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Ayurvedic Skincare For Menopause: A Complete Guide for Better Skin health in the 40s & Beyond

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medically reviewed by Dr Godmi Tresa

Dr Chaithra SM

Updated on October 24, 2023

"Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty."    
- Coco Chanel.

Menopause is a period of change in a woman's life cycle as she gradually transitions through yet another phase of womanhood. Though the definition of menopause mentions only the stoppage of the menstrual cycle and the end of the fertile period in a woman's life, it is accompanied by several bodily and mental changes.

Among these, most age-related changes are remarkably reflected in the skin, especially when fine lines and wrinkles start appearing. For this very reason, skin health is a significant concern for women in the menopausal phase. 

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What Happens to your Skin during Menopause?

Skin is like a large duvet that covers your body, and menopause can cause skin changes. Collagen, a protein that provides skin with elasticity and firmness, starts to decline, followed by various visible changes like wrinkling, skin sagging, the appearance of spots etc.

Oestrogen plays a crucial role in collagen production and maintaining skin thickness and moisture content. After menopause, oestrogen will be like a long-lost friend! Because, following menopause, there will be a marked reduction in oestrogen production in the body.

As a result of this decline occurring during menopause, skin health is impaired. Your skin tends to lose its elasticity, shine, and moisture content.

Post-menopausal skin loses its natural capacity to balance moisture and quickly goes dry, making it more prone to bruising and tearing. This can lead to dullness, pimples, and discolouration.

Common Skin Conditions during Menopause

1. Dry Skin and Wrinkles - Due to reduced oestrogen levels, collagen production and moisture content are lowered. This results in wrinkle-prone and dry skin in menopause. You may start seeing purse string wrinkles around the mouth and crow feet wrinkles around the eyes.

2. Enlarged Pores - Due to reduced elasticity, skin pores appear larger after menopause.

3. Brown spots/age spots - Often referred to as melasma, occurs in menopause, and is a product of the combined effect of hormonal changes and sun exposure. It is mainly seen as spots on the face - over the cheeks, upper lip, and forehead.
 
4. Acne rosacea - They are acne-like breakouts characterised by pus-filled red bumps and visible small blood vessels. The hot flashes in menopause often trigger acne rosacea.
 
5. Hirsutism - This is a condition characterised by excessive hair growth. The hormonal changes associated with menopause may trigger the same in some.
 
6. Acanthosis nigricans - Menopause skin discolouration is seen as dark-brown hyperpigmentation accompanied by the local thickening of the skin, giving it a velvety texture. The distribution of the discoloured patches is usually symmetrical and mainly seen in areas of the body with skin folds like the neck, underarms, forehead, back of the knee, groin, and umbilicus. 

‘I am turning 52 next month. My skin feels so thin and dry. My scalp feels different. My nails seem hard and brittle. I started feeling these overnight.’ - A Nirva Client

Why you should opt for Ayurvedic Skincare during Menopause

Let us give you the Ayurvedic Perspective.

Ayurveda addresses the states of health and disease with the bioenergy concept. There are three bioenergies in the body, the invisible entities that regulate the health and wellness of a person. They are named VataPitta, and Kapha, and have specific functions in the body. They also govern skin health.

Ayurveda considers skin health to be dependent upon multiple factors; for example, the moisture balance is done by Kapha bioenergy, effective functioning of the bodily systems and coordination of hormonal activities is managed by the bioenergy Pitta, and proper circulation of blood and nutrients to all the layers of the skin is ensured by the bioenergy Vata

So, Ayurveda intends to bring a balance between all these. Being a holistic practice, more emphasis is laid on a proper diet and active lifestyle rather than just prescribing cosmetic products for skin care.

Advantages of Ayurveda Skin Care:

  • Chemical free
  • Natural 
  • Ensures system correction 
  • Address the root cause
  • Rejuvenates the skin
  • Easy on the skin

Skincare for Post-Menopausal Skin through Ayurveda

Post-menopausal skin care through Ayurveda can be done to for

  • Maintaining skin health and delaying ageing
  • Management of perimenopausal dermatological issues

For these, knowing your skin type is essential. 

Do you know your skin is unique? 

If you have dry, crack-prone skin, it could be Vata prominent.
If your skin is reddish with acne, Pitta is said to be elevated. 
If your skin is oily and itchy, Kapha could be the culprit. 

