As well as the mood swings, insomnia and weight-gain women of a certain age have to contend with, the menopause can also play havoc with skin. Deeper wrinkles, puffiness and dryness are just some of the problems exacerbated by hormonal changes during this time.
‘During menopause, levels of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone rapidly decline leading to accelerated skin ageing,’ says aesthetic surgeon Dr Jonquille Chantrey. ‘Collagen and elastin levels deplete dramatically, so you get sagging and deep wrinkles.
‘The production of skin-hydrating hyaluronic acid and oil also drops, causing dryness. Plus testosterone becomes more dominant, so some women may suffer from acne and facial hair.’
More than half of British women are unaware of the impact the menopause has on their skin, says a new study from healthcare company Allergan. But experts believe these menopause effects can be limited, if we act in advance.
‘Starting a maintenance programme in your early 30s is the biggest investment you can make for your skin,’ says Cannes-based surgeon Hervé Raspaldo, who treats celebrities. ‘You will look younger in your 50s and 60s, and may never need surgery.’