Menopausal Skin

Some dermatologists feel that the skin of people over forty should be treated differently, they say “mature skin” is a type in and of itself. I believe all adults have “mature” skin, and all of my products and the alternatives I suggest are for people of every age. However, women’s skin is affected by the shifting balance of hormones just prior to, during, and after menopause.

Women who never had breakouts in their lives may find they now get pimples, as they have less estrogen to suppress the sebum-stimulating androgen circulating in their bodies. For the same reason, they may have more facial hair and they may perspire more. Also, because the skin change so much with age, women past menopause may have more visible sun damage, such as brown spots and fine, dilated blood vessels, and increasingly sensitive skin. In fact, older women need to be even more watchful of the sun and weather extremes, such as cold and wind.

Not all aging is created equal—because not all aging is created by the same factors. There are three distinct kinds of aging:

  1. Hormonal,
  2. Genetic and
  3. Environmental.

Each type of aging calls for a different targeted treatment plan to slow down and reverse its visible signs of aging. Take this short quiz to determine which type of aging your skin is experiencing and find out how to create a treatment program that’s just right for you.

Three Faces of Aging Quiz

Q: What is your primary skin concern?
A. Medium-to-deep wrinkles
B. Fine lines and wrinkles
C. Hyperpigmentation / hypopigmentation

Q: What is your secondary skin concern?
A. Dry, thinning skin
B. Sagging / Loss of firmness
C. Rough, dry texture

Q: Which of these signs of aging are most visible on your skin?

A. Breakouts in the t-zone
B. Deep wrinkles
C. Sun damage

Q: What concerns you most about the skin around your eye area?

A. Sensitivity and dryness
B. Medium-to-deep crow’s feet and wrinkles
C. Dark circles and/or age spots

Q: Which most closely describes you?
A. I’m currently going through menopause
B. I’m showing the same signs of age my parents did
C. I’ve always led an active outdoor lifestyle


If you answered mostly A…

You are likely undergoing Hormonal Aging. This type of aging occurs as the cumulative effect of declining levels of estrogen becomes visible on the skin. Estrogen naturally stimulates production of the collagen and elastin fibers that give skin a plump, youthful texture. As estrogen levels decline, skin becomes thinner and more fragile. It can also lose firmness, elasticity and even its natural ability to stay hydrated.

If you are experiencing Hormonal Aging, you can increase your skin’s firmness and reduce the appearance of medium-to-deep wrinkles by treating the signs of the hormonal-aging process by following Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health® program to help you focus on:

Looking Better: Use products that deeply hydrate and exfoliate to support natural cell renewal. Look for ingredients like phytoestrogens, AHAs and Shea Butter.
Living Better: Incorporate foods into your diet like soy, wild yam and broccoli, which are naturally rich in phytoestrogens (botanicals that have similar characteristics to estrogens).
Feeling Better: Sleeplessness commonly accompanies menopause and hormonal aging. Take a hot bath before bed, turn off your phone an hour before you go to sleep and take a melatonin supplement.

If you answered mostly B…

You are likely to be experiencing Genetic Aging. Genetic Aging would occur even if you slept in a pure oxygen tank, avoided smiling to defy laugh lines or Botoxed regularly. If your parents aged well, chances are you will too. Some of the best ways to combat genetically aging skin are to practice a daily skincare regimen with exfoliants, moisturizers and Vitamin C, wear SPF, take dietary supplements and target specific problem areas.

As with Hormonal Aging, Inclusive Health gives you great guidance for developing a lifestyle-based treatment program focused on:

Looking Better: Use products that contain Hyaluronic Acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines, osmolytes to support water balance and Dried Plum Extract for a youthful glow.
Living Better: Increase your intake of raw fruits and vegetables, which will help your skin and body stay hydrated longer than just drinking water. Take a supplement that contains Glucosamine and amino acids to support healthy collagen production.
Feeling Better: Get a massage to help improve skin circulation, increase your energy levels and help quiet your mind.

If you answered mostly C…

You are likely to be experiencing Environmental Aging. This type of aging is usually the result of the cumulative impact of factors in your environment and lifestyle—like sun, smog and smoking—that assault your skin. Redness, dryness, thinning skin, sagging, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation are typical signs of Environmental Aging. Luckily, this type of aging can be controlled to some degree by reducing excessive sun exposure, pollution, smoking, stress, poor diet and alcohol and drug intake.

The good news is that the effects of Environmental Aging can be minimized through both preventative actions and treatments that result in younger-looking skin that’s protected against future damage.

