October is Menopause Month, so let’s make menopause mainstream!

Jasmine Wicks Stephens
This October is Menopause Awareness Month in the UK and October 18th is World Menopause Day. We want to make the menopause mainstream; because with 13 million people currently experiencing ‘the change’, it is!

Crazily despite’s approximately 1.3 million people becoming menopausal each year in the USA alone, we are still living in a world where like the period before it, the menopause is sometimes shrouded in secrecy, embarrassment, and shame.

Dr Sonia explains, what is the menopause?

“Marking the end of fertility, menopause is diagnosed as a full year since a person’s last period. 51 is the average age for people to reach the menopause, but around 1 in 100 experience symptoms pre-40. In the UK alone that means 3.4 million of us could be experiencing the menopause before we hit the big 4-0. But whatever age you are when you officially hit menopause, many people will find in the years leading up to that they’ll experience a plummeting in oestrogen and other hormones that send their bodies haywire. This phase that precedes the menopause is called the perimenopause - where the shift in hormones can result in changes the menstrual cycle, skin and mood,” shares Dr Sonia, The Derm GP.

This makes it a time where most people will need to call upon everything from HRT (hormonal replacement therapy), aromatherapy, acupuncture, supplements, and enforce dietary and lifestyle changes to alleviate mood changes, hot flushes, brain fog, and more. Plus add targeted skincare to their arsenal to treat concerns such as acne, rosacea, dryness, pigmentation, lines and wrinkles.

In the last 18-24 months there has been a surge in retailers talking about hormonal wellness and we are excited to see how inclusivity overall is finally becoming the standard rather than a trend

Menopause is a growing category

Cue, beauty stores like The Detox Market and Cult Beauty’s menopause offering. With everything from supplements, and sleep aids to haircare and skincare. These retailers, along with Faace have set out to push ‘the change’ into our collective consciousness.

With one third of healthcare professionals admitting that they were not confident in treating the menopause, and society making people feel like they are irrelevant once they are no longer fertile, it’s little wonder that “the beauty industry has shied away from talking about menopause,” says The Detox Market, Director of Brand Partnerships, Elena Severin.

However, she believes, “that in the last 18-24 months there has been a surge in retailers talking about hormonal wellness and we are excited to see how inclusivity overall is finally becoming the standard rather than a trend.”

Menopause Faace is formulated to help alleviate the effects of the huge hormonal shifts that occur during the lead up to the menopause and post menopause too, so that those going through the change can take control of their complexions.

“Our products are ‘created for skin disrupted by life’, because we understand that the times when your skin needs the most TLC are often ironically the times when you really can’t be bothered to comply. With so many hormonal changes, that can impact the skin so profoundly, with no notice, we wanted to create a fuss-free, easy to use mask, just as we did with our best-selling Period Faace Mask.

We are also well aware how hormonal health issues have been de-prioritised in the workplace, the medical field and the beauty industry. It feels like we’re just left to get on with it. So, it feels empowering to shout about the menopause and create a product that embraces this transition and is there to help people through it,” shares Faace Founder Jasmine Wicks-Stephens.

Jo Darling, acupuncturist and Founder of Menopoised, a brand that offers acupuncture inspired products to help peri/menopausal women agrees that this time should be embraced

“There are over 200 hormones in the body yet oestrogen alone - the predominant female sex hormone - has around 400 physical and emotional functions affecting 300 places in the body. Some people barely notice a change except for with their periods while others experience many of the 34 recognised symptoms of menopause. These symptoms can affect our capacity to socialise, rationalise, and even remember why you walked into a room.

These people really shouldn’t suffer in silence, and the East has been showing us how it should be done. Physical issues are less impactful, possibly due to diet but also because of how the menopause is perceived. It’s even got a lovely name, ‘Second Spring’ and traditional Chinese medicine and treatments like acupuncture are called upon in advance of even the perimenopause to aid the transition.

What’s so wonderful about acupuncture, is that it treats the root of the problem. In Chinese medicine organs have different functions and also reflect emotions, so as an acupuncturist I work with my patients to see what needs the most attention and treat them accordingly. In menopause it’s very often the liver – which is vital for hormone health, muscles and anger management, and the kidneys – which take care of our fertility, our hydration, bones and brain.”

Aromatherapy and the menopause

Another holistic practice that Faace drew upon when formulating their mask was aromatherapy. Not only does breathing in the aroma of a number of essential oils help stimulate smell receptors in the nose to help calm and relax. You’ll also find that “essential oils are plant-based, with many containing phytoestrogens. These are plant-based substances that behave in a similar way to the hormone oestrogen. Some experts believe that essential oils containing phytoestrogens may help balance hormones and relieve symptoms such as mood changes, fatigue and hot flashes,” shares aromatherapist Simone Stevens.

Interestingly this has been a long-time favourite practice of those looking to boost oestrogen without using HRT, due to fears it will leave users more susceptible to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, blood clots and stroke. But Dr Sonia argues that risks are incredibly small, and that education and open conversations are needed to stop the misinformation that’s spread through hushed conversations with friends instead of open dialogue with your GP.

If you need support

Dr Sonia says, “Menopause that occurs earlier than 40 years of age is called premature menopause. There are several reasons why people can reach menopause early. Early menopause can impact your physical health as there can be an increased risk of earlier onset of bone thinning (osteoporosis) and heart disease. The psychological and emotional impact can also be significant – it can affect mood, body image, relationships and quality of life.

Do not shy away from speaking to your GP about it as there are several treatment options!

Menopause at any age is not an illness, but a life transition we go through and there are so many things that can be done to make this transition smoother and easier. I think it’s really important for people to understand their bodies, talk openly about their experiences and get the help they need, when they need it for a smooth transition!” As a brand Faace is dedicated to opening up this conversation, making menopause mainstream and supporting everyone who is going through this natural change. This is why a percentage of the proceeds of every sale of Menopause Faace will be donated to Dr Louise Newson’s The Menopause Charity. Check out their website if you’re in need of menopause support.

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