Look, many of us have a rough idea of what goes down when you go through menopause (hot flushes/mood swings/other inaccurate stuff we see in movies), but if you're in your 30s, it's probably something you don't have to worry about for a while. Right?
Fun fact: That's not entirely true.
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While perimenopause is a thing that can happen two to five years before menopause, you can start experiencing some pretty crazy changes way before that - specifically those that affect your skin.
And it's all thanks to one sneaky little hormone: oestrogen.
Even fun-er fact: Your oestrogen levels will typically start to drop when you're around 30 years old and they take another hit when you're 35.
Meaning? 'Menopause skin' doesn't just affect women over 40. Your skin can start showing the ageing effects of menopause way before then.
Did you know this? We didn't!
To find out more, we had a chat with PhD-qualified scientist, science educator and founder of Qr8 MediSkin, Dr Michele Squire and asked her everything to know about 'menopause skin' and what we can do to prevent it.
What is 'menopause skin'?
To save us from going all year 10 biology on you, oestrogen is a Really Big Deal when it comes to the health of your skin.
Cause y'see, your skin needs oestrogen. She's great mates with it. And they share a long list of benefits.
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According to Dr Squire, oestrogen does everything from stimulating new skin cells to increasing hyaluronic acid and collagen production and protecting your skin from photoaging ("the rough, dry, deeply wrinkled, saggy skin with uneven texture and tone that results from chronic sun exposure") by acting as a natural antioxidant.
Oestrogen also "prevents wrinkle formation and skin dryness in post-menopausal women," and promotes wound healing.
As we mentioned before, your oestrogen levels can start decreasing as soon as your 30s - so even if you're years from going through menopause, don't think this isn't relevant to you, says Dr Squire,