FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS FOR U.S. ORDERS


"We don't call it aging. We call it living." - Kari Gran


What is menopause?

Some people think it’s a dirty word.  At Kari Gran, we hear you.  It’s not easy when the body you once knew begins to shift and change.  But let’s dig a little deeper and look at the what and why behind menopause.  Many women will lament “I’m going through Menopause,” as if it’s a long-drawn-out process. But what they’re probably bemoaning is perimenopause. Menopause itself is simply the one-day anniversary from your last recorded period. Perimenopause, on the other hand, is a process, it’s the time leading up to menopause and for some it can be really fast, and for others, up to 10 or more years. Most women start to notice changes in their skin, hair and nails starting in their mid-late 30’s even though the average age of menopause is 51. After menopause, you’re considered post-menopausal and that comes with its own skin challenges.  


How does menopause affect your skin?

It’s no secret that as we age our bodies change and so does our skin, and not always for the better.  Before, during and after menopause our hormones fluctuate which can make finding ways to hydrate and moisturize challenging. Tried-and-true skincare routines that worked in your 30s and early 40s may no longer get the glowing results they once achieved leaving your skin dry, flaky, and lackluster. Some women even complain of acne and excess facial hair. Many of our customers find themselves at a loss when these changes happen, here’s a little bit of information that should help explain why your skin changes and how to best care for it.


Why does our skin change as we age?

In short—Estrogen depletion and collagen reduction. As we age our estrogen production slows and we begin to produce less collagen and natural sebum (oil) which decreases skin firmness and elasticity and can cause it to thin, sag, and become dry. Estrogen stimulates the formation of skin-smoothing collagen and oils. Collagen is a fibrous protein that gives the skin its elasticity, plumpness, and strength while natural oils give it its moisture and glow. The skin change is gradual during perimenopause and is most noticeable post menopause when the estrogen levels are low.


How do you go about replenishing the loss of collagen and oils with skincare?

Start with the basics: HMP—hydration + moisturization + protection.

First off, don’t fret it may give you frown lines. Your best three friends for menopausal skin are HYDRATION, (which means getting proper hydration into the skin), MOISTURIZATION, (maintaining a healthy barrier with emollients that keep the water in) and PROTECTION, keeping your skin protected from the sun. We know you’ve heard it before, but UV damage does a number on your skin and the effects are cumulative. Remember this hint, if it’s light enough to read a book, you need SPF.  Try the Kari Gran Skin Care System with SPF to get just what you need for HMP before, during and after menopause.

Hydrating topical ingredients that work best include aloe and glycerin, which act as moisture magnets, drawing moisture from the air to the skin. Moisturization includes oils which act as emollients for the skin barrier, which in its healthiest state, keeps moisture trapped in the skin rather than evaporating. Oils like camellia and avocado are particularly beneficial and nourishing. The beauty of facial oil is that it’s very easy to customize depending on what your skin needs. Protection includes an SPF everyday with zinc oxide, a gentle and effective sunscreen active that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.


Menopause Skin FAQs

Why is the texture of my skin so much different than it used to be when I was younger?

Ideally our skin should be soft with a smooth even texture but as we age our skin can become rougher or bumpy to the touch and look dull.  This is primarily because of estrogen, the main hormone responsible for collagen production (which also diminishes starting in our 20’s) and aids with moisture retention in the skin.  E.g., saggy, losing collagen, etc.  Diet and hydration also play critical roles.

 

Why am I getting acne in my old age?

The skin is a good barometer of what’s happening internally. Perimenopause is when you have the most hormonal instability-excessive highs and lows of hormones.  The intense hormonal fluctuations (ie excess androgenic hormones or testosterone) are what leads to skin issues like acne.

 

What are the steps I need to take in order to prevent further deterioration of my skin during menopause and after?

Lifestyle is important along with keeping your skin barrier healthy (proper hydration/moisturization) and protected from UV rays. This means a mineral SPF all day, every day. Good sleep, nutrition, exercise and sorry, but you also need to moderate your alcohol consumption and sugar as neither are great for the skin. Our core Kari Gran Skincare System including our Essential Cleansing Oil, Essential Hydrating Tonic and Essential Serum, combined with our Essential SPF provide the hydration, moisturization and protection you need to keep your barrier strong and healthy.

 

There is so much information out there I am confused on what I need to do about my changing skin as I get older.  How do I simplify?  

If you have fewer products in your arsenal, it means fewer steps and less confusion. Keep it simple with nourishing oil-based formulas with ingredients high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. These will help combat dryness by maintaining a healthy barrier and keeping skin both hydrated and moisturized. Always wear that sunscreen.  An oil-based sunscreen is a great way to start your day as a base layer under your makeup. Lastly, don’t over exfoliate. Exfoliation should be gentle.  If you over exfoliate with harsh rough ingredients, it can cause further damage to the skin barrier making already dry, flaky and dull skin worse.  We recommend four products and three easy steps to use every day to cleanse, hydrate, and protect your skin.

Resources

Menopause

Balance - We’ve long admired the work of Dr. Newson and her team in the UK for all of the resources she provides to not only women but to the medical community. She’s a trailblazer and strong advocate.

Gennev - Gennev Jill Angelo, CEO and founder of Gennev said it best “if you don’t know what menopause looks and feels like, you’re unlikely to
recognize it when it comes to you.”  Knowledge is power.

Dr. Kiera Barr - A dual-board certified physician and mind-body expert and author, Dr. Barr promotes mastering midlife and has a deep understanding, given she’s experienced menopause herself.

Hormone University - An educational platform with the mission to improve hormone health. They research thoroughly and provide easily digestible information and free resources concerning hormonal health for women of all ages.

 

Healthy Eating

Pamela Salzman - One of my favorite go-to’s for healthy cooking.  Pamela makes it easy and accessible to learn what real food is and how to make it a part of your everyday life.  Simple and tasty recipes and some incredible cookbooks too.  Her Quicker Than Quick cookbook is one of our favorite.

Rasa - Kari first met Mia on a panel in NYC and confessed to not really liking vegetables.  Honesty is the best policy.  She’s a holistic nutritionist, MS and CNS.  Her recipes are top notch, easy and healthy and she believes that what you put into your body has a profound impact on your life.  We couldn’t agree more.

 

Wellness

Jeannie Oliver - we’ve worked with Jeannie over the years and she’s our resident “skin chef”.  We’ve even named a lip whip in her honor. Jeannie is a classically trained chef, certified health coach, fitness nutrition specialist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer.