Getting older is inevitable, but, as women, there’s the added challenge of navigating the dreaded menopause. Starting (on average) in our 40’s, and carrying on into our early 50’s, it can be an extremely challenging time.
But, how does it affect our skin? The way we look can impact the way we feel too. So, understanding how our skin might change, and therefore feeling more prepared, has to be a positive thing.
What to expect…
During peri-menopause, which usually starts in our mid-forties, oestrogen levels begin to fall. Along with changes to our menstrual cycle, we might experience some hot flushes, and our skin may become redder, or even break out in acne.
Menopause starts ‘officially’ when our periods finally stop, and by then things will have changed again. If we opt for HRT, we won’t experience too many changes to our skin, but if we choose not to replace our lost oestrogen artificially, it may become dry, and thinner.
Dealing with upsetting breakouts
If acne occurs, it’s because oestrogen decreases and testosterone stay constant. Acne is an inflammatory condition; when the skin is drier and thinner during menopause, treat it by calming it down and keeping it hydrated, not by stripping your face of moisture.
Be gentle, avoiding treatments you would have opted for as a teenager. Look at natural options to leave skin clean and fresh, but calmed and nourished at the same time. The helpful ingredients in ishga products are often natural anti-inflammatories too, including our Hebridean seaweed extract, at the heart of our organic skincare range.
Lock in soothing moisture
Look for an effective moisturiser during menopause. ishga’s Anti-oxidant Marine Face Cream comes highly recommended by our customers, potent with natural vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients that will make a visible difference.
Exfoliation twice a week - to remove dead skin cells and allow moisturisers to penetrate the skin - is also a great idea. Try our Exfoliating Face Mask as a natural exfoliating formula.
Boost collagen levels
During menopause, naturally declining collagen levels take a dip, and many women will choose to take collagen supplements. There are lots of products to choose from, and good evidence that they make a real difference to thinning skin and some physical aches and pains associated with menopause. Make sure to check with a medical professional before adding supplements to your diet and always follow the product directions.
Be kind to your skin
After the age of 50, the pH level of our skin is higher. There’s a certain level (5.4) where the pH of our skin allows for the best operation of our micro flora and defensive cells. As the pH climbs, we’re more prone to rashes, sensitivity and dermatitis. Again, it’s important to use calming and nourishing emollients. And don’t forget SPF, whatever the season!
Dark spots and hyperpigmentation can also occur, because our skin is thinner and there may have been a lot of sun exposure by the time we reach our 40’s. Years of tanning or burning leave the skin with high levels of melanin, which means it may appear darker in places. Natural formulas and ingredients such as aloe vera, seaweed extract and Vitamin C can help to improve skin tone, texture and the appearance of dark areas.
Look after all of you
Although our facial skin shows changes quicker as it’s often thinner and more sensitive than other areas, we’ll experience changes on the skin on our body too. Make sure to moisturise your body well with a good, nutritious, natural moisturiser or hydrating oil.
Don’t forget your diet. The healthiest diet for skin is a colourful, Mediterranean diet, with lots of water, lemon, few processed foods and very little sugar. Watch out for too much dairy too. It can contain hormones, and there are often levels of allergy associated with dairy.
In terms of the most important supplements, Vitamin D is best to keep skin firm, support its repair mechanisms and activate its microbial systems. Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Oil are also excellent, and the latter can even be applied directly to the skin.
Sleep well and drink plenty of water
The usual rules still apply when looking after your skin during menopause. Unfortunately, broken sleep is a common physical symptom, but do the best that you can. Look after yourself, rest when possible, and develop a good bedtime routine, perhaps with a calming herbal tea or essential oils before bed.
It’s not all bad
There’s no doubt that menopause can be a tough time, and, as women, we should receive the help and support we need. We’re amazing, and we should be able to look forward to a time in our life, where we can look in the mirror and see our achievements and our strength. And at ishga, with our award-winning product range, we’ll strive to help you get there with your natural beauty still shining through.