Andrew Petrou is our skincare expert guest blogger this month. Andrew has over 10 years of experience in the beauty, health and fitness industry having worked all over the world with brands such as Skin Doctors, Clinique and Clarins. Andrew takes a fairly pragmatic and no-nonsense approach to grooming and skin care, advising “If it’s not absolutely vital, bin it.”
Andrew is also a practising Osteopath, registered Dietary Counsellor and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology.
Skin during the menopause is prone to experience hot flushes, redness and increased sensitivity. These experiences fluctuate and skin needs can change from day to day, therefore making a consistent daily skincare regime especially tricky to follow. Having said this, it is very important to look at the different stages of these changes.
In effect, skin changes begin during perimenopause, which often starts sometime in your mid-forties and lasts for approx. 3-4 years. Perimenopause is very different from menopause: Periods might become irregular at this point, but you still have oestrogen. If you are experiencing hot flushes, the last thing one wants is to slather a thick, occlusive cream on to your skin, yet you still want hydration and barrier repair. The trick is to look at layering. For example, there are tons of gels and serums that contain hyaluronic acid for hydration. Equally, you can also look at serums, essences that soothe skin, ceramides that help the skins barrier. A good all rounder is vitamin B3 or niacin. Aim for 5-10%. This soothes irritation, refines texture, and helps skin barrier function. Having several of these lightweight serums helps you customise, omitting those that are not needed, especially in the next phase, menopause and beyond.
Menopause and Post-Menopause
During menopause skin becomes thinner because of decreases in oestrogen levels. There is a significant loss of collagen in our skin at the time of menopause. Hyaluronic acid levels also drop. As a result, skin loses its glow and elasticity. We’re also more prone to redness too during these years. The ceramides that act as cement in the skin barrier also reduce with time and skin becomes drier and therefore often more irritated.
Skin Doctors offers a remarkably light vitamin C serum, in a single use ampoule format, for maximum purity called Potent Vit. C. Use this as a smoothing primer, but also if pigmentation, another common skin issue, is a concern. While serums and lotions offer a customisable approach, you can also incorporate a lightweight, easily absorbed oil. Because skin is drier, this will help restore comfort. Skin Doctors Age-defying Power Oil contains 7 seed oils, 4 nut oils, 2 flower oils and 2 fruit oils. This combination of 15 oils nourishes, soothes, fortifies, and balances skin. Bring on the healthy glow…
If you’re experiencing hot flushes, you may also find that your skin starts to suffer with redness. You may also have breakouts, and skin that was previously balanced might start to get dry or oily patches. Sometimes women experience rosacea at this point, too.
If you need help in managing hot flushes, Promensil Cooling Spray can help draw the heat out of surface skin tissue through evaporation technology. Simply spray 3-4 pumps around the décolleté and behind the neck. …some women find it helps to spray arms and behind the knees, too.
Once women reach menopause, things change again. If you go on oestrogen therapy (which is typically not considered until you’ve not had a period for 6 months), you won’t experience a lot of skin-related shifts. If you don’t go on oestrogen therapy, your skin will get quite dry. Skin also becomes thinner during menopause, since there’s a relationship between collagen production, skin thickness, and lack of oestrogen. The natural slowdown of cell turnover and decrease in humectants in the skin exacerbates the dryness, too. The key is to moisturise, moisturise and moisturise! Make sure your skin is hydrated and wash with a mild cleanser instead of soap, as soap can too drying for mature skin.
If you do not suffer from any sensitivity, you can help combat loss of elasticity by using Skin Doctors Beelift. This is a combination of nourishing royal jelly, soothing manuka honey, collagen boosting peptides, and bee venom (the latter helps smooth skin with no adverse effects).
One thing for sure is to look after and love the skin you’re in, and there is no reason why you can’t maintain a healthy glow and look radiant, throughout menopause and beyond.