Skin care for women

Huidverzorging Vrouwen

Skin care is a daily routine for most women. You don’t think about it, on average women use 9 cosmetic products per day (Survey-EWG 2004).

The topics in skin care.

  • Timing skin care with your menstrual cycle
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Pigment spots
  • Skin care routine, which is better simple or elaborate?
  • Postmenopausal skin
Vrouwen Huidverzorging

Skin care in figures

  • Generation Z or iGen (born between 1997 – 2012) have 40% preference for gender neutral skin care products.
  • 56% of men of all ages said they used such makeup in 2018.
  • Consumer preference for clean, sustainable and natural care products is growing at an annual rate of 5.2%.

Skin change timeline

  1. In addition to physical aging, your skin will also undergo changes from one decade to the next. Below is a brief summary of the most common skin problems based on your age.
  2. From birth – skin barrier and sun protection
  3. Teens and twentysomethings – acne, acne, acne
  4. Thirtysomethings – fine lines and wrinkles
  5. Fortysomethings – eye bags and dark circles
  6. Fifties – pigmentation spots and sun-damaged skin
  7. 60 plus – dry skin and skin cancer
For more info: the science of skin care according to your age

Timing of your skin care

Every day we routinely use the same skin care products to take care of our skin.
But no day is the same and that also applies to your skin. One day you have dry, irritated skin, the next day you have pustules and suddenly spots appear.
One way to create some order is to schedule skin care according to the menstrual cycle. There are indications that your skin reacts differently before and during your period.

There are 4 phases in the menstrual cycle

The menstrual phase, the first day of your period and lasts 4-6 days. Your estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest.

The follicular phase, lasts 7-14 days until ovulation. Both your estrogen and testosterone increase, your energy level is also increased and your mood is good.

The ovulation phase, also called ovulation, is where the estrogen and testosterone values are highest. This phase is in the middle of the menstrual cycle on day 14 and can last 3-4 days.

The luteal phase, in the first week of the luteal phase, progesterone and estrogen levels rise before decreasing towards the end of the luteal phase. The drop in estrogen and progesterone levels leads to menstruation and the cycle starts again

The relationship between skin and menstrual cycle

During the menstrual phase, estrogen and progesterone blood levels are at their lowest. Lower estrogen levels can disrupt skin barrier function and reduce skin hydration. Reduction of progesterone leads to less sebaceous gland activity, less oil production and oiliness of the skin. All in all, this can lead to dry and dehydrated skin. Certain skin conditions, such as acne, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and psoriasis can worsen just before or during your period.

To limit this, it makes sense to focus skin care in this phase on skin hydration.

In the follicular and ovulatory phases, estrogen begins to rise and peaks in the ovulatory phase. This leads to improvements in the skin barrier function, skin hydration and the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid starts. Progesterone is still low in both of these phases, which means sebaceous gland activity is still low. The skin is usually a lot calmer during the follicular phase and at its best around ovulation.

Due to the higher estrogen levels, the skin barrier function is highest during these phases and may be more tolerant to active skin care ingredients and skin treatments such as peels and laser.

During the luteal phase, progesterone begins to rise, leading to increased sebaceous gland activity and oilier skin. One study showed that about 70% of women experience mild acne during this phase, which is usually associated with oily scalp and hair. Teenagers suffer more from clown eczema, pustules around the mouth and eyes. Read more on perioral dermatitis

Menstruation And Skin Care Women

Vrouwen Pigment Aging Huidveroudering

Pigment spots

Pigment spots are caused by excessive sunlight, hormonal changes such as birth control pills or menopause, skin irritations caused by aggressive substances, various skin diseases such as acne, eczema or psoriasis, but also medications. Pigmentation can appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly on the face, hands and neck, and is considered undesirable for cosmetic reasons.

What can be done about it?

