As if hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia aren’t enough, dry, itchy skin can also plague women through menopause making life a misery. If itch, scratch and repeat is your menopause modus operandi you’ll be delighted to know there is something you can do about it. Relief is at hand!
Let’s first take a look at the common causes of dry skin during menopause. While changes in the skin’s physiology during the change is obviously down to hormones, the way they interact to affect the skin is quite complex.
Most women would be familiar with the hormone estrogen, aware of its powerful effect on everything from female puberty to pregnancy. As women age estrogen production lessens and with the onset of menopause, lowered estrogen levels will result in the ovaries ceasing to release eggs and a natural end to women’s menses.
Estrogen however plays quite a diverse role in the body, from brain to bone health, reproductive health and of course in the maintenance of the skin.
Among the key reasons women experience dry, itchy sensations during menopause is due to the thinning of the skin. Estrogen plays a role in maintaining capillaries in the skin and as blood flow is reduced during menopause thanks to decreased levels of estrogen, so too are the nutrients and oxygen reaching the skin. As skin then becomes thinner and slows its rate of cell reproduction, it also functions less effectively as a barrier, losing its ability to retain optimum amounts of moisture, leading to dry skin.
Estrogen also plays a key role in stimulating the production of collagen and oils important for healthy, supple skin. During menopause however, with the decrease in estrogen, the body’s ability to produce what it needs for optimal skin health is impaired, leading to dry, itchy skin.
Thankfully there are a number of actions you can take to mitigate the effects on menopause on your skin.
- Use natural, chemical free skincare products that support your skin. Look for products that won’t irritate already dry skin with chemicals or petroleum derivatives and instead soothe and support skin with a breathable barrier solution that traps moisture while allowing the skin to breathe freely and easily.
- Eat plenty of Omega-3 essential fatty acids which are critical for supporting supple, healthy skin. Omega-3’s can be found in salmon, walnuts, sardines, soy, safflower oil and flax. Find it hard to consume the daily recommended allowance? Believe it or not you can absorb your Omega-3 requirements through your skincare just as you would if you ate them in your food. Check out our article here for more information.
- Use a gentle, free from soap that doesn’t dry and aggravate your skin. Make sure you always check soap ingredients before you buy, taking care to avoid sodium laurel sulfate, DEA, triclosan, parabens, fragrance and PEG-6.
- Go easy on the long hot showers, for as much as they might feel great when the water is beating down on you, they can exacerbate dry and itchy skin problems. Always apply a good moisturiser when you finish your bath or shower to lock in moisture and soothe any dry, itchy patches.
Menopause should be embraced as the next natural and wonderful stage of a woman’s life and with the help of a strong skincare routine, healthy eating and gentle personal care, side effects can be a mere memory.
Want to know more about Bee Loved Skincare and how our products can help dry and sensitive skin? Check out our products online to learn more.