Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Our bodies insist on completeness. Menopause is the ultimate initiation. On the other side, the ultimate awakening. Finding your own voice and courage to speak your truth. This part of our lives is an opening and an energetic shift.
Last summer I began experiencing my first hot flashes. They seemingly came on overnight.
My background is in herbs so of course I look to plants (herbs like black cohosh, red clover and maca root can be supportive) to assist as I began this next phase. Some things would work.. and then stop working. I quickly realized that hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause and they are not easily fixable. Many of us don't realize but peri-menopause symptoms can begin as early as our late 30s.
Peri-menopause explained simply: it's a case of fluctuating hormones. It seems to be a moving target that can shift and change.
How does menopause affect our skin?
Cell renewal drops during this time and sebaceous glands slow down the production of oil, leading to dull, rough skin. Even the most robust complexions can become more vulnerable to irritation. It's common for you to experience sensitivity to products you've been using for years.
Testosterone is predominantly to blame. Our ovaries, besides making estrogen and progesterone, also make testosterone. On average, the ovaries stop making estrogen around age 51. Testosterone production can go on until about the age of 60. Your estrogen levels are declining, but you’re still producing a good amount of testosterone.
Estrogen is responsible for helping to keep collagen in our skin. When estrogen levels go down, so does collagen production, which can exacerbate wrinkles or dry skin. If you’re experiencing a lot of skin issues during peri-menopause, you may want to take a look at the products you’re using. Our skin can become more sensitive and respond unpredictably to treatments and products. The symptoms will vary depending on whether there are high or low estrogen levels. For some, the vascular hyperactivity can cause issues like telangiectasia (thread-like red lines or patterns on the skin) and rosacea to develop. Women dealing with menopause-related, hormonal acne usually get red pimples that come from under the surface. Many of you reach out sharing: you never had acne as a teenager but are now beginning to experience acne. Over-the-counter acne treatments with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can be drying for skin. Look for botanical-based products containing herbs like Nettle, Willow, Birch Bark and Blue Tansy.
Click here for some options and relief from acne.
For fine lines and wrinkles, I recommend vitamin A. Conventional guidance will tell you to use chemical retinol but retinol can be harsh on our delicate skin. It can cause irritation and redness. I make several products that contain Rose Hip Seed Oil. This plant is a SUPERSTAR alternative to retinol. It is the plant version of retinol. You get all of the same benefits of retinol but with zero side effects. Rose Hip Seed Oil works to help build up collagen. I formulate several products that contain Rose Hip (natural alternative to retinol) and Lupine (a natural plant collagen).
Shea + Rose Face Cream (this doubles as a solution to acne or rosacea)
Rose Gold Facial Serum (this doubles as a solution to acne or rosacea)
It's important to find that right balance between something that will help you without causing irritation. Some other things that have been helpful for me: 1. yoga (for balance and flexibility) 2. meditation (to calm my monkey mind :)
3. acupuncture (to balance hormones)
4. spending time in nature (grounding myself)
Menopause is the place within our lives when we come fully, without excuse, into who we are and who we are supposed to be. This is the place where we have learned experience. We've gone through all of the insecure places and are confident in who we are. We've made it through all of the ups and downs and are now in a place of grounding. We have our footing.
I turned 47 this past July, so I am right here with you. If we stay open to the changes of this next phase of our lives, it can become one of the greatest awakenings for us~ bringing us deeper and more solid in our own power~ more of who we were meant to be in this life. Please reach out with any questions. I am SUPER passionate about helping each of us feel our best. My next post will be about peri-menopause and how it can affect our hair. Stay tuned!