Your Skin-Care Recipe for Better Aging During Menopause

Your Skin-Care Recipe for Better Aging During Menopause featured image
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The change of life comes for all women eventually, but your skin doesn’t have to show it. Menopause, a time of suddenly shifting hormones and turbulent changes to skin and hair, is stressful enough. Take control of the aging process to stay ahead of collagen loss, skin laxity, volume loss, and skin-texture changes. With the right preparation and a personalized approach to aging, you can outpace, put off, and even prevent the rapid aging that often accompanies menopause.

Board-certified Washington D.C. dermatologists Tina Alster, MD, and Neelam Khan, MD, have developed the ideal schedule for menopause preparation. Here’s an exclusive look at how they tackle the change of life head-on for graceful aging.

The Change of Life and the Change of Skin Care

Serving the Washington D.C. area for over thirty years, Drs. Alster and Khan have developed their approach to pre-menopause skin care based on their real-life experiences treating patients.

“I’ve been practicing for a long time, and I’ve been seeing many of the same women throughout their lives,” explains Dr. Alster. “That means I’ve seen them go through menopause over the last one or two decades.”

According to Dr. Khan, menopause is rarely a subject they bring up to their patients. “They end up bringing their concerns to us,” Dr. Khan says. “Often it’s because they’re losing hair, their skin is drier, or their regular skin-care routine just isn’t working for them anymore.”

One of the biggest complaints from women who have gone through menopause or have just entered it is rapid aging. “Patients will tell us they feel like they’ve aged decades overnight,” Dr. Alster says. “Like the skin is just suddenly hanging off their face.”

Dr. Khan explains that aging-related changes happen so subtly that we tend to have a hard time noticing them. But perimenopausal and menopausal women tend to experience an acceleration of those changes.

“If you’re not preparing for those changes, then it can look like you’ve suddenly aged a decade over the course of a few years,” Dr. Khan says.

How to Prepare for Menopause

The good news is there are ways to get ready for the change of life and the impact it will have on your skin.

“During your 40s especially is a great time to start preparing for menopause with anti-aging and preventative skin-care measures,” Dr. Khan says. “Utilizing a dermatologist as well as seeking out treatments that improve skin can help get you ready for all the changes that happen at once during menopause.”

Like any anti-aging routine, sunscreen and sun protection are major factors. “To stay protected, you need to use more than just sunblock, but also antioxidants and vitamin D,” Dr. Alster says. “Then at night, work on repair, which usually involves a retinol.”

The other pillar of aging gracefully during menopause is all about volume. “Neurotoxins as a preventative maintenance measure are really beneficial as well,” Dr. Khan says. “Dr. Alster’s patients that have stuck to the schedule tend to have beautiful jawlines, better collagen, and better skin for their age.”

Dr. Alster recommends neurotoxins, like Botox Cosmetic or Dysport, be “sprinkled in” two or three times a year.

The Recipe for Success

Completing the recipe for successful anti-aging during menopause directly addresses the canvas of the skin. “A fractionated laser is an excellent tool that helps the skin get to a better stage, which always makes you look younger,” Dr. Alster says.

“We have so many different types of laser technology,” Dr. Khan says. “We lean very heavily on lasers to build collagen, which in turn lets us use less filler. Ultimately, that’s what helps patients look more natural and more graceful as they age.”

Dr. Alster also recommends a personalized schedule of noninvasive skin-tightening treatments, like radio frequency and ultrasound, to maintain those improved results.

“The patients that look the best, who you see and think ‘they must have had a facelift’ but haven’t, those patients have all followed Dr. Alster’s prescription,” Dr. Khan explains. “They get skin-tightening treatments every two years, a fractionated laser treatment every year or every other year and have had injectable and filler work.”

Tips for Late Starters

If you haven’t been on this recipe for very long, it’s important to take stock of what these treatments can do for you.

“You still have to start at square one, which is skin care,” Dr. Khan says. “And after that, we address your goals and see how useful these treatments would be. If needed, we will refer a trusted plastic surgeon who can help achieve your goals.”

In the same vein, it’s important to work with a doctor who can help you understand the investment you’re making.

“Some patients will always want to try all the treatments available,” Dr. Alster says. “But even if you need to be more conservative and can’t keep up a rigorous treatment schedule, doing any of them even once will leave you better than your baseline. You will see some benefit, no matter where you start.”

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