Bouts of hormonal acne aren’t the only tell-tale sign that you’re experiencing perimenopause or menopause. The menopause and the hormone imbalances that cause it, affects the skin in several ways. Dry and itchy skin is commonly experienced among menopausal women but not often talked about.
Known officially as pruritus, this chronic skin condition can be a real discomfort, especially as you battle other menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, fatigue, headaches, and joint stiffness. The condition dries the skin, leaving it cracked, flaky, and peeling.
It tends to affect the face more than any other part of the body, resulting in a tight, sore, and uncomfortable feeling. As well as dealing with chronic dryness, most women suffering from menopause induced pruritus report itchiness and tingling (similar to pins and needles).
Whilst it won’t cure the hormonal imbalances that cause pruritus during menopause, keeping your skin hydrated is the best way to alleviate symptoms and guarantee that you’re as comfortable as possible in your own skin.
Here we take a closer look at how you can moisturise, protect and heal dry and itchy menopausal skin.
Hydrating your body from the inside out is a must at every life stage, not just during menopause. Drink your way to healthier skin by making a conscious effort to drink more at regular intervals.
While all fluids count towards your daily hydration goal, sticking with water or green tea will ensure the best and healthiest results.
Be sun safe
As the warmer months creep in, you may be tempted to top up your tan. But being sun safe is more beneficial when treating the itchy, very dry skin caused by menopausal hormone imbalances. Protect your skin with sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or more.
Unprotected, sun-exposed skin is more likely to be damaged and drier, and for already dry and itchy menopausal skin, sun exposure can be even more harmful.
The sun’s heat actively depletes the skin’s natural supply of lubricating oils leaving skin drier and itchier than ever. Protect these essential oils by applying sunscreen every day, even if the weather is overcast.
Add vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a vital part in collagen production. The menopause triggers several skin changes, with the body’s reproductive decline directly impacting collagen production.
Due to the ovaries producing less and less of the hormone oestrogen, collagen levels decline sharply, which impacts the firmness, fullness, and structure of your skin.
Topping up your vitamin C levels either as an oral supplement or via your diet is a great way to restore collagen, heal skin, and relieve dryness and itchiness.
Bathe in oatmeal
How you bathe can help to manage troublesome itching. Healthline recommends bathing in oatmeal to ensure relief can be found during the menopause:
“Colloidal oatmeal is an oatmeal that is made from finely ground oats. It can be found in many natural beauty and bath products. Add colloidal oatmeal to a warm bath. Avoid using water that’s too hot, as that can further dry out and irritate your skin. Soak for at least 10 minutes, and pat your skin dry after your bath. The oatmeal may help alleviate and soothe itchy skin.”
You should bathe enough to relieve itching without bathing too much that it removes the natural oils that keep the skin lubricated. Bathing every day (even in oatmeal) can have the opposite effect, causing the skin to become agitated and even drier.
Strike the right balance, and be mindful about the temperature of your bath as hot water can be particularly harsh and dry out skin further.
Adapting to the new needs of your menopausal skin is vital, and you’ll need the right products to achieve balance, healing, protection, and nourishment. Investing in a high quality, all-natural moisturiser is the key to a successful skincare regime and managing menopausal skin complaints.
The moisturiser you choose must be able to hydrate whilst controlling the excess oil production many menopausal women experience.
Discover the very best products for menopausal skin and find relief during this challenging yet entirely natural life stage.