Was that line there yesterday? The hormonal shifts during menopause can wreak havoc on your skin, from acne you haven't experienced since puberty to wrinkles that seemingly form overnight. Restore balance to your skin with these tips from dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer.
Perhaps with the exception of puberty, there is no more challenging time for your skin than when you go through menopause. Like opposing forces of nature, your skin must battle against both breakouts and wrinkles, giving you definite obstacles when it comes to choosing treatments and products to keep you looking your best.
As you may have guessed, hormonal shifts that play a major role in your skin changes. Surges of testosterone cause acne, not only on the face but anywhere else, including the back and chest. Stress also creates precursors to hormones, which serve to increase breakouts.
The same hormonal shifts that are giving you prepubescent skin issues are working on the other side of the spectrum to break down your collagen and elastin and thin the dermis, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. Women going through this time in their life may also notice their skin lacks luster and radiance and becomes looser than before. On another note, many women also experience hair and nail changes. Nails become more brittle, while hair may thin and lack vitality.
So, what's a woman to do? While this may seem almost hopeless, there are several things you can do to restore balance to your body and your skin.
Yes, this seems like the cure-all to everything, but exercise is critical. All women 35 and older need to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day. Exercise increases your circulation and gets oxygen to your tissues. Not only will you feel better, but your skin will also thank you.
Again, a tool in your arsenal is the food you eat. Approximately 30 percent the calories you consume should be from carbohydrates, and of those carbohydrates, the majority should come from fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals. Make it a goal to have a streamed green vegetable with at least one meal. Forty percent of your diet should be in the form of lean protein, and 30 percent from healthy fats. Keeping salt to a minimum is also important for fluid retention.
The magic elixir comes into play once again. Drinking your eight glasses of water per day will flush your system and help your skin reclaim its glow. Mineral water is best.
The 5-step skincare regimen for women going through menopause
As important as what goes into your body is what goes on your body. Choosing a skincare regimen that is right for you is vital. Look for products that use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
During this time, women must exfoliate the skin using a gentle polish. Exfoliating invigorates the skin, removes dry, dead skin cells, promotes collagen production and brings oxygen to the skin.
Proper cleansing rids the skin of debris, preparing it for the rest of your skincare regimen.
Specific treatments designed for your skin type should definitely be part of your routine. Always make sure you treat your skin with some sort of antioxidant. All antioxidants are anti-aging, and they act to protect your skin. Vitamin A (retinoids), vitamin C, green tea and resveratrol are among the top antioxidants.
During menopause, the skin often becomes dry. The use of a proper moisturizer will help with water loss and seal the skin
The use of a broad-spectrum SPF is a must in all skincare regimens.
Menopause is a multifaceted issue for all women. Remember to add a dermatologist to your team of experts when choosing what treatments work best for you.
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Harold Lancer, MD, FAAD, is the expert that Hollywood's most recognizable faces and bodies trust for effective cosmetic rejuvenation. Visit LancerDermatology.com for more information.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013
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