What is the Best Menopause Skin Care? (2024)

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Jules Walters • Updated: Jan 17, 2024

Latest options rated and reviewed for menopause skin care

One of the tell-tale signs of aging is sagging skin. “If menopause were on Yelp, it would have one star,” says Jen Gunter, MD, a gynecologist and the author of The Menopause Manifesto. Good menopause skin care can help.

The symptoms of menopause start years before periods finally finish and can last for years. Our skin changes and starts to feel dry and those fine lines and wrinkles seem to multiply. What’s partly causing these changes is a dramatic decline in estrogen production, which drops to near zero after menopause.

These changes in hormone levels do not help our skin, which need estrogen production to support skin elasticity and thickness and increase collagen production: the building blocks of skin structure.

Many women seek cosmetic and medical treatments to slow down the aging process in mature skin. But there are options for menopause skin care you can do at home, including face creams for estrogen-deficient skin.

I’ve tried many of the beauty brands to slow down skin aging. So, here are my favorites as part of a good menopause skin care routine.

Jules’ picks for best menopause skin care – 2024

Alloy M4 Mega Miracle Menopause Moisturizer

M4 is made by telehealth company Alloy, which specializes in menopause. As the female founders state, menopause is 100% inevitable AND also 100% treatable. The cream needs to be prescribed by a doctor on the Alloy team as it contains a hormone that’s a type of estrogen. So, you’ll need to fill in some online forms first – and, if you’re suitable, the cream will simply arrive in the mail.

The formula includes estriol, a type of estrogen for menopausal skin, plus glycerin, oleic acid and vitamin E.  You put the cream directly on your face to boost estrogen levels locally.

One tube contains gives you a three-month supply. I found an improvement in my skin’s firmness within two weeks, using M4 as part of menopause skin care.

Image of M4 Alloy estrogen cream

Emepelle Night Cream

Emepelle doesn’t use  hormones but rather something that activates hormone receptors in skin called MEP (or methyl estradiolpropanoate, if you want the full name). It’s another approach to menopause skin care.

The company has published results of fourteen women, aged 53-68, who used the night cream plus Empelle Serum in the morning. After 20 weeks, 93% reported skin improvements. The cream also includes retinoids (from vitamin A), niacinamide (vitamin B3) – so a good answer for thinning skin.

Color image of Emepelle Night Cream – product pack shot

Emepelle Serum

Empelle’s data shows best results with their night cream plus Serum in the morning. The serum also uses MEP technology, plus active ingredients vitamin C, vitamin E, niacinamde (vitamin B3) and hyaluronic acid.

You need to wear sunscreen on top with broad spectrum protection from UV damage from the sun.

Color image of Emepelle Serum – product pack shot for menopause skin care

Paula’s Choice Phytoestrogen Elasticity Renewal Body Treatment

Another way to address menopausal changes is to use estrogens from plants, called phytoestrogens. Paula’s Choice uses two phytoestrogens, daidzein and genistein, for menopause skin care.

Extracted from soybeans, these isoflavones in skincare products have shown the ability to decrease skin damage, particularly by protecting aging skin from UVB light.

Color image of Paula's Choice Phytoestrogen Elasticity Renewal Body Treatment – product pack shot

ClarityRx Feel Better Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Cream

ClarityRx’s formula delivers hyaluronic acid with apricot oil, rich in vitamins A & E, plus a jojoba seed oil to enhance the skin barrier. Hyaluronic acid has got a lot of attention recently – so exactly what is it?

Hyaluronic acid is found throughout our bodies and particularly in our eyes, joints and skin. It helps things move smoothly, a bit like oil in a machine. It’s particularly good at retaining water, which is why it helps dry skin, improving skin moisture and our skin’s elasticity.

Color image of ClarityRx Feel Better – moisturising cream –product pack shot for menopause skin care

ClarityRx Daily Dose of Water Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

ClarityRx’s morning wake-up serum boosts skin firmness through a fast-absorbing formula with hyaluronic acid and purified water. It’s recommended to put on a thin layer in the morning and at night to improve skin quality. Our skin loses moisture as we age. Our natural skin moisture is reduced by half by the time we’re fifty. That’s why menopause skin care is so important.

Color image of Clarity Daily Dose of Water – hydrating serum –pack shot

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

This formula is particularly suited for menopausal skin. It replaces essential lipids that decline as we age, including ceramides, which is a kind of fat found in skin.

