The 'M' word is inevitable for women. It can be stealthy and steady creep into our life or it can strike suddenly from nowhere, with no regard for age either and all too often a taboo subject that people shuffle their feet around or laugh uncomfortably about.
Having gone into a clinical menopause over 10 years ago immediately after a total hysterectomy and subsequently put onto HRT, I know exactly how it feels physically and mentally, from the brain fog, to the heat that rises from your feet always at the most inconvenient moment. I have lost count of the amount of times I have had a client in a deep relaxed slumber, mid facial massage, to wake suddenly, frenziedly kicking off the cloud like duvet they have been contentedly snuggled under and shrieking ooh noo!!
Everyone's 'M' journey is different and so are the concerns that clients see on their skin and is a topic of conversation I have daily with the majority of my clients.
The main things that bother's my clients that come to me for help, is lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, loss of volume with the skin not looking as plump as it used to and how gravity seems to be pulling their faces down, giving jowls and deep creases in the naso labia folds. These are swiftly followed by dry, sluggish, skin that lacks the luminous glow of youth. So why is this? What happens in the skin for it want to move south? As a client said recently "my face looks like it needs propping up and ironing!'
As we get older our oestrogen levels start to drop. Oestrogen is hormone. Hormones are complex and control many functions in our body. Oestrogen is a primary female hormone and when imbalanced, it reflects on the skin very quickly. Having too much for example can cause acne, constipation and has been linked to more serious diseases such as breast cancer. Not producing as much, as in menopause, creates a cascade of events in the skin. For example, oestrogen plays a huge part in hydration within the dermis of the skin, which is needed by cells together with oxygen for 'life'. Lack of hydration slows down cell renewal, regeneration and even the natural exfoliation process, leaving the skin looking dull, lifeless and less plump. Collagen and elastin which is also find in the dermis needs hydration to remodel and work effectively.
Our bodies peak around the age of 25 for collagen production, which then progressively slows down from there. Collagen gives the skin plumpness, volume and that cushion like fullness to the skin. There are many different types of collagen but Types I and III are the most important with regards to the skin, ageing and scarring (and in the regeneration of collagen syntheis). For collagen to be produced it needs a good supply of water and hyaluronic acid, both of which decline as oestrogen levels drop. This means that good quality collagen proliferation doesn't happen and therefore less collagen is found in the skin. This shows in the facial contours dropping, with lines and wrinkles predominate where the collagen has broken down significantly in those areas. Sometimes sugars can crystallise around the collagen fibres making them brittle, showing on the skin as a tell tale criss-cross pattern. This is also a sure sign that the elastin fibres that give the skin its spring back coil are damaged. Collagen and Elastin are BFF's supporting each other and both benefit from being a team.
So what can be done to improve these concerns? Firstly it won't be an overnight result, and if anyone says it is, walk out the door! Why? Collagen synthesis can take up to 250-300 days to transition and it needs a two pronged approach for the best results. Good professional homecare and professional treatments. Chances are you will see and feel a difference quite quickly, and it will be encouraging to see it getting better week by week, but it will further down the line that the full benefits will be seen.
Products I recommend to use at home:
SPF - AlumierMD - There is no point spending money on products and treatments if you are not wearing a good quality separate SPF every single day. If this isn't worn you are throwing your money away! SPF every day for life!
Retinol - AlumierMD. Retinol is Vitamin A and everyone should be using it to combat premature ageing unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You get what you pay for when it comes to this incredible ingredient. Encapsulation and complex delivery system is needed for to reach the dermis where collagen and elastin are found for it to work effectively, without causing surface aggravation. It should be introduced very gradually into your skin routine, but it truly is a game changer. It helps hydrate, promote collagen production, helps reduce pigmentation, strengthens elasticity, speeds up cell renewal so skin looks dewy and luminous. I love retinol!
Topical Vitamin C - AlumierMD Everactive . Just like retinol, you get what you pay for when it comes to Vitamin C. Vitamin C is very volatile and oxidises very quickly. This can happen even the bottle/jar before you have even bought it, rendering the contents not effective or even active. Vitamin C is very anti-oxidant so this little ingredient is like a super hero with a power punch, stopping the baddy free radicals attacking the skin, causing oxidative stress and premature ageing of the skin trying to break down the collagen and elastin.
What treatments would help?
Micro-needling with SkinPen and COMCIT. Micro-needling creates thousands of micro channels into the skin causing a controlled trauma to the skin. This enables the skin to naturally regenerate itself and importantly remodel collagen from the all important Collagen Type III to I to give the skin volume, plumpness, firmness. This is an excellent treatment with very little downtime for the majority of clients.
Geneo Radio Frequency Super Facial
Radio frequency tightens the skin, using heat. Its a very relaxing treatment, no downtime. The helps with collagen and elastin and great for contours and jowls. Radio Frequency and Micro-needling are a powerful combination together
A-lift Nano and Micro-current
Nano current activity recharges the skin cells batteries, increasing the ATP in the cells unto 500%, making the cells regenerate quickly, and behave and act younger. It gives skin a great glow. Micro-current works with the muscle using a current that is painless to lift, tone. and firm the muscle.
Peels will brighten the skin, help with line and wrinkles, pigmentation, luminosity, the natural exfoliation process, hydration ... I like to think the are like default button for the skin!
A combination of all of the above treatments and homecare is a great way of targeting those main concerns of menopausal ageing on the the skin for optimum results. This will help in immediate and long term results and benefits. Treating the skin from every angle to tighten, lift, plump, regenerate, improve overall skin health, give skin a glow and produce the crucial collagen that depletes as oestrogen levels drop in menopausal skin.