By 2025, there will be over 1 billion women experiencing menopause in the world, which will be 12% of the entire world population. Most women hit menopause by their 50s. However, changes in the body start to appear earlier than you might think, often many years before a woman officially hits menopause. This time in a woman’s life can bring bothersome and debilitating symptoms which can significantly affect a woman’s health and daily routines.
Women may notice physical changes in their skin as one of the first symptoms as they age. “When you’re young, your body produces an abundance of collagen, the main skin-supporting protein that keeps your face supple and hydrated,” said nationally renowned natural health physician and author, Dr. Fred Pescatore. “Studies show that women lose about 30% of their skin’s collagen during the first five years of menopause due to hormonal shifts.”
With collagen loss, skin becomes thinner and prone to wrinkles. It also loses the ability to protect itself, maintain hydration, and produce strong collagen the way it once could. Many women see these changes reflected in increased bags under the eyes, sagging neck skin, and increased hyperpigmentation in the face and hands.
There are several ways for women to minimize and manage skin health concerns that appear during this period.
Minimize Sun Exposure
Try to avoid direct sun exposure. Some women experience increased hyperpigmentation on their face and hands, often referred to as dark spots, leading up to and during menopause. This is caused by a combination of hormonal changes and sun exposure. “You can help minimize your skin’s exposure to the sun by wearing SPF, hats and gloves when outdoors,” said Dr. Pescatore.
Take Shorter Showers
Keep showers short and not too hot. “Spending too much time in water, especially hot water, strips natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry,” said Dr. Pescatore. In the time leading up to and during menopause, your skin is at increased risk for dryness, so try to take short, lukewarm showers to keep skin optimally hydrated.
Add a Supplement
Look for ingredients that can stimulate collagen production and help improve the health of your skin from inside and out. Numerous clinical studies have shown that daily supplementation with the super-antioxidant Pycnogenol (Pic-noj-en-all) French maritime pine bark extract can help minimize various skin concerns middle-aged women experience.
Pycnogenol binds with existing skin proteins, collagen, and elastin stimulates the genesis of new collagen and hyaluronic acid, and protects skin from various harmful enzymes, helping to rebuild elasticity for a smoother, younger look. Additionally, Pycnogenol has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation for a more even complexion.
A recent study, published last year, found that those who supplemented with 100mg of Pycnogenol for 12 weeks during dry winter months experienced a 13% improvement in both skin elasticity and skin firmness.
“Pycnogenol is one of the most studied ingredients on the market, with decades of research showing the benefits of this natural extract for a variety of health applications,” said Dr. Pescatore. “In fact, the extract has specifically been studied on menopausal women, so the skin benefits complement its additional women’s health benefits nicely.”
Available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements, topical creams, and health products worldwide, more information about Pycnogenol can be found by visiting pycnogenol.com.
As women enter the middle phase of life, a host of new skin concerns can appear. Evolving one’s skincare routine and making natural lifestyle changes can help women meet the challenges of menopause.