The menopause is a tough time for many women. Hormonal fluctuations lead to hot flushes, mood swings, dry skin and all kinds of skin problems. Most of these problems are caused by a drastic drop in the levels of oestrogen in the body. HRT can help, but it isn’t a fix-all solution and some problems are likely to remain. Thankfully, the side effects of menopause don’t last forever and many women discover a whole new lease of life once the menopause is over. However, it is important to take care of your changing skin and hair, and treat it with extra special care, preferably from your 30’s onwards.
Image credit: Sebastien Gabriel Meriadeck
Menopausal skin needs to be treated with the utmost respect. Changing hormone levels often leave the skin drier and thinner, which if you are not careful can age you prematurely. Harsh toners and cleansers can do more damage than good on aging skin, so throw your astringent products away and switch to mild PH balanced cleansing soaps and warm water instead. Wash your skin gently morning and night to keep excess skin oil to a minimum.
Aging skin needs more protection from the sun than ever. Exposure to the sun is a primary cause of premature aging, so make sure you always wear sun lotion at least SPF 15 or higher when you venture outside. Ideally choose a better quality sun care lotion that contains extra protective ingredients such as retinol and glycerine. Don’t rely on the SPF factor in makeup—foundations don’t always provide as much protection as they claim, so always err on the side of caution and add extra sunscreen.
The Right Diet
It is essential to eat a healthy diet no matter what age you are, but menopausal women need to pay particular attention to what they eat. Foods containing high levels of antioxidants are good for promoting healthy skin and hair, so try to consume lots of oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon and herrings), as well as blueberries and walnuts.
Lots of Moisturizers
Menopausal skin needs plenty of moisturizing. Look for moisturizers designed for aging skin and administer them daily, especially at night. A lot of women have problems with oily skin and acne during the menopause, but even when your skin is oily, it still needs to be moisturized, so choose an oil-free moisturizer instead. Dry patches can be treated with emollient creams.
Hair is often badly affected by hormone changes during the menopause. Hair thins and begins to fall out in handfuls. It is also likely to lose its shine. However, although there is no magic way of restoring your hair to its former lustre, you can minimise the damage and help keep it looking as healthy as possible. Try and avoid harsh shampoos that strip the hair of its natural oils and use a mild shampoo instead. Avoid washing the hair too often and just use conditioner instead of shampoo unless it is particularly dirty. Use a soft natural bristle brush and stay away from bleach and strong hair dye as these can damage the hair further.
Are you a menopausal women? Do let us know how do you cope up with side effects of menopause?
Claire Edge is a renowned author and expert across all aspects of skin care. When checking out the latest in natural health and beauty products, Claire visits www.worldsend.co.uk.