The menopause is a significant ageing milestone in a woman’s life, marking the end of her reproductive years. The unpleasant side effects of the menopause have long been documented, but for many years, women have wondered whether age-related changes were being accelerated or whether it was just the natural ageing process.
And now, recent research has now revealed that wrinkles, sagging and a worsening of skin quality is actually accelerated during the menopause. Researchers from the University of Vienna discovered that after the menopause begins, facial ageing starts to accelerate, leading to increased levels of sagging and wrinkles compared to male facial ageing. Here, we’ll look at what the new study revealed, and the cosmetic procedures women are using to combat these side effects.
Understanding the research into facial ageing
The researchers analysed 88 different faces of both men and women from Croatia and neighbouring islands, comparing them between different age groups. From this, they discovered that men and women experience very similar ageing up until they reach the age of 50.
Once they get to 50, the signs of ageing significantly speed up for women, whereas they stay the same for men. This is linked to the menopause, with most women going through the change at the age of 50. However, some women go through the menopause at age 40, or 60, so the signs of ageing do vary significantly depending upon when the menopause kicked in.
How the facial structure changes as we age
The recent study didn’t just reveal an interesting link between the signs of ageing and the menopause. It also discovered that the actual facial structure changes too.
It identified that the first signs of ageing in the face begin between the ages of 20 and 30. A combination of effects starts to take place, including changes in the skin, skeleton and soft tissue of the face.
The changes identified in women’s facial structure after the age of 50, showed a flatter face, deep nasolabial folds, sagging of the soft tissue and a longer nose and ears. These were just some of the changes identified.
The results of the study can also explain why many older women are turning to cosmetic surgery to turn back the clock. There has been a significant rise in the number of baby boomers going under the knife and part of this could be linked to the facial changes experienced after the menopause.
Procedures that reverse facial ageing
There are a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that can help to combat facial ageing and often the optimal result is a carefully planned programme of treatments.
One of the key signs of facial ageing is loss of volume and sagging of the tissues of the mid-face, as the cheeks become flatter, with furrows under the eye and folds around the nose and mouth developing and a loss of definition of the jawline. The SMAS facelift repositions sagging soft tissues in the mid-face, improving the contours of the cheek and jawline to produce a balanced and natural rejuvenation.
Non-surgical procedures also have a role to play; dynamic wrinkles that occur in the upper third of the face respond best to anti-wrinkle injections which temporarily smooth the overlying skin. Dermal fillers can also be used to restore volume in the mid-face and can either be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with a facelift.
For more information, call 020 7183 1559 to arrange a consultation with Mr Paul Tulley.