Do you struggle to moisturise your skin, or remove puffiness?
As estrogen declines how do you look after your skin? Have you found yourself getting frustrated with dryer skin, and insultingly – more spots?! Have you turned to more and more expensive products in the hope they will help?
This is a journey I’ve been on, I’m fair skinned and prone to dryness anyway so I really noticed a change in my skin quality as my perimenopause progressed. One of the things I learnt early on is that my old brands, shop bought products were drying and clogging my skin, and I started down the root of natural products, and I’ve not looked back.
The thing about a natural ingredient based product is that it doesn’t last as long. It’s as simple as that, think fresh fruit and veg as opposed to something that has been canned in a preserving brine or syrup. It doesn’t quite taste the same does it?
Natural products therefore are to be found online, where you go straight to the manufacturer, normally an artisan brand where they are passionate about what they do, and they bring the product straight to you with minimal shelf life (normally about 12 months).
It shocked me to hear recently that products on shop shelves can be up to 5 years old and so I stopped buying them. I also learnt that chemical UV filters were drying my skin out – I stopped them (on my face, body to follow!)
One of the downsides of declining estrogen is that you can struggle to get any moisture into your skin whether on your face or other more exposed areas like the backs of your hands and décolletage (breast bone area). For all the tips in this guide, you can do the same for your décolletage and the back of your hands, as for your face.
WHERE DO YOU START?
You have to tackle your skin care from the inside and the outside, and this has led me on a wonderful journey over the past couple of years, and one I'm still on and enjoying and hope to make it something you become interested in too.I’m going to take you through some vitally important steps and some great ideas, and hopefully you’ll enjoy venturing into the world of skincare now too:
Rehydrate! We can't say enough in the menopause world, keep your water levels up. A drink before bed, one by the bed, one when you wake up and keep going through the day... you get the drift.
How to tell if you're dehydrated? Pinch and hold the skin on the back of your hand for 3 seconds, let go, then count the seconds until it settles back in place, anything more than 1 second and you're dehydrated, the longer it takes the more you are.
WORKING FROM THE INSIDE
Nutritional intake - probiotic, multi-vitamin and additional vitamin E - all go towards working on the health of your skin from the inside. Your 'glow' is more than skin deep, help yourself from within. With a healthy gut and better sleep this will show in the quality of your skin.
I recommend a liquid probiotic, my skin cleared up within 2 weeks when I started on a liquid one. It’s not about getting quantity of bacteria but also variety. I use Microbz Liquid Gold for Women and it really makes the difference in a lot of areas of your life not just your skin.
Vitamin E – a lot of skin products state they have this in it but you want it working from the inside too. It should always come in the form of an oil, in a capsule. I use Lamberts Healthcare.
Every woman should be on an age appropriate multi-vitamin, if you’re not, now is the time to start. It’s simply that as your hormones start to change, your body is put under stress and this builds and continues for years. The stress you’re now experiencing will leech vital nutrients from your diet, and so you need to put them back in. With the best will in the world you won’t get this from your food, so top up with a women’s health multi-vitamin. Doesn’t need to cost the earth, Well woman (or supermarket own brand), these are capsule based oil.
TAKING IT NATURALLY NOW
Switching your skincare to natural products, this is where it gets fun, and smells delicious! Now is the time to move away from popular beauty brands as they tend to have chemicals/ preservatives in to make them last on shelves. I've heard recently a shelf bottle can be up to 5 years old! Instead, and this is where the fun is for me, investigate natural products, and these are some of the ingredients to know about, and you’ll come to love them and how they make your skin feel:
Jojoba oil is the basis of a good facial oil, known for its high absorption good for maturing skin. Hydrating, nutritious and moisturising, packed full of anti-oxidants and that all important vitamin E. Jojoba is cold pressed from seeds, and you’ll find all the best facial oils and serums will come from pressing seeds, the natives of countries from Peru to the Philippines have always used these natural products and it’s time for us to jump on this natural beauty train. I love using PinkandGreenSkincare.co.uk for jojoba based products.
Rose oil, known for millennia for being deeply enriching. One drop goes a long way, normally being mixed in with rosehip and/or jojoba, it is the oil for delicate eye skin, its anti-inflammatory, skin healing and regenerative. Forget buying a bunch of roses, invest in 1ml of rose or rose absolute oil. (I get mine from oshadhi.co.uk).
Omega oil – you know now about taking Omega 3 supplements, well there are new oils appearing all the time that are also full of nature’s best. A couple of them you will never have heard of like Tamanu, Centella and Sacha Inchi. They’re all from hot countries around the world that produce these amazing seed based oils, richly full of Omega 3 for your skin. Oshadhi.co.uk, tropicskincare.com and botanicavida.com tap into these nutritious oils for your skin. The more nutritious the oil the deeper golden colour it is!
Here are some of the products I use:
Replenish moisture first thing in the mornings with Hydrate when you wake (and I spritz rose water on first when I get up, and you can do this process again at night, just before bed!).
Followed a little later by: Delux Facial Oil before putting on makeup.
Enrich your skin at night: Omega Oil, I use this rich oil at night after popping my own blend of rose oil around sensitive eye skin, and a gentle massage.
USE NATURE AS YOUR PROTECTION
Chemical UV filters dry out your skin, turn to nature to give UV defence now:
FLUSH OUT TOXINS
Gua Sha – You may never have heard of it, it’s from ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and means, " using smooth stones to massage pulse points to move stuck chi, to help calm, soothe and energise". Doesn’t that sound good?
Using a specially shaped piece of rose quartz or jade, both with their own energetic properties, along with one of your chosen facial oils you gently massage your face, moving lymph, easing muscle tension, which in turn leads to softer looking skin (and wrinkles) and glowing skin. Moving out the toxins in the lymph will promote an overall wellbeing not only for your face but for your stomach and digestion J That’s the beauty of massaging powerful acu points around your face. Pop ‘Gua sha’ into YouTube for facial demonstrations. You can purchase your simple starter kit here
COOLING ITCHY SKIN
Andrea has created her own natural based product to help ease your heat related symptoms – flushes, sweats, itchy skin and associated anxiety can all be eased with Blossom Cooling and Calming Cream. Available here… (packed full of working essential oils and smells divine!)
ANDREA FROM COTSWOLD MENOPAUSE
Andrea helps women resolve all menopausal symptoms with completely natural solutions. Whether its hot flushes, night sweats, joint aches, irritability, skin issues, emotional issues. Andrea’s unique perspective is from the view point of Chinese Medicine. The theory behind this is over 5000 years old, and the most important point is that it’s all based on nature, and resolving your issues proactively. To step into a world seen through the eyes of the wisdom of eastern medicine, and now paired with western practicality will take you through a life changing experience, to truly Blossom in Your Menopause. Read more, get free downloads and to book your free ‘Menopause MOT’ chat go to cotswoldmenopause.co.uk