How menopause affects your skin and hair
The menopause causes a dramatic drop in the female hormones 'oestrogen' and 'progesterone', and this decline can have major effects on the health and appearance of our skin and hair. Women generally experience a decline in their youthful appearance during this natural phase of life and the drop in hormones are to blame. Our hormone health and expert nutritionists explain how changes to your diet and clinically proven supplements can minimise the effects of menopause on your hair and skin.
How menopause affects skin & hair
Menopause can play havoc with our skin and hair. The drop in oestrogen causes a decline in your production of collagen which can result in sagginess of the skin. As well as being the main structural component of our skin, collagen is also essential for our healthy blood vessels which support the transportation of essential nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles for healthy hair growth. As a result, a decline in collagen affects the growth and strength of your hair and the health of your scalp, and can lead to hair thinning, brittleness and weakness.
Is your diet fuelling your hair? Find out in your free Diet Profile.
As oestrogen levels drop, so does the level of fat under our skin, which further contributes towards the appearance of wrinkles. In addition, when women go through menopause, they can experience a loss of hydration in the skin due to the decline in oestrogen. Dry skin appears less plump and has a duller complexion, increasing the appearance of ageing. You may also be interested in learning about how gut health affects our skin.
The appearance of skin during menopause is also affected by the decline of hyaluronic acid as we age. Hyaluronic acid is a type of sugar found naturally in our body, and abundantly in the skin, and holds onto water which supports the moisturisation of our skin. Hyaluronic acid is the most powerful skin moisturiser in our body and one of eleven clinically proven ingredients in Skin Saviour®, the award-winning formula that fuels your body's natural collagen production for healthier, glowing skin.
It may be tempting to reach for a collagen supplement, but did you know that when you take a collagen supplement, your body just breaks down the collagen into amino acids? Did you also know that collagen is made from the boiling of animal ligaments and bones (or fish scales in the case of marine collagen)? Learn more about the truth about collagen, and the good news is there are much more effective ways to fuel your body's natural collagen production to improve the appearance of your skin and fuel healthier, thicker, and stronger hair growth.
How perimenopause affects hair and skin
The perimenopause can begin up to 10 years before menopause and is when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. You may also enjoy learning about why testosterone is so important for women, particularly during menopause.
Perimenopause is the period leading up to menopause, and menopause is when a women has gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle. The average age women begin to experience menopausal symptoms is 47 and symptoms generally present themselves during perimenopause.
As women approach menopause they will notice several changes to their skin and hair. Hair thickness is likely to start to decrease in the years before menopause, while your skin may start to lose its plumpness. These changes are very natural and due to decreasing levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the body. You may also enjoy 'How do I know if I'm starting menopause?'.
As your body gets closer to the cessation of menstruation, the year that follows your last menstrual period may be the toughest on your skin and hair. Not only does the skin become even drier, thinner and slacker, the growth of your hair slows down. You can also find you experience more facial hair growth as a result of proportionately higher levels of testosterone compared to oestrogen and progesterone.
The mental health effects of menopause are already significant as a result of so many symptoms, including brain fog, exhaustion, poor sleep, hot flushes, joint aches and many more, and the impact on your skin and hair only adds to the impact of these. If you're experiencing hair thinning, weaker, more brittle hair, we recommend Hair Saviour®, an advanced formula including the clinically proven AnaGain® to regenerate hair follicles, fuel healthy hair growth, and naturally stronger, thicker and lustrous hair.
Unfortunately the growth and health of our skin and hair can continue to drop from post-menopause onwards. Wrinkling can become more obvious and hair thinning can get worse.
Minimising hair thinning and skin changes
Your diet, menopause supplements and natural supplements to fuel your collagen production can all help minimise changes in your skin, scalp and hair. In recent research of over 1,500 women going through menopause, 81% had tweaked or changed their diet to help relieve symptoms, and 66% found their changes to be effective. The most common and effective changes to diet to relieve symptoms of menopause were:
- Increasing plants and vegetables
- Reducing or avoiding alcohol
- Reducing or avoiding dairy or gluten
- Increasing fibre intake
Diet and your hair and skin
Diet plays a huge role in the health of skin and hair during menopause. Adding phytoestrogens (plant-based oestrogens) to your diet from foods including nuts, seeds, beans and fruit, can help to naturally replace some of the oestrogen lost during menopause. Even before menopause, nutrient deficiencies can impact the health of our skin, while conditions such as type 2 diabetes are also linked with early menopause and heightened symptoms of menopause. Avocados are also recommended, providing healthy fats that are so important for healthy skin. It's also important to avoid unhealthy fats - learn more in 'Healthy fats and unhealthy fats explained'.
