Skin-Care Tips

The One Ingredient a Derm Says That Skin Truly Needs After Menopause

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

Most people are first introduced to the impact that hormones can have on their skin during puberty. Along with their first period, many women also experience greasy complexions and breakouts, thanks to an overproduction of oils. And when menopause hits, those same hormones have the exact opposite effect on your complexion, leaving skin feeling dry and dehydrated.

“Hormone levels decrease with menopause and there are certain skin changes that occur,” says Shari Sperling, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New Jersey. In addition to the natural decrease in the amount of collagen your body produces as you age (those numbers start to decline once you hit 30), when you hit menopause, “your skin becomes dry and thin, and loses its ability to hold onto water,” says Dr. Sperling.

According to research, one of the first symptoms of menopause is increased skin dryness, followed by decreased firmness and elasticity, which correspond to the changes going on beneath the skin due to “estrogen decline, such as decreased sebum production, collagen content, dermal thickness, and elastin fiber.” This shows itself by way of sagging and more noticeable fine lines and wrinkles. Because of this, you’ll need a little extra help from your topicals to increase the moisture in your skin. Enter: Hyaluronic acid, which is known for its ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water.

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that occurs naturally in your skin, but just like collagen, the amount of it that you’ve got decreases as you age. When you use an HA-infused serum as a part of your daily regimen—right before your moisturizing step—it acts as a sponge and absorbs the hydrating ingredients from your moisturizer. In order to best protect post-menopausal or estrogen-deficient skin from dryness, pair your hyaluronic acid serum with a mild cleanser and a thick moisturizer stacked with peptides that will help stimulate your body’s natural collagen production. Scroll through for a few hyaluronic acid-packed products.

1. Yves Saint Laurent Pure Shots Y Shape Firming Serum, $88

Photo: YSL

Give your skin a direct shot of plumping hydration with this serum, which combines hyaluronic acid with firming peptides and antioxidant-packed barbary fig to support skin density and firmness.

2. Emepelle Serum, $175

Photo: Emepelle

Though it’s rich in hydrating hyaluronic acid, the real star of this serum is “methyl estradiolpropanoate” (otherwise known as MEP), a non-hormonal ingredient that absorbs into your skin and interacts with your estrogen receptors the same way actual estrogen would to increase moisture retention, elasticity, and collagen production.

Shop now: Emepelle Serum, $175

3. Korres White Pine Meno-Reverse Deep Wrinkle, Plumping + Age Spot Concentrate, $78

Photo: Korres

This Korres line was designed specifically for the sake of targeting post-menopausal skin concerns, and this serum does just that. It’s got hyaluronic acid plus white pine, which supports protein production to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and vitamin E, which nourishes your skin and protects it from environmental damage.

Shop now: Korres White Pine Meno-Reverse Deep Wrinkle, Plumping + Age Spot Concentrate, $78

To learn more about the hydrating ingredients you should be using at any age, watch the video below. 

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