Perimenopause can be challenging, especially if you don’t have skin care products suited to your skin’s ever changing needs. Custom skin care products as well as a tailor-made routine can make a huge difference in your skin’s health. Think back to the products you used during your teenage or early adult years. The thought of using them now may seem incomprehensible because perimenopausal skin rarely acts or feels like teenage skin, and the products it wants have an entirely different composition.
Starting over from scratch isn’t necessarily the best approach either since your lifestyle, diet, and personal habits all need to be taken into consideration when implementing skin care changes. But one thing is certain. Customizing your approach will allow you to take the best care of your skin possible, whether you opt for an elongated twice-daily approach or take the minimalist route by incorporating just the basics. Either way, the benefits of addressing your skin’s new needs will pay off in healthier, happier skin.
A Changing Body Means Changing Skin Care Needs
Every woman experiences perimenopause in a different way, and menopausal symptoms can make caring for your skin a real challenge. Take hot flashes, for instance. When you experience a sudden rise in temperature, your skin can become inflamed and uncomfortable. Having a cooling, soothing, hydrating facial mist handy can take the edge off while rehydrating hot skin.
Fluctuating hormones tend to exacerbate acne or lead to breakouts on otherwise flawless skin. A gentle cleanser with glycolic acid may help keep pores clear and blemishes at bay. And as collagen levels decrease, skin may lose its elasticity and firmness. Adding retinol to your routine can reignite collagen production and prevent premature sagging along the jawline while also increasing cell turnover and minimizing wrinkles.
Identify Your Skin Type Before Building Your Routine
Before making a purchase, it’s best to nail down a few key details first, starting with identifying your skin type. Perimenopausal skin varies, so here are some ways to determine your current skin type:
- Normal skin is neither dry nor oily and doesn’t react unfavorably to new products.
- Dry skin may feel tight, rough, flaky, or itchy after cleansing or throughout the day.
- Combination skin tends to feel dry on the cheeks and oily in the T-zone.
- Oily skin often looks shiny or greasy within hours of cleansing.
- Sensitive skin may get irritated easily or get red and sting when products bother it.
Mix and Match Products for Day and Night to Achieve Optimal Results
Once you determine your skin’s primary needs, it’s time to start customizing. You don’t necessarily need an entire product line aimed for your skin type, but it’s a good idea to choose products that all align with it. For example, dry skin benefits from a variety of types of moisture. Pick a day cream that absorbs well and doesn’t cause sunscreen or makeup to pill up. At night, you can use a richer cream because you won’t be layering as many products over it.
Custom skin care also includes getting the best overnight recovery possible. Hydrating toners, serums, moisturizers, and facial oils can be mixed and matched on a daily basis to suit perimenopausal skin’s finicky behavior. And don’t be afraid of facial oil. Even oily and combination skin can benefit from a facial oil that approximates the skin’s natural sebum. For example, Moringa oil, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It contains a large number of bioactive compounds that support skin health, including oleic acid, which makes it perfect for use as a standalone moisturizer or layered over facial cream to lock in moisture overnight.
Put Your Label-Reading Skills to Work for Your Skin
When it comes to creating a custom skin care routine around menopause, ingredients really make a difference. Begin by creating a wish list of all the things you’d like to improve about your skin. For instance, hyperpigmentation comes on with a vengeance once menopause rolls around, so picking targeted serums that break down age spots or healed acne marks makes perfect sense. Vitamin C and niacinamide tackle discoloration. If your skin is sensitive, choose a vitamin C product that contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD ascorbate) instead of L-ascorbic acid (LAA). THD ascorbate is gentler than LAA, and a study cited in Practical Dermatology revealed that “THD surpasses the penetration of ascorbic acid by three-fold, and the rate of penetration is higher even when the concentration of ascorbic acid is 25 times that of THD.”
If redness is a concern as you transition to menopause, look for soothing products that contain Centella asiatica (also known as tiger grass or cica). Centella asiatica has been used for centuries and soothes skin irritation while reducing redness. You can find Centella asiatica in everything from cleansers and toners to serums and creams. It’s especially popular in Asian beauty routines and is widely available online and in most big box stores.
Finally, treat dry skin to a dose of hydration by choosing hydrating toners and facial creams that contain hyaluronic acid (HA). This powerhouse ingredient binds to water in the skin and draws moisture out of the air to plump and hydrate skin. Unlike exfoliating products, HA is not an “acid” in the traditional sense of the word, so don’t shy away from it in fear that it will dry out your skin.
And since protecting your skin from further sun damage is an absolute necessity, invest in a high quality sunblock for your custom skin care routine, especially one that you love and will faithfully use. There are SPF products that contain moisturizing ingredients for dry skin and others that are more suited to acneic or sensitive skin. When in doubt, ask your dermatologist.