5 Common Perimenopause Skin Problems

Five Common Skin Problems Experienced in Perimenopause & How To Cope








Reference Lab

MAY 30, 2022



Skin changes throughout a person’s lifetime, for both men and women. For women, however, their reproductive hormones greatly influence the skin. Perimenopause is often when these skin changes occur, as the rapid fluctuations in hormones can result in various skin problems. This leaves many women wondering how they can manage menopause and skin changes associated with it.

Estrogen: The Powerhouse of Hormones

Women are likely familiar with the classic signs of perimenopause, like hot flashes, night sweats, or hair loss, and mood swings. However, skin changes are also a symptom of fluctuating hormones in women. The three primary hormones that affect the skin are:
  • Progesterone: Supports estrogen and keeps skin moist and supple.
  • Estrogen: Helps with collagen production and maintains skin thickness.
  • Testosterone: Manages sebum production and keeps with elasticity.
Estrogen level plays the most significant role in a woman’s skin health of these three potent hormones. 1 Estrogen, also known as estradiol, is a hormone closely linked to the female reproductive system and organs. This hormone is responsible for the formation of female sexual characteristics. Not only does estrogen affect reproductive organs, it also impacts the body in various ways. For example: 2
  • At puberty, estrogen helps with the growth of long bones and the fusion of growth plates. Estrogen also protects bones throughout life, preventing osteoporosis.
  • During puberty and pregnancy, estrogen encourages the growth of mammary ducts.
  • Vaginal epithelial mucosal cells take their direction from estrogen, providing lubrication and moisture.
  • Cardiovascular function benefits from estrogen, which reduces LDL ( “bad cholesterol”) and increases HDL (“bad cholesterol”).
Along with these essential activities, estrogen is vital in keeping skin supple, elastic, and smooth.

Can perimenopause cause skin problems?

During perimenopause, women see a steep fluctuation and rapid decline in estrogen. Losing estrogen can cause skin problems due to estrogen’s vital role in skin health. For example, estrogen helps maintain skin health by:
  • Encouraging the production of collagen for elasticity and oil for moisture.
  • Minimizing inflammation.
  • Boosting wound healing factors.
  • Protecting against sun damage, melanoma, and other skin cancers while still absorbing vitamin D.
Skin health and integrity change during menopause for various reasons, but fluctuations in hormone levels are the primary factor. The estrogen that stabilizes skin health and contributes to elasticity quickly drops during perimenopause, which causes common perimenopause skin problems to arise as the skin adjusts to new hormone levels.2
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What does perimenopausal skin look like?

Perimenopausal skin looks different for every woman depending on existing skin health, lifestyle factors, and a woman’s genetic history. Taking collagen for menopause can help these issues as they arise. The following are the five most common perimenopause skin problems.


#1 Dry & Flaky Skin

Some skin dryness comes from the aging process. The higher in age a person gets, the less watertight the skin becomes. Both men and women experience thinner epithelial layers with age, which allows moisture to evaporate through the skin layers more quickly.
For menopausal women, however, dry skin also comes from the loss of estrogen during perimenopause. The skin-smoothing collagen and moisturizing oils in the skin are produced through estrogen. As estrogen levels drop, a loss of collagen and nourishing oils occurs throughout perimenopause. Without enough collagen and skin oils, skin becomes less able to retain moisture, making it dry, itchy, and flaky.3


#2 Acne Breakouts

Acne during perimenopause often confuses and frustrates women. After all, most people associate acne outbreaks with their teen years — not perimenopause. There are many causes of perimenopausal acne, but hormonal imbalance is usually the culprit. As estrogen diminishes, the balance of androgen hormones (testosterone) becomes disrupted. This imbalance can result in hormonal acne during perimenopause.
Along with the imbalance of hormones, lifestyle factors, diet, stress, and genetics are other factors that lead to perimenopausal acne. Many women may experience minor acne outbreaks here and there during menopause. Others may find themselves with severe bouts of acne that require intervention.
During perimenopause, incorporating proper topical skin care products into your daily regimen is essential, especially when managing hormonal acne. Women experiencing perimenopause lack the robust collagen and healing factors once present during their teen years. Compared to teenage acne, perimenopausal acne takes longer to heal and can lead to scarring. Therefore, preventing perimenopausal acne is essential to a healthy skin care regimen. 4


#3 Eczema

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, causes itchy skin, scaly patches, blisters, and dry skin. Although eczema can occur at any time in a person's life, perimenopause can create the perfect storm for eczema symptoms to appear. In addition to hormonal imbalance, the pH level of perimenopause skin begins to change when a woman nears 50 years of age. Skin can become sensitive and less resilient, resulting in menopause-associated face rashes or eczema. Fabrics, dyes, perfumes, and stress can induce skin reactions much more quickly during perimenopause.
Hormone imbalance is the primary cause of eczema during perimenopause. Diminished estrogen levels cause the skin to become more reactive to internal and environmental triggers. In addition, age and hormonal imbalance prevent the skin from healing as quickly as it used to, resulting in persistent eczema symptoms. Therefore, women with a previous history of eczema may experience a significant recurrence of their symptoms. For these women, eczema and menopause may go hand in hand.6


