The Menopause is that time of life that many women approach with dread, accompanied by a number of body changes due to the decline of sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
Due to the fluctuation in hormones our skin and hair take a massive hit becoming increasingly oily, blemish prone and hard to manage. We can suffer from hormonal breakouts, dryness due to the slowing down of sebaceous glands, dehydration as the skin loses its ability to hold onto water, a decrease in collagen production (it drops by 30% in the first five years), increased sensitivity and pigmentation. As oestrogen levels drop during the menopause, fat deposits in the skin often become concentrated over the stomach and on the thighs.
Whilst these skin changes might not affect everyone, collagen levels dropping will affect everyone going through the menopause. Hair loss during menopause is a further result of lowered production of oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones help our hair grow faster and stronger but when the levels of these two hormones drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner.
It is so important to provide skin with the hydration and nourishment it needs during this time so remember my advice on “Back To Basics” nutrition, a good diet is the foundation of all things healthy, including your skin and hair. What we put into our bodies is just as important as what you put on it!
I ask the question, what do we need for our skin during these years, what ingredients will make a difference? In the world of skincare, new anti-ageing ingredients come and go all the time but there are certain ingredients that stand the test of time, and let’s face it, every bit helps! So, what are the “Back to Basics” skincare ingredients to look for?
Here is my list of the most powerful anti-ageing tips, it is all about soothing, hydrating and plumping skin, prone to sensitivity, hot flushes, extreme dryness and other menopausal issues:
A must have, if you are not using sunscreen then you are not reaping the benefits of other anti-ageing products. Sun exposure is one of the main causes of all the signs of ageing so sunscreen is number one on my list.
This ingredient acts like a sponge, moisturizing the skin, helps to keep skin plump and fills in the fine lines since it can hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water.
Also known as Vitamin A, this is one of the most effective skin-transforming ingredients. Topical retinoids cause your skin to speed up its normal cell turnover and this helps with fine lines, acne, wrinkles and age spots. Retinol also increases collagen production which plumps out skin, improves skin tone and colour. If you have very sensitive skin then take care and read the guidelines on use before using retinol products.
This plant ingredient combats the effect of aging, replenishes the natural hormonal deficit in mature skin and improves the skin’s appearance by soothing, reducing roughness and improving skin elasticity.
A great antioxidant and has a trio of benefits for your skin. It also helps in collagen production. Be careful when buying Vitamin C, it is sensitive to light so always buy products in airless, dark packaging to prevent it from degrading.
The most talked about ingredient of skincare, revitalising skin and making it more resilient and stronger. Peptides are short chains of amino acids and they act as building blocks such as collagen, elastin and keratin. Without peptides our skin can become less firm, wrinkles appear and there is less bounce! Just remember not all peptides are equal. Peptides are a gentle yet effective choice for all skin types and ages.
Use a gentle exfoliator to provide better skin hydration and to encourage cell renewal while unclogging pores. Depending on your skin’s condition, use enzymatic peels and products with glycolic acid. A gentle at home peel once or twice a week to remove dead cells and to allow products to more easily penetrate the skin.
Do not underestimate the importance of exercise to skin health. Exercise triggers muscle development which stimulates collagen production. It also prevents loss of muscle mass which causes sagging skin.
Use a good natural body moisturiser to maintain your skin’s moisture barrier and to prevent environmental damage to your skin.
On this page I have picked out the best natural skincare and hair care products that I have used and benefited from over the years. By following my blog and reading reviews you will benefit from ongoing research, reviews on products and what’s new.
There are some great products to help slow down the ageing process and also relieve the physical discomfort that menopause symptoms can cause. It is all about finding the right product and in today’s world the menopause beauty market is getting bigger and better. The skincare industry is starting to realise that a woman has specific needs at different stages of life, instead of the outdated one size fits all.