopause, skin becomes drier and less plump

Mention the menopause and we Brits tend to clam up. To the French, however, the gradual diminishing of women’s sex hormones – and its effect on the skin – is just another problem that requires a solution. So it’s hardly surprising that we have a Parisian beauty company to thank for putting menopausal skin in the spotlight. 

幼女视频在线视频Clarins was one of the first companies  to launch targeted skincare for women going through the menopause. Its super- restorative day and night creams have technologies that address menopause-specific hormonal influences. Now the company has set its sights on postmenopausal skin, with its Nutri-Lumière range designed for women, typically in their 60s, who are dealing with a lack of radiance. 

‘During menopause, skin becomes drier and less plump, but there’s still some oestrogen feeding the micronutrient network, so the skin can function. This means it’s not quite as fragile and lacklustre as it can be postmenopause, when oestrogen production has completely ceased,’ explains Marie-Hélène Lair, scientific communications director at Clarins.

So if postmenopausal skin has its own unique challenges, it begs the question: what’s happening before and during the menopause? We asked the experts for their advice from the beginning to the end. 


Perimenopause can start several years before the menopause actually begins. Symptoms of falling oestrogen levels typically begin in the 40s, but for some women it can start as early as their 30s, especially for those with a stressful lifestyle.

‘When the ovaries stop producing as much oestrogen, the  adrenal glands make up for some of the shortfall. But if you are living in chronic stress, adrenal glands produce more cortisol and less oestrogen, creating a cascade of problems from a lack of sleep to fertility issues,’ explains Dr Sabine Donnai, a pioneer of preventative healthcare.

幼女视频在线视频What’s unique about perimenopause is that hormone levels tend to rise and fall in a similar way to your teens. ‘The main hormone that dwindles is oestrogen, which regulates sebum production, causing skin to get dryer. However, it’s not linear – while oestrogen levels fall, you’re likely to have higher levels of progesterone before your period, which can result in adult acne,’ explains Nausheen Qureshi, a biochemist and founder of Elequra skincare. 

幼女视频在线视频Qureshi suggests using an AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) toner, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid, for blemishes, while simultaneously hydrating skin with moisturising ceramides or hyaluronic acid, applied sparingly. ‘If you are experiencing a combination of blemishes and dryness, apply your moisturiser to dry areas only with a ceramide-rich cream, preferably with  vitamin B3 to strengthen the skin barrier.’ 

Perimenopause: Skin can fluctuate between blemishes and dryness. Try...

  1. Targeted exfoliant:
  2. Gentle exfoliant:
  3. Hydration:
  4. Cleanser:
  5. Moisturiser:
L-R: Pestle & Mortar NMF Solution Lactic Toner,  £28; Garden of Wisdom PHA Plus Serum, £14; AHC Aqualuronic Serum, £26; Seed to Skin The Divine Cleanse Dual Detox Marine Clay, £78; Lernberger Stafsing Day Cream, £43


幼女视频在线视频During the menopausal phase, oestrogen levels drop considerably, which can lead to a rapid decline in collagen – up to 30 to 50 per cent in the first five years. ‘The fibroblast cells that produce collagen have oestrogen receptors. So no matter how much retinol we throw at our skin, the fibroblast cells will not be able to utilise it very well without these oestrogen receptors being switched on,’ explains Dr Sophie Shotter from the Cosmetic Skin Clinic.

She adds, ‘This means that without assistance, skin becomes more lax and much drier.’  Dr Shotter suggests that this is the time to take advice about hormone replacement, which will help with menopausal symptoms as well as your skin.’ 

幼女视频在线视频‘Bioidentical hormone replacement [using man-made hormones derived from plantestrogens that are chemically identical to those the human body produces] will help to optimise your balance of hormones, which can also have skin benefits,’ she says. 

幼女视频在线视频Dr Martin Galy, from 23MD cosmetic and medical clinic, is a GP who specialises in bioidentical hormone replacement. He explains, ‘One of the ways we age is through declining hormones. Oestrogen supports the collagen in your skin and helps it to produce its own lubricants. Without it, wrinkles and sagging worsen. By giving the body adequate progesterone and re-establishing normal oestrogen levels, you can resume the collagen levels you had when you were younger.’ 

Bioidentical hormone replacement may be part of the solution, but there’s lots you can do on the skincare front. One of the most important ingredients is hyaluronic acid.  Dr Donnai explains, ‘Oestrogen helps your body to produce hyaluronic acid – the molecules that help skin look plump and stay hydrated. You can drink as much water as you want, but without hyaluronic acid, your skin won’t look as good, so a hyaluronic-acid serum or cream is a must.’

幼女视频在线视频Nausheen Qureshi advises using an oily balm over the top of your serum. ‘Use a balm that mimics your skin’s natural  sebum, such as jojoba oil. Or choose a rich barrier-repair cream with vitamin B3 for protection and repair,’ she says. 

Menopause: Collagen levels drop and dryness sets in. Try...

  1. Barrier-repair balm:
  2. Ceramide-rich moisturiser with vitamin B3:
  3. Supplement:
  4. Hyaluronic-acid serum:
  5. pH-balanced cleanser:
L-R: Weleda Skin Food, £12.95; Elequra Deep Nourishing Cream, £56; LYMA Super Supplement, £149 a month; Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, £40; Allies of Skin Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser, £39 


Shabir Daya, lead pharmacist at Victoria Health, says the first step after the menopause is to take a ceramide supplement such as Life Extension’s Skin Restoring Ceramides. ‘Postmenopausal skin is prone to dryness and dehydration, primarily because of the lack of lipids [ceramides] in-between the skin cells that prevent water loss,’ he says.

幼女视频在线视频‘Think of skin as a row of bricks with the mortar being ceramides – a breakdown in the mortar would result in the loss of water in between the bricks and allow external aggressors to get through too. Taking skin-restoring ceramides will help to replenish the mortar.’ 

As for topical ingredients, Daya recommends vitamin C above all else. ‘Vitamin C’s ability to enhance collagen production is well documented. Another great reason to use a vitamin C serum is because the function of melanocytes [pigment-producing cells] is governed to a large extent by oestrogen. The number of melanocytes during menopause and postmenopause is reduced, resulting in skin that looks paler and offers less protection against the sun’s UV rays. Vitamin C neutralises damaging free radicals and improves the appearance of hyperpigmented skin.’ 

幼女视频在线视频As a final step, choose a cream that promotes glow. ‘The main challenge postmenopause is the fragility of the skin – it tends to become thinner and drier. The texture, density and lack of luminosity is more of a concern to women than lines,’  explains Marie-Hélène Lair. 

幼女视频在线视频Clarins’ Nutri-Lumière day and night creams harness horse chestnut to boost glow and strengthen skin. ‘Horse chestnut has long been known for its deeply nourishing and restorative properties. But it’s not as simple as adding the ingredient,’ says Lair. ‘The molecular structure needs to be balanced and stabilised with other active ingredients so that the formulation is fine enough to quickly penetrate and feed the skin’s depleted micronutrient network. After using Nutri-Lumière, the skin will quickly feel more comfortable and luminosity returns.’ 

Postmenopause: Skin becomes thinner and radiance suffers. Try...

  1. Day cream:
  2. Supplement:
  3. Vitamin C serum:
  4. Oil cleanser:
  5. Night cream:
L-R: Clarins Nutri-Lumière Day Cream, £90; The Organic Pharmacy Essential Fatty Acid + B Complex,  £32; Asees Berri Secondage Vitamin C Serum, £45; bareMinerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil, £24; Clarins Nutri-Lumière Night Cream,  £94

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