The menopause is potentially one of the biggest challenges your skin will face. If you are one of the lucky ones you could sail through experiencing little change to your life but for the majority of us, the menopause demands to be noticed!
Women usually experience this natural event around the age of 51, although it's also common to have perimenopausal symptoms from your 40s (some even earlier). By this age your confidence and wisdom will no doubt be on the increase although as estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your skin’s physiology changes in new and different ways, which can have a significant impact on your complexion, as well as internally and emotionally. Until it happens to you, it is pretty hard to understand the far-reaching implications. Symptoms and their severity vary and around 80% of us will experience several different ones, from hot flushes and mood swings to lack of concentration and disrupted sleep. Whereas in puberty your body pumped out hormones causing oily skin and breakouts, the menopause feels a bit like everything going in reverse. This can mean skin that has behaved for years suddenly starts throwing tantrums – so what’s going on?
The good news!
With the right skincare, diet and lifestyle you can still enjoy skin that leaves you feeling confident enough to go barefaced for the first time in years – and that is certainly something worth celebrating! Slow Ageing Essentials can improve and maintain the condition of menopausal skin in many ways to leave it brighter and clearer with an energetic glow from the morning’s get-go (thank you Face Wash) to firmer and plumper (Facial Essence applied using 'Skin’ergy self-massage' we salute you) as well as smoother and more glowy (a combination of well, everything!).
Already out the other side? There is a real freedom to this too. It is very liberating to care less, worry less and have more of that lovely thing called self-confidence. You’re proof that you can be sassy, older and wiser and look, quite frankly, fab-u-lous! But in the meantime…
… Keep it clean
We know cleansing skin is important but if you are perimenopausal or menopausal it becomes even more essential. During the menopause skin tends to become drier as sebaceous (oil) glands become less active. Whereas this may feel like a boon if your skin has traditionally been oily, you are likely to notice your skin becoming tighter and more flaky, especially on chin, cheeks and forehead. Conversely, testosterone levels - no longer masked by falling estrogen levels - can create thicker sebum secretions making skin look more oily. Panic not as we have the answer to both… in one very clever product. Essential Face Wash is one-of-a-kind; deeply cleansing yet ultra hydrating, this foaming cleanser has a base of plumping coconut oil making it deliciously cocooning to even out a drier complexion. It gives a super-concentrated, ultra-thorough cleanse too. Such is the power of this revolutionary wash that it will leave skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ as it whisks away pore-clogging dead skin cells and impurities… stick with it and we think you'll be amazed at your skin’s transformation from dull to divine as it's left refreshed, revitalised and perfectly prepped for additional moisturisers.
… Become a moisture lover
At this life stage your epidermis (upper layers of skin) will naturally begin to thin as a drop in estrogen causes a reduction in dermal capillary blood flow resulting in less nutrients and oxygen being transported to cells. The result? Less effective barrier function and greater trans-epidermal water loss – and that means dry skin. To fight back, bump up your moisture intake in any way you can, from drinking lots of fresh water to switching to intensely nourishing (but not overloading) moisturisers. Using facial oil under your moisturiser adds another hydration dimension and choosing an algae-rich formula for daily protection will really boost nourishment reserves. Essential Face Moisturiser is loaded with naturally-plumping oceanic biopolymers from red alga to help skin retain water plus mineral-rich seaweed extract for instant and long-lasting hydration for a more supple complexion.
At night, dry skin will lap up the goodness of super-concentrated natural butters and waxes. Brimming with high levels of essential fatty acids, vitamins and lipids, Face Balm works by deeply nourishing the skin’s upper layers and boosting the strength of its lipid barrier to help prevent further moisture loss. Hormonal changes cause a loss of supportive fat below the skin on your face and neck as well as a decline in collagen, the protein which gives skin its plumpness and ‘bounce’, making rich, buttery formulas a real blessing in more ways than one. Use 2-3 times a week and leave on overnight for skin to repair and renew, over the top of our Facial Essence if skin is super thirsty or fragile.
Top tip – for a deeply restorative, intensive treatment face mask at any time, mix 1/3 Face Balm with 2/3 Face Moisturiser then massage over face and décolleté. Leave on for 5-10 mins then wipe away any excess for a silky, plumped and comfortable complexion.
… Work it out
Regular exercise can help stave off loss of muscle mass and weight gain and also the onset of osteoporosis. Even getting outside regularly for a brisk walk will help; if it's in nature then even better! Meditative practices like yoga and Qui Gong will help increase your core strength and improve posture and circulation while focusing on breathing deeply as you exercise is fantastic for relaxation too.
