BY LISA WILLIAMS
You’d think only women above 50 would have to deal with aches and pains of menopause, but like with everything else with this generation, this statistic too seems to have changed. In a survey conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) last year, the age whereby a woman enters menopause appears to be dropping, with some women experiencing hot flashes in their late thirties! Hectic lifestyles, higher stress levels, changing food habits, according to experts, seem to be the main cause of this. If you’re experiencing hot flashes or night sweats, insomnia, weight gain, mood swings, brain fog (you know, when you stop mid sentence because you’ve lost your train of thought!) and/or dryness (of hair, skin as well as the vagina), you’re definitely on course to hit menopause (if you haven’t already).
Changing our skincare routine to suit seasonal changes is difficult, but changing it to suit hormonal ones? Even more so – particularly if you’re going through perimenopause or menopause.
“In our practice, we have helped women tackle skin changes from one decade of life to the next – all the way from the teens to the eighties, and while there are a couple of tipping points in your 30s and 40s, we observed the biggest changes during women’s menopause – usually in their 50s and 60s,” says Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic. “Skin regeneration and repair slow down significantly, while ageing processes are accelerated.”
In addition, skin becomes thinner because of decreases in oestrogen levels. “There is a significant loss of collagen in our skin at the time of menopause. Hyaluronic acid levels also drop (a very important humectant),” says Dr Low “As a result, skin loses its glow and elasticity.” We’re also more redness-prone too during these years. “The ceramides that act as cement in the skin barrier also reduce with time and skin becomes drier and therefore often more irritated.”
Best for: Sagging skin
Trinity Program is created specifically to meet the needs of 50+ women; this three-part program answers menopausal women’s call for firmer, more lifted skin without surgery. In later years, merely lifting skin without creating a healthier base is not ideal. Trinity Program addresses sagging skin with Ulthera, and creates a smoother and firmer dermal base with radiofrequency Thermage. It then conditions and tonws skin further with Sygma Lift, a HIFU based treatment that works synergistically with the other two anti-aging powerhouses.
Highlights: Trinity Facelift Program is one of the few no-downtime lifting treatments that is not only gentle on skin but shows visible results after one session.
Best for: Dull skin
One thing we know about menopausal skin is that it tends towards dullness faster than other types of skin. One reason for this is the loss of collagen support of the underlying skin which reduces the light reflective quality of the skin. Another contributing factor is the increase in skin dryness which plagues older women. Regular skin brightening fixes such as face peels can only do so much, often creating more harm than good on the already thinned out dermis. Pico Smooth is pico laser’s offering towards healthier, more reflective skin by stimulating collagen growth, refining pores and toning skin. Pico smooth uses the fractionated version of pico’s normal laser beam to effect microfocused areas of intense collagen remodeling which results in supple, brighter skin.
Highlights: Do not mistake this for the usual Pico Pigment laser whose claim to fame is its pigment erasing abilities. Pico Smooth’s main power is its ability to convert dull porous skin to a glassy like visage.
Best for: Acne skin
Menopausal-related breakouts are common and finding products to help tackle them without drying skin out can be particularly tricky. In fact, most OTC products when used on adult acne results in unwanted peeling and flaking which makes the appearance of the skin worse, not better. Enter harmony skin program, which features six sessions of vbeam perfecta with other pimple-thwarting complements to help reduce acne without drying out the skin. Using vbeam has the added advantage of rejuvenating unlerlying skin and avoiding the use of oral medications which most older women shun.
Highlights: Vbeam does double duty treating acne as well redness. As menopausal skin is prone to flashes and erythema, vbeam can improve the skin’s overall appearance safely and effectively.
Best for: Dry skin
Dry skin in menopausal women needs to be addressed holistically for long term results. Rose Gold Serum is a different moisturizer form the run of the mill humectants. This serum is reportedly so hydrating that a single application can leave skin supple and replenished for hours on end. It’s a strengthening moisturiser that leaves a radiant rosy tint to skin. Great as an overnight treatment as well as an intensive day topical, it can address dry skin conditions as well as protect skin from environmental aggressors.
Highlights: Rose Gold serum is so hydrating, it can also be used on the lips to address cracked lips conditions.
Best for: Signs of fatigue
Designed for use during and after menopause, skin that has lost its energy can feel weakened, sallow and temperamental. Recharge the energy in your skin cells with PDRN, a peptide that prevents DNA damage. This helps to protect the skin from damage and accelerated aging responses. PDRN is a cosmeceutical that has to be administered, either as tiny injections in the form of Rejuran or as a topical derma-fusion in PDRN Perfection.
Highlights: Women with poor skin healing may benefit from this skin regenerating treat.