Perimenopause, the transitional period before your menopause, can really take its toll on your skin. The hormonal shifts that happen during this time, especially decreasing estrogen levels, can cause the skin to become extremely dry and dull. The bright side is that you can prepare for and help combat these skin issues with a thoughtful self-care approach to skincare. Keep reading because we've rounded up the best natural skincare products that are perfect for your skin during perimenopause.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a fluctuation and changes to our hormone levels as we age. Many women are unaware that this can start in our early to mid-30s. Studies have shown that estrogen plays a role in collagen production, skin’s elasticity, thickness, and moisture levels, as well as healthy blood vessels (hello, rosy glow). When you produce less estrogen, you may see:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne (especially around jaw and neckline)
- Increased skin sensitivity, eczema, and rashes
- Hyperpigmentation and discoloration
How to Soften Common Perimenopausal Skin Issues
1. Moisturize a lot more
Estrogen — a key hormonal influencer — assists in the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, all of which give skin its youthful plumpness. When your estrogen starts to decline in perimenopause, this speeds up the loss of sebum and hyaluronic acid which keeps the skin barrier strong and supple. It’s vital to choose moisturizers like Pure Fiji’s Hydrating Multi-Active Day Creme that contain sodium hyaluronate - a powerful humectant that hydrates the skin and improves the appearance of wrinkles.
2. Choose a cleanser that won’t strip dry skin of its essential oils
You want to incorporate moisture into every step of your skincare routine, including cleansing. Look for ingredients like moringa oil in cleansers like Pure Fiji’s Coconut Cleanser with Papaya and Moringa. Moringa has moisturizing and nourishing properties and is excellent at cleansing and purifying the skin, especially from the effects of pollution. It cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural oils and is a nutrient-dense oil high in Vitamin C boosting collagen, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and brightening skin. Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?
3. Cool down hot flashes
Perhaps the most well-known menopausal symptom, a hot flash can last just a few minutes but feels like your body is burning up from the inside. It is frequently accompanied by lots of sweating. To make matters worse, it can happen when you least expect it. A good rescue item to have on hand is Pure Fiji’s Coconut Water Hydrating Toning Mist that contains a refreshing cucumber hydrosol which is steam distilled in small batches in-house. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothes, cools and calms skin.
4. Use face acids versus manual exfoliants
Decreased estrogen levels can cause the skin to become itchy, sensitive, irritated all while the skin barrier becomes thinner. This thinning skin barrier becomes more prone to pigmentation problems. Estrogen also assists in controlling melanin, the pigment that darkens the skin. With less estrogen to keep it in check, melanin increases, and pigmentation issues from sun damage (sunspots) can become more apparent during perimenopause.
If your skin has been unable to tolerate other AHAs, then mandelic acid is a great alternative, as it has a much bigger molecular structure than others such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic and stronger acids. It works to accelerate cell turnover and remove dead skin cells. It also strengthens collagen, assists with evening skin tone, reduces hyperpigmentation, and combats acne through its antibacterial properties.
5. Choose bakuchiol versus retinol
What you may not realize is that your collagen production has been diminishing since your 20s. From around the age of 25, collagen production starts to decrease at a rate of 1% per year, climbing to 5% per year during the perimenopausal years. However, it is between the ages of 45 and 55 that collagen starts to dramatically deplete, leading to the more noticeable signs of sagging.
Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol and is being touted as a gentle, plant-based alternative. Bakuchiol acts similarly to retinol and has been shown to upregulate and stimulate collagen — it also works as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
There is no doubt that it can feel challenging to love the skin you’re in during perimenopause. But remember that you have the power to maximize your well-being. Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, use SPF and treat your skin with love and compassion. If you make good health a priority, you’ll feel and look your best.