When you think of perimenopause and menopause, most people are thinking of the common symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, right? But what you may not realise is that peri/menopause also affects the skin. One fascinating aspect of this is the role of the estrobolome – please stay with me, I’ll try not to make this a snoozefest. In this post, I’ll explore how the estrobolome can influence our skin health and discuss practical tips to support vibrant and healthy skin – and we all want that right??
Understanding the Estrobolome
Before diving into the connection between the estrobolome and peri/menopausal skin, have you heard of the estrobolome? The estrobolome is simply part of your gut microbiome and it’s a funky term for the community of microorganisms in the gut that contribute to the metabolism of oestrogen. These microorganisms play a crucial role in converting oestrogen into various metabolites, which can have either beneficial or detrimental effects on the body.
Impact of the Estrobolome on Perimenopausal Skin
As you already know, perimenopause triggers hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decline in oestrogen levels. These changes can affect the skin in multiple ways. Here are some key aspects of the estrobolome’s impact on perimenopausal skin:
Hydration and Elasticity:
Oestrogen is known to promote skin hydration and maintain its elasticity. As oestrogen levels decline during perimenopause, the skin may become drier and lose some of its suppleness. The estrobolome influences the metabolism of oestrogen, and an imbalance in its composition can increase skin dryness and reduce elasticity. Supporting a healthy estrobolome may help optimise oestrogen metabolism and contribute to better skin hydration and elasticity.
Collagen, a structural protein responsible for skin strength and firmness, is influenced by oestrogen levels. Oestrogen stimulates collagen production, and reduced oestrogen during perimenopause can lead to a decline in collagen synthesis. The estrobolome’s role in oestrogen metabolism can indirectly affect collagen levels, potentially impacting the skin’s ability to maintain its youthful appearance. Nurturing a healthy estrobolome may contribute to optimal oestrogen metabolism and support collagen production.
Skin Thickness and Wrinkles:
Oestrogen also influences the thickness of the skin and its ability to retain moisture. Reduced oestrogen levels can result in thinner skin, making it more prone to wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, oestrogen depletion affects the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leading to dryness and an aged appearance. By maintaining a balanced estrobolome, perimenopausal women may support oestrogen metabolism, potentially promoting thicker and more moisturised skin, thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Inflammation and Sensitivity:
Hormonal changes during perimenopause can cause increased skin sensitivity and inflammation. The estrobolome’s impact on oestrogen metabolism can indirectly influence these skin conditions. Imbalances in oestrogen metabolites due to an unhealthy estrobolome may contribute to heightened skin sensitivity and inflammation. By promoting a healthy estrobolome, women can potentially mitigate these skin issues and maintain a more balanced complexion.
Supporting a Healthy Estrobolome for Vibrant Skin
So, what can we do to optimise our skin health during peri/menopause?
1. Balanced Diet:
Consuming a nutrient-rich diet is crucial for supporting a healthy estrobolome and overall skin health. Focus on whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, and healthy fats. These provide essential nutrients and antioxidants that nourish the gut microbiome and promote optimal oestrogen metabolism.
2. Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods:
Consider incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir into your diet. These foods contain beneficial bacteria that can help maintain a healthy estrobolome. Additionally, consuming prebiotic-rich foods such as garlic, onions, and bananas can provide the necessary fibre to feed your beneficial gut bacteria.
3. Stay Hydrated:
Proper hydration is essential for skin health. Drink an adequate (35mL/kg) amount of water daily to help maintain skin hydration and support its natural functions.
4. Skincare Routine:
Adopt a skincare routine that focuses on hydration and nourishment. Use chemical free cleansers, moisturisers, and serums formulated to support mature skin. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and natural oils to replenish moisture and combat oxidative stress.
5. Manage Stress:
Stress can negatively impact the gut microbiome and skin health. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, spending time in nature or activities that bring joy and relaxation. Prioritising self-care can positively impact both your gut health and skin.
As we navigate the changes that occur during peri/menopause, understanding the estrobolome’s impact on the skin can provide valuable insights. By supporting a healthy estrobolome through a balanced diet, probiotics, hydration, and stress management, women can potentially optimise oestrogen metabolism and promote vibrant and healthy skin. Remember, taking care of your gut health not only benefits your overall well-being but also has a remarkable influence on the health and appearance of your skin throughout the perimenopausal transition.
Of course, this is general advice and not a personalised protocol. If you’re look for a more personalised approach and a protocol with the EXACT strategy for your individual biochemistry, then click this link to learn more.
Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath
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