Hi, I’m Ema, an award-winning Hair & Beauty Artist. Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing my new series of blogs to discuss menopause - what it is, how it affects us and what you can do to maintain glowing, healthy skin. Whilst menopause brings a transformative change to a woman’s life, with the right skincare, supplements, makeup and a positive attitude, you can see this chance to reignite a new you with a sense of confidence so you can handle whatever comes your way.
I hope you enjoy my blogs!
An Effective Menopause Skincare Routine
Menopause is a natural and inevitable phase in a woman's life, bringing about various changes in our body. Hormonal fluctuation during menopause can lead to a range of skin issues, from dryness and sensitivity to fine lines and loss of firmness.
Maintaining healthy, glowing skin can be neglected amidst the demands of daily life. But, following a consistent skincare routine, using the right products and applying them correctly, is a key investment in your overall welbeing and confidence.
In this blog, I’ll cover the following five key areas and offer practical tips and advice to help you navigate this transformative period with confidence and grace:
Common menopausal skin issues.
The importance of following a skincare routine.
Choosing and using the right skincare products.
Applying products in the correct order.
Essential tips for maintaining radiant and healthy skin.
1. Common Menopausal Skin Issues
The hormonal shifts that occur during menopause, primarily the decline in oestrogen levels, can have profound effects on the skin. Oestrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining skin elasticity, collagen production, and moisture retention. As oestrogen levels decrease, the skin produces less oil and becomes more prone to dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Dryness and dehydration Dryness is caused by the lack of natural oils on the skin's surface and dehydration, which is the lack of water in the skin, is also a common issue during menopause.
Wrinkles and fine lines Oestrogen is essential for collagen production which gives the skin its firmness and elasticity. A decrease in oestrogen levels contributes to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
Skins sensitivity Menopausal skin may become more sensitive due to a thinner epidermis, which is the outer layer of our skin. This increased sensitivity can lead to redness, irritation and discomfort.
Hyperpigmentation Hormonal fluctuations can trigger an overproduction of melanin, leading to dark spots and uneven skin tone, particularly on the face and hands.
Loss of firmness The decline in collagen and elastin, coupled with reduced oestrogen levels, can result in a loss of skin firmness and a sagging appearance.
2. The Importance of Following a Menopause Skincare Routine
Protection against environmental factors Our skin acts as a barrier against various environmental factors such as pollution, UV rays, and weather conditions. A well-structured skincare routine helps in protecting the skin from these external stressors, preventing premature ageing and damage.
Maintenance of skin health A skincare routine is fundamental for maintaining the health of our skin. It helps in regulating oil production, preventing acne breakouts, and promoting cell turnover, leading to a clearer and more youthful complexion.
Boosting self-confidence Clear, healthy skin significantly contributes to our self-esteem, our confidence and brings about a positive self-image. Skincare routines can be tailored to address specific concerns.
3. Choosing and Using, the Right Skincare Products
Step 1 - Cleansing The first step in any skincare routine is cleansing. Cleansing removes impurities, excess oil, and makeup and prepares the skin for subsequent products.
Opt for a gentle, mild cleanser suitable for your skin type and by using the right cleansing products, this won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Choosing natural and fragrance-free products can help to minimise irritation and avoid using harsh soaps, which can be too drying.
How to apply: Gently massage the cleanser around your face and neck and rinse with lukewarm water. Some cleansers are designed to be used around the delicate eye area or you can use eye makeup remover with cotton or bamboo pads.
Step 2 - Toning Toning helps balance the skin's pH levels and removes any remaining traces of impurities, cleanser or makeup. All skin types can benefit from a gentle, hydrating toner and a well-formulated toner can help your complexion appear fresher, smoother, and more balanced. Avoid toners with alcohol and fragrance which can be drying on the skin. How to apply: Apply toner using a cotton or bamboo pad, or it can be patted directly into the skin with clean hands.
Step 3 - Exfoliating Regular exfoliation is essential for sloughing off dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover. Select an exfoliator with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) suited to your skin's sensitivity level to help give a smoother complexion. How to apply: This product is best applied as a lotion, in your toner or afterwards in a serum. Read the instructions carefully. Gritty exfoliators should be completely avoided as they damage the protective waterproof barrier to the skin, leaving it drier and more sensitive in the long run. Also avoid exfoliation if you have open cuts or wounds, or if your skin is sunburned. If you have eczema or rosacea, there are products designed specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Exfoliate with AHA’s daily and always use sunscreen afterwards.
Step 4 - Serum Serums are excellent treatments to use as they contain a higher concentration of active ingredients compared to typical facial moisturisers. A serum is a concentrated formulation that targets specific skincare concerns such as fine lines, dark spots, or hydration. Incorporate a serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, or retinol, depending on your individual needs. How to apply: Apply a pea-sized amount of serum into your palms, then lightly press onto the skin. Pat onto your skin using outwards and upwards motions over the face and neck. Serums can be applied as part of your morning or evening routine.