It also includes vitamin E and natural cholesterol and fatty acids that protect the skin and prevent it from dryness. It’s 2% ceramides, 4% cholesterol and 2% fatty acids to replenish skin cell turnover.

This particularly suits menopausal skin, replacing essential fats that decline as we age, including ceramides, a kind of fat found in skin.

Color image of SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid restore – anti-aging treatment – pack shot

EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

This one is safe for sensitive skin as it’s oil-free and fragrance free. It contains niacinamide (vitamin B3), salicylic acid from willow bark extract. The addition of an anti-oxidant and hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture. This cream doesn’t include a sun screen, so again it’s important to put a sunscreen on top.

The main environmental driver of aging in our skin is ultraviolet radiation. So, it’s best to get in the habit of protecting our body’s biggest organ. It’s easy to do so by regularly using a sun screen when we’re outside.

Color image of EltaMD Skincare AM Therapy – pack shot

SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel

This hydrating cleanser contains glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which acts as a gentle exfoliant on menopausal skin. It removes dirt and impurities but retains skin moisture. Finding a gentle cleanser is really important as part of our menopause skin care routine.

SkinCeutical’s founder Sheldon Pinnell was a board certified dermatologist. He was also a professor of dermatology for almost 40 years at Duke University Medical School. So, the company’s done the homework on what works and what doesn’t, particularly for menopausal skin care.

Color image of SkinCeuticals LHA cleanser gel – pack shot

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel

Another board-certified dermatologist, who has produced a skin care line, is Dr Dennis Gross. This gentle cleanser uses synthetic detergents to give a pH-balanced cleanse to remove dirt and leave the skin intact.

Jasmine and bisabolol help to calm the skin.

Color image Dr Dennis Gross AB DCG skin care – pack shot

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex Wrinkle Eye Cream

Those fine lines often show up around our eyes first. So, a powerful eye cream can help to smooth out those wrinkles. This formula includes blueberry extract, and Proxylane, which helps to our skin’s extra-cellular matrix.

It also reduces the appearance of dark circles.

Color image of SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex pack shot

A bit more on the science of menopause skin care

Collagen is one of the main building blocks of skin and helps skin cells to renew and repair. Collagen production goes down as we age, declining about 1-1.5% a year, which contributes to our skin looking thin.

We can stimulate collagen production by taking collagen supplements. We can also consider taking hyaluronic acid as a supplement or in a cream. Hyaluronic acid supports collagen production and a 2021 study found it significantly improved skin condition.

After menopause, women produce far less estrogen than in their youth and this loss of estrogen accelerates skin aging. It’s worth a conversation with your primary care doctor or OB/GYN about your options for boosting estrogen after menopause.

Telehealth companies like ByWinona, that specialize in prescribing treatments for women with symptoms caused by menopause. They also have monthly Q&As. I’ve found them really helpful, hearing from other women and sharing our lived experience.

Does retinol help menopause skin care?

Yes. Research has shown that retinol (a type of vitamin A) increases skin cell production, particularly collagen. And wrinkles were reduced after 12 weeks. Lots of skin creams and serums contain retinol.

You may also see other kinds of retinoids listed as retinaldehyde or retinyl esters on an ingredient list. They are all forms of vitamin A. Most creams contain up to 1% of retinol.

What about vitamin C in menopause skin care?

We do know that vitamin C is important for the production of collagen, and as an anti-oxidant against UV damage. Our skin naturally has vitamin C both in the top layer, the epidermis, as well as in the level below – the dermis. Menopause skin has shown lower levels of vitamin C.

There are a number of ways to get more vitamin C. One way is to eat fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C, like oranges, kiwifruit, spinach and other leafy green vegetables.

Many supplements that support bone density often contain vitamin C and skin creams. One study found that applying vitamin C in a cream significantly improved wine lines and wrinkles. Face creams often use vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid.

What about soap?

The top layer of our skin has been described as being a bit like a brick and mortar structure on a home. The mortar is made up of what we think of as natural oils including ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids.

We want to keep our skin clean to remove any dirt and impurities but to do so in a way that doesn’t remove the skin’s protective natural barrier.

Most of the impurities found on skin are not soluble in water so cleaning skin with water alone is not enough, as part of menopause skin care.

