Menopause and The Skin – Part 2 – The Solution

There have always been limited ways in which women who are going through the menopause or experiencing these changes to their skin can access information and treatments available to target this concern.  An with so many clinical treatments such as HRT having undesirable side effects it can sometimes feel like we just have to get on with it and put up with the symptoms.

When it comes to the skin we need a solution where we can benefit from activating the oestrogen receptors in the skin without affecting the oestrogen receptors elsewhere in the body potentially resulting in effects that may be associated with some risks.

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Menopause and the Skin – Part 1

With Oestrogen involved in over 400 functions within the body, no wonder when we reach the menopause and the oestrogen levels decline, do we see so many different symptoms, feelings and changes to our bodies and wellbeing.

When we think about the menopause, we think of the classic symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings, but we don’t always realise the significant impact it can have on our skin.

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Pollution and our Skin

Research has shown that air pollution is now a major cause of premature ageing and poor skin health, as it has a major impact on the skins barrier, integrity of the skin, pigmentation and wrinkles. 

Each day up to 7 million toxins accumulate on our skin. These are then absorbed through our pores and hair follicles resulting in inflammation and then the formation of free radicals in the deeper layers of our skin. A high level of free radical activity within our skin cells can then result in further inflammation, hyper-pigmentation, premature ageing and a worsening of any pre-existing conditions such as acne or eczema for example. 

After sun damage pollution is the main factor to cause skin disorders and premature ageing. 

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What Does a Compromised Barrier Look Like?

When we have a compromised barrier function our skin becomes more vulnerable to external attack from things such as pollution, pathogens, microorganisms, the weather etc. It also loses the ability to hold onto the natural hydration in the skin. This hydration is vital to keeping our skin healthy, inflammation down, and its ability to fight attacks from those external forces. Our overall cellular functioning throughout the skin also requires moisture, and I always find a more hydrated skin is more tolerant to most things especially active skincare.

So what are the symptoms of a compromised barrier function? I have listed these below, this list is by no means exhaustive but these are the most common signs.

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The Barrier Function- Our Very Own Coat of Armour

My focus this month is on skin health and keeping the skin youthful. I wouldn’t be the professional that I am if I don’t start this off with the Natural Barrier Function. Yes, I hear you…” here she goes again” but there’s a very good reason I talk non-stop about this incredible function of the skin.

So let me start by asking you, why when you jump into a swimming pool does your body not flood with water???

Well, that would be because of the amazing ability of our skin to protect our entire body, our vital organs, bones, muscles, everything inside! Waterproofing is just one of the many, many functions our skin is designed to do. Pretty impressive for something that is just 0.5-1.5mm thick!!

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Are those black dots on your nose really blackheads???

Are those black dots on your nose really blackheads???

The quick answer is probably not.

A couple of nights ago I posted a photo on my Instagram of a client’s sebaceous filaments on her nose before and after extractions and asked whether people knew that these weren’t blackheads. I got an astounding response asking to know why they weren’t blackheads. This is a familiar confusion I get on a regular basis with clients wanting to “get rid of the blackheads” on their nose.

So let me tell you a little something about those ‘blackheads’ on your nose…they are not blackheads, they are in fact sebaceous filaments.

And here’s the difference:

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Autumn Skincare Tips

As the weather is starting to change and the leaves falling from the trees, are you noticing changes within your skin too???

The temperature outside is becoming colder and our central heating is being switched on, this can have a big impact on our skin. The low humidity levels within our houses, the cooler temperatures outside and winds can really reduce our skins ability to hold on to the water levels within the skin. 

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Are you suffering from ‘Maskne’?

So over the past couple of months under lockdown, I have had a few people get in touch that are working either on the front line or in a place of work where they need to wear a face mask. The issue a lot of these people are getting is their skin is breaking out. Even if they aren’t prone to spots, some have never had a spot in their life but the constant wearing of these face masks are causing them to get consistent breakouts.

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Treating Dehydration

In my previous post, I discussed that the most common reason for dehydration was a compromised barrier function. So initially this is what we want to focus on and restore. Once the barrier has been restored the skin will be able to hold the moisture within the skin and prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

Most people will go straight to products containing Hyaluronic acid to solve dehydration but this alone will not be enough.

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Are you Dehydrated?

Dehydration is one of the most common conditions I see in my clinic. I would say 95% of new clients that come in to see me display varying degrees of dehydrated skin.

This condition can sometimes be confused with dry skin, but it is very different.

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