Menopause is a natural part of any woman’s anatomy. At some point in your life, you are going to stop getting your period, and a slew of bodily changes will come your way…and one particularly unexpected occurrence of menopause is it’s effect on body odor.
So, in today’s decoded, we have co-founder and CEO of Phase Skin, Kristin Kurian, who is going to be joining us as a guest blogger to shed some light on some natural changes that occur during menopause, what you can expect, and what you can do to get it under control.
Kristin holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology , a Masters of Health Science in Community health, a diploma in Medical Laboratory Science, and numerous certificates in patient safety and risk management. Prior to starting Phase Skin by SkyyOrganix, Kristin worked in Healthcare for more than 25 years in both the public and private sectors working her way from subject matter expert to senior executive positions in the medical laboratory and medical information technology. Given her wealth of experience, Kristin now heads up research and development at Phase Skin, focusing on ingredients, formulations, hormones and female biochemistry.
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE APPROACHING MENOPAUSE
Menopause is not a sudden occurrence. There are normally signs that appear long before your period actually stops, that if identified can help you better prepare for menopause.
The first and most obvious sign is that your menstrual cycle will typically become slightly longer and irregular. This transition is known as pre-menopause, and can actually last anywhere between 3 years to 10 years! Then as your transition progresses, you begin to miss a few cycles, until your period – and ovulation – ultimately stops.
My experience with menopause was a little different, however. If you didn’t know this, many women actually experience menopause as a result of surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
MENOPAUSE AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
There are many uncomfortable side effects of menopause, including changes in your skin, mood, and even sleep patterns. In fact, one thing Mary Futher – founder of kaia naturals – always advises for women who are undergoing menopause is to practise certain sleeping rituals to help with insomnia that may occur as a result of menopause. For example, taking a hot bath with sleep-inducing bath salts and herbs, and drinking certain herbal teas, can help regulate sleep for women undergoing menopause. The sleep detox kit in particular can be perfect for this.
WHAT ABOUT THE STINK?
Increased body odour is a BIG problem that many women face during menopause, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all go through it.
One factor behind increased body odour is the change in your body temperature. When you’re going through menopause, your body temperature is constantly up and down, causing excess sweat throughout the day, as well as night sweats. Now as we all know, sweat does NOT cause odour. However, sweat + bacteria does….
Your skin is home to millions and millions of bacteria, fungi and viruses. It’s like an ecosystem that’s on the skin working to keep it healthy, and in good condition. So when we sweat, the bacteria on our skin multiplies, and it breaks sweat down into acids. These acids are what you are smelling when you sweat, and they are to blame for the unpleasant odour.
HOW CAN I MANAGE BODY ODOUR?
Since most of your body odor is related to sweat, the best thing you can do is to try to cool down. Choose clothes with natural and breathable fabrics such as silk, linen, and cotton. It will help regulate your body temperature and sweat will not cling to your skin as much.
You should also try to look for an anti-bacterial soap, like the underarm bar, to get rid of surface bacteria and neutralize odour.
Reducing the amount of caffeine and wearing natural fibers like cotton, wool and silk can decrease the amount of sweat and help your armpits to breathe.
WHAT ABOUT MY SKIN?
When hormones start drying up, so does your skin. So if you’re experiencing extremely dry skin, it’s no surprise.
Decreasing estrogen levels cause collagen production to decline, and collagen is what gives your skin that moist, bouncy plump look. With lower levels of collagen, you start to see more fine lines and wrinkles on your face and loose dry skin on your body. Testosterone is another hormone that can cause unwanted symptoms during menopause such as acne and facial hair. Testosterone can have you feeling like you are in middle school again with acne flare ups in your 40’s even if you never had acne before.
To help with this, look for an anti-aging cream or antioxidant that you can use daily that is a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This will help reduce signs of aging, lines, and wrinkles.
Another powerful ingredient is ceramides and retinoids. Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and they slow down ageing by stimulating collagen growth to repair the epidermis.
Acne is another bothersome skin symptom in menopause that is seen on the lower section of the face as opposed to the adolescent T-zone. Using a gentle cream cleanser that is pH balanced for skin, pH 4-5.5, and applying serums with niacinamide, turmeric and tea tree oil can help to clear up, brighten and keep acne in check. For severe acne talk to your doctor about oral antibiotics, hormone therapy or low dose oral contraceptives.
PhaseSkin’s menopause serum has Co-enzyme Q10, Evening Primrose Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (the strongest Vitamin C available today), Turmeric and cold pressed Hemp Seed Oil. Together these ingredients help to scavenge those free radicals, moisturize and promote collagen production, while leaving your skin soft and supple. Find it and other hormone synch’s skincare products at myphaseskin.com