8 Top Tips to Manage Menopause
Irish women across the country generally feel that they are unsupported when going through the menopause.
While some women can sail through with the odd hot flush, others can struggle with persistent symptoms, from weight gain to difficulty sleeping and from memory problems to fluctuating emotions.
Good skincare solutions and diet and exercise can help to smooth the transition and Vichy, the experts in menopausal skincare, have set up a Menopause ‘Taskforce’, with Irish experts offering information and support. They have launched a pioneering new skincare range – Neovadiol Compensating Complex, designed specifically for women at this stage of life.
So what are the top tips to manage menopause? Experts Dr Katherine Mulrooney, Doctor of Dermatology; Sarah Keogh, Dietician; Laura Murphy, Vichy Training Manager and Zoë Clarke, Vichy Make-Up artist share their advice:
1. Go Bespoke with Skincare
For 2 out of 5 women (41%) surveyed, it took a few months before they realised that the symptoms they were experiencing were in fact the menopause, while only 1 in 10 (14%) found out they were in menopause from their healthcare professional. “Menopause is a normal part of ageing for every woman, affecting every organ in the body, most notably the skin”, explains Dr. Katherine Mulrooney, who suggests availing of the science around skincare and going bespoke with a specially designed range of products. “Dull, lacklustre skin and sagging can be upsetting for women. It’s important to use clinically proven products, such as the Neovadiol Compensating Complex range, specifically formulated by Vichy for menopausal skin. This can help skin tone to look more even, giving a more youthful look.”
2. Focus on Friends
The menopause can be a time for women to really focus on support from friends. Half of women (48%) said that their friends were the most understanding when they are going through the menopause. 1 in 5 women (19%) confessed that the menopause had had a negative effect on relationships (85%) – most commonly with their partner. “Learn to manage your stress and take enough ‘me time’ regularly to re-balance and de-stress”, advises Dr. Mulrooney.
3. Invest in Yourself
Weight gain topped the list of physical changes brought on by menopause (52%), followed by loss of sex drive (33%) and the quality of skin (30%). This is a time of life where investing in yourself will pay obvious dividends. Regular exercise is important at this stage and it’s advised to avoid snacking on sugary foods, as all too often a sharp rise in blood glucose can be followed by a sharp dip. Choosing fresh fruit with a few nuts is a good alternative. Watching the amount of fat in the diet, cutting out sugar and eating complex carbohydrates, in addition to the important 5-a-day, will help maintain a healthy weight.
4. Vitamins are Vital
Sarah Keogh, Irish Dietician for Vichy, points out that while using the right skincare products can make all the difference, underpinning that with some great nutrition will give skin a much-needed extra boost. “Vitamin A is a key skin nutrient for helping to hold moisture, Vitamin C helps to make collagen and Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant. Adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet will boost Vitamin C and give you a healthy dose of Vitamin A. Seeds are rich in healthy fats and are packed with zinc, iron and vitamin E, all needed for healthy skin. Try adding seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and chia to cereals, salads and yoghurt.”
5. Hydration for Health
Hydration is another key to a happier menopause and it is advisable to keep drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day. According to the women surveyed, hot flushes topped the list of uncomfortable symptoms (61%), followed by night sweats (53%) and sleep problems (48%). “Avoid stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and chocolate and spicy foods, especially at night – they’re notorious for setting off hot flushes”, says Sarah Keogh.
6. Don’t Skimp on Skin Prep
Zoë Clarke is one of Ireland’s leading make-up artists and is also a make-up artist for Vichy. “When it comes to menopausal skin there are certain changes I recommend around skin preparation and make-up routine. I recommend a regular exfoliation every few days. Moisturise, moisturise! Vichy’s Neovadiol Compensative Complex range of skincare, which is paraben-free and hypoallergenic is perfect because is comprises a day care, night care and serum. Also, another secret to flawless make-up is using a primer.”
7. Find Your Foundation
“Hitting the menpause is a good time to switch from a heavy foundation to a sheer one”, suggests make-up artist Zoë Clarke. “Skip the heavy, matte finishes and powders, which tend to sink into fine lines leaving your skin looking dull and flat. The perfect foundation will blend seamlessly into your skin. If you choose the incorrect colour, your foundation will always look unnatural. Sweep on a bronzing powder after you apply foundation for a healthy glow”.
8. Don’t Forget your Eyes!
“Make your eyes the centre of attention. No matter what you’re wearing, people will always look into your eyes”, says Zoë Clarke. “Apply moisturing eye drops at least 10 minutes before starting your make-up if you sometimes experience dry eyes. Enhance your eye colour with eyeshadow shades that will make your eyes pop! I recommend matte eye shadows, which will not accentuate fine lines, although a little pop of shimmer in the centre of the lid can add glamour. Curling lashes makes eyes look more open and awake. Think about whether or not to apply mascara to the bottom lashes – often it can look better without. Also, I suggest keeping eyeliner to the upper lid only”
According to research* the average age for menopause in Ireland is 53, but for one-third of women going through the menopause it started as early as 45.
No matter when you experience it, taking a holistic approach to your wellbeing and learning about your unique skincare needs means that you’ll have the time for the ‘me’ in menopause!
* The ‘No Pause in Menopause” (Empathy Research, 500 women 45+ Dec ’15) was commissioned by Vichy to mark the launch of the Neovadiol Compensating Complex range of menopausal skincare products available nationwide from Irish pharmacie