Wrinkles, age spots, and dryness - oh my! When signs of age begin to appear on your skin, it can feel like a harsh wake-up call. But you’re definitely not alone: most menopausal women experience changes in their skin since the hormonal changes during menopause directly impact your skin (hello, vaginal dryness).
With so many products out there, it can be tough to know what kind of skincare regimen is right for you. We decided to lend you a helping hand by narrowing down the most effective ingredients in skincare products for aging skin. Look for these powerhouse anti-aging ingredients for both prevention and treatment of common skin issues related to menopause.
Use it for Dryness, wrinkles
What it does: Hyaluronic acid has been trending lately as an ultra-effective skincare ingredient, but the reality is that it’s nothing new: hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our bodies, with the highest concentration in our eyes and joints. Applied topically, hyaluronic acid helps maintain and lock in moisture. The result is hydrated, plump, and healthy skin.
How to use it: You can find hyaluronic acid in a wide variety of high-quality skincare products, from serums to daily moisturizers. It’s great for any skin type, particularly wrinkle-prone skin, and it’s safe to use as part of your regular skincare routine. If your skin is on the dry side, you could opt to use multiple products containing hyaluronic acid - serum, moisturizer, foundation, and so on.Retinol
Use it for Hyper pigmentation, wrinkles, acne
What it does: The real question is, what doesn’t retinol do? Retinol is a powerful skin care ingredient that can brighten dark spots and sun damage, reduce wrinkles, and even fight acne (which - surprise! - is another unexpected menopause symptom for many women). Both retinol and retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A, but retinol is gentler on the skin. Retinol is available over-the-counter, whereas retinoids (like Retin-A) are stronger and require a prescription.
How to use it: Retinol breaks down in the sun and can make your skin ultra-sensitive, so you should only apply retinol at night. To add retinol to your nightly skincare routine, start with a gentle cleanser. After that, apply a small amount of retinol directly to your skin - if it’s your first time, you may want to dilute it with a serum or moisturizer. Retinol can cause stinging or burning at first, so you’ll want to add it to your routine very gradually.Vitamin C
Use it for Hyper pigmentation, redness, wrinkle prevention
What it does: Aside from staving off a potential cold, vitamin C has a number of benefits. When applied topically, vitamin C can help reduce hyper pigmentation, reduce redness, and even prevent skin sagging. You’ll find it in a lot of skin brightening products thanks to its ability to impede melanin production, which can promote a more even-toned complexion.
How to use it: While vitamin C is generally safe for most people, those with sensitive skin will want to ease it into their skincare routine. You might opt to use vitamin C in a serum and then follow with your regular moisturizer. Be aware that vitamin C does have a shelf life: if it turns brown, that means it has oxidized and may no longer be effective.Hydroquinone
Use it for Hyper pigmentation, acne scars
What it does: If you just can’t seem to get rid of your sun spots or acne scars, hydroquinone might be for you. It’s a powerful agent for anyone with hyper-pigmented skin conditions, interfering with melanin production to even out your skin tone. You’ll find hydroquinone in high-end serums and moisturizers labeled “lightening” or “flash treatment.”
How to use it: Apply hydroquinone directly to your problem areas, but note that it’s typically very strong and can cause redness and burning to those with sensitive skin. You’ll want to double up on sunscreen when treating your skin with hydroquinone since it can cause extra sensitivity. Be sure to see your dermatologist if you don’t see any effect on your skin.Niacinamide
Use it for Hyper pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles, uneven skin tone
What it does: Niacinamide is a B vitamin that, when applied topically, has been proven to have a number of benefits for aging skin. One study showed that women who used it for four weeks saw a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, and improved hyper pigmentation, redness, and sallow skin.
How to use it: There are a lot of rumors out there that you can’t use niacinamide with vitamin C, and that simply isn’t true. In fact, the two ingredients complement each other, so it’s perfectly fine to use them together as part of your skincare routine. Of course, it’s always a good idea to ease into using any new product, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Get your best skin during menopause
Menopause can cause a ton of unexpected changes in your skin. From persistent age spots that won’t go away, to other skin conditions like vaginal dryness, menopause can make it seem like your skin is suddenly turning against you. To learn the truth about menopause and skincare, read our post: 7 Myths About Menopause and Skin.