BACKGROUND/PURPOSE Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) has been shown in the past to influence well being as well as several somatic features in menopausal women. The aim of this analysis was to study the effect of HRT on various biophysical properties of the skin of menopausal women. Two sub-samples were built to test the effect (1) of 'short-term' HRT in recently menopausal women (n=15), and (2) the effect of 'medium- and long-term' HRT in menopausal women (n=78). METHODS The analysis was performed on data from a study of 106 menopausal Caucasian women with apparent healthy skin. Self-report data on the menopausal status, the duration of the menopause, whether or not HRT has been taken and the duration of the HRT were collected. A series of biophysical measurements on the cheek, the forehead and the inner forearm were performed under controlled environmental conditions. Twenty women were menopausal for less than 5 years (eight with HRT for at least 1 year and seven who had never taken HRT) and 86 women for at least 5 years (35 with HRT for at least 5 years and 43 who had never taken HRT). Analyses of covariance with adjustment for age were performed. RESULTS With regard to skin colour, the measurements in women treated for at least 1 year were significantly higher for red intensity (a*) and lower for brightness (L*) on the forearm as compared with the non-treated women. Furthermore, yellow intensity (b*) mean values were higher on the forehead and the forearm in women treated for at least 5 years compared with the non-treated women. Concerning sebum casual level, the mean values were significantly higher on the forehead and the cheek in women treated for at least 5 years. Regarding skin surface parameters reflecting hydration, the mean values for capacitance on the forehead and the cheek were significantly higher in women treated for at least 5 years. Finally, as regards with skin relief, parameters mean values for amplitude and roughness on the forehead were significantly higher in women treated for at least 5 years. CONCLUSION The skin colour parameters showed a higher red intensity value in menopausal women who had been treated for at least 1 year. In menopausal women who had been treated for at least 5 years, the biophysical measurements were significantly higher for the parameters reflecting hydration and sebum secretion, which generally decrease after the menopause. These features were associated with higher values for the yellow intensity parameter and the skin relief parameters on the forehead. Our results support the subjective impression and the clinical evaluation concerning the impact of HRT on the development and the evolution of some skin properties after menopause.