#4 Sagging Skin

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin loses most collagen during a woman’s later years. Collagen starts to level off during perimenopause due to hormonal changes. Within the first five years of menopause, the skin experiences a loss of 50% of its collagen. Afterward, a woman sees a 2% collagen reduction each year for the next two decades. 3, 5 The significant loss of collagen reduces skin elasticity and resilience, making skin prone to sagging. It’s not just the loss of collagen that causes sagging skin. Skin also loses some of its structural fat during perimenopause. The reduction of collagen and fat allows the skin to wrinkle and sag, especially in the neck and jawline area.3, 5


#5 Hyperpigmentation & Discoloration

Skin hyperpigmentation, the darkening of skin areas, usually occurs during pregnancy and perimenopause. Women undergo significant hormone fluctuations during these times, and hormones play an essential role in skin hyperpigmentation. Although hyperpigmentation is not typically harmful, it can be aesthetically bothersome.
As estrogen levels plummet, the skin barrier becomes thinner. This thinning skin barrier becomes more prone to pigmentation problems. Estrogen also assists in controlling melanin, the pigment that darkens the skin. With less estrogen to keep it in check, melanin increases, and pigmentation issues from sun damage (sun spots) can become more apparent during perimenopause. 3, 5


How can perimenopausal skin be soothed?

Perimenopause isn’t an adverse health condition. It’s a natural part of a woman’s life. However, a woman doesn’t have to tolerate the skin changes that occur because of perimenopause. Managing and soothing perimenopause skin problems can improve self-confidence and give you healthy skin to protect the health of your body. 3, 5
  • Wash with a mild cleanser instead of harsh soaps to counter dry and sensitive skin. Soap might make your face feel squeaky clean, but it can also strip your skin of its beneficial oils. Applying a hyaluronic-acid, oil-free, peptide moisturizer after bathing can help nourish skin and improve thickness. Avoid products and fabrics with abrasive textures, harsh perfumes, or chemical dyes, as these can trigger menopause rash.
  • Unclogging pores and reducing oil help to reduce acne during perimenopause is key. Washing acne-prone skin with a salicylic acid cleanser removes oil and debris that can lead to acne and menopause rashes. However, avoid acne products that irritate and dry out your skin. Retinol, for example, makes the skin barrier peel and can cause irritations.
  • Whether you’re sixteen or sixty, wearing sunscreen daily can reduce sun damage, skin irritation, and skin cancer. Adding hats and sunglasses to your sun protection regimen provides an additional defense against the sun’s harsh rays.

Does perimenopause change the appearance of your face?

It may feel like the skin you’ve become familiar with throughout your life is changing almost overnight. And the skin treatments you’ve used for years may become ineffective, creating a need for change.3, 5
The AAD states that during perimenopause:5
  • The nose loses some structure and dips.
  • Pouches under the eyes become more noticeable.
  • Pores become more prominent.
  • Skin becomes thinner and papery.
Although facial bone structure remains the same throughout a woman’s life, skin does not. The muscles, fat, and connective tissue that attach to facial bones may undergo an overhaul during perimenopause. Structural loss from collagen and fat reduction, combined with perimenopausal skin conditions, can change the appearance of a woman’s face.

OneSkin’s Impact on Perimenopause Skin

OneSkin’s researchers have discovered that the OS-01 peptide effectively improves markers of skin health by:
  • Promoting collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production prevents sagging and wrinkles.
  • Improving skin’s epidermal thickness and integrity, mitigating skin damage, helping prevent menopause rashes, and refining skin texture.
  • Reducing the overall biological age of skin and making skin cells function like younger cells.
Adding OneSkin's Topical Supplements, powered by the OS-01 peptide, to your existing skin regimen can reduce the effects of perimenopause skin problems by encouraging collagen production and improving the skin barrier.
If you’re experiencing perimenopause skin problems, consider adding OneSkin to your skincare routine. Your skin changes with time, after all. So should your approach to skincare!

Conclusion

  • Hormonal imbalance from the rapid loss of estrogen (estradiol) plays a significant role in perimenopause skin problems.
  • The reduction of estrogen in a woman’s body, lifestyle factors, and aging may result in the following skin changes:
    • Dryness and itching from moisture loss.
    • Acne due to hormonal imbalance increases oil production and clogged pores.
    • Eczema and rashes from a thinner skin barrier and increased inflammation.
    • Sagging due to the loss of structural support.
    • Hyperpigmentation and discoloration due to increased melanin and sun damage.
  • Skin changes during menopause may require a modification of a woman’s current skincare routine.
  • OneSkin’s Topical Supplements, which include the proprietary OS-01 peptide, help prevent and alleviate perimenopause skin problems by increasing epidermal thickness and promoting the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin.


Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16198774/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538260/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35377827/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31754313/
  5. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause
  6. https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/types-of-eczema/eczema-in-later-life

 

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