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Skincare

So, What Does Menopausal Skincare Consist Of Exactly?

So, here’s the deal: if you’re over the age of 35, perimenopause can last anywhere from a few months to an entire freakin’ decade. And so, if you’re wondering why I’m talking about menopause more often these days…now you know.

Okay and just what does perimenopause and especially menopause have to do with your skin? Chile, where do I even start? SMDH. Probably the easiest way to explain it is that when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop (which is what automatically happens during that time of life), it can directly impact how your skin both looks and feels. Your skin may feel drier, thinner, or appear less “full” (meaning plump) — and all of that can make it look older than you want it to.


Honestly, that’s why a lot of skincare products are marketed as being “anti-aging”; it’s their gentle way of saying skin that is perimenopausal or menopausal. In fact, I actually read that during the first five years of menopause, it’s pretty common to lose as much as 30 percent of the collagen that’s in your system (check out “We Lose Collagen As We Age. 10 Ways To Naturally Boost It.”). And since collagen plays such a significant role in your skin retaining moisture, having elasticity, and avoiding the fine lines and wrinkles that most of us would prefer to put off for as long as we possibly can, it’s important to do what can be done, even now, to keep a youthful and radiant glow.

So, let’s get into it. Because there is indeed such a thing as menopause skincare (the anti-aging industry brings in literally billions of dollars every year because of it), I want to share 12 things that you can proactively do to care for your own skin: whether you’re in perimenopause, menopause, post-menopause or just…curious.

1. Eat More Phytoestrogens

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Okay, so since you lose quite a bit of estrogen during menopause, if you don’t want your skin to look like you did, you should consider consuming some phytoestrogens. Those are foods like dried fruits, garlic, plums, pears, apples, onions, and collards that come from plant-based estrogen. Since phytoestrogens are able to do everything from bring more hydration into your skin to boost your collagen levels, if you want to “push pause” on the aging process of your skin from the inside out, eating phytoestrogens is certainly one way to do it.

2. Also, Consume More Collagen-Enriched Foods

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We already touched on what collagen is able to do, which is why it’s a good idea to eat foods that are rich in this particular structural protein as well. Chicken, broccoli, bone broth, berries, cashews, egg whites, and citrus fruit can get you right in this department. Know what else can? Green tea.

3. Enjoy Some Dark Chocolate

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Women who are postmenopausal should consume dark chocolate on a consistent basis because it helps with their heart health. Something else that research reveals is dark chocolate is great when it comes to boosting cognitive function (which can also decline during menopause when it comes to your memory). Your skin could use dark chocolate because it increases blood circulation to it. Also, dark chocolate can protect your skin from damaging UV rays. And since dark chocolate helps to reduce stress, that is just one more reason to snack on it — and perhaps why you should consider applying a dark chocolate face mask a couple of times a month, too (you can check out some more info via StyleCraze on all of that here).

By the way, it should go on record that the key is not to pick up a Hershey’s bar on your way home. You need to eat the kind of dark chocolate that contains no less than 65-70 percent cocoa. Yep, the less sweet and more chalk-like it tastes, the better (just sayin’).

4. Put Aloe Vera Juice in Your Drinks

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The antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties in (pure) aloe vera juice can do wonders for your system. Not only is it full of antioxidants and vitamin C, but aloe vera juice can also help to improve digestion, regulate your blood sugar levels, improve your oral health, soothe heartburn, and keep your vision healthy and strong. As far as your skin goes, aloe vera juice will definitely help it to maintain a proper level of moisture. As a bonus, it can also help to increase collagen production and improve elasticity in your skin.

Oh, if the thought of drinking aloe vera juice straight makes you slightly want to throw up in your mouth, take it from me that if you put a tablespoon in your juice or smoothie, you will hardly even notice that it’s there.

5. Up Your Water Intake

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Our bodies are made up of mostly water; so, of course, we need it. How much? For regular maintenance purposes, many health experts say that we, as women, can benefit from nine cups a day. If you want to shed a few pounds, 1-2 liters are recommended. And when it comes to dealing with menopause, in general, and avoiding dry skin that comes from it, at least do the bare minimum (although adding a couple of glasses of water to that would be ideal). The bottom line here is hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE. If you want to get a leg up on menopausal skin, that’s gonna be how you do it best.