During the day, use mineral sun protection with at least SPF30 and cosmetic ingredients that reduce pigment spots. There are also some cosmetic skin care ingredients that can stimulate your skin such as Vitamin A, C, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Resveratrol, Licorice root, Hydroquinone. Do not buy bleaching creams yourself. They often contain substances such as hormone ointments that can thin the skin if used for a long time without instructions from your doctor. Consult a skin therapist or possibly your doctor or pharmacist if you want to apply a whitening cream.

More about melanocytes (pigment cells) and cosmetic ingredients.

There is also camouflage therapy. When pigment spots are very dark, make-up may not conceal it sufficiently. The skin therapist can use camouflage therapy to make color creams that match your skin in order to conceal your pigmentation spots.

Fine lines & wrinkles

There are two types of wrinkles

  • Static wrinkles: these wrinkles are always present even though there is no facial movement of the person. The combination of repetitive movement of the underlying muscle and a decrease in collagen and elastin cause this wrinkle shape. Also by reduction of fat tissue and shrinkage of underlying bone structures, such as bones around the eyes and cheeks. This together cause skin sagging and wrinkles. The older the person, the more static wrinkles.
  • Dynamic wrinkles: are wrinkles that are only visible with movement of the underlying muscle. Examples are frown wrinkles, forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, Smokers lines. These wrinkles can occur at a young age.

Skin care ingredients

There are many cosmetic ingredients that can help you reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
There is a group that stimulate collagen production.

For example, creams containing vitamin A acid or tretinoin can rejuvenate the skin and are only available with a doctor’s prescription. The disadvantage of tretinoin is that it can cause skin irritation. An alternative is Bakuchiol, it works just like vitamin A, without the redness and burning. Peptides are concatenated amino acids. Think of it as small building blocks with certain properties and shape. With the right peptide, stimulation of collagen can be stimulated. More about peptide

Another group are antioxidants and they reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals in the skin can damage collagen and elastic fibers. By scavenging free radicals with antioxidants, your skin cells (fibroblasts) can produce collagen again. Creams with vitamin C and E combination have a stronger anti-oxidant effect than when they are separately in a product. Due to the synergistic effect of vitamins C & E, the anti-oxidant effect can be enhanced by a factor of 4. Furthermore, Coenzyme Q10, Green Tea extract, Alpha Lipoic acid and Ectoine also have an anti-aging effect.

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Huidverzorging Vrouwen Resultaat

Skin care routine, which is better simple or extensive?

A 2020 study attempted to answer this question by Swedish researchers. Forty-nine women aged between 25-55 years young were divided into two groups.

Group 1 (AR), advanced 5-step routine consisting of: cleanser / toner / eye cream / serum / day or night cream, in the morning and evening.

Group 2 (SR), simple routine: once a day a skin cleanser and a day cream.

At the start of the study and after 4 weeks, several parameters were recorded, such as superficial and deep skin hydration, pigment, wrinkles (crow’s feet and nasolabial facial folds) and skin pore size.

Conclusion of the study

Dehydration of the skin, pigment spots, wrinkles and skin pores are measured at the start and after 4 weeks.

The results showed that an extensive skin care routine twice a day was better than simple care. Skin hydration was improved by 92% in the advanced (AR) group versus 16% in the simple (SR) group.

Pigment spot reduction was 11.7% less in the AR group and -2.7% in the SR group.

Wrinkles (crow’s feet and nasolabial folds), in the AR crow’s feet group there were 7.3% less wrinkles versus 2.5% more wrinkles in the SR group. Nasolabial folds decreased in both groups, 10.7% in the AR and 8.3% in the SR simple routine group.

And finally skin roughness and pore size. In the AR group, the skin was – 9.1% less rough and – 14.4% less large. The differences were smaller in the SR group. -1.7% Less rough skin and – 1.2% fewer large pores.

The study showed a skin improvement on all points when you care more intensively and the women in group 1 were also more satisfied with their skin than group 2.

Postmenopausal skin

Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycle. It is a natural biological process. During menopause, lower estrogen levels greatly affect your skin. Less estrogen makes you prone to drier skin, more skin sagging and wrinkles.

