With the weather hotting up, summer can be an especially trickly time for dealing with menopausal skin changes. Warmer weather can exacerbate skin symptoms like dryness, sensitivity, and inflammation.
You might also notice an increase in hyperpigmentation, also known as sunspots, during the summer months. Hyperpigmentation can worsen or appear for the first time during menopause. Those brown patches that seem to pop up out of nowhere are the combination of hormonal changes in menopause and accumulated sun damage. The good news is there are some great skincare ingredients for tackling signs of sun damage, and it pays to know what they are.
What Are Sunspots?
Hyperpigmentation is common in menopause and often caused by a combination of hormonal changes and accumulated sun damage. In menopause, our skin barrier starts to weaken causing inflammation and causing environmental stressors to damage the skin. Our skin is at greater risk of damage from ultraviolet exposure from sunlight.
Hyperpigmentation causes patches of skin to become darker than their surrounding areas. In addition to its many other functions, oestrogen helps control melanin production. When oestrogen levels start to fluctuate then melanin production can increase, triggering the appearance of dark spots. Oestrogen has a role in the upkeep of protective melanocytes and without their natural defence against UV radiation, the skin can lighten causing uneven tone and making it more susceptible to sun damage. Some women also find that using HRT can impact levels triggering hyperpigmentation.
What ingredients can help tackle sunspots in menopause?
The good news is there are skincare ingredients that can be used effectively to reduce the appearance hyperpigmentation and prevent future damage. The trick is to use proven actives that pair well together for the best skin brightening results whilst avoiding irritation. Here is our day to night guide to treating sun damage in menopause.
DAY TIME: - USE SPF & ANTIOXIDANTS
SPF to prevent future sun damage
SPF is the best defence to protect skin from future damage from UV rays. Use factor 50 every day and make it the last step in your skincare routine. Use it every day, whatever the weather. The one in your foundation or moisturiser is not enough whatever your age, especially in menopause. Sunscreen should form a shield over your skin and should be the last step in any skincare routine. Moisturisers are designed to penetrate skin so a separate sunscreen is essential.
Resveratrol boosts skin radiance and reduces hyperpigmentation
Found in the skin of red grapes, resveratrol is a potent and exclusive skincare ingredient. It’s a powerful antioxidant and phytoestrogen. A key particular benefit that resveratrol has over some brightening treatments (like vitamin c for example) is that it prevents the production of excess melanin in the skin. This means that as well as reducing the appearance of existing age spots resveratrol can provide protection against future skin damage.
Niacinamide protects against UV damage and evens out skin tone
Also known as Vitamin B3, it’s a real skincare superstar with multiple benefits for menopausal skin. It’s one of the most effective antioxidants available and niacinamide helps reduce inflammation without any radical damage, preventing pigmentary changes. It works to evens out any colour variations you might have while also enhancing the hydration of your skin. It is also great for sun protection, protecting your skin cells from damage caused by ultraviolet rays and helps protect against further skin damage in the form of hyperpigmentation.
NIGHTTIME: Use Retinol to stimulate cell turnover and repair sun damage
Retinol is an umbrella term for compounds derived from vitamin A. Retinol works in both the outer layer (epidermis) and inner level (dermis) of the skin. It increases the thickness of both layers by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production and the emergence of fresh new skin cells. When new skin cells are formed, they will be more evenly pigmented, and the overall appearance of hyperpigmentation is reduced.
Retinoid creams and serums are renowned for being the gold standard for ageing well and treating a range of skin symptoms including hyperpigmentation. They can fade age spots and reverse the effect of accumulated sun damage on the skin.
Retinol is able to reduce the appearance of sunspots by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme that stimulates melanin production in the skin. It thickens and lightens the skin making it stronger and more resilient. If you are new to retinol, ease into it gradually. We recommend starting off with 1-2 times a week on non- consecutive days. Only apply at night to clean, dry skin and make sure you use SPF 50 every morning without fail. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight so SPF protection is a must.
Menopause Skin Solution Set
The Menopause Skin Solution Set is a simplified menopausal skincare routine for maximum results. The high-performance products have been expertly developed to complement one another to target the top symptoms of menopausal skin changes including hyperpigmentation, dryness, loss of radiance and increased skin sensitivity.
Step 1 Quench & Soothe Serum (35ml) is a next level super hydrator designed to soothe and calm sensitised skin and even out skin tone. With niacinamide for an ultra-hydrated, brighter, clearer complexion. Superstar Ingredients: Multi-molecular hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and Vitamin B5.
Step 2 Collagen Boost Moisturiser (50ml) is a multi-tasking dream cream designed to boost collagen production and deliver vital nourishment for plumper, glowing, firmer skin. With a potent blend of skin nourishing collagen boosting ingredients including niacinamide for skin brightening. Layer with Quench & Soothe Serum in the morning to maximise the effect of niacinamide in tackling hyperpigmentation.
Step 3 Super A Retinol Sleep Cream (50ml) A high-performance retinol blend designed to accelerate cell turnover for radiant, smoother, stronger skin. Specifically designed for menopausal skin so you can enjoy all the benefits of retinol without the irritating downsides. Superstar ingredients: 0.5% encapsulated retinol, ceramides, multi-molecular hyaluronic acid.