02 Aug Navigating Menopause: Your Skincare Guide
Women have been neglected for too long when it comes to discussing menopause openly. It’s encouraging now to see more awareness and opportunities for women to share their experiences during this transformative phase of life. Menopause is an incredibly personal journey, and each woman’s experience is unique. At Element 8, we believe in empowering women to make their own choices, whether it’s opting for a natural approach or seeking medical assistance, without judgement or shame.
Skin Changes During Menopause:
As women enter menopause, the decline in oestrogen levels affects various aspects of the body, including the skin. Oestrogen, being an essential hormone, plays a significant role in maintaining skin health. It supports collagen production, responsible for skin strength and elasticity, and ensures the presence of hyaluronic acid and polysaccharides, keeping the skin hydrated and supple.
Tips for Skincare:
- Gentle Cleansing: Use cream or milk cleansers with a balanced pH instead of foaming cleansers, which can be drying.
- Hydration: Avoid very hot showers and baths and moisturise your skin after every shower or bath. Use products containing Hyaluronic Acid to absorb moisture into the skin (check out the E8 Hyaluronic Acid Serum)
- Consider HRT: For severe symptoms, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can be beneficial. Even for mild symptoms, HRT can be an option if desired.
- Strengthen the Skin Barrier: Look for products containing ceramides that strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.
- Ingredients: Incorporate products with Vitamin A (Retinol) to stimulate collagen production and look for CoQ10 and peptides. Consider a collagen supplement also.
- Facial Massage: Stimulate blood flow to the face with facial massages or gua sha. You could also investigate microneedling which you can start at home with a starter dermaroller.
- Sun Protection: Wear SPF daily to protect your skin from further sun damage and pigmentation. (our Moisturising Cream with SPF 25 Gift Set is the perfect way to start your day, everyday). Don’t forget the backs of your hands. Pigmentation and Other Skin Issues:
During menopause, increased pigmentation, such as age spots and melasma, can become more visible due to thinning skin. Treatments like IPL can help improve skin appearance, but always consult a skincare clinic for personalised advice.
Dealing with Hormonal Acne and Facial Hair:
Hormonal imbalances during menopause can cause acne to reappear, especially on the face. Spot treat the affected areas and consult a skincare clinic for appropriate treatments. Also, consider laser treatment for facial hair if it becomes an issue.
Urogenital Menopause Symptoms:
Lack of oestrogen during menopause can lead to urogenital symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort. This is the big one for me. So many women can become badly affected with these symptoms which can have a negative impact on relationships and general day to day life. Many women can confuse the symptoms with fungal infections etc. Use a vaginal moisturiser and also a lubricant during intercourse. HRT or estrogen rings/pessaries can be beneficial for addressing these symptoms. Taking the supplement Seabuckthorn Oil which is a source of Omega 7 fatty acids has been shown to improve vaginal health and other mucous membranes that might be dry during this time. In some books I read women were encouraged to stimulate blood flow to the area at least once a week. So if not sexually active with a partner you have some homework to do!
HRT and Its Benefits:
HRT can help manage various menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, low mood, and more. For those with a family history of cancer or other contraindications, other treatment options can be explored but do remember it doesn’t rule you out of taking HRT. I have spoken to women who have signed wiavers so that they could in fact take HRT despite there being a history of family cancer or indeed they themselves had cancer. Your GP or a womens clinic is the first port of call if you have sypmtoms you wish to discuss and to explore your options.
Embracing a Holistic Approach:
Alongside HRT, lifestyle changes play a vital role in managing menopausal symptoms. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and managing stress contribute to overall well-being. Supplements like magnesium can also help with anxiety and muscle function. The ‘Fabulous Pharmacist’ Laura Dowling here on instagram has some advice and supplements that you may like to look into.
The Grandmother Hypothesis:
It is hypothesised that menopause has an evolutionary purpose. Women can now redirect their value toward other aspects of life, contributing to the success of their communities and the species as a whole. This I hope will make you feel better; that we come to a natural end to our reproductive lifecycle in order that we can place our value elsewhere to benefit society.
Navigating menopause can be a transformative and empowering experience. At Element 8, we strive to provide women with the knowledge and support they need to make informed choices for their skin and overall well-being. Remember that menopause is unique to each individual, and it’s essential to embrace the changes and choose what best suits your needs.
- Nice.org.uk: “Hormone replacement therapy” – [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23]
- Women’s Health Concern: “HRT: The History and Facts” – [FACTSHEET-HRT-The-history-NOV22-A.pdf]
- Abernethy, Kathy. “Menopause: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Dealing with Menopause.”
- Garlick, Deborah. “Menopause.”
- Frostrup, Mariella, and Alice Smellie. “Cracking the Menopause.”
- Allmen, Tara. “Menopause Confidential.”
- Lundy, Deirdre. “The Menopause.”
- Ryan, Maria. “It’s Probably Your Hormones.”