Menopause comes with liberating upsides (no more monthly periods) and well-documented downsides (hot flashes and fatigue), but few women are prepared for the ways this natural stage of life impacts their skin. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines menopause as the twelve months after ovaries stop producing estrogen (the hormone that helps regulate the menstrual cycle). It can be a problematic time for your skin because estrogen is manna for your complexion: When levels of the hormone decrease, issues like dullness, dryness, and increased sensitivity to damaging UV rays can arise. “As women lose estrogen, their collagen production also decreases,” says dermatologist Howard Murad, MD, founder of the eponymous skincare line, Murad. That means skin can get thinner and start to sag, too.
Although menopause begins, on average, at the age of 51, many of these issues can start even earlier. “As you age, the skin naturally becomes