Yes, methyl estradiol is safe and effective for the skin of women undergoing menopause, as it improves skin health and appearance.
Methyl estradiol propanoate (MEP) is a topical cream used for treating estrogen-deficient skin (EDS). Several studies have reported the well-tolerated and risk-free factor of MEP when used on the face topically. (1)(2)(3)
A new product called Emepelle contains MEP as an active ingredient, and it has two components: morning serum and night cream. Both these products are safe for the skin.
Read further to learn what MEP is, how it works, and whether it is safe for the skin.
What Is Methyl Estradiol Propanoate and Is It Safe to Use on the Skin?
MEP is one of the active ingredients used in cosmeceuticals as an anti-aging formulation especially for estrogen deficient skin by addressing significant collagen loss during menopause. Instead of being a hormone, it is simply an estrogen analog that activates the cutaneous estrogen receptors.
MEP is applied for 14 weeks on the face twice daily. According to a safety study, the substance is metabolized in the skin into an inactive compound that helps prevent the side effects of estrogen. (1)
Estrogen is a hormone that allows skin firmness, brightness, thickness, and hydration. Estrogen levels drop in the menopausal phase, and MEP is used to improve women’s skin with low estrogen levels.
Skin that becomes thin, dry, dull, and loose due to the estrogen drop is called estrogen-deficient skin (EDS). (4) MEP makes the skin look healthier and more youthful by acting like estrogen. (1)(2)(3)
MEP belongs to a class of esters and is a chemical compound (2) derived from combining methanol and propionic acid. It is a transparent liquid with a rum-like fruity odor that doesn’t affect hormonal estrogen levels and other body parts; thus, it is safe for the skin.
MEP is a nonhormonal estrogen receptor activator; (3) it binds estrogen receptors to skin cells and imitates estrogen effects without converting itself into estrogen in the body.
What Are the Benefits of Methyl Estradiol Propanoate on the Skin?
MEP is a soft estrogen cosmeceutical used topically and has beneficial effects on women’s skin in the postmenopausal phase suffering from estrogen deficiency. (2)
Here are some research-based MEP benefits for the skin.
1. It improves skin hydration
MEP stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid (the skin’s natural moisturizers), thus elevating skin hydration.
In one study, one-grade improvement in skin hydration was seen in 100% of participants using MEP-based skin care products after 20 weeks. (2)
2. It reduces skin dryness
MEP prevents transepidermal water loss and enhances the skin barrier function, thus reducing skin dryness.
In one study, MEP plus vehicle improved baseline skin dryness in contrast to vehicle alone after 14 weeks. (1)
3. It improves skin elasticity
MEP increases elastin and collagen synthesis (structural proteins that provide skin resilience and firmness), thus improving skin elasticity.
One study revealed that MEP plus vehicle improved baseline skin laxity and atrophy (thin and loose skin) in contrast to vehicle alone after 14 weeks. (1)
4. It reduces wrinkles and fine lines
MEP smoothens the skin surface and fills the gaps between epidermal cells, thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
A study reported improvements in fine lines and wrinkles in 100% of the participants using MEP-based skin care products at week 14. (2)
5. It improves skin texture
MEP removes dead skin cells and enhances epidermal cell turnover, thus improving skin texture.
One study shared that the skin texture of about 93% of the participants improved after using MEP-based skin care products for 20 weeks. (2)
6. It enhances skin tone
MEP reduces age spots, hyperpigmentation, and melanin production and improves skin tone.
A study reported skin color improvement in 93% of the participants after 20 weeks of application of MEP-based skin care products. (2)
7. It improves skin brightness
A study found that MEP plus vehicle improved baseline skin dullness in contrast to vehicle alone after 14 weeks. (1)
MEP increases oxygen delivery and blood flow to skin cells, thereby improving skin brightness. It also enhances skin radiance and vitality.
