*Sponsored post: Environ Skin Care SA*
World Menopause Day, celebrated in October, highlights an important issue regarding women’s skincare. A recent study conducted by the global Professional Skincare brand Environ reveals a surprising statistic: despite facing significant skin changes during menopause, a staggering 66% of women have not sought professional skincare advice or treatments to address their skin concerns.
Considering that the number of menopausal women worldwide is estimated to reach 1.1 billion by 2025, Environ’s Consumer Study was designed to provide insights that would empower the brand to make a meaningful contribution to supporting women’s well-being and promoting age-inclusive beauty. The study surveyed over 800 female respondents aged between 45 and 59 years old, aiming to uncover the real impact of menopause on their skin. The results shed light on critical skin care concerns and the fact that women navigating this transformative phase often grapple with societal stigma and a lack of clear communication. Sadly, many women silently endure menopause or resort to over-medicalization, relying solely on hormone replacement therapy.
When asked about the most noticeable effects of perimenopause or menopause on their skin, 51% of respondents identified issues like dryness and itchiness, while more than 34% mentioned concerns about wrinkles, sagging, and loss of volume. Alarmingly, one in five respondents reported experiencing acne flare-ups.
It’s worth noting that during the first five years of menopause, the skin can lose up to 30% of its collagen. This decline in collagen production is closely tied to the diminishing levels of estrogen and progesterone, which start decreasing during the perimenopausal years. As estrogen levels drop, collagen production decreases, and the skin’s moisture components that contribute to its barrier function become compromised.
Menopause is as individual as a person’s own genetics when it comes to the symptoms and effects on the skin. All women going through this transformative period will experience varying degrees of skin changes as a result of the decline in oestrogen and progesterone hormones.
With expert knowledge and the guidance of Skincare Professionals, there is a lot one can do to prepare the skin for the beauty of this new chapter.
Read on to find out how to minimise the effects of menopause and give your skin exactly what it needs to be healthy-looking and positively radiant…
What is the difference between Perimenopause and Menopause?
Perimenopause is a transitionary period that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years when ovaries are shown to slow down the production of oestrogen and progesterone hormones. This period of erratic hormonal swings typically occurs in women around their mid-forties and can result in noticeable skin changes.
Menopause is the milestone medically defined as one year of no menstruation. This is the phase in a woman’s life when periods cease entirely for a period of 12 consecutive months due to the marked decrease in oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels.
What are the effects of menopause on the skin?
All skin cells are shown to have receptors for oestrogen and other hormones, which is an indication of the vital role these hormones play in the healthy functioning of skin. During the menopause transition, the decline of these hormones is known to shut-down the hormone receptor systems in the skin, which results in the “changes” that women typically experience. Some of the significant skin changes experienced during menopause include:
- Dryness (loss of skin moisture and plumpness) and impaired skin barrier function
- Loss of volume (skin cushioning) and thinning skin
- Lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin
- Acne flare-ups
How to combat dry, itchy skin during menopause?
Loss of skin hydration and plumpness experienced during menopause is mainly due to the decline of oestrogen and progesterone hormones, which play an essential role in maintaining the skin’s vital Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF’s – moisture components) and healthy protective barrier function. As one ages, the skin slows down its production of NMF’s such as hyaluronic acid, but the rapid decline during menopause can lead to reduced moisture retention and a weakened skin barrier function. These effects can lead to increased rashes, irritation, and reactions.
Pro Tips: How to relieve the effects of dryness and itchy skin:
- Replenish the skin daily with essential vitamin A and antioxidants: Vitamin A is the most powerful natural promotor of natural moisturising factors and supports the skin’s ability to produce and retain moisture. Learn more about Environ’s Essential Care Ranges and industry-leading Vitamin STEP-UP SYSTEM™ created to optimise the levels of essential nutrients in the skin without the risk of irritation.
- Introduce alpha hydroxy acids into your daily skincare routine: AHAs are natural, organic acids that promote gentle micro-exfoliation to help give the skin a softer and smoother appearance. Learn more about the powerful benefits of Focus Care Youth+ Toner and Moisture+ Night Cream.
