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At menopause, are women more sensitive to the sun?

From the age of 45 onwards, our skin is increasingly fragile, not only because of repeated exposure to the sun over the years, but also because of the hormonal upheavals of menopause. In order to enjoy the benefits of the sun for as long as possible, it is therefore important to preserve as much of its solar capital as possible… yes, but how?

Our skin’s natural ability to protect itself from UV rays is not eternal, so we must take care of it.

Tanning and solar capital: duel in the sun!

Tanning is the body’s natural adaptation mechanism to regulate the amount of UV absorbed: during sun exposure, the production of melanin and the thickening of the epidermis protect the skin.

This “solar capital” that allows the skin to repair the damage inflicted by UV rays is given at birth for life. But, if it is triggered too often, this natural repair mechanism eventually tires and wears out. Exhausted, it struggles to defend the skin from the sun’s attacks.

However, although it is not renewable, the sun’s capital can be maintained and preserved in order to continue to enjoy the sun’s benefits.

Are women in menopause more sensitive to the sun?

During menopause, women undergo a great hormonal upheaval.

This upheaval interferes with various skin activities and substances such as collagen, elastin and sebaceous glands: the slowdown of cell division in the epidermis leads to thinning of the skin, dehydration and a reduction in the barrier function: the skin is thinner, less supple, dry and rough, with fine lines, wrinkles and even tightness.

Skin slackening is visible and the skin appears “withered”.

In addition, our skin’s protection system is gradually being exhausted because the quantity of melanin that protects it from sunburn is decreasing. This imbalance in melanogenesis leads to the appearance of senescence spots (those small brown spots that are commonly called age spots).

The consequences are all the clearer the more the areas have been exposed to the sun throughout life: face, back of hands and décolleté.

Skin and sun from the age of 45 onwards: specificities to be taken into consideration

With age, the skin’s self-defense capacity diminishes: the sun’s capital must therefore be managed with the utmost care.

Maintained and preserved, this solar capital will be less impaired and therefore more able to continue to fulfill its function.

From the age of 45, it is therefore important to systematically use a sun cream adapted to your skin type. Indeed, there are 8 phototypes and each phototype depends on the aptitude for tanning, the appearance of sunburn, hair and skin color: the lower the phototype, the more sensitive the skin is to the sun (with rapid onset of sunburn) and the more quickly the sun’s capital will be depleted. It is therefore imperative for very fair skins to use sun creams with a maximum sun protection factor in the summer and not to forget to use moisturizing creams with a sun protection factor of at least 20 in the winter (most brands of creams have this type of product in their range).

In addition, it is important to follow a few simple rules: don’t forget to reapply sunscreen regularly (every hour and a half) and after each swim, avoid exposure to the hottest hours (between 12 noon and 4 p.m.), hydrate regularly and wear sunglasses and a hat.

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