Menopause and Skin Barrier
Current trends for complicated skincare regimes, single ingredient products and excessive layering of products can be time consuming, expensive and confusing. Your skin can become overwhelmed and it’s highly likely that you will disrupt your skin barrier, doing more harm than good.
Protecting your skin barrier during perimenopause and menopause is key to achieving healthy, glowing skin that looks and feels great. But what is it exactly, why is it so important, and how is it affected by menopause?
What is The Skin Barrier and what does it do?
Also called the stratum corneum, the skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin's surface. Often compared with a brick wall, it is a protective structure essential for healthy skin. Essential nutrients like fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides collectively called "skin's natural moisturising factor" help make up the skin barrier. The skin barrier basically keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out, locking in moisture and protecting against environmental stressors.
What happens in menopause?
As we head through menopause, hormonal fluctuations cause the skin barrier to weaken and vital moisture to be lost. External stressors can get into the skin causing irritation and redness. Lacking in natural moisturisers, menopausal skin becomes more sensitive, reactive and prone to irritation. Many women can develop rosacea during menopause. This is also due to the skin barrier being weaker and more prone to redness and inflammation.
Many women find that products they have been happily using for years with no issues can suddenly start to irritate or not be as effective as they were previously. So, what can we do to repair and protect our skin barrier in menopause?
What to Avoid
If your skin barrier is compromised, what you don’t do is just as important as what you do do. First up, you need to avoid anything that might cause further damage.
Don’t overload your skin. Look to simplify your routine as using multiple products can further aggravate any irritation you may be experiencing. The more products you use, the greater the risk of irritation, so keep it simple and your skin will thank you for it.
Avoid harsh and irritating ingredients that can further weaken your skin barrier. Drying alcohol, sulphates, fragrance and essential oils can all cause irritation and damage your skin barrier. These ingredients are in a lot of skincare products so it might be a good idea to check what is and isn’t in the products you are currently using.
At Living M we’ve made it easy for you– our skincare is 100% free of fragrance, essential oils, sulphates and drying alcohols
What Your Skin Needs
Restoring hydration is key for a healthy skin barrier. Look for ingredients that act as humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and panthenol (vitamin B5). Humectants work by drawing water and binding it to the skin barrier.
Also, look for ingredients and products that will actually strengthen the skin barrier. When it comes to skincare superstars it doesn’t get much better than Niacinamide. Also known as Vitamin B3, it is one of the most multitasking ingredients in skincare with huge benefits for menopausal skin. Niacinamide helps strengthen your skin barrier by boosting ceramide production. It also acts as an occlusive moisturiser, creating barrier on the skin to prevent water loss. Used over time Niacinamide will also help to increase the thickness of the skin barrier.
Your skin goes through so many changes during menopause, now is a great time to revamp and streamline your existing skincare routine, prioritising hydrating and barrier strengthening ingredients for stronger, healthier skin.
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