The skinny on age­ing com­plex­ions

You don’t need a whole new prod­uct cat­e­gory to treat older com­plex­ions, says beauty ed­i­tor Tracey Strange. Good skin­care needs to start early

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

So many fac­tors can af­fect your skin. It can be knocked around by cold and heat, fall prey to un­ex­plained acne, suf­fer from stress and lose its lus­tre be­cause of ill­ness. It’s at the mercy of ge­net­ics, life­style choices and os­cil­lat­ing hor­mones. And then there’s menopause. Menopause isn’t great news for the skin. Ex­pect your com­plex­ion to be­come thin­ner and less elas­tic (more sag­ging and wrin­kles), and any ex­ist­ing is­sues – such as rosacea or acne – can be made worse.

But be­fore you spend a for­tune on prod­ucts to com­bat the change, con­sider a slight change in at­ti­tude.

Women’s ex­pe­ri­ence of meno- pause varies greatly. Some sail through; oth­ers aren’t so lucky. Oili­ness, dry­ness, dull­ness, itch­i­ness and pig­men­ta­tion are linked to menopause but they’re ex­pe­ri­enced by women of all ages too. Beauty-counter so­lu­tions are the same whether you’re menopausal or not. SKIN TYPE MAT­TERS The prod­ucts you need to get you through the change are those best suited to your skin type, not to menopause it­self. For ex­am­ple, menopause can cause the skin to feel parched but if yours was oily or ac­ne­prone, it’s likely to continue to be. The way to treat it is to keep us­ing prod­ucts de­signed for oily skin, ap­ply­ing ex­tra mois­turiser (light­weight liq­uids, gels and serums are best) to com­bat ad­di­tional dry­ness when needed. If your skin is nat­u­rally dry, you might want to up­grade to a slightly heav­ier mois­turiser to com­pen­sate for the ex­tra dry­ness. Dry skins of any age ben­e­fit from emol­lient lo­tions and creams. SLIP SLOP SLAP How menopause af­fects your skin is greatly in­flu­enced by how much sun dam­age you have ac­cu­mu­lated throughout the years. Tak­ing care of your skin when you are young (and al­ways wear­ing sun­screen) will pay huge div­i­dends in later years. SOY POWER There are many great prod­ucts con­tain­ing plant es­tro­gens (or phy­toe­stro­gens), such as soy, black co­hosh, yam ex­tract and evening primrose oil. But there’s no real ev­i­dence that phy­toe­stro­gens are es­pe­cially ben­e­fi­cial for menopausal skin. Soy, how­ever, is a po­tent an­tiox­i­dant and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory, and is good for your com­plex­ion. OUT DAMNED ITCH Es­tro­gen stim­u­lates the pro­duc­tion of skin-smooth­ing col­la­gen and oils. As its level di­min­ishes, itchy skin be­comes com­mon. There are many ways to treat this. Eat more fatty acids, avoid pip­ing- hot baths and show­ers be­cause they strip the skin of nat­u­ral oils, and mois­turise reg­u­larly.

Vase­line works well if the bud­get is se­ri­ously de­pleted. Re­lief for itchy scalps can be found in prod­ucts de­signed for dan­druff.

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