Typical Skin Changes In Our 40’s + what we can do to help….

Life happens and somehow the years fly by. Then before we know it we are in our fourth decade.

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The changes….

Around our late 30’s / early 40s women typically go through a transitional period (which can last several years) caused by hormonal fluctuations. This period is often referred to as ‘perimenopause’.

Due to the shifts in hormone production (mainly progesterone and estrogen), perimenopause can bring about many changes. Unlike full-fledged (or early menopause), you DO continue to ovulate and you ARE still producing estrogen. In fact, your hormones will often test in the “normal” range.

Some of the typical changes that occur during this period of estrogen and progesterone fluctuations (and then decline) include:-

  • Skin Changes – eg …dryer, thinning, adult acne, rosacea, pigmentation, increased sensitivity, less elastic, itchy, lines and wrinkles & volume loss.
  • Hot Flushes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poorer concentration & also memory
  • Anxiety 
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Increased PMS symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular periods – often short cycles + heavier bleeding.
  • Weight changes
  • Decrease in breast volume
  • Change in sex drive
  • Etc

Specific SKIN Changes

Changes in our skin predominantly occur due to:-

  • the multiple effects of hormonal fluctuations
  • a shrinking skeleton
  • decreased collagen production
  • accumulated sun damage over the years
  • Repetitive facial expressions over the years (causing lines and wrinkles to become etched in). See more info here.

Adult Acne:

Beginning in our 30’s, our levels of androgens increase. Testosterone stimulates sebaceous glands to secrete thicker sebum. This can cause clogged pores and an increase the likeliness of adult Acne.

……see ‘Adult Acne’ Article for more information 

Facial Hair:

Due to the unstable progesterone / estrogen levels + increased testosterone, some women may develop the odd sprout (or two or three) of facial hair, particularly in the chin area.

Sagging Skin and Wrinkles:

When progesterone levels drop (causing estrogen to become unstable), fat deposits tend to become redistributed. Fat pads in our face (which provide support and structure) diminish. Instead our adipose cells can become more concentrated around the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. Leading Dermatologist Dr Kathy Fields describes this as “fat redistribution from our face to our Fanny” 😳. The result of this loss of volume in our face, can be the formation of wrinkles and skin that appears less taut.

Continuous muscle contraction over the years, is another major contributor of facial wrinkles. Continuous muscle movement causes ‘dynamic wrinkles’ which only appear when the muscle is used, however, over time, if untreated, these wrinkles can become ‘static wrinkles’ which means they become permanently etched in our skin.

Thiner less elastic Skin:

Collagen is the supportive protein structure of our skin. It helps give skin it’s youthful plumpness. Skin stays more supple when there is enough progesterone …..which helps stimulate the production of collagen.

Sun Damage:

The maintenance of Melanocytes (cells that manufacture the pigment Melanin) is under the control of estrogens. As we move closer to menopause, the number of melanocytes in the skin is reduced. With less melanocytes, we produce less of the protective melanin and skin appears lighter. Our skin is therefore more prone to sun damage.

Pigmentation:

As estrogen helps regulate the production of melanin (pigment), melanin synthesis can increase (when estrogen decreases). This can then lead to brown “age spots”. These can appear on the face, hands, neck, arms and chest of many women. This is particularly evident in areas of our skin that have been exposed to the sun over the years. See here for more info on pigmentation and melasma.

Dry and sometimes itchy skin

Estrogen stimulates the production of oils in our skin and also our skins ability to hold moisture. So when estrogen production diminishes  – dry and sometimes itchy skin becomes common.

However it’s not all bad news, there it’s lots we can do which helps dramatically. If you haven’t yet whipped your anti-aging routine into shape, now’s the time—because it only gets harder from here.

What can help?

