Responsible for skin firmness and skin elasticity, collagen is the protein that holds our complexion in high regard. But in menopause, skin quickly loses collagen1. As estrogen drops, so too does skin’s collagen production2.
Collagen and elastin are the scaffolding in skin3 that keeps it youthful, taut and voluminous. While collagen does decrease gradually with age, the rate is more dramatic in the first five years of menopause4. Continuing to decline for the next 20 years, skin begins to lose its firmness, sag, with wrinkles and jowls more prominent2.
Skin collagen is directly influenced by estrogen loss with approximately 30% of skin collagen lost in the first 5 years after menopause5. As a result of these hormonal changes, skin loses strength and elasticity1. Changes may be seen in the under-eye area; skin may feel thinner and pores may largen.
As water is a large percentage of collagen’s weight3, it’s important to stay well hydrated6. Eating a diet rich in a variety of proteins and vitamin C, an essential co-factor in collagen production, may support your body’s own collagen production7, 8. And using a daily SPF can also protect the breakdown of existing collagen in your skin9.
A nightly facial massage ritual at home.
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Raine-Fenning, N, Brincat, MP, Muscat-Baron, Y 2003, ‘Skin Aging and Menopause: Implications for Treatment’, American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, vol. 6 no. 3, pp. 371-378.
Reus, TL, Brohem, CA, Schuck, DC, Lorencini, M 2020, ‘Revisiting the effects of menopause on the skin: Functional changes, clinical studies, in vitro models and therapeutic alternative’, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, vol. 185, no. 111193, DOI:10.1016/j.mad.2019.111193
Lodish, H, Ber, A, Zipursky, SL, et al. 2000, Molecular Cell Biology, 4th edn, section 22.3, W.H. Freeman, New York.
Stevenson, S, Thornton, J 2007, ‘Effects of estrogens on skin aging and the potential role of SERMs’, Clinical Interventions in Aging, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 283-297.
Brincat, M, Moniz, CF, Studd, JWW, Darby, AJ, Magos, A, Cooper, D 1983, ‘Sex hormones and skin collagen content in postmenopausal women’, British Medical Journal, vol. 287, pp. 1337-1338.
Asserin, J, Lati, E, Shioya, T, Prawitt, J 2015, ‘The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials’, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 14, pp. 291-301
Pullar, JM, Carr, AC, Vissers, MCM 2017, ‘The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health’, Nutrients, vol. 9, no. 866, DOI:10.3390/nu9080866.
Schagen, SK, Zampeli, VA, Makrantonaki, E, Zouboulis, CC 2012, ‘Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging’, Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 298-307
Ganceviciene, R, Liakou, AI, Theodoridis, A, Makrantonaki, E, Zouboulis, CC 2012, ‘Skin anti-aging strategies’, Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 308-319.