- Optimise hydration with powerhouse boosters: Dry or dehydrated skin conditions are best treated with dynamic blends of specialised moisturising ingredients to restore the balance of skin moisturising components as well as a healthy skin barrier function. Find out more about these best-selling Environ formulations: Focus Care Moisture+ Super Moisturiser and Hydrating Oil Capsules.
How to combat volume loss and thinning skin during menopause?
Oestrogen hormones play an important role in stimulating and regulating collagen production, giving the skin its firmness, elasticity, and structural integrity. As oestrogen hormones decline, collagen production decreases. Approximately 30% of one’s collagen is lost in the first five years after menopause, which is a significant contributor to the noticeable appearance of lines and wrinkles, increased skin laxity (sagging), and significant loss of skin volume (skin cushioning). As the skin also starts to produce less and less natural hyaluronic acid, the skin can also reach a stage of dermatoporosis, which is a weakness of the skin structure.
Pro Tips: How to boost collagen and improve the youthful appearance of the skin:
- Give your skin what it needs: vitamin A. This essential skin nutrient is the most powerful promotor of healthy collagen and elastin. The more collagen you have prior to menopause, the better, so it is wise to use topical vitamin A and antioxidants starting well before reaching menopause. Environ Skincare Professionals recommend Ionzyme® Range Advanced Vitamin A Skin Science.
- Introduce Powerhouse Boosters:
- Retinol Serum (Level 123) is recommended for Environ clients who want to amplify the collagen-boosting benefits of a more intensive retinoid form of Vitamin A. Environ’s Concentrated Retinol Serums are recommended by Skincare Professionals to clients whose skin is already comfortable with medium to high levels of vitamin A.
- 3DSynergé™ Filler Crème is a multi-award-winning advanced formulation inspired by two Dermal Filler techniques to target the signs of lines, wrinkles and loss of volume for skin that looks smoother, firmer, and naturally fuller.
- Revival Masque – a special combination of ingredients which makes a rapidly visible difference to the appearance of tone, texture, and hydration. Hailed as Environ’s “Face Lift in a Jar”, Revival Masque leaves the skin looking noticeably firmer, tighter, and more radiant.
- Fast Track results with the power of Micro-Needling Technology, scientifically shown to enhance the effects of the powerhouse formulations by safely and effectively delivering up to 100 times more essential nutrients to where the skin needs it most. Environ’s Roll-CITs are medical-grade quality and meticulously designed to be safe on the skin, durable, easy-to-use, and clean.
How to combat acne flare-ups during menopause?
While oestrogen typically declines during menopause, Testosterone does not. Testosterone is a specific hormone that regulates sebum production in the skin. A history of acne combined with the disruption of hormone balance can increase sebaceous gland activity (oiliness and congestion), which may lead to acne flare-ups experienced during menopause.
Pro Tips: How to clean, control and clear the signs of problematic skin during menopause:
- Environ’s approach to control oiliness, congestion and inflammatory effects in the skin is through topical cosmetic applications of vitamin A, antioxidants, and hydroxy acids combined with results-driven Professional Environ Cool Peel Treatments.
- Environ’s Focus Care Clarity+ Range is an innovative 3-phase system offering a complete skincare solution. Each phase contains products that have been specifically formulated to target the root causes of breakouts by giving your skin exactly what it needs, where it needs it most.
How does UV (Sun) exposure affect the skin during menopause?
Every day, everyone is exposed to UV radiation, and UV exposure beyond what is needed to make vitamin D always leads to cumulative damage, which aggravates the changes experienced by women, particularly in menopause. In the period leading up to and during menopause, the skin, in general, can become more susceptible to damage due to the loss of melanocyte cells in the epidermis. This robs the skin of its natural protection.
Pro Tips: How to effectively protect your skin:
- Did you know that vitamin A is a known powerful normaliser of melanocyte activity? Retinyl Palmitate has powerful photo-protective properties (up to SPF 20), which is why Environ’s philosophy will always promote the daily topical application of vitamin A and antioxidants so that the skin is better equipped to defend itself. Learn more about why healthy skin starts with vitamin A.
- The more conscientious one is about sun protection before reaching menopause or even during this period, the better the chance of minimising the visible effects of photo-damage later.
- Applying sunscreen daily and wearing protective clothing can help prevent further damage to the skin. Learn more about why you should avoid high SPFs and Environ’s Even More Sun Care Range.
