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How the menopause can affect your skin

We all know that our skin changes as we age, but there are specific effects related to the menopause that women can also expect. We lose around 30% of our collagen when we enter the menopause and such dramatic changes in our skin can feel really challenging, even from our late thirties onwards, as collagen, elastin and fat start to diminish.

Women typically enter peri-menopause in their late forties, an average of four years before actual menopause, as their reproductive organs produce fewer hormones, particularly progesterone and oestrogen. This brings about a number of key changes and whilst symptoms vary considerably,  there are many things we can do to help.

In this blog post we address the specific effects that menopause can have on your skin, and how you can alleviate them.

Loss of elasticity

Studies have shown that women’s skin loses around 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause, with a more gradual but continued decline thereafter. As collagen decreases, skin loses its elasticity, leading to a lack of firmness and changes in the shape of the face, such as the contours of the jawline and the silhouette of the nose.

Collagen is made of three polypeptide chains, so using a product that contains peptides can stimulate your skin to make more collagen. Retinol products can be hugely effective too, converting upon application into retinoic acid which makes changes at a cellular level, increasing skin cell turnover, and stimulating collagen and elastin. At Waterhouse Young, we offer a wide range of non-surgical aesthetic treatments to help lift and tighten loose ageing skin, including radiofrequencyskin needling, and dermal fillers.

Fine lines and wrinkles
Depletion of elastin, as well as collagen, is also a contributing factor in the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Wrinkles that used to appear only with a smile or frown may become visible all the time, and deeper lines may form from the nose to the corners of the mouth.

Protecting your skin from the sun is the most important thing to do in the first instance, and can reduce visible wrinkles as well as prevent new ones. Waterhouse Young offers specialised treatments to target fine lines and wrinkles, such as wrinkle-relaxing injections, skin boosters, HydraFacial, and EndyMedPro 3DEEP.

Redness and irritated skin
Changes to the pH level of our skin during menopause may lead to changes in its sensitivity. Women are more likely to develop rashes and easily irritated skin during menopause, and those with an existing skin condition such as eczema or rosacea may find these worsen.

Those who notice increased sensitivity of their skin should consider moving to fragrance free products, and also keep a skin diary to try to ascertain any ingredients that may be contributing to irritation. Formatk IPL photorejuvenation uses the latest technology to treat concerns such as facial redness and rosacea, and in addition, performing the treatment stimulates collagen production.

Dry skin
In menopause, skin loses some of its ability to retain moisture, which in turn leads to dryness. This is particularly problematic if you live in an arid climate, or while central heating or air conditioning is in use.

Consider using a mild cleanser instead of soap, since some of the active ingredients in most soaps and foaming products can irritate and dry out skin.  Choosing a moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid is important since it plays a crucial role in dermal health, regulating cell growth and hydration. We are born with a certain amount of hyaluronic acid and our bodies do not produce more as we age, which is why Waterhouse Young harnesses the power of hyaluronic acid through hydrating aesthetic treatments and facial fillers.

Waterhouse Young also recommends the use of Emepelle. Emepelle is the only anti-ageing cream to contain MEP Technology, a new kind of skincare ingredient, which addresses the collagen loss that occurs during menopause by stimulating oestrogen receptors within facial skin.

Blemishes and acne
Hormonal changes are often at the root of blemishes and acne, so it follows that these skin concerns can occur during menopause, as hormone productions drops. As skin is likely to be thinner and drier during menopause though, the treatments used for teenage acne are usually too harsh and can even worsen acne.

Salicylic acid helps the skin to shed dead cells and reduces redness and swelling, so this is a good active ingredient to include in your skincare routine.

The sudden skin changes associated with menopause can be really frustrating as you’ll likely still feel young and would like your face to reflect that. The medically trained aesthetic practitioners and aesthetic doctors at Waterhouse Young take a positive approach to menopause, and appreciate that maintaining a youthful appearance goes a long way to ensuring you feel great, not least as you may be managing difficult physical symptoms.

We offer many gold-standard treatments to tackle the dryness, irritation, lines and wrinkles and hormonal breakouts associated with menopause. Our treatments and skincare are effective and specifically target these issues, including lines around the eyes and mouth, sagging skin, loss of definition and thinning lips. 

We also offer BHRT (Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy), which can be used in conjunction with our treatments to help combat or prevent the above concerns associated with menopause.  BHRT is a more natural (plant-based) version of traditional HRT which we prescribe in the form creams/tablets or lozenges to help balance hormone levels.  You will initially have a consultation with Dr Paris to discuss symptoms and blood tests will be performed to determine the next steps.  

The sooner we work with your skin, the better, so we can retain and boost as much of your collagen as possible. During a consultation with our in-house menopause expert, Dr Paris, you’ll discuss your medical history, lifestyle and any particular concerns. We will then recommend the best treatment plan so you once again have a glowing, hydrated and youthful complexion.


Waterhouse Young is one of London’s leading medical aesthetic & wellbeing clinics, founded by one of the UK’s top cosmetic surgeons, Norman Waterhouse - former President of the BAAPS. Based off Harley Street, the clinic features regularly in the media, from Vogue, Tatler, Grazia and Elle to The Times. WY’s longstanding, friendly team is highly qualified and offers non-surgical treatments which are safe, proven and deliver demonstrable results, restoring skin and health to the highest standard.