Can Probiotics Solve Skin Problems in Menopause?
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Menopause can bring with it changes to your skin that may make you feel older than your years. Hormone levels decline, and with them, your skin becomes dull, dry, and thin. Fine lines and wrinkles will become more visible on your face, neck, and hands, and you may even develop adult acne at this age. But, there is a way to reduce these issues. Probiotics are being found to solve skin problems in menopause.
Just like other symptoms such as low sex drive, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, changes in your skin are related to a decline in estrogen, which usually helps keep acne at bay. Moreover, if you do not regularly use sun protection creams, age spots and darker skin spots can appear on exposed areas of your body like face, hands, arms, and neck.
How to Get Rid of Wrinkles
Wrinkles and other skin problems appear because your skin loses collagen more quickly in menopause. About 30% of collagen is lost during just the five years after a woman enters menopause, with subsequent loss of 2% every year. Skin starts to sag, becomes less firm. And since it also becomes thinner at this age, wrinkles appear easier than before.
You may notice lines that run from your nose to the corner of your mouth. Moreover, any wrinkles that were not so evident before now seem obvious. There are a few topical solutions you can try for your skin problems. Firstly, protect your skin from sun exposure by using adequate sunscreen with SPF 50 and more. Secondly, try skin products with peptides or retinol, because they help your skin produce more collagen.
Probiotics for Wrinkles and Fine Lines Skin Problems
In case topical applications do not work, or if you want to improve the appearance of your skin even more, probiotics might be just the right solution for that. These good bacteria work to help your skin heal and prevent it from further damage. A study has found the effect of a particular strain of Lactobacilli to enhance the repair of damaged skin and prevent skin aging and the formation of wrinkles (1).
Probiotics are an excellent way to hydrate your skin, support it from the inside, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These healthy bacteria could also help improve the elasticity of your skin. As a result, the dryness and thinning of skin could be healed to some extent with probiotics. They offer benefits that anti-aging creams and other skincare products alone cannot provide most of the time. In addition, probiotics help your body get rid of the free radicals and toxins inside your body, which cause damage to your skin and make it age faster.
How to Heal Your Acne
Acne is not just a teenage problem. It depends a lot on your hormonal balance, which is why the decline in female hormones around menopause might lead to acne. However, your skin in older age is not the same as it used to be. Since collagen drops and your skin becomes thinner and drier, you need to choose products designed with your needs in mind.
Gentler products include cleansers with salicylic acid to unclog pores and moisturizers to help your skin. Apart from that, avoid common mistakes that people with acne usually make by following these tips:
- Do not squeeze! You must have heard this as a teenager, but we will repeat it here – do not pop your acne. When you do, you push the infection deeper into the skin, creating more inflammation and scars.
- If your doctor suggested treatment for your acne, give it about two months to see if it works. Do not stop the treatment sooner because the results might just take some time to show.
- Use your acne cream on all areas of your face and not just the blemishes. This should help you prevent new breakouts.
- Do not wash your face too often, because that can irritate your gentle skin. Twice a day is enough for skin health.
- Avoid scrubs. Maybe you used them before, but having acne, you should stay away from them. Use a mild oil or foam cleanser instead.
- Eat more fiber. Diets rich in fiber help to improve your gut flora so you can heal your symptoms from the inside.
Probiotics for Acne Skin Problems
Often women do not find topical creams and medications working for their acne. If this is the case with you, consider healing your skin from the inside. A study suggests that inflammatory skin conditions like acne are related to an imbalance of bacteria in your gut (2). As a result, restoring a healthy microflora in your digestive system can improve your skin problems.
Another study found that a specific strain of Lactobacillus reuteri offers an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect (3). Based on this, these probiotic live bacteria could help against pathogenic, bad bacteria on your skin and contribute to skin health in general. Acne is an inflammatory condition, which is why probiotics with anti-inflammatory effects would be very beneficial.
Where to Get Probiotics for Skin Problems
Acne is a problem that can occur at any age. However, in menopause, it is especially unpleasant because women have other symptoms that affect their body image and self-confidence. Drying and thinning skin, fine lines, and wrinkles also can make you not want to look in the mirror. But, taking steps to heal your acne with probiotics can improve your gut health and in turn, help you look younger and feel better in your own skin.
Probiotics appear in fermented and pickled foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, natto, and other products. If you feel like you do not receive enough probiotics from foods or simply do not enjoy the taste, find a supplement that would suit your needs. To improve your skin health and heal skin problems, we suggest a dose of 5-20 billion CFU every day.
(1) AR Im, B Lee, DJ Kang, and S Chae. “Skin Moisturizing and Antiphotodamage Effects of Tyndallized Lactobacillus acidophilus IDCC 3302.
(2) M Szanto et al. “Targeting the gut-skin axis-Probiotics as new tools for skin disorder management?”
(3) I Khmaladze, E Butler, S Fabre, and JM Gillbro. “Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938-A comparative study on the effect of probiotics and lysates on human skin.”