To repair and prevent Environmental Aging, focus on these three areas:

Looking Better: Use products that contain Vitamin C and always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, remembering to reapply it every hour when you are outdoors.
Living Better: Studies suggest that eating pomegranates, drinking pure pomegranate juice and taking pomegranate extract supplements are all great ways to boost the effectiveness of sunscreens as well as provide a rich supply of antioxidants for your skin and body.
Feeling Better: Get a Vitamin C facial or peel. This will have an immediate brightening effect to help reduce sun and environmental damage on the skin, as well as help you to relax and feel good about your appearance, which reduces cell-damaging stress.

By focusing on the three broad aspects of Inclusive Health, Looking Better (paying attention to the health of your skin), Living Better (paying attention to what you put in your body) and Feeling Better (paying attention to your sense-of-self), no matter which type of aging you are experiencing, can make your skin look and feel BETTER EVERY DAY.


Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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The Benefits of Using a Night Cream

A night cream is a moisturizer in which there is a greater concentration of hydrating ingredients than is typically used in a day cream or lotion. Because of this richness, night creams may leave the skin with a slight occlusive layer that many people would not find comfortable wearing during the day or under foundation.


There are two reasons why a night cream is useful.

  1. One is that transepidermal water loss is greatest at night, and a night cream can help prevent that kind of hydration.
  2. Two is that the body’s cells are replenished with nutrients and are being regenerated at night, so this is the time to optimize the delivery of the raw materials skin needs. Now, too, is when free radicals are being produced within your skin as well. You can take advantage of this break in the action to disarm the free radicals that have accumulated during the day and saturate the skin with an extra supply so that you don’t start the next day unprotected.

The advantages of using a night cream are manifold. It not only nourishes and revitalizes your skin but also treats pigmentation, age spots, wrinkles, fine lines and acne. It also helps soothe your skin and promotes even complexion and fine texture, boosts collagen and elastic production, improves blood circulation, and reduces discoloration of the skin.

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Age Spots – Not just an age problem

One of the first signs of aging is hyper-pigmentation, manifested through dark spots on your skin. Also known as liver spots, they have nothing to do with the liver, as almost in all cases they are caused by long-term sun exposure. At first, one may notice dark brown spots and patches on the hands or on the face, the areas that are almost all the time exposed to the sun. That’s why the spots will appear darker in these areas, more than they appear in other areas of the body. There can also be a genetic predisposition to developing age spots in a lifetime.

The first spots can appear in the early twenties and can go away in time through the skin’s natural regeneration process, if skin is protected when exposed to sun. Most of the dark spots appear with the aging process because that’s when skin loses its ability to regenerate fast. The dark color is caused by the melanocyte cells which produce an excess of melanin – the skin pigment, and this is gets deposited in the top layers of the skin.

These unpleasant spots can occasionally appear as a result of the use of birth control pills, hormonal imbalance, insufficient vitamin B in your body or skin reactions to perfumes and creams after sun exposure. Make sure you have a diet rich in Vitamin B and don’t apply perfumes (or products containing fragrance) directly on your skin prior to sun exposure. It is important to protect these spots from UVs even if they’re not sun related, because more sun can worsen the appearance

Treating hyper-pigmentation is best done with a melanin suppressant, its action leading to the slow recovery of the area and the lightening of the spot. Hydroquinone is the best known solution for dark spots but there are other useful alternatives like antioxidants, Azelaic Acid or Kojic Acid. It is important to avoid sun exposure – any direct UV exposure will darken the spots even more. Wear sunscreen or cover the area with clothes as much as possible; some of the melanin suppressants usually sensitize the skin and the reaction to UVs can darken the age spots even more.

Can you prevent dark spots and age spots from forming on your skin just by making lifestyle choices?

Dr. Howard Murad explains how a combination of skin care and Inclusive Health® can help you to prevent dark spots on your skin.

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Shining Light on Sun Safety

Sun Safety


As someone who reads up on news related to skincare and skin health, you’re doubtless practicing good sun safety. It’s likely that you’re the sort of person who books an annual skin physical with her dermatologist and gives herself a monthly skin check. But one thing about sun safety that you might not know is that as an expert on sun safety, you are in an amazing position to really spread the word in your community. Any kind of recommendation has more power to influence when it comes from someone you know and respect. So how do you create an opportunity to help friends, family and neighbors to understand the need to show their skin, and the sun, a little more respect? Try one of these “did-you-know” sound bites to start a conversation. (more…)

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Fade and Prevent Age or Sun Spots


Regardless of your skin type or color, the most important step to prevent age and sun spots is to wear “Broad-spectrum protection”. This specific protection in SPF products means that it will protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Sun spots are preventable, so seek shade as much as you can and do not over-expose your skin to the sun during which the sun’s harmful UV radiation are stronger: between 10 AM and 4PM. Have a look at Murad’s SPF products and find the one that best fits your skin concerns.

