First there were the hot flashes and the sleepless nights. Then it became harder to zip your favorite jeans, and loved ones thought you had completely lost your mind due to mood swings.
Just when you thought you had gotten through the worst of menopause, well, not so fast. There’s more! Here are some ways to help you combat “Mother Time.”
The Clock Keeps Ticking
Between age 40 and 58 women enter menopause. It causes periods to end, ovaries to stop producing eggs, and estrogen levels to decline. Estrogen kept our bones strong, created our girlish figure, and stimulated collagen levels.
A woman loses 30% of collagen during the first 5 years of menopause, and then 2% a year for the next 20 years. This is important because collagen gives our skin its natural oils, moisture and suppleness. Menopause not only slows down the body’s production of natural oils, but also reduces its ability to retain moisture.
Bottom line; women lose the natural moisture in their bodies, and everything from skin to eyes requires hydration.
The Effects On Our Skin
If you are in the middle of menopause you already know the effects of this loss of collagen. Your face, hands, elbows, eyes, hair, and feet are dry and probably itch. Your skin is becoming thinner, bruises more easily and takes longer to heal.
Loss of natural oils on your face and dead skin cells can actually cause acne to reappear. Worst of all, your face is showing its age now with wrinkles and sagging skin.
A Plan Of Action
This boomer generation of women will not go down without a fight. There are ways to enrich your skin and maintain the moisture you crave.
- Stop taking hot showers. It will just dry out your skin even more. Choose a moderate temperature instead. Then towel off by patting your skin dry.
Keep the door closed when you shower or bathe to increase the humidity. Then apply moisturizer immediately to damp skin.
- Stop tanning in the sun. If you don’t already know this, shame on you. There are numerous faux tanning products, so you never have to use the sun to get a glow.
- Stop smoking and cut down on alcohol consumption. They both dry your skin.
- Add essential fatty acids to your diet. Find them in salmon, leafy green vegetables, and nuts, Cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes are all good sources of Vitamin C which helps to promote collagen. Stock up on water based fruits like apples, cantaloupe and oranges.
- Wash your face and hands in lukewarm water. Seek out a cleanser with Vitamin C, green tea and hyaluronic acid.
- Use gloves. Wear them outside when it’s cold, to do gardening chores, and get some rubber gloves for the kitchen.
- Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize some more, especially hands and nails every time you wash. Moisturize your feet at night and then slip into a pair of cotton socks.
- Drink lots of water.
- The best anti-aging product is a broad spectrum sunscreen. Choose one with at least an SPF of 30, and use it daily.
You can ease your way through menopause and still keep your skin supple and youthful.
If you try all these tips, and your skin is still not showing any improvement, ask your dermatologist at Mystic Valley Dermatology Associates about testing for thyroid disease.