A note on eye gel: Apply after serum or moisturiser. Using a pea-sized amount, gently tap with your fourth finger (the most gentle finger), starting from the inner or outer corner of the eye, and following along the orbital bone as a guide.
Step 5 - Moisturiser Moisturising is crucial for all skin types, including oily skin. Choose a moisturiser that suits your skin's needs – such as lightweight for daytime use or a more hydrating option for night-time. Invest in a high-quality moisturiser with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and vitamins A and E to hydrate and plump the skin. How to apply: Use pea-sized amount of moisturiser and delicately pat into your face, using your hands until it’s all absorbed. Don’t forget to apply your neck and décolletage too!
A note on retinol: Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that helps cells regenerate and is known for its anti-ageing benefits. Retinols are weaker forms of retinoids, which are stronger and usually require a prescription. The most gentle form is Retinyl Palmitate in moisturiser form. Stronger Retinols are applied as serums but are best applied if only using other forms of vitamin A daily.
If you are new to vitamin A products, start with a lower concentration product and gradually increase as your skin acclimatises to the product. Use a pea-sized amount on alternate mornings for the first week, alternate mornings and evenings on week 2, every morning and alternate nights in week 3 and by week 4, every morning and every night.
Why do we need to acclimatise to vitamin A? From early on in our twenties, we don’t produce as much vitamin A naturally for optimal skin, and the everyday stressors like exposure to UV/ blue light, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, pollution to name a few, deplete the stocks of vitamin A. That means we have to replace it daily. Vitamin A, over a period of weeks and months helps to thicken the skin, which is what helps to make it as healthy and robust as possible, until that happens the vitamin A is applied in lower levels and slowly increases to avoid bombarding the skin with too much too quickly. This can lead to dryness and irritation until the skin is acclimatised.
Environ Skincare is the only brand in the world that uses the gentle form of vitamin A, Retinyl Palmitate and has a unique step up system that builds up to the highest permissable levels of vitamin A slowly and strategically. Get in touch to find out more information about Environ Skincare and how you can introduce it into your menopause skincare routine.
Step 6 - Sunscreen Sunscreen is non-negotiable in any skincare routine. Protect your skin from further damage by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection) with at least SPF 15 or higher and use it daily, even on cloudy days and in the winter. Sunscreen helps prevent sun damage, premature ageing, and reduces the risk of skin cancer. How to apply: Apply sunscreen to your face, hands and neck and gently tap the sunscreen rather than rubbing it in. Take extra care when applying around the eyes. Make sure to use a face sunscreen as these are formulated especially for facial use. On sunny days, sunscreen should be reapplied on your face every 2 hours.
4. Applying Products in the Correct Order
Maximise effectiveness: Follow a specific order when applying skincare products to maximise their effectiveness. Typically, the order is cleanser, toner, exfoliator (if applicable), serum, retinol products (if using), moisturiser, eye gel (if using) and finally sunscreen.
Consistency is key: Consistency is crucial for achieving optimal results. Stick to your menopause skincare routine diligently and be patient, as visible improvements may take time.
Gentle application: When applying products, be gentle with your skin. Avoid rubbing or tugging, especially around the delicate eye area. Pat or press products into the skin for better absorption.
5. Essential Tips for Maintaining Radiant and Healthy Skin
Stay hydrated Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for maintaining skin hydration. Hydrated skin is plumper, smoother and more resilient.
Balanced diet A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids contributes to healthy skin. These nutrients support collagen production and protect the skin from oxidative stress.
Skin Supplements Even with a good diet, we don’t necessarily get all the nutrients we need everyday in the right quantities for optimal skin health. Non-negotiable supplements are a broad spectrum multivitamin working synergistically to generate skin health. Omegas enhance the skin's protective barrier and act as the skin’s internal moisturiser. Probiotics support the microbiome which has a direct result on our skin, our immunity, internal inflammation and hydration. I am a living , breathing, advocate for the Advanced Nutrition Programme for skincare and wellbeing supplements. If you would like to know more about this range, please contact me here.
Adequate sleep Quality sleep is crucial for skin repair and regeneration. Aim for 7 hours of sleep each night to promote a healthy complexion.
Regular exercise Engage in regular physical activity to promote blood circulation and enhance the delivery of nutrients to the skin.
Stress management Stress can negatively impact the skin, leading to breakouts and premature ageing. Consider incorporating stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises into your routine.
Following a menopause skincare routine is a fundamental aspect of overall self-care. By choosing the right products, applying them correctly, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you can achieve and maintain healthy, glowing skin. Remember, investing time and effort in a menopausal skincare routine is an investment in your wellbeing and confidence. So, embrace the ritual, enjoy the process, and let your radiant skin reflect your commitment to self-care.
Do you have any questions or comments about your skin? Are you experiencing peri/ post/ menopausal skin changes and not sure what to do about them? Book an online consultation with me, I would love to help you get on to the right path, saving you time and frustration from trying to work it all out yourself.
Thanks for reading, Ema x