Having the right healthy fats and omega 3 fatty acids to support skin health is a major factor in skin quality and moisturisation of the skin. Ensuring you have a wide variety of healthy foods supports the foundations of skin health and the body's natural collagen production, as well as blood flow and nutrient delivery to the skin and hair cells. We recommend reading the 'Best changes in diet during menopause' and our nutritionists guide on the best and worst foods during the menopause and perimenopause.
To ensure you're fuelling healthier skin and hair during menopause, make sure you include the following foods in your diet as much as possible:
Flax seeds are great for menopausal women in four ways.
- They contain phytoestrogens which help to replace the declining oestrogen during the perimenopause.
- They contain omega 3 fats which keep your skin cells hydrated and flexible.
- The omega 3 fats in flax seeds are anti-inflammatory and help to calm skin reactions, redness and blemishes.
- Omega 3 fats also improve the skins cells sensitivity to other female hormones which support youthful skin and fuller hair.
If you're not gaining sufficient omega 3 in your diet, which is vital for your skin, brain health, heart health, joints and more, it is recommended to take an omega 3 supplement with at least 500mg omega oil. And of course, make sure it is vegan omega oil from algae because fish gain their omega from algae, so there's no need to harm the fish in our oceans.
Soya beans can be enjoyed in many forms including tempeh, tofu and immature edamame soya beans. Soya beans have a high content of isoflavones, which come under the category of phytoestrogens and have an effect on oestrogen levels in the body that supports your skin and hair. Learn more about the proven health benefits of soya.
Sesame seeds are great for adding into many healthy recipes and due to their phytoestrogen content, research has shown they have a positive affect on the oestrogen levels of menopausal women.
Cauliflower and broccoli
Not only are cauliflower and broccoli great for our overall health, they also contain a type of phytoestrogen called 'secoisolariciresinol' (a tough word to say!) which helps to balance oestrogen levels in our body.
Best supplements for hair and skin during menopause
Skin Saviour® is a unique formula of antioxidants, probiotics, Hyaluronic acid, and essential nutrients to combat blemishes and fuel the body's natural collagen production for healthier, glowing skin. Hair Saviour® regenerates the hair follicles and provides nutrients to regenerate natural hair growth, and healthier, stronger hair. These natural supplements, with zero nasty additives, also include the following essential nutrients needed in higher levels during menopause. Certain botanicals and herbs can also help regulate hormones and improve hair strength and skin health.
Vitamin B6 particularly is helpful for hormone balance – especially for managing the increased ratio of testosterone women see during menopause, so if you're taking a supplement for menopause, make sure it contains Vitamin B6 in a high quality, bioavailable form.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for our bodies through our life that helps to control hydration of the skin. It is also needed during menopause as it works with Vitamin B6 for hormone balance. Discover how to tell if you might be deficient in magnesium.
Wild yam contains a phytosterol (a plant sterol) called 'diosgenin' which is known as a phytoestrogen. This means Wild Yam has a similar affect on the body as oestrogen and supports healthier skin and stronger hair.
Maca is the root of a plant which acclaimed for helping relieve menopausal symptoms. Research suggests that maca root can help to balance hormones and relieve symptoms of hut flushes and night sweats, and help with issues arising due to hormonal imbalances that create problems with skin and hair during menopause.
Vitamin C is essential for the maintenance of collagen in the skin. Supplementing with Vitamin C provides additional support for struggling skin, as well as additional protection from environmental damage and oxidative stress on the skin.
What else can help manage skin and hair during menopause?
Approximately 20% of women going through menopause take HRT. Although not a natural solution, some women can find HRT useful for managing skin and hair changes during menopause. Discuss the pros and cons of HRT with your GP if it is something you would like to consider. You may also be interested in reading how MenoFriend® compares to HRT.
Skin care routines
It is especially important to find the right skin care routine for your skin. Skin can become more sensitive during the menopause phase and require more moisturisation. Try to find natural skin care products as standard products contain chemicals which can disrupt hormone balance.
Hair care routines
Try to gently massage your scalp regularly. This stimulates blood flow and a better supply of nutrients to the hair follicles. Opt for vegan friendly skincare such as Dr Organic's aloe vera shampoo. Also consider using a caffeine shampoo with your hair dresser as these may help to stimulate more hair growth. You may be interested in reading what causes premature grey hair and if it can be reversed.
Shop our range of award-winning vegan vitamins, supplements and probiotics here.
You may also enjoy reading:
- The hormone-hair connection: how hormones affect your hair
- Best foods for hair loss & thinning
- 5 key nutrients for healthy hair
- Why exercise helps through menopause
- Estrobolome, your gut & oestrogen
- Nutrition for the menopause
- 12 most common symptoms of menopause
- 8 unusual symptoms of the menopause
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