Why your skin changes during menopause and how estrogen replacement therapy can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dull skin by Esther Blum, women’s health expert and author of See Ya Later, Ovulator!
Hormone replacement therapy is an invaluable tool in combating insomnia, brain fog, low libido, weight gain, irritability, and loss of muscle mass and bone density, and has been proven to help slow or reverse skin changes.
In its updated guidelines on using HRT, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) says that HRT is an effective treatment for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. They also state that for women younger than 60 or within 10 years of menopause who have no other contraindications, the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks when treating menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes, and for women who have a higher-than-average risk of bone loss or breaking a bone. The updated position statement was published in the June 2017 issue of Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
There is no doubt that estrogens exert several beneficial effects on the skin and could reduce the menopausal signs of atrophy (thinning), dry skin, and wrinkles. One observational study in more than 3,000 women found that compared to non-users, HRT use was associated with a statistically significant reduction in dry skin and wrinkling, but not atrophy.
HRT appears to boast dermal collagen levels and thereby improves skin health. However, the longest study of topical HRT postmenopausal women showed that women who were receiving HRT have a greater skin thickness than untreated women, and that cutaneous atrophy can be prevented with hormone replacement therapy. If you do not feel HRT is a fit for you or your body, you can try LED light therapy to stimulate the growth of collagen, drink plenty of bone broth or use a collagen supplement, apply topical and take oral vitamin C, and eat plenty of dietary protein like wild Alaskan salmon.
How much protein you eat and how you digest and absorb it will also support a healthy skin. After the age of 30, our production of hydrochloric acid can take a nosedive. It can be beneficial to pair dietary protein with digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, so you can actually absorb the amino acids present. Protein is an essential building block for healthy skin, too.
Read Esther’s advice on Gut Health during menopause here
About Esther Blum
Esther Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS is an integrative dietitian, certified nutritionist, and menopause expert. She is the bestselling author of Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat, Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous, Secrets of Gorgeous, and The Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous Project. Her upcoming book, See Ya Later, Ovulator!, will be released on October 4th. Widely respected as an industry expert, Esther was voted Best Nutritionist by Manhattan Magazine. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, the Today Show, Good Day NY, Fox News Live, and the goop podcast. She’s been quoted in E! Online, In Touch, TIME, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, In Style, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, Fitness, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Well + Good. Follow Esther on Instagram or Facebook.