With a better diet, skin-friendly routines, yoga, and Ayurvedic face washes and oils, you can have healthy skin, even in your 40s.

To maintain skin health and manage ageing:

Ageing can never be stopped or reversed but can be delayed once proper care is taken. You can adopt several measures to manage the effects of menopause on the skin.

A Balanced Ayurvedic Diet:

A Balanced Ayurvedic Diet.png

The ayurvedic diet focuses on the intake of a balanced proportion of carbs from rice, wheat or quinoa, proteins from vegetarian or animal sources and fats from oils and ghee. But what makes an Ayurvedic diet different is 

  1. Timing of your meal
  2. Season-based foods
  3. Type of food based on your body type
  4. Cooking methods

The three bio-energies: VataPitta and Kapha, regulate the human body functions. As the day changes to night, the activity of bio energies also fluctuates. 

At night when Kapha dosha becomes more active, it is better to avoid dairy products, milk-based meals and heavy meals. The effect of proper nutrition reflects on your skin.

When your skin gets chapped, split and dry in the winter, applying thick moisturisers will only help temporarily. But your skin needs nourishment from the inside. Include healthy fats like olive oil, ghee and eggs in your diet. Adding a dash of ghee to your breakfast porridge and soups are a great way to start!

Make sure to eat the foods that suit your body type. For example, if you have a Kapha-Pitta body type with oily to combination skin type, use less oil in food, minimise spices, etc.

Specific dietary changes can help in improving your skin health and arrest age-related changes, such as

1. Antioxidants like turmeric, gooseberry, prunes, avocados, pinto beans, strawberries, artichokes, sweet cherries, apples, blueberries, and green tea

2. Sesame seeds are a good source of antioxidants. Though its hypoestrogenic effect is not yet scientifically proven, it controls menopause-related body changes in women.

3. Fatty fishes like Sardine, Anchovy, etc., are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which act as skin barriers and help prevent skin inflammation. Fatty fish is also rich in Vit E, an excellent antioxidant that promotes skin health.

4. Nuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and help bring a glow to your skin. Almonds, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts are the best sources of Vit E.

5. Fruits are your skin's best friends. Fruits with lots of water can keep your skin hydrated and supple. Including plenty of fresh fruits can help prevent skin dryness. A few fruits that can be chosen are:

  • Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, watermelon, pomegranate, etc., are rich in Vit C, which has a close relationship with your skin health and its functions. Studies have proven the positive effect of Vit C on retarding age-related changes in the skin.
  • Papaya contains the enzyme Papain, which can promote collagen production, maintain elasticity, and reduce wrinkling.
  • Apples are rich in Vit C and B complex and promote overall skin health.
  • Tomato contains the antioxidant lycopene can help fight skin issues and restore its natural glow.

6. Vegetables 

  • Green leafy vegetables are loaded with multivitamins, iron, and antioxidants and must be included mandatorily in your diet to help your skin maintain health.
  • Carrot is a good source of Vit A, beta carotene, and antioxidants and can help your skin glow and maintain its youthfulness. Include a carrot smoothie or carrot ginger soup to experience the changes in your skin.
  • Coloured vegetables like beetroots and tomatoes are also good for your skin. Research shows that colourful vegetables have a better antioxidant capacity and can contribute to overall health. So, make sure to include the reds, yellows and violets in your daily cooking!
    Now you know all that you need to add to your shopping list!

Hydration

Skin health is directly related to the amount of water you drink. Drinking adequate water is an excellent method to flush out all the toxins and maintain your skin's glow. 

Ensure adequate liquid intake through water or unsweetened juices. But it is always better to cut off beverages like tea and coffee as they tend to dehydrate your skin and make it baggy. Lower the artificial sugar intake and add natural sweeteners to the grocery list next time.

Oh, and don't forget to fill up your water bottle and remember to drink it too! Set a timer if you need to be reminded periodically. This is definitely worth it. 

Face Massage with Medicated Oils

Who doesn't love a leisurely massage? Massaging helps improve blood circulation and retard age-related changes like wrinkling. Massages, especially with medicated oils, can improve circulation, remove dead cells, and provide deep hydration. 

