Why Your Skin Gets Drier After Menopause (And How to Rescue It)
Hormonal shifts—decreasing estrogen levels among them—can reduce the production of collagen and elastin, says North Carolina dermatologist Brooke Jackson, MD, which leads to drier, thinner, more sensitive skin.
Your Rescue Plan, Inside...
Healthier skin really does start with a healthy lifestyle: Eat fresh, rather than processed, foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and E (found in colorful vegetables and fruit) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like salmon and sardines), says Jackson. Good circulation is important, too, so make sure to stay physically active at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you drink alcohol, do so moderately, as it can be dehydrating. In the very unlikely event that you're still smoking—which robs the skin of oxygen and causes wrinkles—now would be an excellent time to quit.
When you feel dry, keep baths and showers short. Baby your skin with a creamy body wash (in warm water, not hot), followed by a lotion or thick cream with ingredients like retinol, which supports collagen production; hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which help maintain moisture levels and niacinamide, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritation. Apply lotion or cream when you're damp from the bath or shower so its oils and other moisturizers can lock in the water that's still on your skin, giving you extra hydration. Follow this routine and you'll see smoother, softer skin in no time.
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