Let’s begin with Menopause which is the ceasing of menstruation altogether. This typically occurs between 45 and 50 years of age. It represents a natural decline in our reproductive hormones, (Estradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone). You are “officially” in menopause after 12 months since a last menstruation. Oh, but wait, there’s much more, we women also go through perimenopause which can start as early as 40 years of age. Perimenopause is the stage leading up to menopause and can bring about weight gain, lower metabolic rates associated with hormonal changes, and our microbiome (gut).
Then last but not least, there is post-menopause which is the time after menopause happened….yes, that’s right the rest of our life. So, now what? We go from hot flashes (as hormones drop rapidly) to increased risk of heart disease, dry eye, dry vagina, and heart disease, in addition to higher risks for other auto-immune issues. What can we do to mitigate and manage all of these changes? Plenty.
During this time, the loss of estrogen can affect our skin, sleep, and overall health and vitality. Estrogen is such a key influencer for a woman’s skeletal, neuroendocrine, and cardiovascular system. It’s not just for reproductive purposes. Low estrogen in post menopause contributes greatly to dry skin and loss of collagen and elasticity that keeps our skin smooth, wrinkle free and less “crepe”. It is a challenge for most women as they age, for one thing let’s keep in mind that we do have a natural aging process. We place a lot of pressure on ourselves to look perfect, however no one is perfect. So, perhaps we can also allow ourselves to be perfectly imperfect.
Although there is much study and research that remains uncovered, the good news is that we as a society are talking about it and women in particular are moving the research forward. Meanwhile, how do we mitigate symptoms, and each manage over our own particular experience? There are solutions, and although each woman is unique and an individual, there is a consensus of agreement, with evidence-based protocols.
These protocols include nutrition, exercise, supplementation including nutricosmetics, cosmeceuticals, and overall health. An example for healthy skin during and post menopause studies indicate that nutrition and supplementation does help. Let’s start with nutrition:
- Polyphenols are a category of plant- based compounds. Dark chocolate, red wine, tea, and berries are good examples.
- Vitamins – such as B complex, D, E, A, C, Resveratrol, Niacinamide. B Vitamins help different enzymes do their jobs, they help with energy and transporting oxygen and energy containing nutrients throughout the body.
D3 helps our body to absorb calcium and phosphorus which contributes to our bones, E contributes to the health of our blood, brain, and skin, Vitamin A includes retinols, the highest food sources are dairy, liver, and eggs.
Vitamin C contributes to development and repair of our body tissues and is involved in many body functions that help our immune system. Resveratrol is a compound found in grapes and niacinamide, considered a polyphenol has been found to help build cells in the skin and protect the skin from environmental stresses.
- Carotenoids – can protect you from disease, and these antioxidants can enhance your immune system. Avocados, egg yolks, kale, summer squash, pumpkin and spinach are examples of carotenoid foods.
- Antioxidants – are abundant sources of compounds that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in our body that can produce free radicals – which can damage our cells and accelerate the aging process.
Lifestyle factors also play a big part on how we handle stress, and exercise.
Ultimate Beauty Health chose to focus on nitric oxide support for women because this activation offers so many benefits for women. Nitric oxide depletion has been shown to accelerate aging skin. Another exciting study has shown that red light can activate nitric oxide on the surface of the skin, so now we have a 2-prong approach, one for the inside, and one for the outside! Since nitric oxide plays such a critical role in the maintenance and regulation of skin and integrity of its environment, we want to enable this molecule’s participation as a part of our protective barrier and as an antimicrobial defense. Our skin is our largest organ. One of the key factors is great circulation, because proper blood flow helps skin tone, and nutrient delivery to our skin cells.
We believe that by contributing to the nutritional approach in support of healthy blood circulation, we can assist with the uptake of nutrient absorption, provide support to the skin from the inside, and lastly help with energy and vitality.
Our REJUVENATION contains a B vitamin complex, Vitamins C and E, Niamicide, and antioxidants for starters. We address the microbiome by naturally fermenting our vitamins and include ingredients that help the skin by boosting collagen production. L-arginine for example.
There are other great companies and brands that are also addressing the symptoms of menopause for women. It is no doubt going to take more work to mitigate the outcomes, however we have a starting place, keep in mind though, that what works for one woman may not be the answer for another. But we know a few basics that can help our skin and vitality during this time in life: (note: Hormone Replacement Therapy – HRT with Bio-identical compounds should be discussed with a trained professional as it may not be appropriate for all women.) The following is our “go-to” list:
Advanced Delivery Systems (topical and oral)
Gut Health (fermented foods, enzymes)
Red-Light Therapies (medical-beauty devices)
Peptides (which can stimulate collagen production)
Retinols (help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores)
Sunscreen ( 30+)
In summary, we want to encourage women that many advancements are already in the works to help us feel and look our best, after all “80 is the new 20”.