Ah menopause. You’d think after decades of menstrual cramps, mood swings and bloating, mother nature would have provided a kinder finale to terminate our child bearing years.
As an inevitable phase of a woman’s life, you’d imagine that there’d be plenty of resources, solutions and support to help you get through each stage of menopause. Yet 50% of women in Britain go through menopause without consulting a medical professional despite having symptoms and 29% of of these women had reported to have lost their self confidence (that’s almost 67 million women suffering alone!).
And yet most of the skin care and supplements out there are targeting the younger demographic that usually still have their skin naturally plump, their hair thick and growing and energy levels naturally high. In an attempt to shift the conversation to the older generation, I am going to breakdown beauty during menopause and what you can do to help reduce your symptoms, feel good and make menopause a little more enjoyable.
The 3 stages of menopause
Menopause is actually a 3 step process although it commonly feels like a long chunk of (never ending) time. Its split into: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. Perimenopause can start as early as your mid thirties and is usually when you first start experiencing hot flashes, a marked increase in fine lines and skin sagging and brittle hair and nails. This is then followed by menopause which starts after you go 12 months without a period cycle and all the symptoms from perimenopause essentially get worse (and gain a couple more irritating qualities such as weight gain, mood swings and fatigue). When these symptoms begin to subside, you enter post menopause which can last a decade longer.
The primary driving force for these symptoms is the progressive decline of estrogen production by your ovaries, which (surprise, surprise) is responsible for the amount of collagen your skin produces.
How your skin changes during menopause
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is the most common structural protein found in your skin and connective tissue. You start losing about 1% of your collagen each year in your mid twenties, but you lose a whopping 30% of your collagen in menopause, or more precisely, in the first 5 years of perimenopause.
Can I take collagen during menopause?
Collagen production and menopause are related because collagen production in your skin is partly dependent on estrogen receptors in your skin, and this dependence usually increases with age. When your ovaries produce estrogen, the hormone binds to estrogen receptors in your skin, signaling your skin to produce collagen.
However, with age, your estrogen production declines, reducing the amount of signaling in your skin to produce collagen. This unfortunately results in you having to wake up to dull, dry skin that is more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
However, it’s not all bad news (thankfully!). While the decline of estrogen is inevitable with age, you can still keep your skin youthful with a collagen supplement to keep your body’s collagen quota afloat.
Is collagen good for menopause?
Seeing how closely related collagen is to estrogen, you’re bound to ask: does collagen help with menopause symptoms? Fortunately, the answer here is yes! Supplements for menopausal skin work by providing your skin with an excess of collagen protein, which you can use to build your own human collagen to help keep your skin plump and youthful. This is usually the mode of action for animal collagen supplements like bovine or marine collagen.
Vegan collagen supplements work by providing your body with the ingredients to build collagen, which actually works faster than animal collagen because you don’t have to break down the animal collagen protein first to then make human collagen. The eyes of a cow or a fish placed in a human skull would never work. So similarly, animal collagen cannot directly replace your collagen. You have to break it down and then build your own collagen.
Vegan Collagen builders bypass the breakdown step because plant based collagen essentially provides you with the ingredients (already broken down), so all your body has to do is put them back together in the structure of human collagen in your skin. There’s another (pretty huge) benefit for using vegan collagen as opposed to animal collagen - keep reading to find out why vegan collagen is particularly beneficial for your skin during menopause!
Benefits of Collagen for Menopause
Strengthen skin elasticity
One of the biggest changes during menopause occurs on your skin, as it becomes dry, dull and begins to sag from the lack of collagen production occurring as estrogen levels decline. Collagen supplements can help keep your skin plump and hydrated reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plant based collagen builders such as vegan collagen have the added benefit of plant antioxidants that can help protect your existing collagen from degradation.
Improve hair growth
Your hair is an extension of your skin, so as your skin gets weaker from a lack of collagen, your hair follicles will also weaken, potentially increasing hair fall and causing your hair to break easily. Including a collagens supplement can strengthen the skin on your scalp, to strengthen your hair follicles that will not only reduce hair loss, but also strengthen your hair shaft, providing you with a thicker, shinier head of hair (did you also picture yourself doing a shampoo commercial worthy hair whip - me too!)
Support bone density
Collagen exists all over the body and estrogen is also involved in regulating bone density and collagen production in your joints. The drop in collagen levels can reduce bone density and lead to osteoporosis. Including a collagen supplement can help lubricate your joints and prevent bone abrasion as the increase in collagen production functions as a cushion between them to maintain healthy joints with age.
The Best Collagen for Menopause (UK)
While adding any collagen supplement to your routine can help reduce the impact of menopause on your skin, plant based collagen supplements for menopause like Raw Beauty Lab’s Vegan Collagen can have several additional benefits. This is because plants contain phyto-estrogens which are estrogen mimicking compounds that can also bind to estrogen receptors in the skin and help increase collagen production in the skin.
Also, the myriad of symptoms that expose themselves with the onset of menopause (hot flushes, mood swings, fatigue - I’m looking at you), can also be reduced with plant based collagen builders as the phytoestrogens work throughout your body. They essentially function as an all-natural HRT that not only reduce the symptoms of menopause but can help bring out a natural glow to your skin.
Check out what some of the lovely ladies in our raw beauty community have to say about vegan collagen and the benefits they’ve experienced with collagen supplements and menopause here.
Keep your skin plump and youthful and help your body reduce the symptoms of menopause with a clean, cruelty free, plant based supplement. Boasting 3 beauty awards and over 900 5 star reviews, it’s almost a no brainer that it’s going to work miracles on your skin! Find out more about Raw Beauty Lab’s Vegan Collagen below!
When you should take collagen supplements for menopause?
Collagen supplements can be taken at any age, but if you are trying to keep your skin youthful, you should start taking collagen for perimenopause. Prevention is always the preferred treatment to save collagen and keep your skin youthful, so starting can help your skin get a head start on it. If you’re looking for a rough estimate on when to start taking collagen, perimenopause usually starts in your late 30’s or early 40’s but this can vary between women.
While it may seem odd to treat your symptoms with collagen, menopause effects the whole body and having a holistic approach with a collagen supplement that works from the inside it is most likely to get you the best results!
With the support of collagen supplements, menopause can remain an enjoyable phase of your life that you can live out instead of just trying to get through it and tolerate the symptoms. Lets support each other in making menopause enjoyable - find out more about Vegan Collagen here.