Menopause. Sigh. No matter how you try to dress it up it, menopause is a word that’s possibly one of the most despised in the English language. Nevertheless, the condition is as inevitable to women in middle age as New Year’s resolutions, writes Melanie Morris, who has the beauty toolkit to see you through it.
Active skincare products are obviously essential to bolster diminishing collagen levels, cellular activity, and erratic hormones and to restore suppleness, moisture and glow to the face. SkinCeuticals, Lancôme, Vichy and Clarins have excellent formulas from which to create an effective skincare regime, while CeraVe and Kiehl’s body products are beautifully repairing and nourishing. Equally, there’s a welcome place for a more natural, organic approach, and for those who prefer to go the bioactive route, brands including Nunaïa, Voya, Seavite and Codex Beauty have glorious products harvested from nature and packed with natural vitamins, peptides and lipids.
While much has been written about the benefits of CBD oils and balms as a skincare ingredient, those who find themselves ricocheting around the menopause will appreciate the more emotionally-balancing effects. Often when hunting for a solution, we overlook the obvious. When it comes to menopause and perimenopause, one of the most effective weapons to looking and feeling better is fibre and (whispers) a good poo. It rids the body of used hormones and other toxic waste which, when retained by the body, lowers mood and energy levels.
Ditto hydration. Downing those essential two litres of water a day lessens the impact of tension, headaches, brain fog and frustration, especially when sleep quality and patterns are disturbed. A mid-afternoon spritz with aromatherapy-boosted, hyaluronic-infused mineral water will not just raise the skin’s moisture levels, but will also boost concentration and raise flagging spirits.
While most women in their forties and fifties might eye-roll at the thought of time for self-care, it’s essential, even if that means simply locking yourself in the bathroom for ten minutes to discombobulate. Book in for restorative treatments – massage, reflexology, acupuncture and schedule parasympathetic Pilates or yoga to keep muscles engaged while the mind powers down.
In menopause, good sleep is the elusive holy grail. Set yourself up for success by making bedtime a peaceful ritual with a relaxing app like Calm or Headspace, some lavender pillow spray like the ones from Neom Organics or This Works, and make your bed your nest. Blackout blinds, phones off the nightstand and fresh air are all excellent ideas too.
The products to know
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Anti-Ageing Lipid Replenishment Cream, €150
The perfect blend of ceramides, (good) cholesterol and fatty acids to feed, firm and fortify ageing skin.
Scent-free, ultra-nourishing and long-lasting – a cult classic that now comes in a refill pouch.
Nunaïa Nourishing Radiance Serum, €79
An evening face oil that delivers potent natural ingredients sourced from the Amazon rainforest; beautifully aromatherapeutic, it comes with a wind-down evening ritual.
Ground Codladh Sleep Essential Oil Blend, €22
A glorious night-time blend of natural scents to calm body and mind before bed.
Emma Hardie Plump & Glow Hydrating Mist, €50
Diminish the dreaded “four-o’clock-face” with a spritz or two of this hyaluronic-infused face spray. Instantly re-energises.
Charlotte Tilbury Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial, €65
Slather on this rich dose of skin-fixing acids (glycolic, salicylic, and hydrating polyglutamic) for 20 minutes to refine and replenish lacklustre skin, adding bounce, glow and a more even tone. My favourite mask of the moment.
Treatment on trial
The Balancing Ritual at Hayfield Manor Hotel’s Beautique Spa has been created by experienced therapist Rachel O’Malley and spa consultant Peigín Crowley, using Peigín’s newly-launched Ground wellbeing products. Designed with women in mind, this multi-stage journey to wellbeing incorporates breathwork, cold stone massage therapy, gua sha, reflexology and lymphatic drainage into a 60- or 90-minute ritual to get bodies and minds re-energised and realigned. The Ground products involved smell divine, delivering a gentle but powerful hit of restorative botanicals. Priced at €120 for 60 minutes; €165 for 90 minutes.
This article originally appeared in the autumn issue of IMAGE Magazine.
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