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Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Menopause is not easy. I know that there are some women who have absolutely no problems with it. They sail through the change with ease and talk about how excited they are to be rid of their monthly cycle.

I have not shared their experience. The decrease in hormones has left my body and emotions in a world of hurt. I feel like an emotional basket case. My poor husband is taking the brunt of all of my mood swings. I keep waking up dripping in sweat and do not get me started on the hot flashes.

Luckily, before I started going through menopause myself, I did lots of research and was mentally prepared for most of the symptoms. Well, almost all of the symptoms. I was not at all expecting that my skin would also go through some changes.

My skin is sagging and my wrinkles are getting deeper by the minute. My complexion is also quite oily. I do count myself quite lucky that I didn’t begin to develop facial hair, which is a possible side effect of dropping hormone levels.

During menopause, your body slowly begins to decrease production of two very important hormones, oestregen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for regulating a wide range of functions that play a critical role in maintaining your skin’s youthful appearance.

Oestregen is partially responsible for the production of collagen and elastin. These proteins are our bodies’ natural defense system against premature ageing. Without collagen and elastin our skin is particularly susceptible to sun damage. This can also lead to age spots or hyperpigmentation.

Oestregen also stimulates fat deposits around the female body. When oestregen levels drop, fat deposits are redistributed around the body. This shuffling around can lead to sagging skin in the face and neck.

Luckily, I have found a few tricks to help my skin survive the change. I know that I am getting older, but I don’t want my face to telegraph it to the world.

Firstly, I wear a zinc based sunscreen every day, even if I am not going to spend much time outside. Protection from the sun is ESSENTIAL with menopausal skin.

To help supplement my dwindling stash of collagen and elastin, I have introduced a retinol and peptide serum into my daily skin care regime. The retinol has increased the thickness of my skin and been shown to increase collagen stimulation. The peptides I use to reduce wrinkles. My main message, don’t waste money on fancy moisturisers, get active skin care that can create cellular change and protect your skin from menopause.

With a little patience, knowledge and the right skin care, I know that I will make it through menopause looking and feeling fabulous.

Carol (Mike Clague’s Mum)