Menopause - Caring for your skin
As women mature and they go through the menopause, they produce less oestrogen which means that cell turnover slows down and its ability to create fibroblasts is reduced. Fibroblasts also known as connective tissue are responsible for producing collagen and elastins. These are key ingredients that give us a firm lifted complexion. At menopause our skin can really show signs of ageing because of the loss of collagen as our hormone levels of oestrogen plummet.
Collagen is a protein that keeps our skin soft and supple: think of it as a natural filler that plumps our skin. It is used to make connective tissue which is a tissue that is a major part of not only our skin but also our bones, muscles, tendons and cartilage. It provides structural support and as it starts to diminish our skin starts to sag. We produce wrinkles and it can become more fragile, thinner and drier. True, this is all part of the skins ageing process but for women who can physically see these changes it can be a stressful time along with all the other symptoms that menopause presents.
The skin on my body is very dry. I’ve noticed also that it can take longer to heal. Scars last for much longer than they did in my younger years. An example is that on a recent trip I was eaten alive by Mosquitoes and normally by now they would have healed but they seem to be taking forever. The dryness can also cause the skin to become itchy and uncomfortable. Issues that you may have suffered with from years ago can also flare up too. Eczema, hormonal acne (this is when spots appear mainly on the jawline)
This may all sound like doom and gloom but there are so many ways that we can help ourselves. HRT is an option if you have chosen to take that route as it increases your levels of oestrogen helping with all of the above but if you are unable to take HRT there are so many foods that can have a positive impact. These foods are called phytoestrogens and they have a similar chemical structure to oestrogen. Flaxseeds, berries, garlic, peaches, edamame, dried fruits such as apricots, prunes and dates, sesame seeds, tofu and cruciferous vegetables which is broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Vitamin C is also crucial. Bell peppers and citrus fruits contain a high amount.
When looking at skincare for the face make sure that you use milder cleansers. Nothing too harsh that can dry out the skin even more. Always look at the ingredient lists as some may contain chemicals that can cause sensitivities. I swear by facial oil for moisturising; A blend of nourishing natural ingredients that seal in moisture and act as an emollient that strengthen and protect the outer layer of skin. Always use them with a gentle aromatic mist as the water seals in the oil. If oil isn’t for you then switch to skincare which is formulated for mature skin.
For the body I formulate many body oils and body balms which I personally find hydrate the skin more than a cream. A really good tip is to apply oil to your skin before you bathe. As you step out of the bath or shower pat yourself dry and then reapply more oil. This can really help and your skin will thank you for it. I would also recommend taking a collagen supplement. There are many on the market in tablet or powder form with excellent reviews. Vitamin D is also important as it helps skin rejuvenate and contributes to skin cell repair. Hydration is also key. Drink water!
We are now entering the coldest months and the skin becomes even drier. Make sure that you protect this precious organ even more as temperatures drop.