Treat your skin to counter the effects of menopause. Picture: Wikipedia.org

LIFESTYLE - MENOPAUSE is a natural biological process which begins a year after your last period.

When women reach their forties and fifties, there is a natural decline in reproductive hormones, which can bring about noticeable changes to your skin, including the following:

Dry skin: After menopause, our skin losses its ability to hold water.

Accelerates ageing: Collagen (protein responsible for skin elasticity) production starts to decline at about age 25 and decreases even more in women after menopause. With a combination of dry skin, this results in fine lines, wrinkles, and a sagging neck and jawline.

Rashes and easily irritated skin: The body becomes more sensitive to changes in temperature, particularly heat. Our skin becomes itchy, so you start scratching. That results in rashes.

Pimples or breakouts: Skin breakouts are more evident due to the drop in the female hormone, oestrogen, and the increase in the male hormone, testosterone. This occurrence is predominantly at the bottom cheeks and around the jawline.

Age spots and hyper-pigmentation: During menopause, some women experience more melanin production on their face, called melasma, which is hyper-pigmentation. The common areas are the cheeks, upper lip and forehead.

Excessive hair growth because of increased testosterone.

The recommended course of action:

Keep skin hydrated. Choose a cream cleanser. Use a cleanser that is right for drier skin, instead of a foam or gel cleanser.

Use a nourishing mask weekly to feed back moisture.

Introduce intensive serums containing vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It combats the early signs of ageing. Hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet that holds moisture a thousand times more than its own weight.

Use a sunscreen with a broad spectrum to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Exercise regularly to boost circulation, which begins to slow with age.

Get enough sleep. Sleep can help prevent dark circles under your eyes.

Introduce food that is packed with antioxidants, to fight off free radicals that can accelerate ageing. Berries are high in antioxidants.

Drink plenty of water to hydrate the skin. Water carries helpful nutrients and oxygen to your body.

Visit a physician. They can prescribe medication that can clear up menopausal acne.

Book a skin treatment where a professional therapist can advise on a skin programme.

Assess your diet. Recent studies show that hormones found in dairy products contribute to acne.

Ramlakan is an internationally-qualified and trained beauty therapist and the founder of NB Skin Science skincare. You can visit her in Malvern or Musgrave. Facebook and Instagram @nbskinscience or visit www.nbskinscience.com.​

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