  • A healthier diet – a healthy outside starts on the inside.
  • Skip long hot showers which drys our Skin out.
  • Supplements – such as Zinc (can do wonders for Skin), probiotics (as gut health is linked to Skin health), Omega 3’s which help with inflammation and dryness, Vitex, Sage, black cohosh etc. Speak to a naturopath.
  • Sun protection +++
  • read previous Gut Article!!
  • See previous Adult Acne Article!!
  • Retinol (Vitamin A) based night serums – is anti-aging as it helps with collagen building and the rate at which skin cells generate. Amp up your results even further by using a dermal-roller prior.
  • Going to bed earlier – as lack of sleep can add to hormonal imbalance, inflammatory skin conditions and adult acne.  Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  • Manage stress – as cortisol can trigger skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and acne. Stress also robs us of progesterone.
  • Exercise – helps with circulation (blood flow to your skin) and also stress management. See previous article.
  • Quit smoking as it has been linked to early menopause.
  • Some people choose to get mustcle relaxant injections – these work to prevent the formation of static wrinkles by stopping the signal between the nerve and muscle. The decreased movement in the muscle places less stress on the skin helping to give a fresh and youthful appearance. Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein that temporarily causes facial muscles to relax, instantly softening lines and wrinkles and reducing the severity of visible wrinkles. Please contact Victoria for more information on Laser Clinics Australia bookings. Or visit the  LCA website
  • Hyaluronic dermal filler injections – once again, this is a personal choice made by some people. A dermal filler helps re-volumise and hydrate the face. Made from hyaluronic gel – a natural sugar already present in the human body. Hyaluronic can help restore fullness and volume in numerous facial areas. Visit here for more details.
  • See the Beauty Booster Treatment
  • Upgrade your Skincare Regime / Products – to suit your changing skin conditions. Visit the Solution Tool for further advice regarding which skincare products will best suit your individual skin concerns. 
  • Skin Treatments….eg Skin Needling
  • See ‘5 Of The Worst Things You Can do For Your Skin’
  • Progesterone Cream helps a lot of women with Perimenopausal symptoms in general. I highly recommend Ona’s Natural Progesterone Cream
  • To receive a discount on Ona’s natural progesterone cream use code : Vskin10
  • Vitex – has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine for menstrual cycle irregularities and to help relieve symptoms associated with PMS. It can also provide symptomatic relief of hormone-induced acne. Visit your local health food shop or nutritionist for more information.

 

Victoria Isherwood (Registered Nurse / Dermatology) ☺️

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Common Skin Conditions – What to avoid & what can help.

Four Common Skin Conditions

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Rosacea
An Inflammatory disorder causing redness and sometimes small pimples on the face. The small surface blood vessels (capillaries) enlarge, giving the appearance of a flushed face.
The exact cause is not 100% known. However avoiding the ten below things can help manage the symptoms.
Specific triggers to avoid include stress, high temperatures (including hot baths & saunas), spicy foods, alcohol, some cosmetics, sun exposure, hot drinks and food.

Acne
Obstruction and inflammation of sebaceous glands which leads to infection.
Common triggers include hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause + fluctuations during (certain days) of the menstrual cycle.                                …..See previous adult acne article.

Eczema
Chronic immune-mediated inflammation of the skin involving genetic and environmental factors.
Specific triggers include stress, exposure to allergens (such as dust mite, foods & cosmetics), and dry air.
Linked to asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Psoriasis
A chronic systemic inflammatory disorder. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues in the body. Skin cells build up and form scales and itchy dry patches. Triggers can include stress, infections, medications, sunburn, poor gut health.

10 common causes of these skin conditions

  1. Nutritional deficiencies
  2. Hormonal imbalances
  3. Poor gut health including intestinal dyobiosis
  4. Stress
  5. Thyroid problems
  6. Immune system abnormalities
  7. Infection (bacterial, parasitic or viral)
  8. Medications
  9. Poor hygiene
  10. Allergies

 

Helpful Supplements

– when diet alone isn’t enough

Zinc
Is an absolutely essential micronutrient for the Skin. It helps with tissue growth & repair, inflammation and infection. Deficiency can present as rough or dry skin, dermatitis, skin lesions, an increase in skin infections and slow wound healing.