Our ancestors figured this out thousands of years ago. The Babylonians used soap-like materials on their skin two to three thousand years ago.

Soap is a salt of fatty acid, usually from animal or vegetable fat, like olive oil, palm oil or coconut oil. More recently syndets, short for synthetic plus detergents, have emerged as a more gentle alternative to soaps, particularly for irritated skin.

Soap or syndet for menopause skin care?

Syndets or syntethic detergents are made by a chemical process and derived from fats, petrochemicals or oil-based products. The good news is that syndets, like those in SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel, are closer to our skin’s natural pH and support healthy skin.

Our skin is slightly acidic, around 4.0-6.0 pH; syndets are 5.5-7.0 and soap tends to be more alkaline at 8.5-11.0 pH.

So if you want to be as gentle as possible on postmenopausal skin, syndet is the way to go.

What is syndet, what are syndet’s common uses, and where is syndet sold?

Syndet is short for synthetic detergent, a type of detergent that’s made from synthetic sources instead of traditional soap. It’s commonly used as a cleansing agent for personal care products, such as soaps, body washes, shampoos and shaving creams.

Syndet-based products are known for their mildness and effectiveness in removing dirt and oil without causing excessive dryness or irritation. They’re particularly popular with people who have sensitive skin or hard-to-manage skin conditions.

You can find syndet-based products in most supermarkets, drugstores and beauty stores. Popular brands that offer them include Dove, Cetaphil, CeraVe, and La Roche-Posay.

A final word on menopause skin care

Whatever your skincare routine, one of the best things you can do is wear sunscreen with a broad spectrum sunscreen whenever you’re outside, to protect from UVA and UVB sun rays. UVB rays are the most powerful and can cause skin cancer. A good sun screen will prevent further damage from both types of sun rays.

Another thing to consider is to use a mild cleanser in the evening as part of a menopause skin care regimen. Find one with a syndet (synthetic detergent), rather than soap, which is particularly good for thinner skin.

Our skin changes over time, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept that it’s all down hill and that dry skin is inevitable. Visual signs will give us clues that hormonal changes are impacting our skin health.

Products for menopause skin care that boost collagen and help to retain moisture can make a big difference to the appearance or not of those fine lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a woman’s skin change during menopause?

During menopause, the body experiences a decline in estrogen levels, which can result in one or more skin-related symptoms. These include:

  • Dryness: due to decreased oil production. To care for dry skin, use gentle cleansers, moisturize daily, and avoid hot showers or baths that can strip the skin of its natural oils.
  • Thinness and sagging: due to reduced collagen and elastin production. Using skincare products with ingredients like retinol and peptides can help boost collagen production and improve the skin’s firmness and elasticity.
  • Wrinkles and fine lines: resulting from the body’s decline in estrogen production. Regular use of moisturizers, serums, and creams with anti-aging ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, and antioxidants can help minimize their appearance.
  • Age spots (hyperpigmentation): from the hormonal changes linked with menopause. Applying broad-spectrum sunscreen and using products with ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), retinoids, or vitamin C can help fade existing spots. They can also prevent new ones from forming.
  • Acne: again due to the change in hormonal levels, which can cause breakouts for some women during menopause. Non-comedogenic (noncomedogenic) skincare products and acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may help.

Do consult with a dermatologist if you need personalized skincare recommendations. You should also discuss with them any specific concerns you may have about menopause and its impact on your skin.

How does a woman’s skin change after menopause?

Some of the same symptoms that affect women’s skin as they go through menopause continue after menopause. These symptoms include dryness, wrinkles, thinning and sagging, and age spots. A regular skincare routine that incorporates a range of condition-related skincare products, and taking extra care to prevent sun damage, can help to mitigate some of these changes. 

Other typical changes in the post-menopause phase are slower wound healing and reduced skin regeneration. Also: the acne breakouts that affect some women during menopause often improve or disappear as hormone levels stabilize, once menopause is over. 

What does ‘non-comedogenic’ mean?

A non-comedogenic substance is one that doesn’t have the potential to clog pores in the skin. Skincare products that state on the label they are non-comedogenic are claiming not to cause blocked pores. Blocked pores are also known as ‘comedones’.

Substances that can cause comedones, or blocked pores, are known as ‘comedogenic’.