I asked agencies to look at their clients and send me information focusing on skin care for an older skin and all the things that influence your skin. The experts from Nikel Cosmetics weigh in on how hormones change the skin and what you can do to alleviate distressing symptoms.
Women experience extreme hormone fluctuations at various stages of their lives, from adolescence, through pregnancy and into menopause. These hormone changes can affect the skin, causing overactive sebaceous glands or a drop in collagen production, among other symptoms. But for those battling these issues, there are solutions.
Adult acne may become a problem around menopause, when oestrogen levels start to fall and androgen levels start to rise, causing a loss of collagen and affecting sebaceous-gland activity. This often causes increased production of sebum, the oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands, and results in breakouts of pimples and acne. At the same time, women may start to notice dryness and red patches on their skin. “Collagen is needed for the skin’s support structure, and loss of collagen causes the skin to lose thickness and creates fine line and wrinkles,” explains Dr Alek Nikolic, an aesthetic medicine and skincare expert.
“Include a good moisturiser in your beauty regime, such as Nikel’s Nikelift face cream, which contains a natural complex that has strong antioxidants for rejuvenation and a youthful skin,” says Mirjana Brlečić, founder of natural skincare range Nikel Cosmetics. Carnosine, a key ingredient in Nikelift face cream, is known as nature’s answer to botox.
Diet is also important at this life stage, as the body’s supplies of vitamin E, which is needed to keep the skin moisturised and supple, begin to decrease. “Include avocado, nuts and sunflower seeds in your diet, as these are all rich in vitamin E,” nutritional expert Andrea du Plessis advises.
Fluctuating hormones during pregnancy can create complexion problems or a radiant glow – or both extremes at different times. “Pregnancy can affect the skin in different ways. Some women experience an increase in sebum production, which can bring on adult acne,” says Dr Alek. “If this occurs it’s best to see a specialist as many products that treat this condition can’t be used while pregnant.”
Pigmentation is another side-effect of hormone changes. A lot of women experience dark spots on their forehead and cheeks, which normally subsides after they’ve given birth. Staying out of the sun is important, as the sun exacerbates this problem. Brlečić recommends Nikel’s Alpine Rose Tonic, a natural UV protectant. Only natural ingredients are used in the Nikel range, making them safe for use during pregnancy.
The most notable changes in the skin occur during the teenage years, caused by a surge in the sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which stimulate the sebaceous glands. This often causes increased production of sebum and results in breakouts of pimples and acne.
Not all teenagers experience skin issues – genetics also play a role in how the skin changes through this shifting into adulthood – but for those who do, the good news is that a sensible skincare regime coupled with a healthy diet can go a long way to minimising the effects.
“Cleansing your skin is essential, but this isn’t because your skin is ‘dirty’,” explains Dr Alek. “It’s simply out of balance. So you don’t need to use an astringent product, as this will only worsen the oil production.”
Brlečić, advises using Nikel Cosmetics’ 12-Plant Elixir at nighttime to help rebalance the skin. Made up of 12 essential oils, it also contains chamomile extract, which has been used for centuries to soothe and heal sensitive, irritated and acne-prone skin.
What you eat and drink can also play a part. “Zinc is important for hormone balance, so include it in your diet,” says Du Plessis. “It’s found naturally in seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.”
About Nikel Cosmetics
Nikel Cosmetics is an established premium European cosmetics line created using carefully selected natural active ingredients, without any unnecessary additives.
Pharmaceutical scientist Mirjana Brlečić founded the company in 2004 with a view to providing customers with healthy cosmetics designed not only to nurture the skin, but to address the root causes of skin problems. Combining traditional knowledge in herbal medicine and the latest technological innovations in cosmetics, Brlečić created a range of 63 efficient and effective products that soothe, nurture and care for the skin.
Premium products available in South Africa include some of Nikel’s signature cosmetics, the 12 Plants Elixir – a natural product to aid skin in ageing well, the Alpine Rose Tonic – a skin protector that supports the skin’s capacity to repair itself – and Evening Primrose Oil – designed to hydrate and restore the epidermis.