Vitamin A
Helps prevent skin infection (eg acne), helps with collagen production and wound healing. Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties , helping neutralize free radicals that cause tissue and cellular damage. Consult with your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements when pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Vitamin C
Helps with tissue repair (including healing damaged skin), collagen synthesis, connective tissue, and the skins elasticity. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to dry skin, increased bruising and impaired wound healing.

Essential fatty acids (Omega-3)
Helps with inflammation and wound healing.
Nourishes the Skin and helps prevent moisture loss. Deficiency contributes to eczema, psoriasis, sun spots, dandruff and also thinning hair. Oily fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna have fewer omega-3s than good quality capsules. Omega-3 supplements include Krill oil, Fish Oil or Sea buckthorn oil capsules.

Other Antioxidants (eg vitamin E, selenium, green tea, coenzyme Q10 etc)

Probiotics
Research has shown that the state of your gut has a great deal to do with the condition of your skin. Where there is gut inflammation, there is usually skin inflammation
See Gut Article

Turmeric

Curcumin is the active part of the turmeric plant. It is anti-inflammatory and can help with a wide variety of skin conditions. Curcumin has even been found to help clear mild psoriasis plaques, and prevent flare ups in some sufferers.

Silica
Is required to produce collagen and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Is good for Skin, hair and nails.

Other skin supplements include – echinacea, burdock, sea buckthorn (a vegetarian source of Omega fatty acids), yellow dock, cleavers etc.

Skin Treatments

See LED Light Therapy

Skincare

Soothe has been named as the favourite regimen by The Sydney Morning Herald & has recently been reviewed in Allure. This regimen uses RFp3 Peptite technology -A breakthrough combination of skin soothing peptides & skin detoxifying peptides working with a protease inhibitor at the skins surface to neutralise triggers & reduce visible signs of redness. If you suffer from sensitive, red or irritated skin …..this may be the product for you! It comes with a R+F 60 day money back guarantee. Please contact me to find out how to save 10% on this product and to receive free shipping. Or why not try the Solution Tool to get a personalised Skin Regime

https://visherwood.myrandf.com/au

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Some Supplement Recommendations-

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Note- We know Fish oil has many health benefits due to the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA (omega 3’s). However there are fish oils and there are fish oils. SO many of the ones found in our supermarkets are manufactured cheaply and can even be rancid! BioCeuticals fish oil undergoes strict testing to ensure its purity & to make sure it is of the highest quality, using ethically sourced fish free of heavy metals.

Perimenopause & Skin

Permenopause ….who me??

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Perimenopause usually starts in a woman’s late 30’s or early 40s. It can however start earlier or later. It is a transitional period caused by hormone fluctuations, particularly the levels of circulating estrogen and progesterone. This period can last up to 10 years.

Due to the shifts in hormone production, perimenopause can bring about many symptoms. Unlike full-fledged (or early menopause), you continue to ovulate and you are still producing estrogen. In fact, your hormones will often test in the “normal” range.

Some of the typical changes that occur during this period of estrogen and Progesterone fluctuations (and then decline) include:-

  • Skin Changes – eg …dryer, thinning, adult acne, Rosacea, pigmentation, increased sensitivity, less elastic, itchy, lines and wrinkles & volume loss.
  • Hot Flushes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • poorer concentration & also memory
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Increased PMS symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular periods – often short cycles + heavier bleeding.
  • Weight changes
  • Decrease in breast volume
  • Change in sex drive
  • If estrogen and / or progesterone dip to low (often  right before your period), a migraine headache can be triggered.

Specific SKIN Changes

Changes in our skin predominantly occur due to:-

  • the multiple effects of hormonal fluctuations
  • a shrinking skeleton
  • decreased collagen production
  • accumulated sun damage over the years

Adult Acne
Beginning in our 30’s, our levels of androgens increase. Testosterone stimulates sebaceous glands to secrete thicker sebum. This can cause clogged pores and an increase the likeliness of adult Acne.