As well as exercising your body to maintain flexibility and improve bone density, facial exercises can really help tone sagging skin especially if you do this with plant oil-rich facial oils like our ‘hero’ Facial Essence. Our 'Skin’ergy self-massage' application technique has been specifically developed to stimulate facial muscles as well as unblock natural energy pathways and increase oxygen and nutrient flow for progressively enhanced contours and a radiant glow – that’s why we call it ‘a facelift at your fingertips’!
… Become more buff!
Our natural rate of skin renewal slows as we get older – from around 20 days when in our 20s to around 30+ days in our 50s - but you can improve this rate very easily…. simply by using an exfoliator.
By ridding your complexion of a build up of dead skin cells it will function far more efficiently and regain an enviable glow. Super-quick to use, you will see results from our Face and Body Exfoliating Polish straight away as reinvigorating ginger, pomegranate and orange gently slough away rough patches and stimulate the circulation. Skin looks brighter, smoother and radiant.
Top tip – for a gentle yet moisture-boosting exfoliation mask, mix ¼ Face Balm with ¾ Exfoliating Polish and massage over face and décolleté. Give it a go in the morning for daylong extra supple, extra bright skin.
… Go gentle
At times of hormonal change, always take your cue from Mother Nature. Building up to the menopause you may find that your skin changes its behaviour quite dramatically. You may experience breakouts for the first time in years or skin may become angrily red and itchy. The fact is the menopause can increase sensitivity and therefore your chances of reacting to products, even ones you may have happily used for years.
'Clean' products with pure, high quality and sustainably sourced ingredients work better on stressed skin and are far less likely to cause irritation. So simple – only 4 products for face and 3 for body – Slow Ageing Essentials will not bombard skin with ingredients and steps it does not actually need. Instead each product in this capsule collection minimises reactions by using 3 pure and active ingredient systems, all working in synergy with one another, to bring even hormonally challenged skin into peak condition… and keep it there. It's all menopausal skin needs - nothing more, nothing less.
… Be a sleeping beauty
Now more than ever try to get plenty of restful sleep. 7-8 hours of shut-eye each night helps us function at optimal levels (as well as banish dark under eye shadows) but disturbed nights are common during the menopause, again due to declining estrogen levels. However, there is a lot you can do to help improve your chances of a good night. Hot flushes an issue? Then make sure your bedroom isn’t too warm (the ideal temperature for sleep is around 60-67 degrees) and opt for bedding made from natural fibres such as cotton or bamboo. These are breathable and therefore more cooling than synthetic versions plus they will absorb excess moisture. Ditching the pjs could be worth a try too!
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can also work wonders. Allowing your mind and body time to switch off before bed is easy when you think about it. Turning off the TV (or the laptop) an hour before bed and running a warm bath laced with an essential oil blend will ease you in beautifully. A capful of Essential Bath Essence contains 100% pure rose geranium, rosemary, juniper and cypress essential oils, which act on your olfactory senses to de-stress an over-active brain and tired muscles, putting you in the best frame of mind for sleep. Pure botanical hazelnut oil comforts and transforms the condition of dry skin too. With a follow on application of firming and headily fragrant Body Essence, we think you can't go wrong.
Take the time to thoroughly cleanse your face so it's ideally prepared to renew and repair overnight. Apply a delicately balanced restorative treatment like Face Balm using our bespoke 'Skin’ergy self-massage' and your product will travel deeper into your skin’s layers. The blissfully relaxing strokes and calming, balancing essential oils will further encourage the onset of sleep. Why not try it?
… Feed your skin
Research has shown that products derived from soybeans, such as soymilk or miso, can be helpful during the menopause for reducing symptoms such as night sweats. This plant protein is rich in isoflavones (particularly genistein and daidzein), a type of phytoestrogen that mimics the action of estrogen giving it a hormone regulating benefit. Soy products are now widely available and easy to incorporate into a balanced diet so take your pick. From edamame beans for snacking, in a stir fry or as a side veg, to tofu (soybean curd), which is a great alternative to meat and soya yoghurt, delicious on its own or topping muesli at breakfast.
While thinking about diet, eating foods high in anti-oxidants can help your skin become stronger from the inside out, which may help to boost skin that’s lacking in collagen. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are superb sources so try to eat a ‘rainbow’ serving at every meal.