8. It improves skin thickness and integrity and reduces sun damage
MEP stimulates the growth of epidermal keratinocytes and fibroblasts, consequently enhancing the thickness of the skin. These cells increase the density and volume of skin layers.
MEP also strengthens the connection between the dermis and epidermis and between epidermal cells, thus improving skin integrity. It can enhance the stability and cohesion of the skin’s structure.
Moreover, MEP can activate gene expression in DNA repair and protection by binding estrogen receptors in the skin cells.
A study discovered that 86% of the participants practicing MEP-based skin care routines noticed enhanced skin integrity and thickness and reduced sun damage after 20 weeks. (2)
How to Use MEP (Emepelle) Serum
Here are the steps to apply an MEP (Emepelle) serum:
- Cleanse your face in the morning.
- Put 1-2 pumps of the Emepelle serum on your palms.
- Gently apply the serum to your face and neck in upward motions.
- Sweep the remaining serum around your eyes gently.
Expert’s Tips: After the absorption of serum into your skin, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield your skin.
How to Use MEP (Emepelle) Night Cream
Here are the steps to apply an MEP (Emepelle) night cream.
- Cleanse your face before going to bed.
- Take a pea-sized amount of Emepelle night cream using its spoon.
- Apply it to your face and neck in upward motions.
- Rinse the spoon with warm water after usage.
Is methyl estradiol propanoate (Emepelle) suitable for all skin types?
According to experts, Empelle night cream and Empelle serum are suitable for all skin types.
What is the ideal age to start using Emepelle (MEP)?
If your estrogen levels are low and declining, you may experience menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, irregular periods, and night sweats. In such situations, using methyl steroidal propanoate or Emepelle is ideal.
Can Emepelle products be used before menopause?
Estrogen levels begin to drop during the perimenopausal phase (a transition period that begins many years before menopause). Therefore, it is ideal to use Emepelle during perimenopause and postmenopause.
Emepelle night cream and serum have a powerful blend of peptides, niacinamide, and retinol for women to benefit in their perimenopausal phase.
Are the Emepelle products fragrance-free and vegan?
Yes, Emepelle products are vegan and fragrance-free.
Methyl steroidal propanoate (MEP) is a soft estrogen cosmeceutical used topically to treat EDS and enhance the facial appearance of postmenopausal women.
Clinical studies show that MEP is verifiably effective and safe and has no hormonal side effects. There are multiple options for women looking to revive their skin without invasive techniques or HRT, and one of them is MEP.
- A double-blind randomized pilot study evaluating the safety and efficacy of topical MEP in the facial appearance improvement of estrogen deficient females – jddonline – journal of drugs in dermatology. JDDonline. https://jddonline.com/articles/a-double-blind-randomized-pilot-study-evaluating-the-safety-and-efficacy-of-topical-mep-in-the-facia-S1545961618P1186X.
- Evaluation of efficacy of a skin care regimen containing methyl estradiolpropanoate (MEP) for treating estrogen deficient skin – jddonline – journal of drugs in dermatology. JDDonline. https://jddonline.com/articles/evaluation-of-efficacy-of-a-skin-care-regimen-containing-methyl-estradiolpropanoate-mep-for-treating-S1545961619P1226X.
- An open-label study evaluating the periorbital skin rejuvenation efficacy of a cosmeceutical containing methyl estradiolpropanoate (MEP) in women with estrogen deficient skin (eds) – jddonline – journal of drugs in dermatology. JDDonline. https://jddonline.com/articles/an-open-label-study-evaluating-the-periorbital-skin-rejuvenation-efficacy-of-a-cosmeceutical-containing-methyl-estradiolpropanoate-mep-in-women-with-estrogen-deficient-skin-eds-S1545961622P1185X. Published November 30.
- Lephart ED, Naftolin F. Menopause and the skin: Old favorites and new innovations in cosmeceuticals for estrogen-deficient skin. Dermatology and therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859014/. Published February 2021.