• Ruth Dewar

Ageing Skin: The Facts

Ageing skin is inevitable. In women, this process is accelerated when they hit peri-menopause and is exacerbated in menopause. It is a associated with a decline in our ovarian function and falling levels of oestrogen. Oestrogen is vital to skin and skin is the largest organ in the body and as such is profoundly impacted by waning levels of oestrogen.

The main cell types found throughout the different layers of the skin possess receptors which respond to oestrogen, there fore when the oestrogen is no longer present, there are numerous outcomes. So while ageing is inevitable, looking your age is not!


Menopause is associated with low levels of oestrogen, also known as hypo-oestrogen state. This significant hormonal change is links directly with a loss of skin structure, such as subcutaneous fat pads and increased susceptibility to damage. Hypo-oestrogen state represents one of the most significant intrinsic cause of ageing in women and is directly linked to acceleration is skin dryness, thinner skin, fine line and wrinkles, reduced firmness and elasticity, and photodamage.


as women enter the peri-menopause one of the first noticeable changes is the skin, notable the appearance of dry and itchy skin. Oestrogen promotes skin hydration which keeps the skin lubricated and moisturised, which is slowly depleting through this stage. Oestrogen also promotes the production of hyaluronic acid within the dermis. Hyaluronic acid draws the water in from our bodies which keeps the skin hydrated and maintains skin elasticity and fullness. Moreover oestrogen also encourages the production of ceramides which retain moisture and maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Thinning skin can largely be attributed to reduction in oestrogen, evidence shows that 30% of dermal collagen may be lost during the first 5 years following menopause. Continuing with a further 1-2% of decreased collagen for the subsequent years, and a decrease of skin thickness of 1.1% per year. The end result is a combination of thin, sagging, dry sin, the opposite of pre-menopausal youthful skin.


The appearance of fine lines and winkles is significantly influenced by hormonal factors, with the post-menopausal state being associated with increased wrinkling. Low levels of oestrogen increase the likelihood to form wrinkles, and the application of oestrogen cream significantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, increased formation of wrinkles is associated with, and exacerbated by, a decrease in skin elasticity which has been observed in menopause.


Most people aren't aware that oestrogen has important antioxidant properties which provides a protective role against premature skin ageing associated with photo damage. Following exposure to Ultraviolet radiation, post-monopausal skin is much more susceptible to skin damage. an increased formation of deep wrinkles, skin sag and decreased skin elasticity are all seen following ultraviolet exposure in post-menopausal skin as a direct consequence of oestrogen deficiency.


As with any condition it is important to treat the underlying condition alongside the side effects. With ageing skin, the endocrine system (the body's hormonal system) is depleted and this is why we are prescribed HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to even out what the body no longer has, mainly a deficiency in oestrogen. The use of oestrogen is associated with increased collagen, increasing dermal (skin) thickness and decreasing wrinkles and elasticity. There is significant bone loss when we hit menopause, including the facial skeletal structure. This in turn contributes to ageing with prominent naso-labial folds (bottom of nose to corner of mouth) as well as tear trough deformities (under eye bags) and jowls.HRT can be used to combat bony resorption, helping maintain the facial structure and therefore combats the signs of ageing.


Studies have shown that there is a direct link to collagen loss and oestrogen deficiency. It is therefore important to incorporate key ingredients into your skincare routine to promote collagen production.

Vitamin A derived products such as RETINOL and RETINOIDS help to counteract collagen loss by stimulating collagen production and protecting against collagen degradation. This helps to minimise fine lines and wrinkles and the loss of firmness and elasticity. They also contribute to epidermal thickness (outer layer of the skin) provide antioxidant protection and sebum (natural oil) production.

Vitamin C also plays an important roll in collagen production. It stabilises the collagen molecule by a process known as hydroxylation. The penetration of vitamin C in topical skincare products varies, so it is important that you choose the correct one. It has to be present in ascorbic acid and the PH level needs to be below 4 for penetration to occur.

Hyaluronic Acid is another key product for ageing skin care. The hyaluronic molecule can hold up to 10 times its own size in water molecules.


The term "moisturiser" is an umbrella term that encompasses HUMECTANTS (glycerine, hyaluronic acid and alpha hydroxy acid) OCCLUSIVES (Liquid paraffin, petrolatum, lanolin and mineral oils) and EMOLLIENTS (jojoba oil, coconut oil, Isopropyl palmitate) Each possesses their own mechanism of action, but similarly result in improved skin hydration and increased water content in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin)

by providing water to the skin and increasing occlusion (blockage) to prevent water loss.

Not all moisturisers are the same. and whilst some will improve the skin barrier function and improve overall health, some can exacerbate the skin condition.

Injectables especially hyaluronic acid are beneficial for re-stimulating hydration deep within the dermis of the skin (the inner layer) therefore topical application of hyaluronic acid will not have the same effect as intrinsic production (production from within) which draws water in, restores fullness, maintains skin turgor (rigidity of cells or tissues due to the absorption of fluids) and reduces fine lines. HA fillers go beyond enhancing water levels in the skin, they can also be used to address the bony respiration process according to Dr Hannah Davis - Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. She also writes that "In addition, dermal fillers can also be used to tackle skin atrophy which is inevitable in menopause, restore facial volume and soften the lines associated with ageing)


Our advanced aesthetics practitioners offer a range of anti-aging skin treatments including:

  • Hyaluronic acid fillers for intense water absorption directly into the dermis layer of the skin

  • Vitamin C microneedling therapy for Vitamin C directly into the dermis layer of there skin

  • PRP Therapy (Plasma Rich Platelets from your blood) micro-needled into the dermis for overall elasticity and fibroblast production. Huge skin rejuvenation treatment also reducing pore size

  • Infini skin boosters, again injected into the dermis for a huge boost of essential vitamins and peptides

  • Nano threads places into the skin to stimulate cell production and fibroblast production.


Reference material - Dr Hannah Davis - Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. First class degree in Biomedical Science - University College London (MRCGP, MBBS, BSc)

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