MENOPAUSE AND YOUR SKIN 101

MENOPAUSE

Menopause can take a toll on us.  The hormonal shifts have both emotional and physical effects.  Some of it is out of our control, but a lot of it can be managed.

As our estrogen levels drop we notice changes such as hot flashes, changes in our skin and hair, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, irritability and decreased sex drive.  (to name just a few)  As an aesthetic nurse I am frequently asked what can be done to help with some of the skin changes.

Obviously, it goes without saying, that having a healthcare provider to help you manage the medical aspects of “the change” is in your best interest.  HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is a viable option for many of us, but not everyone.  Some individuals may have contraindications for HRT.  If it is an option, estrogen replacement can help alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause.  Each individual has to look at their own medical history and determine what is the best approach for them.

ESTROGEN AND OUR SKIN

As our ovarian function declines,  we lose estrogen production.  A side effect of this is the loss of collagen.  Estrogen helps the body with the production of Collagen I and III.  Additionally, estrogen supports oil gland activity, elastin and subcutaneous fat.  We notice this as we discover our skin thinning, new wrinkles, sagging, dry skin and less volume.  We can provide support to our skin as it experiences menopause related changes.  Here are a few ideas….

  • Eat a healthy diet full of antioxidants. (eat lots of colors!)
  • Try to incorporate soy into your diet.  The isoflavonoids in soy mimic estrogen.
  • Drink plenty of water/stay hydrated.
  • Try to sleep 8 hours a night.  (easier said than done, I know)
  • Wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine!  UV rays break down our collagen.
  • Use a topical antioxidant prior to your sunscreen every day.
  • Utilize a retinol/retinoid (Vit A) product topically at night.  Studies show this helps stimulate new collagen.
  • Utilize peptides in your skin care.  It is proven that various peptides help support the production of collagen and elastin.
  • Use a gentle non-stripping cleanser.
  • Exfoliate your skin.  A physical exfoliant or lighter chemical peel exfoliant.
  • Look for hyaluronic acid in your skin care.
  • Utilize fillers/fat transfers to replace lost volume.
  • If dryness is an issue, make sure your moisturizer is replacing enough moisture so your skin feels comfortable.

There are other issues I hear complaints of related to menopause.  Facial hair growth is a common complaint.  (as estrogen levels drop and our androgen hormones become more dominant)  If there is pigment in the facial hair, laser hair removal is a fantastic option.  If the hair is light or has no pigment, electrolysis is a better option.  There are  also prescription creams that can decrease facial hair growth.

Acne can be a problem that resurfaces at this point.  Again, due to the dominance of androgen hormones our skin can have thicker sebum production.  Retinoids/retinols can be helpful.  For more serious issues your health care provider can help you decide if Spironolactone (a prescription) is an option for you.  The Spironolactone helps suppress the androgen hormones, helping both with hair growth and acne.

Estrogen also helps control our melanocytes.  As we lose the estrogen, hyperpigmentation can become more of a problem.  So, this brings us back to sunscreen and topical antioxidants to protect from UVA/UVB.

For those wanting to go the extra steps to help with collagen production and repair prior damage, there are numerous laser modalities available that make a considerable improvement and difference.  I am currently a fan of  HALO™, IPL’s and Ultherapy®.

I read that we spend 1/3 of our lives in menopause based on the average life expectancy in the developed world.  We can make it feel good and look good ladies!

I’ll finish with a current list of favorites.

SUNSCREENS

The entire line of Elta MD® sunscreens are excellent sunscreen options.

c-e-ferulic

The Skinceuticals line has excellent antioxidants.  Both CE Ferulic® (for drier skin) and Phloretin CF® are great options.

alastin retinol

Alastin® Retinol at night is effective, yet gentle.

Alastin Restorative Skin

The Alastin® Restorative Skin Complex has numerous peptides and antioxidants.  This stimulates collagen and elastin.

Both SkinMedica® and SkinCeuticals offer hyaluronic acid products that effectively boost hyaluronic acid in the skin.

triple lipid restore

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore is an excellent hydrating cream for those with drier skin.

All of the mentioned products are available at TOC Medical Spa.

We have a sale this month too!

10% off one product

15% off two products

20% off three products

Hope this is a little informative 🙂

 

 

 

 

HALO AT TOC MEDICAL SPA

Halo

We are very excited to have a new toy here at work!  The Halo™ laser has joined the office as another tool to help our patients look rejuvenated.  The Halo™ is a hybrid fractional laser which can achieve excellent results in 1-3 treatments.  Some of the fractionated lasers before would take 5-6 treatments to achieve the same results.

The Halo™ consists of two wavelengths, a fractionated ablative 2940 and a non ablative 1470.  Each wavelength is customizable depending and the goals of the particular patient and how much downtime they can afford.  Traditionally, ablative lasers required too much down time and the non ablative lasers would have underwhelming results.  With the hybridized combination of the two we are able to target pigmentation and texture issues in this fractionated laser treatment while providing minimal downtime.  (or ablative like results with non-ablative downtime)

Skin issues we are able to target with this treatment include:

  • wrinkles
  • discoloration/pigmentation
  • scars
  • skin laxity
  • uneven tone and texture
  • the appearance of enlarged pores

The 2940 wavelength really targets the pigment and discoloration in the upper layers of the dermis while the 1470 is able to create an injury deeper in the dermis and initiate the bodies own cascade of wound healing, creating new collagen and elastin.

The Halo ™ glow is what patients are thrilled with after treatments.  The texture and pigmentation which absorbs light normally is gone, allowing the light to reflect off the tissue.  Here is a series of photos of a patient who had a Halo™.

halo day by day

This is what we have seen here with the patients we have treated.  There are approximately 5 days of cosmetic down time.

In addition to the hybridized Halo ™ treatment we are able to combine BBL, or broad band light, with the treatment on individuals with lighter skin types.  The BBL works in synergy with the Halo at targeting discoloration and redness.  Either treatment can also be a stand alone treatment.

Once your skin is where you want it “Forever Young” treatments can be performed with the BBL to maintain the results.  The treatments can be performed 3-4 times a year to maintain the clearing of hyperpigmentation and redness.  Additonally, the BBL can actually affect the DNA/RNA sequencing of the skin cells.  Photo aged and intrinsically aged skin cells can express like younger skin after BBL treatments.

As with all light based and laser based treatments, strict sun avoidance is recommended before and after your treatment.  The use of a sunscreen with zinc is highly recommended.  There are other skin care products that can help to optimize your pre and post treatment course which your provider can help you choose.

Stay tuned for more positive reports on the treatment!