Why Menopause Brand are Heating up Cosmetic shelves – Part II

Why Menopause Brand are Heating up Cosmetic shelves – Part II

Image used for illustrative purposes only

As the beauty and wellness industry continues to evolve, a parallel movement is gaining momentum, focusing on the unique needs of women navigating menopause. This surge in attention is propelling menopause into a thriving sector, with projections anticipating a market value of $600 billion by 2025. Together, cosmetic brands dedicated to addressing menopausal concerns are reshaping perceptions and transforming the business landscape. In the first installment of our series on Menopausal Skincare, Dr. Renuka Thergaonkar delved into the intricate changes menopause brings to the skin. Now, in the concluding part, she offers insights into ingredients and formulations tailored to address these challenges head-on.

Menopause as discussed earlier can cause havoc on the skin leading to puffiness, sagging, discoloration, darkening, wrinkle etc. to prevent these aspects the formulations need to be developed very carefully. Menopause has clear implications on the skin, from collagen thinning and reduced elasticity to an impact on common dermatoses.

Skin collagen and elastin peak around 30 years of age, which corresponds with the peak in estrogen production. As estrogen production reduces the skin thins, dries, wrinkles, becomes pigmented unevenly and wound healing is delayed. During Menopause there is a complete reduction in Estrogen, Progestron and FSH hormone. The impact of these changes on affected women are associated with hot flushes and night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, irregular menstrual bleeding, depressed mood, irritability, headache, forgetfulness, dizziness, deterioration in postural balance, palpitation, dry eyes, dry mouth, reduced skin elasticity, restless legs, muscle and joint pain etc. These impacts should not be underestimated as it leads to lose in confidence and self-esteem in women during menopause. The various changes seen in skin during and after menopause are:

  • Oestrogen receptors are seen throughout the skin, with the highest density in the face, genital region and legs.
  • Increased trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) and compromised skin barrier function.
  • Loss in Dermal collagen after menopause
  • Menopausal Acnes
  • Extra facial melasma
  • Acquired bilateral melanosis of the neck is particularly seen in Asian perimenopausal women
  • Menopausal flushing is known to exacerbate or even precipitate rosacea
  • Flushing Symptoms
  • Elastin degeneration increases with menopause leading to slack skin and increased wrinkling
  • Changes in dermal cell metabolism leading to alterations in collagen and glycosaminoglycan turnover.
  • Decreased glycosaminoglycans result in loss of hydration and turgor. C
  • Decreased estrogen levels results in decreased capillary blood flow velocity to the skin
Why Menopause Brand are Heating up Cosmetic shelves – Part II

Image used for illustrative purposes only

Menopausal cosmetics are specially created to target all the issues and simultaneously be gentle on the skin. These specialty Menopausal formulations should have the ingredients that have a positive impact on the skin especially substances which have established beneficial functions such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics, antioxidants, enzymes, coenzyme Q, carnitine, etc. Various ingredients that are beneficial on the Menopausal skin are:

1. Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are plant compounds with estrogen-like biological activity and are presently the most popular form of alternative therapy for support of menopausal skin symptoms. The main classes of Phytoestrogen are isoflavones, lignans, cumestan, and lactones.

Isoflavones are the most important compound of phytoestrogens eg soy isoflavones has a good effect on topical application. Glycine max (soy) germ is the most abundant source of isoflavones with selective estrogen receptor modulating (SERM) and antioxidant polyphenols. Soy isoflavones have been reported to prevent lipid peroxidation of the skin tissue, stimulate fibroblast proliferation, and reduce collagen degradation.

2. Herbal remedies are frequently used to alleviate menopause symptoms and are effective in the treatment of acute menopausal syndrome with different mechanisms.

A. Black Cohosh: also called Cimicifuga racemosa or black cohosh or fairy candle. It contains Terpene glycosides the active compounds which helps during Menopause.

B. Evening Primrose Oil: The oil derived from the seeds of Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) seed is a rich source of essential fatty acids, including gamma linolenic acid and several types of phytosterols. Evening primrose oil has been shown to improve epidermal barrier function and normalize trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

C. Foeniculum vulgare: or Fennel contains palmitic acid and beta-sitosterol and shows antiandrogenic and anti-inflammatory effects.

D. Glycyrrhiza glabra: It is more famously called licorice and contains terpenes, saponins, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, and steroids. It has various levels of estrogenic activities.

