Answer: A perfect question for National Menopause Month! Several showers a day may increase skin dryness, but its hormonal changes that are also driving the problem. Between the ages of 45-60, the ovaries no longer release eggs and estrogen levels start to decline. Estrogen is known to play many roles in the body including collagen production, blood pressure, metabolism and sleep. But in your case, its estrogen’s role in oil production that is the major driver behind your dry skin. Less oil means that the skin can’t hold onto its natural moisture. To help restore skin hydration take shorter showers and while your skin is still damp, slather on a plain unscented moisturizer like Aquaphor. If the skin stays dry step it up to a moisturizer fortified with lactic acid ( Am-lactin) or ceramides (CeraVe Moisturizing Cream).
Dry skin is not the only beauty issue linked to menopause. Menopause thins out the hair on the head and eyebrows only to reappear on the upper lip and chin. Menopause related changes in hormones are again to blame. This time its the drop in both estrogen and progesterone that allow the male hormone androgen to become more prominent. Minoxidil can be helpful for hair loss and lasers can zap dark facial hairs. If the hair is blond or white, you will need electrolysis since lasers are ineffective on light hairs.
Because lower estrogen levels are causing so many menopause related problems, hormone replacement therapy ( HRT) may prescribed to treat menopause symptoms. Please don’t go there. The Woman’s Health Initiative, started in 1991, set out to see if giving menopausal women estrogen would reduce risk of heart disease and distressing symptoms. The study was suddenly suspended in 2001. The reason? Results had already shown that HRT INCREASED risk of heart disease, breast and ovarian cancer and it was not considered ethical to contunue the study. Since then, HRT use has declined and the incidence and death rates of breast cancer have also dropped.