A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the dentist chair watching a morning show on their TV. The host was talking with a lady, who was showcasing skin care for menopause and demonstrating all her products. There are unique and new skin concerns as a woman ages. These skin concerns mainly relate to the new levels of hormones she’s experiencing. Which led me to wonder, what can a woman do to help keep skin supple and younger looking as menopause hits?
The Hormones Behind Skin Changes
During peri-menopause, which can happen as early as age 40, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease. It is still possible to have estrogen dominance at this time, despite lower estrogen production. However, estrogen dominance doesn’t help keep skin clear and young-looking.
Natural production of estrogen by the ovaries helps to keep your skin plump, wrinkle-free and firm. Therefore, lower levels of estrogen lead to sagging, thinning and wrinkling as we age.
Lowered levels of estrogen cause skin dryness because less hyaluronic acid is produced. DHEA, the hormone that is the precursor to estrogen and other hormones, helps keep skin moist, smooth and younger looking. Age and stress both cause lowered levels of DHEA production.
Blood sugar balance is critical as you approach menopause, too. Not only can high levels of insulin lead to diabetes and even cholesterol issues, it’s often behind wrinkles too. This is because insulin is released in response to glucose. High carb foods, like pastries, doughnuts, and white bread, break down quickly into glucose and spike insulin. Eating these foods often keeps insulin high.
High levels of cortisol from stress reduce your body’s natural collagen production. Less collagen means more sagging and loose skin.
Foods and Nutrients To Focus On
One of the most important nutrients to focus on when it comes to skin care for menopause is antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that cause aging, cancer and inflammation.
Foods rich in antioxidants are your brightly colored fruits and vegetables. This makes it easy to add nutrients to your diet to support skin care for menopause, right? Because, honestly, which fruits and vegetables are NOT colorful! Even the white ones have nutrients so don’t skimp on those either.
Your best choices, though, are purple, red and orange fruits and vegetables. Think red grapes, blackberries, blueberries, red peppers, raspberries, and sweet potatoes.
As estrogen decreases, you should start to increase your intake of non-GMO soy products. Soy contains isoflavones, which are a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in your body but on a slightly weaker scale.
When it comes to skin care for menopause, soy, found in tofu or miso, can help fend off wrinkles, and thin and saggy skin.
Did you know that you have more collagen in your body than any other protein? Collagen is one of the superpowers behind skin care for menopause. It is a major part of connective tissues and helps keep the skin’s structure intact.
As you age, collagen naturally decreases. Collagen is behind skin elasticity and hydration.
Quite a few studies have been done that show taking collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen supplements helps reduce aging. Women who add collagen powder to smoothies or other beverages tend to have less skin dryness, too.
Plus, collagen supplements can reduce joint pain, prevent bone loss and boost muscle mass. All these things are important as we age, too.
More Skin Care for Menopause Tips
Of course, there are a few additional things you can do to improve skin care for menopause.
Protect your skin from the sun’s rays with proper sun screen. I recommend natural sun screen with zinc oxide to reduce toxin exposure and ensure a healthy reef system, if you’re an ocean lover like me!
Manage and reduce your stress! High stress causes so many diseases and health concerns, including aging skin. Relax more often. Follow a stress-specific nutritional program if you feel your stress levels are overwhelming.
Exercise every single day. Not only does exercise fend off the effects of aging, like muscle loss and weight gain, it boosts circulation. This helps get nutrients to your skin to really help naturally boost skin care for menopause.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you have troubles with sleep, follow stress management tips and nutrition to balance your stress and sleep hormones.
Eat your healthy fats. Foods like avocado, eggs, raw nuts and seeds, wild-caught salmon and olive oil help boost skin hydration and slow down the loss of hormonal production as you age.
Naturally improving skin care for menopause is as easy as eating the right foods – bone broth for collagen, healthy fats for hormonal balance, and bright, colorful fruits and vegetables for antioxidants – and perfecting a few lifestyle habits.
Remember to always eat mindfully and with intention. Plus, drink lots of filtered water every day, too. Doing so will improve digestion, nutrient assimilation, and hydration.