Cleansing!

Cleansing is an important step in natural skin care, even as you age. A German study shows a relationship between air pollution and increased pigmentation.

The researchers assessed the skin of 400 women aged 70 to 80 years. One group of test subjects came from the Ruhr area, where there is a lot of industry. The analysis showed that people from the Ruhr area, who were exposed to a lot of nitrogen dioxide, suffered more from pigment spots than people from rural areas. No fewer than 25 percent more pigment spots were visible with them.

Hydrate

After menopause, your skin becomes drier because the sebaceous glands are not as active. The sebaceous gland plays an important role; the formed sebum provides, as it were, a coating on our skin and hair to retain moisture in your skin, among other things. However, our own skin sebum production decreases by 23% per decade from the age of 20! You can see that on the forearms and legs.

Sun Protection

The risk of skin cancer increases with age and wrinkles can increase in number and depth. The skin has less natural protection and repair capacity than when you were younger.

Minimize wrinkled skin

You get more folds and wrinkles over the years due to sun damage, but also hormonal changes in menopause. Your hormone levels decrease with age, and your skin quality changes and wrinkles worsen. Wrinkles can also be more visible when the skin is dry.

Age spots

During the consultation, I refer to age spots as 30+ spots. These pigmented spots on the face, hands and chest may be more pronounced around menopause. A common desire to treat this.

Care tips:

Comprehensive skincare routine consisting of:

Skin cleansing with a mild cleanser

A moisturizer against dry skin, don’t forget the arms and legs.

Prevent pigmentation & deeper lines by using UV skin protection every day.

Do you have spotlights? Pigment reducing cosmetic ingredients. Exfoliating products, such as fruit acids, can help you remove excess dead skin cells. The peeling ensures a thinner superficial skin cell layer, making your skin smoother and looking fresher. Fruit acids can also reduce pigment spots, coarse pores, skin impurities and improve your skin hydration.

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Frequently asked questions about natural skin care for women

Blogs about female skin care

For ethical reasons, few studies have been conducted in pregnant women. Most findings are based on experimental animal studies, case reports and some randomized trials.

What you better avoid are:

  • Hydroquinone, skin bleaching agent
  • Salicylic acid, peelings
  • Vitamin A, such as retinol, Tretinoin
  • Chemical sunscreen filters such as oxybenzone, avobenzone octocrylene and ecamsule can be absorbed through the skin and can be found in the blood. What effects it has on humans is not yet known.

Mild skin cleansers for the face

Products with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, E, Serums with hyaluronic acid and oil such as almond oil, Macadamia oil. These oils do not feel heavy on the skin and do not clog pores.

Soothing products for after shaving. For example, Iconic Elements Sensitive Cream, Calming cream, Spotreducer (contains Niacinamide)

SPF, also known as sun protection factor, is a protection factor that protects the skin against harmful UV rays. This indicates how much UVB radiation the sunscreen can absorb or reflect. UVB radiation causes a sunburned epidermis that turns red and contributes to the risk of skin cancer. So SPF says something about UVB protection, but not about UVA.

UVA rays are always present regardless of the season, cloud cover, rain, snow. You do not feel the UVA radiation on the skin and the radiation reaches deep into the skin. This causes premature skin aging.

UVB, on the other hand, is strongest during spring and summer in the Netherlands and ensures vitamin D production in the skin. A vitamin that many are deficient in.

More about the natural UVA filter

Microbeads are increasingly found in hand soaps and other personal care products. The result is that these tiny (plastic) particles end up in the sewer immediately after use, where they cannot be completely filtered out by wastewater treatment plants due to their small size.

Ultimately, the microbeads end up in rivers, seas and oceans. From small to large sea creatures: they all ingest particles through their food and the amount continues to accumulate. The microbeads from cosmetic products end up on your plate via a detour.

The plasticfoodfoundation.org is a foundation dedicated to identifying harmful ingredients for our environment. The Beat the Microbead app makes it easy to find out whether a product contains microplastic.

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