Beauty expert Kate Shapland on her menopausal skincare tips

Jasmine Wicks Stephens
We also have a unique code LEGOLOGYFAACE20 which you can use for 20% off on our site and Legology’s.*

Menopause, which begins a year after your last period, brings visible changes to skin. As hormone levels drop it becomes drier, thinner, patchier and less toned. You may notice more hair appearing on your face too. Some of this seems to appear overnight, and this life chapter requires two approaches: a sense of humour and the right care to lessen the effects. Here’s what works from someone who knows.

Age spots and other signs of sun-damaged skin

Time spent in the sun through your life without sunscreen becomes visible from now: age spots and areas of darkness can appear on face, hands, neck, arms, legs (especially shins) and chest which can age in much the same way as lines.

What you can do:

Apply sunscreen daily to exposed skin with a broadspectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. Regular application will help sunspots fade, and moisturisers containing antioxidant properties can also reduce dark spots.

Skin becomes thinner and more fragile

As levels of the hormone estrogen fall, skin becomes thinner, bruises more quickly and repairs more slowly.

What you can do:

A broadspectrum sunscreen won’t thicken skin but it will help stop it prematurely thinning and becoming more fragile. Use a lightweight moisturiser with a richness that helps keep skin supple and strong without making it oily or congested. Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs works wonders on thirsty shins, knees and hips.

Skin feels drier and pores are more open

In menopause, skin loses some ability to hold water, so skin can get quite dry.

What you can do:

Use a mild cream cleanser instead of soap and apply cream or oil to your face and body after a bath/shower. Legology Peach-Lite Super Lift For The Derriere gives skin on buttocks, upper thighs and hips a wonderful softness. Go easy with exfoliators and microdermabrasion – they’re not necessarily the answer to ‘open’ pores and can be overly harsh on menopausal skin. A brilliant foundation with light-reflective qualities will work wonders to put pores, blemishes and lines in soft focus.

Jowls, slack skin and wrinkles

Studies show that skin loses about 30% of its collagen (the tissue that makes skin plump and glowy) during the first five years of menopause. The decline is more gradual after that with about 2% of collagen dropping annually for the next 20 years. With this, firmness lessens and with it the definition of the jawline, while permanent lines appear from nostrils to corners of mouth (which look more marked when you are tired) and in areas where previously smile or frown lines used to come and go.

What you can do:

If sagging skin or wrinkles bother you keep wearing your sunscreen to protect skin from the ageing effects of the sun. This will prevent new wrinkles and a nighttime cream containing retinol or peptides can strengthen skin’s natural collagen.

Pimples and other types of acne

As levels of oestrogen drop before and during menopause, many women develop teenage-like acne. The answer doesn’t lie in teenage acne products though as these tend to be too harsh for thinner, drier menopausal skin.

What you can do:

Wash acne-prone skin with a mild cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help unclog pores and continue to use a lightweight non-pore clogging moisturiser and/or sun-screen as it’s important to keep skin supple because when it’s dry acne can get worse. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can also help reduce facial acne.

Rashes and easily irritated skin

Around the age of 50, the pH level of skin changes. With this change, skin becomes more sensitive and can be easily irritated. If you have an existing skin condition like eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, this could well worsen.

What you can do: If you notice any of these changes, you should use a fragrance-free moisturiser with soothing, anti-redness benefits.

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