7 Signs of Menopausal Skin and What to Do About Them
Are you experiencing a bout of adult acne? What about dry skin and hyperpigmentation? These could be tell-tale signs of menopausal skin. As our bodies’ largest organ, our skin is like a roadmap to what’s occurring internally, giving us clear(ish) insight into our health and well-being. That being said, we all know how much our skin loves to show our age, and menopause is no different.
From breakouts to sagging skin to hot flashes and a slew of other side effects, we talked to a top dermatologist to find out the most common signs of menopausal skin and what to do about them, ahead.
1. Adult acne
One of the first signs of menopausal skin is adult acne. “This is due to the shift in the balance of estrogen and testosterone,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified dermatologist. “Breakouts are common on the chin and neck,” she adds.
To combat this, Dr. Jaliman suggests adding retinol to your skin care regimen, cleansing your complexion with a sonic cleansing system — we love the LUNA Mini 2 from FOREO ($139) — using a toner with glycolic acid, and having blotting papers on hand for days when you’re extra oily. She also recommends switching to products that control excess sebum without drying effects.
2. Sagging skin and wrinkles
Another sign of menopausal skin? Sagging skin and wrinkles. According to Dr. Jaliman, estrogens stimulate fat deposits over the female body. However, those estrogen levels drop during menopause. “The result is a loss of supportive fat below the skin of the face, neck, hands, and arms. This allows sagging wrinkles to appear and the skin over these areas [to be] less easily compressed, as it loses its mobility,” she adds.
To combat this, Dr. Jaliman recommends using peptides to treat sagging skin on the face and neck. She also suggests radiofrequency treatments, as they “can help smooth, tighten and contour the skin.”
3. Increased transepidermal water loss and dry skin
Have you noticed a decrease in your skin’s moisture levels? It could be directly related to menopause. “When estrogen levels drop during menopause, the skin gets more wrinkles and dry. And in some women, it can even be itchy,” says Dr. Jaliman.
The best way to combat this is “to help turn dry, problem skin into smoother, fresher skin,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Focus on smart fats. Essential fatty acids — like the omega-3’s found in salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, or algae oils — help produce your skin’s oil barrier, [which is] vital in keeping skin hydrated.” She also suggests keeping skin healthy and protecting it from the sun with a broad-spectrum sunblock.
4. Hyperpigmentation and age spots
Another sign of menopausal skin? Hyperpigmentation and age spots. If you’ve noticed your skin start to look splotchy and discolored, it could be due to menopause, as “estrogens also temper with melanin production,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Her tip for treating these stubborn skin care woes? “Look for products with niacinamide to improve the pigmented skin and use [a] broad-spectrum sunscreen.”
5. Hot flashes
This next one may be a bit obvious to those already going through menopause, but another sign of menopausal skin is hot flashes. According to Dr. Jaliman, hot flashes are “typically defined by a strong sense of warmth in the skin — mainly the face — followed by excessive sweating.”
The good news is, there’s a way to cool off. “Try antioxidant hydrating masks to refresh and firm the skin,” says Dr. Jaliman. “You can also carry a portable fan and consider [an] estrogen patch,” she adds.
6. Facial hair
Another skin care woe? Facial hair. “Due to the unmasking of testosterone, some women may develop facial hair, particularly in the chin area,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Instead of plucking these pesky chin hairs away, Dr. Jaliman suggests speaking with your dermatologist for a more effective treatment, such as prescription cream, Vaniqa.
7. Appearance of oily skin
If you aren’t experiencing dry skin during menopause, you may be experiencing a bout of oily skin. According to Dr. Jaliman, this is because “higher levels of testosterone may prompt sebaceous glands in the skin to secrete thicker sebum, causing an oilier appearance.”
So, how do you get rid of the excess oil? Dr. Jaliman suggests trying a gentle cleanser and avoid over-washing. “Use clay masks on especially oily areas to help spot treat,” she adds.