How does vitamin A help prepare the skin for menopause?
Vitamin A is the one molecule that stands out above all others in terms of its central role in skin health and the protection against cumulative photo-damage and ageing.
The best way to prepare skin adequately for the changes during menopause is to ensure that the skin cells are rich in optimal amounts of vitamin A, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and peptides. These essential skin nutrients will help build up the collagen, elastin, and natural moisturising factors to optimal levels and stabilise the water-proofing layer of the epidermis. The richer your skin is in these essential components, the less noticeable the hormone deficiency will be during menopause. If one only starts at the time of menopause, it will take approximately two years to catch up unless there is a fair amount of preceding damage – then it may take longer.
Dr Des Fernandes (Environ Founder & Scientific Director) says, “I always recommend that women approaching menopause should boost the epidermal vitamin A levels using their recommended Environ Essential Vitamin A Ranges, which will automatically supply added antioxidants, particularly the essential vitamins C and E for the skin. The aim is to acclimate the skin to higher and higher levels of vitamin A and antioxidants, which is simply and effectively achieved with Environ’s Vitamin STEP-UP SYSTEM™.” Learn more about Environ’s Vitamin A Skin Science Ranges.
Is micro-needling safe to do during menopause?
One needs to remember that Cosmetic Micro-Needling only permeates up to 0.2 mm into the epidermis. “Women with particularly thin skin, even those prone to bruising, can safely use Environ’s Micro-Needling rollers”, says Dr Des Fernandes, world-leading Micro-Needling Specialist. In fact, by incorporating Micro-Needling into your skincare routine, especially before applying Environ’s powerhouse serums and vitamin A moisturisers, you will help the potent ingredients work harder and faster and promote more healthy-looking and resilient skin.
Learn more about the Features and Benefits of Environ’s Micro-Needling Technology.
How can Skincare Professionals help during menopause?
Cosmetic science cannot intercept or reverse intrinsic ageing, but using the right ingredients and professional-grade skincare products can help ensure that skin cells are at their best by the time menopause is reached. This is where Skincare Professionals can make a real, lasting difference.
By providing personalised expert recommendations on home skincare and professional treatments, trained Skincare Professionals can help make real improvements resulting from the loss of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and hydration. “All women experience unique and individual effects of menopause on the skin, which makes personalised advice even more important,” says Dr Fernandes.
Menopause is a powerful transition that deserves more attention. Environ supports women every step of the way with skincare expertise backed by science. Here are some additional resources to help raise #MenopauseAwareness and promote age-inclusive beauty and well-being for all women:
- Read more about the skin-sights from Environ’s Consumer Study on the Effects of Menopause.
- Learn more about Environ’s Powerful Professional Skin Treatments that make a real, lasting difference to the skin.
- Find your nearest Environ Skin Care Professional for a personalised recommendation.
Get in touch with Environ Skin Care South Africa
Find a stockist: www.environskincare.com/za/environ-stockist-locator
Environ Skin Care is a globally recognised and loved professional skincare brand that is built on science, beauty and care. Since 1990, Environ has used the science of beauty to change the way the world sees skincare. The introduction of vitamin A to skincare formulations was a ground-breaking development, first successfully included in cosmetic products by top plastic surgeon, skincare pioneer and Environ founder Dr Des Fernandes. His sister, Val Carstens, Environ’s Chairman, has built the brand from a dream to a global success. Today, the brand has over 140 products in more than 70 countries.
Environ has received over 100 international awards, which have recognised the brand for its outstanding products, most recently being voted Top Medical Skincare Line of the Decade in the highly revered Aesthetic Everything® Aesthetic and Cosmetic Medicine Awards. Environ is favoured by international skincare therapists, the medical fraternity, beauty editors, aestheticians and film stars.
Rochelle is the founder and driving force behind Aesthetic Appointment. With a passion for the aesthetics and pro-ageing industry in South Africa, she has been in the aesthetic publishing industry since 2012, dedicated to creating a valuable platform for insights and knowledge, bridging the gap between patients and doctors - delivering reliable, medical-based information. Rochelle firmly believes in the power of a good skincare regimen, especially when started at home, and is committed to educating consumers about the myriad of treatments, procedures, and products available to them.