Protection is step 1, now let’s look at fading age and sun spots.

Essential-CThe first step to fading age spots is, of course, to actually fade the pigmented areas of the age spots. Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum uses Resilient-C Complex™ that maximizes collagen production and skin brightening while providing all-day free radical protection. The product is formulated using Alpha Hydroxy Acids to exfoliate both surface skin and dead skin cells beneath the skin’s surface within follicles. Its Myrtle Extract also encourages new cell growth and help boost cell vitality. That means that the Vitamin C in Murad’s active radiance serum can penetrate deeper and work more effectively to lighten hyper-pigmented areas. The Alpha Hydroxy Acids also encourage the movement of the pigmented cells to the skin’s surface where they are more easily and rapidly treated.

Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum can be used in both your morning and evening skin care regimen. Your Advanced Active Radiance Serum helps to restore tone and smooth texture and is clinically proven to improve skin firmness by up to 64% in just 15 minutes. To fade your age spots and sun spots, apply Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum after you cleanse your skin and then Starter Kit Essential Cfollow up with a skin or face moisturizer. In addition to fading sun spots and age spots, this serum also improves skin’s overall tone by lifting away other darkened or dull areas of skin discoloration for an overall even skin tone. Its faster-acting formula with double the brighteners boosts radiance and reverses visible signs of environmental damage. It will preserve clarity and defend against future damage for lasting youthful radiance. Try our Environmental Shield line with an affordable starter kit to see if these products are a match.

Although daily SPF moisturizers and serum just like our Advanced Active Radiance Serum are essential, it is helpful to double up on your sun protection through healthy food. In fact consuming more food which contains Polyphenols, Carotenoids, and Vitamin C such as vegetables and fruits, will help your skin keep its natural glow and avoid inflammation. Read more about eating the right food for your skin: Eat Your Sunscreen!

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Eat Your Sunscreen!

Sunscreen and food

When skin is exposed to the sun and free radicals, it can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in fine lines, age spots, blotchiness and, even worse, skin cancer.

We typically protect our skin from skin assailants such as free radicals and the sun’s harmful rays through topical broad-spectrum SPF creams. What many people don’t yet know, however, is that eating certain foods can improve your body’s natural environmental defenses and increase your cellular health.

We need to be ever aware of sun damage because we are at risk of sun damage every day, merely walking outside during our lunch breaks or driving in our cars. Although daily SPF moisturizers and creams are essential, it is helpful to double up on your sun protection through food that let us “eat our sunscreen.”

For sun and free radical protection, try consuming the following foods:

Foods Rich in Polyphenols:

Polyphenols provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative protection to fend off free radicals.

  • Pomegranates
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Green tea
Fruits and Vegetables with Carotenoids:

Carotenoids serve to protect cells from the danger of free radicals that may be produced by the body, pollution, cigarette smoke, etc.

  • Goji Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Pink Grapefruit
Cruciferous Foods Containing Isothiocyanates:

Isothiocyanates combat carcinogens that can lead to cancer, including skin cancer and breast cancer.

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Watercress
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
Foods Rich in Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen to help skin looking plumper and younger.Berries and skincare

  • Mangos
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes
Foods Containing Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 acts as a shield from free radical damage, stopping the damage from penetrating to the cells.

  • Spinach
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat Germ
  • Whole Grains


These healthy and delicious foods give us numerous benefits including sun protection and anti-aging properties, helping us to eat our way to health that’s BETTER EVERY DAY®.

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Which Serum is Right for you?

Quite a few of our customer ask us: “Should I be switching to another serum now that I’m a bit older?” or “Is this serum what I need for my skin concern?”. Those are all fair questions, as it is always valuable to re-evaluate your skincare routine every now and then. With quite a few serums to choose from, it can be a challenge determining which one is the best for your skin type or skin concern.  Therefore, we decided to create a friendly chart to help guide you to the serum that will provide exactly what you are looking for.

Infographic: Finding the right serum

Click on the serums below to learn even more about each of them:
1. Rapid Collagen Infusion
2. Intensive Age-Diffusing Serum
3. Advanced Active Radiance Serum
4. Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum
5. Complete Reform

We hope this helps, but please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, or comment below we’ll be happy to help!


Article by Elodie Rivet – Murad Beauty Advisor


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