As if women don't have a hard enough time, the menopause is another thing they have to worry about. There's that first godawful introduction to the monthly process of your womb falling out (how inconvenient), a lifetime of either trying to avoid having babies or sometimes having them and then dealing with the aftermath of that, which includes both bodily disruption and having someone to look after, forever.
So lets take a moment to register how frigging great we are as a gender before moving on.
Now, I haven't reached the time of menopause yet, but we all will eventually, and some ladies go through it as early as their twenties for a variety of reasons, including health issues. It has to be a very tough time, regardless of your age. If you're more mature when it comes about, you're probably putting most of your time and attention into looking after everyone else, and generally putting up with the popular view that women's bodies are tricky and that's just your lot, so shut up and get on with it. Thanks Catholicism...
Well nuts to that, I say. What a load of farting nonsense.
Hot flushes, dry or oily skin, acne, anxiety, depression and a litany of other issues are absolutely worth talking about. Menopause can affect a woman's self-esteem on a very deep level, and that can be something that's too challenging to deal with alone. Seeing your G.P. or a counsellor is absolutely advisable if you're having a tough time. Managing to keep it together when your body conspires against you is very tough, so well done on not killing everyone, frankly. You're a pretty great human being.
For those of us who have mums or aunties going through menopause or perimenopause (the changes that occur before menopause takes place), remember that she might be uncomfortable and suffering a bit. Be kind to your mammy and remind her to be kind to herself.
Here at Beaut.ie, we can help with little things like skincare. Many women watch their skin change during menopause and this can be distressing. Often, it can slacken, become reactive or very dry, or develop pigmentation issues like age spots.
There's no prescribed list of skincare that you should use during menopause - the skin issues that come up will be unique to your skin, and you just have to tackle them as they arise. Some women find themselves suddenly with acne, others become totally dehydrated and their skin seems to lose its firmness.
Here are a few products that might help you to keep on top of skin issues, and they would make very thoughtful Christmas gifts for anyone who is having a tough time with menopause:
- Clarins Face Treatment Blue Orchid Oil (€39.50)
This toning oil is beautiful. Regardless of which brand you go for, an oil will benefit every skin type, from acneic to super dry. If you have acne and are developing scarring, a soothing oil will nourish the skin and minimise scarring better than anything else.
Acne in menopause (as in adolescence) can be very frustrating because it is generally hormonal rather than bacterial, and there's only so far topical skincare will take you. If it's getting you down, consider asking for a referral to a dermatologist and talking to your GP about your options. In the meantime, though, be kind to your skin. Cleanse twice daily with a good balm or oil cleanser, use a serum and apply lots of lovely oils.
This method will also keep dry, taut, greyish skin in optimum condition and tackle that pesky dryness.
- Omorovicza Gold Night Drops (€225)
Now this is obviously crazily expensive, but if you have lots of siblings and want to club together for Mammy this Christmas, this wonder serum contains both gold and retinol. Retinol is essentially an alcohol form of vitamin A which is proven to thicken, plump and regenerate skin. It is prescribed in potent doses by dermatologists and is, for the present, the most effective skincare ingredient available on the market.
Since a serum is always designed to tackle skin issues, and is the most potent weapon is your skincare regime, it is worth spending if you can afford to. This serum is a mighty way to tackle the sudden slackening that can happen at the onset of menopause.
- Elave Age Delay Glycolic Cleanser (€26.95)
A glycolic acid cleanser like this one is great to keep on hand. Rather than cleansing with it, I like to use it as a mask - apply it to cleansed skin, leave for two minutes and you'll have gloriously exfoliated skin. I've ranted about my love of this product before.
Skin can become much more delicate during and after menopause, so exfoliating physically with a gritty product is much more likely to do damage and result in broken capillaries. A chemical exfoliator containing glycolic acid (like this one) is a much better option.
Do keep in mind though that during and after menopause, skin is far more likely to develop sun damage. If you haven't been careful about sun protection, this time is when the damage will start to show. Also, glycolic acid sensitises skin to sun, so if you are using any glycolic acid in your routine, a good SPF every day and all year round is absolutely essential to prevent premature aging of the skin and pigmentation issues.
Are you currently going through menopause? Do you have a lady in your life who is? Share your experiences (skin and otherwise) and recommendations in the comments!