Healthy Skin

5 surprising skin changes that could indicate you’re perimenopausal

Perimenopause – the time before menopause where our hormones start to fluctuate – can bring with it a number of challenging symptoms. Not just limited to poor sleep, hot flushes and brain fog, perimenopause can also cause changes in the skin.

“During perimenopause your body experiences significant hormonal changes,” explains Dr Lubna Khan-Salim Founder of Time To Bloom, a skin, health and longevity clinic. “Typically oestrogen levels can fluctuate during this time. This can result in a whole host of changes to the body, and indeed the skin.”

Here, Lubna explains some of the surprising skin changes that could be a sign of perimenopause.

5 skin changes that can happen during perimenopause

Dry skin

Dry skin during perimenopause and menopause is a common concern for many women and is caused by a decline in oestrogen and progesterone.

“If you suddenly start to notice your skin becoming more dry than usual when other lifestyle factors have remained the same, then it could be an indicator that your hormone levels are changing and you’re perimenopausal,” says Lubna.

What to do about it

As Lubna explains, re-evaluating your skincare routine is key.

“First, look at the actives in your topical skincare ingredients,” she says. “It’s a good idea to reduce exfoliation, as this can increase dryness.

“Swap your moisturiser for a richer one that contains humectants and other skin barrier boosting ingredients such as niacinamide, glycerin and peptides.

“In-clinic treatments such as Profhilo – an injectable hyaluronic acid treatment – can also help to provide intense hydration to reduce dryness.”

Acne breakouts

While acne breakouts are usually something associated with our teenage years, they can also be a big problem during perimenopause.

“The hormonal changes of perimenopause can increase the skin’s sebum production, making it oilier and more likely to clog in the pores,” explains Lubna.

“Hormonal acne is typically on the jawline area and bottom of the cheeks. It can include blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.”

What to do about it

Reducing the build up of oil on the skin is a must for hormonal acne.

“Swapping your moisturiser for an oil-free alternative can help,” says Lubna. “As can washing the face with a cleanser that contains an ingredient such as salicylic acid. This can help to reduce debris building up in the pores. Retinol can be helpful, too.”

Thinning skin

Fluctating hormones can also cause havoc with our skin density. As Lubna explains, lowering levels of key hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, means that the skin becomes thinner and more prone to redness.

“The change in body fat distribution that many women experience during perimenopause can result in a loss of skin volume and plumpness,” she says. “Although it isn’t always possible to stop the changes that occur during perimenopause, it’s important to nourish and protect the skin to maintain optimum skin health and radiance.”

What to do about it

Calling on hydrating heroes is an effective way to manage the appearance of thinning skin during perimenopause.

“Incorporating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid into your skincare regime can help to give skin structure and make it look more plump and hydrated,” Lubna explains. “Because it’s a humectant, it helps skin to retain moisture, reducing transepidermal moisture loss.

Plus, protecting our skin can help to keep it feeling happy and healthy.

“Thinning skin can be more prone to redness, sensitivity and irritation,” says Lubna. “I recommend wearing a high factor broad spectrum SPF at all times to protect the skin from sun damage.”

Wrinkles and jowls

As if all of this wasn’t enough to contend with, hormonal changes can also cause our skin to lose collagen.

“This happens more rapidly at first [during perimenopause] before becoming more gradual,” explains Lubna. “With the loss of collagen, skin loses elasticity and firmness. This is when wrinkles, sagging skin, jowls and larger pores become more noticeable.”

What to do about it

While we’re all about pro-ageing, for some of us the appearance of wrinkles and jowls can play havoc with self-esteem. The good news, as Lubna explains, is that there’s plenty we can do to revitalise our skin.

“It’s important to take a multi-faceted approach,” she says. “Topical skincare products that incorporate active ingredients such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and peptides can help, but lifestyle factors are also key.

“Maintaining good hydration, eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and limiting alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can make a big difference.”

There are also plenty of in-clinic options to help address collagen decline, too.

“In-clinic injectable treatments such as Profhilo can help to rejuvenate skin,” explains Lubna. “This hyaluronic acid treatment boosts hydration and stimulates collagen and elastin production, helping to improve firmness and elasticity.

“Exosome therapy is another extremely popular option during perimenopause. Exosomes are tiny extracellular vesicles that are filled with proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. When injected or used topically, they help skin to behave like younger skin on a cellular level and make more collagen. This results in skin looking and feeling better.”


Hyperpigmentation is where the skin develops dark spots or patches (sometimes called sun spots), and can be a challenge for many women during perimenopause.

“This comes as a result of our hormones impacting the body’s natural production of melanin,” explains Lubna.

What to do about it

As Lubna reveals, identifying hyperpigmentation is a key step in terms of its treatment.

“It’s important to first make sure that any new dark spots on the skin aren’t skin cancer,” she says. “Once this has been eliminated, know hyperpigmentation itself isn’t dangerous. But, many women do find it impacts their confidence.

“There are a number of ways to address hyperpigmentation. Topical skincare products containing active ingredients such as retinol can help to speed up cell turnover. Azelaic acid can also brighten the skin and is more gentle than retinol.”

And, for those looking for more intensive results, laser treatment is an effective option.

“In clinic, IPL and V-beam is useful to help reduce the dark patches,” says Lubna. “Using an LED at home can also help.

“I highly recommend the LYMA Laser in clinic. This is a low-level light laser and is a hundred times more effective than LED. LYMA Laser treats and renews skin without any heat, damage or pain. It effectively penetrates the skin and gets to the root of the problem, helping to reduce discolouration and improve skin texture.”

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