Dry skin, menopause brings about bodily changes that can result in an acceleration of the aging process, specifically a slowdown in hormone synthesis. As well as sex hormones, the body slows the production of growth hormone, melatonin, thyroid hormones and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The body also slows its production of skin renewing properties collagen and elastin, needed to maintain firmness. Muscles and bones start to thin, changing the appearance of the face and body and the results of sun exposure, poor diet, lack of hydration and smoking may become more apparent. If you are experiencing hypothyroidism your skin may become dry and course.
There are many interventions for age related appearance problems. Skin care is a must, this protects against dehydration and sun as well as microorganisms etc. that can harm the skin. Some creams can help improve production of collagen and elastic fibers. Retinoid (vitamin A) creams promote collagen production. Anti-oxidant rich creams (Vitamin’s C & E together with ferulic acid (found in coffee, apple, artichoke, and orange seed sare the best) copper, selenium and carotenoids. Soy isoflavones are good too. Laser and light therapy can help improve the appearance of skin, as can injectables (Botox).
You may wish to take supplements to fight the signs of aging. Essential fatty acids plump and moisturize skin. Vitamin E stops cell damage. Curcumin (active ingredient of Tumeric) is used to improve skin radiance (glow). It is also a good treatment for eczema, acne and psoriasis. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory (cause of aging) and a natural anti-oxidant, it can be taken in supplement form, eaten as an ingredient in food, turmeric, or used topically in beauty products . DHEA substitution can increase muscle mass, improve the appearance of loose connective tissue (adipose fat or tissue) and help recover one’s physical condition and appearance. Keep in mind that research is ongoing on DHEA and more studies are needed.
There is week evidence that the supplement Biotin (Vitamin H or B 7) can improve dry, flaky skin. Biotin can be found in brewer’s yeast, sardines, nuts butters and nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans and walnuts) cooked eggs, (yolks primarily), whole grains, bananas, mushrooms, soybeans and other legumes (beans). The less processed the food is, the more Biotin it will contain. It is also found in supplements . Keep in mind that Biotin (high doses) can cause acne and skin rashes as well as oily hair. Drink plenty of water to help absorption; start with the minimum dose and gradually increase it; take with proper food in morning or evening; take with other multivitamins to avoid imbalances. If you smoke, are on kidney dialysis, or are taking anti-seizure medication or a long term course of antibiotic's, talk with your health care provider before taking it. In very rare cases Biotin, when mixed with B 5, may cause a medical condition called Eosinophilic Pleuropericardial Effusion (blood and air in cavity around the lungs).
Eating right is imperative for healthy skin. Drinking lots of water and eat five servings of the following antioxidant rich foods as antioxidants protect against age spot and wrinkle causing free radicals.
Phyto-estrogen can help to balance hormones, and are found in: soy, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, flax seeds.
Batacarotene helps skin develop and improves skin tone: pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, carrots, papaya.
Zinc helps soften skin and repair damage: poultry, red meat, whole grains, seeds, nuts, fish, shellfish.
Vitamin C, heals blemishes and produces a glow: papaya, strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, broccoli, oranges, guava, and blackcurrants.
Selenium, protects against sun damage like sun spots and skin cancer: Brazil nuts, (4 a day, or fish), eggs, shellfish, tomatoes, wheat germ, & broccoli.
Vitamin E, helps skin grow and stops cell damage: almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower/corn oil, avocado, pine nuts.
Essential fatty acids which can’t be made by the body (omega 3 & 6) found in oily fish walnuts, and seed oil (linseed, flax, and rapeseed). These are anti-inflammatory.
Exercise is also important in maintaining healthy skin. As skin ages the signaling protein Interleukin 15 (IL-15) slows down. The result is skin cells breaking down at a faster rate. Exercise increases iIL-15 production, slowing this process and helping to maintain the skins health. Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, which helps move the nutritional building blocks of collagen to the cells in need of it. Exercise also increases cellular energy levels, making them work better (10). Weight training or the use of resistance bands helps maintain muscle mass, which in turn more efficiently process blood sugar, associated with inflammation (redness).
- Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A.L., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C.C. (2012). Skin anti- aging strategies. Dermato-Endocrinology, 4, (3), 308-319.
- Lewin, J. Eat your way to fabulous skin. Published on BBC Good Food, accessed: www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/eat-your-way-faboulous-skin
- Sangeeta, & Sharma, A., (2014). The amazing pharmacological properties of Haridra-A short review. Ayushdhara, an International Journal of Research in Ayush and Allied Systems, 1, 27-31.
- WebMD website. Webpage:Thyroid may cause sexual problems. retrieved from: www.webmd.com/women/news/20020321/thyroid-may-cause-sexual-problems
- Mayo clinic website. Webpage: Drugs and Supplements, DHEA. Retrieved on April 13, 2016. Retrieved from: Mayoclinic.org /drugs-supplements/dhea/evidence/hrb_20059173
6 University of Maryland Medical Centre website, webpage: Vitamin H (Biotin). Retrieved from: www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-h-biotin
7 Durable Health website, webpage: Biotin side effects, is biotin safe, 5000 mcg pills, skin, weight gain & period. Retrieved from: www.durablehealth.net/biotin-side-effects-biotin-safe-5000mcg-pill- skin-period/
8 Living Strong website, webpage: Side effects of Biotin 5000 mg, posted by A.M. Tacon, Aug 16, 2013. Retrieved from www.livingstrong.com/article/353466-side-effects-of-biotin-5000-mg/
9 Crane, J.D., MacNeil, L.G., Lally, J.S., Ford, R.J., Brar, I.K., Kemp, B.E., Raha, S., Steinberge, G.R., & Tamopolsky, M.A., (2015). Exercise-stimulated interleukin-15 is controlled by AMPK and regulates skin metabolism and aging. Aging Cell 14 (4) 625-634. Doi: 10.1111/acel.12341.
10 Natrualpathic Currents Website. Webpage: Antiaging-a natrual approach to youthful skin by Kempinska, N., Nd. Accessed: http://www.naturopathiccurrents.com/article/antiaging#part4
PLEASE NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. TALK TO A QUALIFIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE MAKING ANY DIET OR LIFESTYLE CHANGES.
The information on this site is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment. Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help. Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content. Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).