As females, we are aware of our hormones and the effect of them from a very young age. It starts with the excitement (and apprehension) of our first period, the mixed emotions that our menstrual cycle brings whilst trying to conceive and eventually the ageing process that brings us the menopause.
What is the menopause?
The menopause is the change in the balance of the bodies sex hormones which occurs naturally as women get older.
There are three stages to the menopause
Perimenopause is the time where the ovaries are starting to produce less oestrogen eventually leading to the menopause. Perimenopause can last up to 10 years although the average time is 4 years, with most women reaching it between 45 and 60. It is actually during this stage that we become aware of the changes to our body both physically and mentally. We remain in the perimenopause until it has been 12 months since your last period.
Menopause is actually when you haven't had a period for 12 months.
Post menopause is the time after menopause and we will be in that for the rest of our lives! Some of the symptoms that are related to the menopause process may continue for a few years however most women find that as symptoms diminish they feel a great sense of calm and clarity.
The impact of the Menopause process and your beauty treatments
During the perimenopause and menopause stages, oestrogen in the body diminishes, however testosterone stays put. Testosterone converts to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which can result in darker hair growth and coarse hairs will often sprout on the upper lip, chin and jawline.
The skin will also suffer a little during this process, becoming thinner, dryer, flaky and prone to itching. For you as a client it can mean that waxing can be more painful and can come with new side effects such as soreness and bruising, hair may appear in places that you don't want them to and your skin may start to react to products that have previously been fine.
Over the years, I have seen these changes in my clients hair growth patterns and skin sensitivity, I am also noticing these changes in myself as I am getting older. Having dealt with these physical changes in the past with clients it has armed me with experience and an understanding of how to work with these issues.
Firstly, don't panic. If you are starting to see a change in your facial hair and you feel concerned, speak to me about it and we can come up with a plan together. If possible, try to avoid shaving or plucking the hairs. Hairs around the chin and jaw area can be very coarse, they normally feel much worse than they look however if you shave them you are likely to feel them more which may make you more concerned.
I have found that areas such as bikini and underarms can be extremely sensitive and dry as we get older. I have seen many women (including myself) bruise badly in the groin area when in the past they have never had a problem. Don't be put off though as there is an easy solution. Regular moisturising and exfoliating using post wax products can improve the hydration of the skin so it is better prepared for a wax. Lycon hot wax is my absolute go to for anyone that is struggling with sensitivity, the results are phenomenal. When using Lycon hot wax, an oil is applied to the skin before the wax which works as a protective barrier, this means that the wax only attaches to the hair so the skin is left comfortable after waxing. This has offered a significant improvement to myself and my clients post wax, I know none of us will go back to strip waxing on such sensitive areas again.
As we age our skin is no longer as plump as it once was, gravity is starting to have an effect and it feels like lines are doubling regularly. Now is the time to take care of your skin, if you have always been good with your skincare regime this is the time to think about whether your skincare needs are the same as they were in the past. I recommend four things to help to improve your skin
SPF is a must! You have heard about it for years and probably thought oh well my foundation has an SPF30 and never given it a second thought, but this is the time to be strict with using a sun factor. SPFs protect from damage from harmful UV rays. As we age, the damage that our skin has had throughout our life starts to show itself through pigmentation. To prevent further damage an SPF should be used daily.
Moisturise. This sounds so simple but the skin needs much more hydration as we get older and as discussed earlier can be drier due to the effects of the Menopause. It is essential to use products that are caring for your skin.
Neck cream. Our muscles start to slacken as we age, this is because the collagen that we had starts to break down and our body stops producing any more. Our necks is an area that we have most likely forgotten to take care of, we moisturise our faces (to our jaw line) and then we moisturise our bodies (up to our neck line), no wonder our necks show some of the most noticeable signs of ageing, Using neck cream on a regular basis won't turn back the clock however it will help to ensure the skin is at its best going forward.
Have a facial. Because your skin is changing in so many different ways it will be great for you to have a facial even if it is an annual treat! I offer free skin consultations where we can discuss what products to use and we can even patch test any products to ensure even the most sensitive skin can be looked after. Sometimes we continue to use what we are comfortable with and these products may no longer give you the same benefits, remember, I am here to look after you!
All in all, we are noticing big changes during our menopause years, we just need to find ways to adapt to suit these changes and I am on hand to offer advice, support, guidance and confidence to enable you to continue to have the treatments that you love!
Most people say that during the post menopause stage, they have a new lease of life and even find themselves taking on new challenges that they never had the confidence for previously. All in all, we are strong individuals and by talking to one another about our own experiences we can help each other out.