E. Medicago sativa: Also called Alfalfa, contains noncellulosic polysaccharides that exert various effects: Immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant/anticancer, and growth-promoting bioactivities

F. Melissa officinalis: also known as lemon balm, bee balm, or honey balm, contains volatile compounds, triterpenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. It shows many pharmacological effects, such as anxiolytic, antiviral, antioxidant, and antispasmodic activities.

G. Panax ginseng: Anti-inflammatory properties characterize this plant, and a recent review of randomized clinical trials showed promising results for improving glucose metabolism and moderating the immune response.

H. Pimpinella anisum: also known as anise, contains an active compound with both estrogenic and analgesic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, and antispastic properties.

I. Salvia officinalis: Also called sage herb, the mechanism of action is exerted through modulation of GABA receptors and serotonin transporters.

J. Vitex agnus-castus (chaste-tree) berry contains many phytochemicals which are found to be effective in alleviating menopausal symptoms. Moreover, the antioxidant properties of chasteberry protect skin damage in post-menopausal women.

K. Trifolium pretense: Also known as red clover, contains isoflavones known to be effective in skin inflammation and flushing.

3. Vitamins: Vitamins have a beneficial property on the skin during Menopause. Vitamin E play a decisive role in relieving the symptoms of skin atrophy in postmenopausal women. The topical application of vitamin E is able to alter the biosynthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycan in the skin owing to its antioxidant properties. Recent studies focused on other micronutrients such as essential fatty acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and zinc to reducing stress and anxiety. Vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide or nicotinamide) in a topical form can exert a stabilizing effect on epidermal barrier function, presenting with a decrease in transepidermal water loss and an increase in the moisture content of the stratum corneum. Besides, it can increase the biosynthesis of ceramide and other stratum corneum lipids to improve the epidermal permeability barrier.

4. Ceramides: Ceramides, which are sphingolipids presenting in the intercellular space of the stratum corneum, play an essential role in structuring and maintaining the barrier property of the epidermis and exhibit a certain level of efficacy in improving menopausal skin dryness.

5. Hydroxy acids also called as “fruit acids” cause keratolytic action to epidermis and the papillary skin layer. The therapeutic effect means an increase in the cell metabolism, activation of glucose-amino-glucans, which ensures maintenance of a proper moisturizing level. Activation of fibroblasts with simultaneous inhibition of collagenosis, enables regeneration of elastin fibres and increase the collagen network density. The most conditioning acids, when revitalizing a mature skin, are the mandelic or glycolic acid. The glycolic acid extracted from sugar cane has the smallest particles from among all the acids, thus it can easily penetrate any epidermis layer. When penetrating the skin it loosens intra-cell connections, interlocks activity of enzymes responsible for cohesion of corneocytes, carefully peels epidermis, improves moisturizing of dry skin, eliminates free radicals and helps epidermis permeability and its penetration by depigmentation elements or vitamins.

6. Resveratrol: Derived from grapes is reported for the skin benefits properties which include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties that protect against UV radiation, oxidative stress by Nrf2 activation by reducing the expression of activator protein 1 (AP-1) and NF-kB factors, proliferation of fibroblasts to increase collagen (types I, II, and III), inhibition of melanogenesis, and activation of sirtuin 1 (SIRT 1, the anti-aging factor).

Hence a menopausal product containing the right actives and having the pH between 4.5- 5.5 is supposed to provide the best possible effect to the skin which needs maximum attention at the most critical stage of life.

Author : Dr. Renuka Thergoankar

Dr. Renuka Thergoankar has served the world of Cosmetics in India for over two decades. Firstly through teaching positions at LAD & Smt R P College, Nagpur, Nikalas Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Nagpur and KET’s V. G. Vaze College, Mumbai as Professor and Head of Department, Cosmetics and Perfumery along with product development, formulation and research and Consultation for several Small, Medium and Multinational brands. She has won and been on the jury of numerous national and international awards. She holds several patents and has several published papers in national and international journals. She is also on the panel of several Government committees like BIS, CMaP, Flavour & Fragrance Committee of India and is the former President of Indian Society of Cosmetic Chemists (ISCC) and a Life member of OTAI west zone. She is the founder and Director of R & D Global Consultants, a consultancy dedicated to Technical research and product development for brands from India and abroad. She has won many laurels for her innovative approach.

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