Is crepiness your new word of the day? Dry skin is an extremely common sign that perimenopause is here. Thanks to decreasing estrogen levels, our skin can become less supple, smooth, and soft. Fine wrinkles, dark spots and less elasticity are usually not far behind. Fantastic news, right?
Is this normal?
Dry skin is a scourge for us all, due to our body slowing its production of the protein collagen, which serves as the “scaffolding” that supports and plumps your skin.
What can you do?
Moisturize! Hydrate! Eat foods high in antioxidants (colorful fruits and vegetables). Reduce stress by meditating or doing yoga. And did you know your skin is affected by estrogen levels?
Head over to our product page to see what your options are. A menopause-trained physician will review your choices and let you know your best options. And stay tuned for more solutions coming soon from Alloy.View Products
What's the connection between menopause and dry, itchy skin?
You’re fatigued, you’re in pain, you have night sweats, and you have acne, but at least you’re not itchy, right? Wrong. You totally are. Much like everything else, the culprit of this extremely annoying symptom of menopause is estrogen (also known as oestrogen).
Menopause itching - what’s happening exactly?
As your estrogen levels decrease, your skin becomes less supple, smooth, soft, and, well, dryer. Collagen production also decreases as you age, which doesn’t help either, since collagen helps keep your skin strong and moisturized. You'll start to notice these symptoms affecting your face, followed by dry skin affecting other areas of your body.
Have you heard of (or, let’s be honest, experienced) vaginal dryness? Both menopausal symptoms are basically the same thing; itchy skin affects all over your body. You can experience dry, itchy skin from your scalp to your elbows to your toes. It’s incredibly common, and it’s definitely a sign that perimenopause has arrived. That’s the bad news. Now, the good news: there are things you can do about it.
Great. What can I do about my menopausal skin symptoms?
As you experience these hormone-related skin changes, it's important that you take care of your skin.
- Hydrate: The more water you drink, the more hydrated your skin will be. Although your skin doesn't retain water quite like how it used to, drinking water plays an essential role in caring for your skin. The rule of thumb is to aim for eight eight ounce glasses of water per day, but you may need more or less than that.
- Change Up the Way You Shower: If you’re showering multiple times daily, you’re going to want to cut back if you can. Take shorter showers using warm water instead of hot, and don’t scrub too much-you’ll scrub away your body’s natural oils which will make you even dryer. Also, steer clear of scented or antibacterial soaps that can strip healthy oils from your skin, furthering dryness. Instead, look for formulas that are safe for sensitive skin, and gently exfoliate to remove dead skin cells.
- Moisturize: After the shower, and whenever you need it, apply moisturizer. There are a ton of different brands on the market, and it may take a bit of time to figure out what works for you. Experiment with antioxidants on your face-look for products that include vitamin C. And, remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Avoid products with potentially-irritating harsh chemicals, and instead, opt for more natural and sensitive-skin friendly products. Petroleum jelly may be your best defense against all that itching and dry skin.
- Stay Out of the Sun: And, if you must be in the sun, SPF is your best friend. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from sun damage, which can help reduce the risk for dryness and irritation. Apply daily, even if you don’t think you’re exposing yourself (we’re looking at you, rainy days and pretty much all of winter). Reapply throughout the day.
- Focus on Fats: Healthy fats (think: the omega-3s found in many types of fish, seeds, and nuts) will help your skin stay hydrated.
- Stop Stressing: Easier said than done, we know. But we can’t write a blog post about improving dry, itchy skin without mentioning that stress is a factor.
- Get Moving: Exercise increases oxygen flow, which will help your skin. It also helps with the aforementioned stress.
- Hormone replacement therapy: Still itchy and dry? Check out Alloy's hormonal solutions. Because menopause symptoms like itchy skin, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes are caused by changes in estrogen, hormone therapy helps regulate estrogen levels which can help provide relief for menopause symptoms.