Itchy, saggy, dry, those are the top 3 skin situations on your menopausal changes list and dryness is the most uncomfortable one so, good question. The skin’s inability to keep the water in seems to have a great responsibility in all this.
Having dry skin during menopause is very frequent
Dryness is one of the major clinical changes during facial skin ageing in post- menopausal women. Of all mature women’s dermatological conditions, dry skin is one of the most common.
A recent survey of 3,875 postmenopausal women over 40 showed that 36.2% suffered from dry skin.
It is caused by decreased levels of oestrogen and progesterone. In your 50 the pH level of the skin changes as well as the ability to hold water, metabolism slows down and skin becomes drier, dull, less firm and less smooth. Altogether, less friendly, that’s for sure …
There are various symptoms of a menopausal dry skin
1. tight skin after showering or swimming
2. flaky or peeling skin
3. cracks on hands and feet
4. itchy skin
5. you can notice grey or ashy tones on your skin if you have a darker skin tone
What happens is that the renewal of the keratinocytes (cells constituting 90% of the surface layer of the skin) slows down and causes accumulation of aged cells on the epidermal surface. The lipid barrier is thus less well organized, causing skin to lose its resistance.
In addition, (last one for this article, we promise), hyaluronic acid becomes highly sensitive to degradation by a special enzyme called hyaluronidase and this causes progressive worsening of hydration and firmness.
The lipid barrier is less well organized, thus the dryness
Key elements to remember
Dryness of the skin is due to a lack of hydration provoked by decreased level of oestrogen. When its balance is disturbed, your skin is not able to function properly and has, is this particular case, trouble holding the water within.