Menopause and perimenopause can bring about all kinds of unwelcome symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and brain fog. As if all that wasn’t enough, the downswing in estrogen that plays a role in all of the above symptoms also wreaks havoc on our skin.
“Estrogen is a key player in the physiology of our skin, where it binds to estrogen receptors in the skin and produces changes at the nuclear level,” says Joyce Park, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Skin Refinery and content creator at TeawithMD. “We know that estrogen hormones decrease dramatically during menopause, triggering a cascade of changes in both skin and hair.”
During menopause (defined as going 12 consecutive months without menstruating) and perimenopause (the transition before menopause that can last up to 10 years), estrogen levels fluctuate and then eventually decline. This leads to decreased collagen and elastin production, which in turn causes skin changes including increased dryness and wrinkling, loss of firmness, changes in skin type, or even acne flare-ups due to hormonal fluctuations, says Park.
With all this going on, it can be confusing to know which products to use, especially if your beloved faves are no longer doing the trick. But menopausal women can now breathe a sigh of relief, because UK-based brand No7 has created Menopause Skincare, a collection of products tailored to address specific menopausal skin concerns—all of which are available at the drugstore. Can someone say “hallelujah”?
Like many skin-care lines, No7’s Menopause collection—which launched in October—was created in collaboration with dermatologists. What sets the products apart, though, is that the brand also worked with 7,000 menopausal women who informed development every step of the way—from testing formulas to providing input on packaging.
“The creation of the No7 Menopause Skincare range felt like a necessary addition to the market because of the connection between what our science was telling us about changes in skin biology during the menopause transition and what our consumers were telling us about the unexpected skin health concerns they were experiencing,” says Mike Bell, MD, the brand’s head of scientific research. “Their normal skin-care regimen was no longer working for them and, not surprisingly, was unable to address the new and different skin needs caused by reductions in estrogen during the menopause transition.”
With scientific research at its heart, Dr. Bell says instead of focusing on more traditional signs of aging, the new collection is designed to address six key menopausal skin concerns: dryness, dullness, sensitivity, lack of firmness, uneven skin tone, and lines and wrinkles. The line contains five products, all suitable for sensitive skin, that promise to replenish skin in just one week of use.
“The products in this line are filled with effective skincare ingredients such as collagen peptide technology to help firm the skin; hyaluronic acid, ceramides and lipids for maintaining moisture in the skin; and soy isoflavones which have estrogenic effects when applied topically to the skin,” says Park.
Personally, I am overjoyed to see a beauty company proudly and unabashedly creating skin care specifically designed for menopausal women—and, what’s more, making it available to the masses at an affordable price point. “Menopause is a taboo subject in our society, but it really shouldn’t be,” says Park. “It’s wonderful that No7 is opening the conversation about this important transitional period and making skincare products that specifically target menopausal skin concerns.”
And, unlike many of the symptoms of menopause, that is a welcome “change,” indeed.
Shop No7 Menopause Skincare
This cream is designed to sooth the dry, sensitive skin associated with menopause. The formula is made with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, plus niacinamide, which supports the skin barrier and evens skin tone. It also contains green tea and vitamin C to boost skin radiance. Bonus: The cream offers SPF 30 protection from UV damage, aka the biggest culprit behind visible signs of skin aging.
The serum contains No7’s Matrixyl 3000+ TM, a collagen peptide-based technology that targets collagen-depleted skin to improve firmness and the appearance of wrinkles. Lipids, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid partner to help replenish moisture, while soy isoflavones work to counteract skin changes associated with decreased estrogen such as loss of elasticity and texture. The product comes with an instant cooling applicator to soothe skin—a plus for anyone dealing with hot flashes.
Delivering deep hydration while you snooze is the name of this cream’s game. Like the serum, the cream contains lipids, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to support the skin’s natural overnight repair process and hydrate dry menopausal skin, and also contains Matrixyl 3000+ TM to enhance skin firmness and soy isoflavones to target skin changes due to decreased estrogen. Ninety-eight percent of menopausal women reported healthier, softer skin after four weeks of use.
With all that happens to our bodies during menopause, it’s a good bet that most of us will experience tired-looking eyes. This eye concentrate contains lipids, soy isoflavones, red clover, and niacinamide to firm and hydrate the eye area, and improve the appearance of dark circles, wrinkles, and undereye bags. The product has a soothing metal rollerball applicator and can be used day or evening.
“Many menopausal and perimenopausal women suffer from hot flashes, and the instant cooling mist does a great job at relieving those with glycerin and rosewater to hydrate and soothe the skin,” says Park. As someone who frequently feels like they have an internal furnace cranked on high, I can attest that the mist has been a godsend— and it smells great, too.