6. Take a Probiotic

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You’re gonna be hard-pressed to read something on gut health and not see a probiotic mentioned (check out “80% Of Your Immunity Is In Your Gut. Take Care Of It Like This.”). That’s because there is plenty of data out here to support that taking a probiotic can do wonders for keeping your intestinal health in great condition. Your skin will thrive off of a probiotic because, not only is it proven to decrease the amount of water that your skin loses, but it also helps to improve the quality of your skin too.

7. “Seal Your Skin” with Marula Oil

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If you want your skin to look as young as it possibly can, it’s always a good idea to look for products that contain a lot of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids; one of those is marula oil (which is an oil that comes from marula fruit). In fact, one of the reasons why it gets a shout-out here is a lot of skincare experts recommend that you use it to “seal in moisture.” And since that is a great way to keep water in your skin (for longer) after taking a shower or bath, if you’re looking for the perfect oil to keep your skin feeling super soft and hydrated, hours after washing up, marula oil is one to keep in mind (plum oil is pretty bomb too, by the way).

8. Hyaluronic Acid Is Your Friend

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Over the past several months, something that I’ve been becoming more and more of a fan of is hyaluronic acid (check out “Why Your Skin, Hair, And Nails Need Hyaluronic Acid Like...Yesterday”). As far as menopause goes, it can actually help to naturally treat vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women. Also, when it comes to your skin, since it actually has the ability to make it more flexible — well, that can make fine lines and wrinkles less of a visible issue.

9. Do Chemical Peels

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Last fall, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, “I've Been Doing At-Home Chemical Peels. Here Are The Pros And Cons.” I did it because, ever since I started doing chemical peels, I’ve started to see a nice shift in both the appearance as well as the texture of my skin. Anyway, since fine lines and acne are two things that oftentimes come with menopausal skin (more on pimples in a bit), and that is just what chemical peels help to treat, applying them on a consistent basis could be a wise move. You can get a potent chemical peel from a skin professional, or you can do what I do and go the lighter route at home. I’ve had no regrets (other than not fully following the directions and getting a mild chemical burn on my face once in the beginning) since doing so.

10. Try CeraVe (No Joke)

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I can’t remember the last time that I watched television, and a doggone CeraVe commercial didn't come on at some point. Personally, I’ve never used any of the products before — I might consider it now, though. Apparently, “the ceramides in CeraVe” are exactly what our skin is longing for during perimenopause and menopause. Long story short, ceramides are the fats that are in our skin cells; they actually make up around 30-40 percent of the outer layers of our skin. And since you not only lose quite a bit of ceramides during menopause, their structure tends to change too — next time you’re at the store, picking up a CeraVe moisturizer certainly couldn’t hurt.

11. Do Research on “Menopausal Acne”

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It’s like it never ends. Lawd. Okay, so why in the world, would we as grown-ass women, end up with acne? The bottom line here is just like hormonal fluctuations can trigger breakouts in teenagers, pretty much the same thing can happen to us during perimenopause and menopause. From what I’ve read and researched, as far as how to treat it, you can do similar things that you did as an adolescent (if acne was an issue), including applying benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids. Although, if you’ve never been to a dermatologist before, this may be the time to do it. They may be able to customize a skincare regimen that can make getting through this season of acne a lot easier for you.

12. Don’t Forget About Sunscreen

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Even though we’re more melanated than any other demographic (and I love that for us!), it is ridiculous to think that skin cancer cares about that. Know what else some of us need to let go of? The belief is that we only need protection from the sun during the summer months. Listen, so long as the sun is shining, rays are beaming, and they can ultimately damage our skin (even in the wintertime). And since menopause makes skin thinner, which ultimately means that it’s more vulnerable, you definitely need to make sunscreen a part of your daily skincare routine, now more than ever. You can check out a list of some of the best sunscreens for our complexion(s) here.

____

Menopause skin prep. Chile, you ain’t gotta tell me — I’m right there with you, somewhere in perimenopause. Hopefully, this intel will make shifting into the transition easier to bear…so that “Black not cracking” can remain intact. Even during the seasons of (perimenopause) and menopause.

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