…...see ‘Adult Acne’ Article for more information 

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Facial Hair
Due to the unstable progesterone / estrogen levels + increased testosterone, some women may develop the odd sprout (or two or three) of facial hair, particularly in the chin area.

Sagging Skin and Wrinkles:
When progesterone levels drop (causing estrogen to become unstable), fat deposits tend to become redistributed. Fat pads in our face (which provide support and structure) diminish. Instead our adipose cells can become more concentrated around the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. Leading Dermatologist Dr Kathy Fields describes this as “fat redistribution from our face to our Fanny” 😳. The result of this loss of volume in our face, can be the formation of wrinkles and skin that appears less taut.

Continuous muscle contraction over the years, is another major contributor of facial wrinkles. Continuous muscle movement causes ‘dynamic wrinkles’ which only appear when the muscle is used, however, over time, if untreated, these wrinkles can become ‘static wrinkles’ which means they become permanently etched in our skin.

Thiner less elastic Skin:
Collagen is the supportive protein structure of our skin. It helps give skin it’s youthful plumpness. Skin stays more supple when there is enough progesterone …..which helps stimulate the production of collagen.

More Prone to Sun Damage:

The maintenance of Melanocytes (cells that manufacture the pigment Melanin) is under the control of estrogens. As we move closer to menopause, the number of melanocytes in the skin is reduced. With less melanocytes, we produce less of the protective melanin and skin appears lighter. Our skin is therefore more prone to sun damage.

Pigmentation:
As estrogen helps regulate the production of melanin (pigment), melanin synthesis can increase (when estrogen decreases). This can then lead to brown “age spots”. These can appear on the face, hands, neck, arms and chest of many women. This is particularly evident in areas of our skin that have been exposed to the sun over the years.

Dry and sometimes itchy skin

Estrogen stimulates the production of oils in our skin and also our skins ability to hold moisture. So when estrogen production diminishes  – dry and sometimes itchy skin becomes common.

What can help?

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  • A healthier diet – a healthy outside starts on the inside.
  • Skip long hot showers which drys our Skin out.
  • Supplements – such as Zinc (can do wonders for Skin), probiotics (as gut health is linked to Skin health), Omega 3’s which help with inflammation and dryness, Vitex, Sage, black cohosh etc. Speak to a naturopath.

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  • Sun protection +++
  • Upgrade your Skincare Regime / Products – to suit your changing skin conditions.
  • read previous Gut Article!!
  • See previous Adult Acne Article!!
  • Retinol (Vitamin A) based night serums – is anti-aging as it helps with collagen building and the rate at which skin cells generate. Amp up your results even further by using a dermal-roller prior.

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  • Visit the Solution Tool for further advice regarding which products will best suit your individual skin concerns.
  • Going to bed earlier – as lack of sleep can add to hormonal imbalance, inflammatory skin conditions and adult acne.  Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  • Manage stress – as cortisol can trigger skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and acne. Stress also robs us of progesterone.
  • Exercise – helps with circulation (blood flow to your skin) and also stress management. See previous article.
  • Quit smoking as it has been linked to early menopause.
  • Progesterone Cream helps a lot of women with Perimenopausal symptoms in general. I highly recommend Ona’s Natural Progesterone Cream

To receive a discount on Ona’s natural progesterone cream use code : Vskin10

  • Some people choose to get muscle relaxant injections – these work to prevent the formation of static wrinkles by stopping the signal between the nerve and muscle. The decreased movement in the muscle places less stress on the skin helping to give a fresh and youthful appearance. Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein that temporarily causes facial muscles to relax, instantly softening lines and wrinkles and reducing the severity of visible wrinkles.
  • Hyaluronic dermal filler injections – once again, this is a personal choice made by some people. A dermal filler helps re-volumise and hydrate the face. Made from hyaluronic gel – a natural sugar already present in the human body. Hyaluronic can help restore fullness and volume in numerous facial areas. See here for more
  • Vitex – has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine for menstrual cycle irregularities and to help relieve symptoms associated with PMS. It can also provide symptomatic relief of hormone-induced acne.

img_7118