Beauty to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick – ass red lipstick.”
Women are hormonal creatures. We are. At any time of the month women will have a predominance of estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone going on. Sometimes this re
sults in a harmonious symphony of harps, violins, and flutes, and other days, it’s a Metallica concert – heavy metal rock at it’s finest. And the skin behaves the same way.
Estrogen is our beauty hormone. And our mood is actually better when we have more estrogens. It actually is the progesterone that wreaks havoc on our skin. During the actual menses, oestrogen is at its peak. By day 7 after menses, testosterone is beginning to increase. This can make the skin oilier and if prone to breakouts, this is when it surely will happen
Days 15-28, progesterone rises, and this is when chaos will ensue if there is dysfunction. Acne causing bacteria love high progesterone environments. If you are stressed and your cortisol level is too high, and this is the week before that “time of the month” is due, you can now appreciate why that really bad breakout. Saliva testing can give a look into where you are on the spectrum. Oilier skin during our formative years, however, has a good caveat. It does help slow down aging.
At age 35, fertility begins to decline, and the fluctuation is real, and so
me women are horrified. Melasma can present itself, or if there already can worsen. Acne breakouts can worsen (unlike our parents insistence that you will “grow it out”). There is also no pattern to the shifts that are occurring and therefore it can make things difficult to treat.
When menopause comes, estrogens tank, and this is when many women are just devastated. Especially since hormone replacement is something that most women try not to do unless they absolutely have to. The skin is dry; the cell turnover drops significantly the skin looks sullen. Yikes!! If that wasn’t bad enough, for those who are acne prone breakouts still happen as the sebum gets trapped around the hair follicles. Double yikes!!!!
To this end, a skin regimen is essential at all stages of a woman’s life, but particularly when the cell turnover decreases. Oilier skin types should have either a peel or a facial every two weeks. The facials should concentrate on proper extractions and decongesting the follicles. When the skin turnover gets stimulated with peels, purging will happen, and facials will be a great complement.
Home care should have a facial wash and toner with alpha hydroxyl acids, and if skin is acne prone, benzoyl peroxide and gluconolactone. Toners should be alcohol free. Moisturizers for acne prone skin should have an anti-inflammatory.
For the perimenopausal skin type, vitamins A, C, peptides and retinoids are crucial ingredients to look for. Peels can be done monthly, or every three weeks, and many of the beneficial ingredients can be added as boosters to a good peel regimen.
After menopause, hydrating the skin is crucial – silicone, Shea butter, niacinamide are additional things to look for in addition to the vitamins A, C, peptides and retinol.
And, of course, always have sun block!
So remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that beholder is you.