Skin changes can occur due to oestrogen decline during the menopause. Less collagen and elastic ﬁbers are produced. Collagen is the supportive protein structure of the skin and elastic fibers provide the flexibility of the skin. The drop in collagen and elastic fibers accelerates wrinkling and sagging.
Oestrogen stimulates fat deposits over the female body. As the oestrogen levels decline during menopause, fat deposits become redistributed over the abdomen and on the thighs and buttocks (hence the waist area of a women thickening when she gets older). This leads to a loss of supportive fat below the skin of the face, neck, hands and arms. Therefore, these areas sag and wrinkles appear.
As fat deposits are reduced in the breasts the same thing happens causing the breasts to sag and flatten. Sagging usually takes a hold when a woman reaches her late 40s, 50s and beyond. Smoking should be avoided as it reduces collagen and dehydrates the deeper layers of the skin. To minimise these effects, you should:
- Stop smoking. Smoking has a huge effect on the appearance of the skin
- You are what you eat - eat healthily with plenty of vegetables and fruit
- Beware of the sun — be sensible, you need vitamin D from the sun but moderate your exposure
- Move your facial muscles to keep your skin and muscle tone more deﬁned
- Reduce your stress. Remember we wear stress on our faces
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated