The skin aging process is extremely complex. Aging results from UV radiation, pollution and stress (extrinsic ageing) as well as genetics and hormones (intrinsic ageing).
Menopause causes a large increase of intrinsic aging in women. This is because post-menopause, women suffer a massive drop in the hormone estrogen. Estrogen plays a role in various processes throughout the whole body, and its receptors (ERα + ERβ) are found on various cell types. Within the skin, estrogen can bind and influence cells such as the epidermal keratinocytes, dermal fibroblasts, and melanocytes.
Dermoi’s Chief Scientific Officer, Eve Casha, MSC in Pharmaceutical formulation, provides top tips for post-menopausal skin and hair care.
Boost collagen production with advanced skincare and skin supplements
Collagen is the main structural protein within the skin that keeps it strong and firm. Post-menopause a decrease in estrogen is linked with a drop in collagen content in the skin. Collagen drops at a rate of 2% per year, and it is estimated that the overall collagen can decrease as much as 30% in the first 5 years of menopause. This dramatic change reduces skin elasticity, causing wrinkles and sagging. In addition, the skin starts to become thin.
Investing in advanced cosmeceutical skincare that can stimulate the production of collagen from cells called fibroblasts, these help preserve collagen and reduce wrinkling. Topical products containing vitamin A and peptide-based technologies or nutraceutical supplements with bioavailable collagen peptides and vitamin C are all scientifically proven to do just this.
Intensely hydrate the skin with oil-based and water-based hydrators
Estrogen helps maintain moisture levels in the skin. This is because it can increase skin sebum levels through regulation of growth factors. As estrogen drops post-menopause, the skin can become very dry and dull. There is a decrease of hydrophilic molecules within the dermis called glycosaminoglycans. These molecules bind and store water, and therefore, it is common for post-menopausal skin to have low water content.
Topical skincare can supply the skin with glycosaminoglycan molecules or other water binding actives to plumps the skin and restore water content. Good examples are hydrating serums containing multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. In addition, following hydrating serums with oil-based moisturizers with skin barrier repair lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids, or niacinamide will improve the skin’s ability to trap moisture.
Protect the skin with anti-inflammatory active ingredients
After menopause the skin also has a decreased ability to defend itself against environmental stressors and can have reduce wound healing capacity. The skin shows a decrease in anti-inflammatory proteins TGF-B1 and IGF-1 and can often become chronically inflamed.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory active ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, resveratrol, co-enzyme Q10 can help boost the skin’s defence against environmental stressors and prevent inflammation. In addition, such active will help reduce existing inflammation to create a supple complexion.
Antioxidants can be unstable molecules, and therefore, should be formulated into sophisticated cosmeceutical formulations to preserve their potency. This can be done with topical skincare and skin supplements.
Stimulate the hair growth Cycle with next generation technologies
Estrogen has the ability to act on the hair follicle. It can increase the hair growth phase of the hair cycle and decrease the resting phase. After menopause, when estrogen drops, it is very common to see thinning hair.
New generation haircare and hair supplements will use active ingredients that are clinically proven to bind to the hair follicle and stimulate hair growth. Examples include extracts from pea sprouts which can influence the gene expression of hair growth, or advance peptides such as Dermatopoietin by Evenswiss that gives signals to the hair follicle from the surface of the skin.
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