Let’s talk about menopause. Not just the hot flashes and the end of fertility, but the ways that menopause can impact your sleep, mental clarity, and—yes—even your skin.
Some of us dread discussing menopause, but understanding what the future holds gives us an opportunity to start planning for it. With menopause skincare, in particular, the right routine can keep skin looking younger and healthier.
We asked Norah Clair Gourlay (FNP-C), from our Georgetown, DC clinic, for her advice on skincare before and during menopause. Her advice? Preventative steps now can lead to better skin later.
How menopause impacts your skin
Real talk: Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause can cause dryness, redness, acne, wrinkles, volume loss, sagging, pigmentation changes, age spots, and thinning hair.
Estrogen and progesterone play important roles in the production of collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid and sebum, which help keep the skin hydrated and plump, Norah explained. As these hormone levels decrease or become imbalanced, the skin becomes dryer, thinner, less elastic and more prone to wrinkles, redness, flushing and age spots.
The best skincare treatments to combat menopause
You don’t have to resort to drastic measures to perk up your skin during menopause: There are a number of in-clinic treatments that have little-to-no downtime and deliver gorgeous results. To maintain or restore a youthful glow, Norah suggests:
- Injectables, like BOTOX®
- Dermal fillers
- HALO® lasers
Here’s why we love these treatments.
Injectables like BOTOX® and Dysport®, aka the “wrinkle relaxers.” They work by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause repetitive contractions and form wrinkles around the forehead, frown lines, and eyes. “Some research suggests that, by minimizing muscle movement, [neuromodulators] may reduce stress on the skin and slow the breakdown of collagen,” Norah said.
Microneedling. A “collagen induction therapy” that treats fine lines, texture, pore size, acne scars, and pigmentation concerns, microneedling uses a device with tiny needles to make micro-injuries in the skin that stimulate the body’s natural healing process. The procedure promotes collagen and elastin production, which enhances the overall complexion. Microneedling is safe for all skin types and all seasons, and it requires a series of treatments for best results.
AQUAGOLD®. Using a combination of growth factors, stem cells, and cytokines, AQUAGOLD® treatments help promote collagen production, giving the skin a more supple appearance, improving elasticity and firmness, and enhancing the complexion overall. Plus, it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Dermal fillers. Hyaluronic acid fillers are gel-like substances used to replace volume, soften wrinkles, and enhance hydration. They can also be used to treat the dermis using the injection technique, which uses smaller volumes of strategically-placed filler to strengthen skin.
Sculptra®. An injectable collagen stimulator made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), Sculptra treats volume loss, folds and wrinkles in the skin. It typically requires a series of three treatments spaced approximately six weeks apart, and works gradually to build results that last two years or longer.
HALO® laser resurfacing. This hybrid fractional resurfacing laser uses ablative and non-ablative technology to target different depths of the skin, promote collagen production, and enhance the complexion. “HALO is ideal for aging skin,” Norah said. “It addresses wrinkles, texture, tone, sun damage, age spots, and improves the overall appearance of the skin.”
Don’t forget the SPF
While in-clinic treatments can deliver phenomenal results, there are also steps we can take at home to slow down the signs of aging. It all starts with medical-grade skin care. Norah recommends antioxidants, hydrators, growth factors, moisturizers, retinoids, chemical peels, nutraceuticals for hair growth, and, as always, SPF.
Menopause skincare starts now
You don’t have to wait for hot flashes to set in to start working toward your skincare goals. “As a nurse practitioner and skin health provider and advocate, I feel strongly that we shouldn’t wait until we notice changes in our skin to begin caring for our skin,” says Norah. “We lose approximately 1% of collagen a year starting in our early 20s, and we should protect the skin from a very young age.”
Are you ready to see how a custom skincare plan can help you look younger? Schedule a free consultation with Norah in DC, or any of our experts throughout the country, for a treatment regimen tailored to you.