Ageing Gracefully - Being comfortable in your skin!
Ageing gracefully and naturally is important to me, and I love this quote from Sally Field, “I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I've deserved them, I have a right to them.” I agree, I have earned my years! The only part of ageing that is not always fun is the havoc menopause is playing on my skin, especially the skin on my body. Perimenopause (usually mid forties but can start earlier) is the phase of life where hormone levels begin to decrease leading up to menopause, and one of its main symptoms is irregular periods. Menopause begins twelve months after one’s last period (usually between 45-55) and can cause significant changes to the skin because of a decrease of the hormone’s oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is the hormone that helps skin retain moisture and maintain adequate production of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are proteins that hold the body’s tissues together, so loss of these causes skin to lose its volume and tightness. During menopause sebum, or oil production also decreases, and skin becomes thinner. What I have noticed is that my legs and arms are particularly dry and often itchy! The thinner skin on my arms seems more vulnerable to abrasions and I have noticed I am far more sensitive to sun exposure. While I love to golf on a bright, sunny day, I always slather on the sunscreen and usually choose to wear pants and sometimes long sleeves rather than expose my legs and arms to the drying sun.
So, what can you do if, like me, you are struggling with hormonal changes and feeling less confident about your skin? It starts with a good skin care routine. Use a non-foaming, gentle cleanser formulated for dry, sensitive skin for both the face and body. Always wash skin and shower in warm rather than hot water. After washing, gently pat the skin almost dry and immediately apply moisturizer to still damp skin. Our Ama oils are great because these barrier moisturizers seal moisture in. The second tip is to avoid irritants. If you read the two articles, I wrote earlier about the dirty dozen chemicals often added to skincare products, you know to avoid things like parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, and parfum. Other ingredients to avoid are alcohol (often listed as denatured alcohol) and colors. Our Ama organic flaxseed oils with an added essential oil, contain only good stuff for skin. Thirdly, while exfoliating with one of our Terra clay salts is a good thing, it should only be done once or twice a week, or even once every two weeks if your skin is particularly sensitive. Next, frequently and liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outside. Finally, remember Sally Field’s wise words – “Menopausal skin and all, we have earned and deserve the strength behind our years.”