General partner: Body Care 101: Menopause

Expert advice for going through menopause in style.

When the body undergoes hormonal changes, the epidermis reacts a bit like an alarm system that reflects on the surface what is happening inside (the appearance of skin spots due to a spike in progesterone at puberty or hyperpigmentation of the skin during pregnancy is a good example). However, it is during menopause that the phenomenon becomes most visible. During this period, the marked drop in estrogen production affects the skin significantly. However, don’t be discouraged! By adopting an adapted beauty routine, it is possible to counter these symptoms.

What is menopause?

The symptoms of menopause can vary from person to person, but experts agree that it begins with the complete cessation of menstruation. Cessation of ovarian activity and a decrease in estrogen production is then observed. “During perimenopause, the body undergoes changes that will gradually lead to menopause. It happens, for example, that the menstrual cycle becomes disrupted and then becomes regular again for several months,” says Dr. Sarah Gora, Ph.D., in charge of medical and scientific relations at Vichy Canada. Lack of estrogen has both psychological and physical effects. “This can result in symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, mood swings, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, and low collagen in the skin,” adds Dr. Gora.

The effects of menopause on the skin

As we know, as we age, wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, and lack of radiance can appear on the skin. With the onset of menopause, these changes become more marked, as if accelerating. A drop in lipids dries out and thins the skin. “During menopause, the number of epidermal layers decreases, cells lose thickness and cell regeneration slows down,” says Dr. Gora. Not to mention that the reduced presence of estrogen leads to a loss of tone in the face which can give it a flabby and yellowish appearance as soon as you get up.

Revise your daily beauty routine

Slight adjustments to your beauty routine can help ease skin symptoms of menopause. “For example, we should avoid using creams that are too rich, which, although they may seem appropriate, will block the pores of the skin without providing it with what it needs, says Dr. Gora. To reinforce the natural protective barrier of the epidermis and improve skin hydration, an oil-in-water emulsion containing lipids and anti-aging ingredients should be used instead. And care is taken to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays (photo-aging, brown spots, and skin diseases). The best way to counter them is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every morning.

Pamper your skin for the night

As the epidermis becomes more fragile and thin during menopause, we avoid using irritating skin care products or products that contain a lot of alcohol at the risk of drying it out further. We prefer cleansing creams containing an oil-based serum or a moisturizing balm. “It is important to remove make-up carefully using a cream or a gentle water-based treatment,” says Dr. Gora. During menopause, the skin soaks up more water during the night, which makes it puffy. The problem can be overcome by using a product that drains the skin while compensating for the loss of water and lipids. “The evening is also the perfect time to pamper your skin. For example, you can treat yourself to a mask, a facial massage, or even both, so that the second accentuates the effect of the first.

Our expert, Dr. Sarah Gora, advises adopting this simple four-step beauty routine:

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