Ayurveda recommends using medicated oils like Nalpamaradi tailaEladi keraKunkumadi taila, etc., which, when used ideally, can moisturise and improve the skin's texture (it's always better to seek expert advice before you grab one for yourselves)

It is better to have a plain massage for oily skin than with oils.

Seek your partner's help and bond over a good massage. Both you and your skin will be happy!

Ayurvedic Face Packs

face pack.png

An Ayurvedic Face pack is the greatest gift you can give your skin. Face packs are highly beneficial to moisturise and rehydrate the skin. They help remove impurities, reduce pore size, and retard age-related changes.

There is a wide range of choices for face packs in Ayurveda. Few are as follows:

  • Triphala powder with buttermilk/ milk/ honey/ water for cleansing and reducing discolouration.
  • Eladi powder with buttermilk/ milk/ water/ coconut milk relieves discolouration mainly due to the ultraviolet rays.
  • Haridra/ Turmeric powder with milk/water/ honey/aloe vera gel to hydrate the skin and make it supple. It will also erase the signs of ageing.

Each skin is unique and needs customised care. The medicine and the medium of application are to be chosen ideally according to a qualified Ayurveda doctor's opinion.

Ayurveda Face Washes

How about a splash of Ayurvedic goodness on your face? Yes, we're talking about face washes! Ayurvedic decoctions can be your pal here.

Decoctions can be prepared using drugs like:

  • Nalpamara (the powdered skin of 4 Ficus tree species)
  • Triphala (powdered gooseberry, beleric, and Chebulic myrobalans)
  • Tulsi/ Holy basil
  • Neem 
  • Turmeric

Ayurveda Supplements for Healthy Skin

  • Gooseberry is considered the best rejuvenating drug and has proven effective in controlling age-related changes. It may be consumed as such or as juice every day.
  • Basil plant is a good antioxidant and can be used for boiling drinking water.
  • Turmeric can be added to the diet.
  • Indian winter cherry/ Indian ginseng- An excellent rejuvenating and antioxidant drug that fights against wrinkles, blemishes, dark spots, and other age-related changes in the skin. It also helps in maintaining the hydration of the skin.

Some Do's and Don'ts when it comes to Proper Skincare.

1. Cut down on oily fried foods 

2. Say no to processed and packaged foods - crisps, nachos, salted snacks etc

3. Lesser the sugar, salt and spice, the clearer the skin

4. Hydrate yourself. A study conducted in 2015 says that an increase in daily water intake directly affected skin health. Keep filling your bottles with water and sip on them to get that radiant skin you always wanted!

5. Get your fair share of beauty sleep. Ayurveda considers sleep as one of the most important pillars that sustain life. Maintaining a good quality of sleep is critical to skin health.

6. Quit smoking and alcohol. These habits can damage you on the outside and inside. Occasionally treating yourself with a glass of fine wine is chic. Raise a toast to better skin health.

7. Too many chemicals from your cosmetics, hair colour and pollutants from outside can damage your skin. Make sure to use fragrance-free, colour-free products on your skin and hair. Ayurveda recommends using turmeric, sandalwood, Indian madder, aloe vera and Triphala for skin care.

Yoga

Yoga.png

Yoga needs no introduction in today's world. It is a highly appreciated method for maintaining overall health and energy. The stretching postures can widen the blood vessels and increase blood circulation, which in turn helps regain cell health and the skin's glow. Also, yoga reduces the chance of mental stress, anxiety, and depression which are all directly related to skin ageing.

Few Yoga postures that promote skin health:

The breathing exercises are best known for relieving anxiety and mental distress. This can benefit the skin to a large extent by promoting the radiance and glow of the skin. 

When to seek Professional Help?

It's possible to provide great care for the skin to maintain health and prevent age-related changes by following the abovementioned regimes and supplements. But in the case of pathological skin conditions like Acne rosacea (pimples) or Acanthosis nigricans (discolouration), it's always better to seek professional advice and treatment than attempt self-treatment.

Conclusion

Menopause is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that needs to be cherished. Skin, as the most important sensory organ, could be the target of the hormonal changes associated with menopause, such as wrinkles, pigmentation, warts, dryness, and moles. 

Fret not! 

Proper Ayurvedic care can go a long way in pampering your skin in your 40s. This ancient science of life offers so much to preserve the youth of your beauty. Glowing skin comes from within. So don't let your menopause rage take over your skin.

Say hello to graceful ageing now!
 

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