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Perimenopause and it’s effect on the skin. What can we do to support it?

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, this is when ovarian function starts to decline and hormone levels start to fluctuate.

As ovarian function starts to decline so does the production of progesterone and oestrogens, both of which are intricately involved in skin health leading to changes in our skin health and appearance.

Oestrogen depletion throughout perimenopause and menopause has been linked to atrophic skin changes and acceleration of skin aging. This can cause the skin to appear thinner containing less collagen, decreasing elasticity, potentially increasing the appearance of wrinkles and dryness.

However, lets look on the bright side by understanding how and why the skin is changing during this time we then in turn can help feed and support it during this particular challenging life stage. 

How can we help nourish the skin?

Collagen  - Why?  - Our declining hormone levels impact the production of collagen – one of the most important structural proteins in the skin. You can supplement with collagen (not cheap – sorry), but you are looking for hydrolyzied collagen as it is one that is considered to cross the intestinal barrier into circulation. Type 1 collagen is the most common. I use Fish (Marine) Collagen as it is more effectively absorbed than Bovine Collagen.

Vitamin C – Why?  - essential for collagen and elastin production. As it is a water soluble vitamin which we can’t store, it must be consumed on a regular basis. Also it has strong antioxidant activity too which helps to reinforce the skin’s defence against external damage. e.g. pollution. 

Good Sources

  • citrus 
  • peppers
  • broccoli
  • berries – blackcurrants, brambles 

Phytoestrogens - these are natural compound found in plants and plant based foods which when eaten may have a similar effect to oestrogen produced by the body. Phytoestrogens may have an anti ageing effect on the skin, may help increase collagen content and protect against oxidative stress. 

Good sources:

  • Flaxseeds, Sunflower and Sesame Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Good quality tofu 
  • Soybeans and Edamame beans. Miso. 
  • Berries
  • Wheat germ
  • Cruciferous Vegetables

Omega-3 fats - Why? -  may help with hydration and improve the skin barrier function. 

Good Sources 

  • Nuts e.g walnuts – sprinkle over salads
  • Seeds e.g. chia seeds, flax seeds ( add to smoothies)
  • Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, 

Or like me who doesn’t like oily fish you can take a good quality a daily omega-3 fish oil supplement

If you would like to chat further about how I could support you through this life stage please do contact me. 


Huang TH, Wang PW, Yang SC, Chou WL, Fang JY. Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil's Fatty Acids on the Skin. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(8):256. Published 2018 Jul 30. 

Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. 

Tao Liu, Nan Li, et al. Recent advances in the anti-aging effects of phytoestrogens on collagen, water content and oxidative stress. Phytother Res. 2020 Mar; 34(3): 435-447.






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