And we’ve found the perfect facial for menopausal skin …
The term “anti-ageing” has hit the dust, at last, with brands finally realising that it makes literally no sense to be “anti” getting older. Instead we’re seeing new terms such as “pro-ageing”, and a big surge in “menopausal beauty”. Actress Julianne Moore complained recently about the term “ageing gracefully” as sexist, saying it is never applied to men.
Anyway, the fact is that in and around the menopause, your skin needs a bit of extra support. Your skin can feel depleted and start to lack firmness and brightness.
“Broadly speaking, the effect of the perimenopause and menopause on skin is drier, more sensitive skin,” says cosmetic doctor Katharine Mulrooney. “So you need to change your regime to be more about comfort. Consider a gentler cleanser, to clean and exfoliate your skin effectively every day, and focus on nourishing skin and protecting it from further photo-ageing. A minority find they get breakouts but this condition tends to be transient. This time of life can be a double-whammy when it comes to your skin: hormonal imbalances and a decline in oestrogen means that changes are being compounded – as you’re also seeing a manifestation of photo-ageing, most commonly lines and wrinkles.”
Dr Mulrooney’s advice is that there’s plenty you can do in general, from a good skincare regime to considering diet and stress levels. “While five years ago we’d brush over this subject, this is something that should be talked about. Embrace it. In eastern countries it’s a positive thing, your second spring – a chance to take stock of your skin health as well as your bone, heart, mental and sexual health, as the menopause can have an impact on all of these.”
1 A good facial is an ideal way to assess what your skin needs now and to kick-start a suitable skincare regime. I recommend the Biologique Recherche facial at the Institute of Dermatologists. Megan Byrne is national trainer for the renowned French brand, and this is an exceptional personalised facial; start with an analysis by the Skin Instant Lab. And I realised that it’s the perfect menopause facial – though you lie on a comfortably warm bed, the BR ethos is all about coolness, so you won’t get boiling hot cloths on your skin, but cool hands and cool water. All the products are unfragranced so you won’t be breathing in lavender and lemongrass either – this takes a bit of getting used to, but when you see how good and glowing your skin looks, you easily get used to it.
Byrne has the most gentle expert touch which, together with the cooling serums, masks and face-lifting massage, ensures you drift off to another plane. This facial not only works to naturally lift and plump your skin – no needles required – but also to deeply rest and relax your mind and body. It’s a cool alternative to more intrusive facial treatments, and the epitome of “pro-ageing”. If I could go every month I certainly would, and there are few skincare ranges I trust more. If you want to give someone a voucher, this is the crème de la crème. Try also the Biologique Recherche Triple Shield sun protection range. Institute of Dermatologists, 10 Pembroke Place, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4; www.instituteofdermatologists.ie.
2 Dedicated advice can be helpful, at a time when you want to feel listened to. Menopause Health is a new GP-led clinic, based in Dalkey, Dublin, to support women at peri- and menopause stage, with both in-person and virtual consultations available. Dr Caoimhe Hartley GP is accredited by both the British and North American Menopause Societies. Find more infomation at www.menopausehealth.ie.
3 A good lightweight sunscreen is the basis of skincare at every age. It’s never too late – even if you have existing sun damage from when you lay out for hours in the 1980s. At this stage, you need one that’s suitable for drier, more sensitive skin that won’t aggravate or clog the skin. Vichy UV-Age Daily SPF50+ contains several ingredients to nourish and protect the skin and it’s a very light fluid texture that’s very easy to wear. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I think it’s genuinely impressive to have this level of protection that’s entirely invisible on the skin. €22 at pharmacies.
4 Clarins Nutri-Lumière range is a highly researched and tested regime designed specially for women aged 60 and over. It’s a great option if your skin feels dull and lacking brightness – organic plant extracts help to support nutrient-depleted skin while luxurious textures are a pleasure to use. Try the Nutri-Lumière Renewing Treatment Essence (€65, www.clarins.ie) to prep skin and give it an inner radiance.
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