Menopause affects our appearance in a number of ways. From wrinkles and lackluster skin to weight gain and unwanted hair, menopause is typically hard on appearances, to say the least. However, while there’s a lot to be said for aging gracefully, there are plenty of ways we can reduce the signs of aging and enhance our looks.
Keep reading for common questions and answers regarding the aging process, which can yield a fresher, healthier and younger looking appearance.
How Can I Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles?
Caused partly by genetics and the age-related breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, wrinkles can add years to our appearance. However, while wrinkles occur as a result of age, there are other factors that contribute to the development of lines and furrows. And since age isn’t the only cause of wrinkles, there is no hope in lessening their appearance. The following tips can help tighten and smooth the skin, thus promoting a fresher, more youthful appearance.
- Hydrate. In addition to age and genetics, dehydration is a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles. Without the proper hydration, skin cells lose their plumpness and elasticity, thus resulting in sagging skin and the development of wrinkles. Plus, the dips in estrogen associated with menopause can further decrease moisture levels in the skin. Quite simply put, finding a good wrinkle cream is a good place to start; especially since many effective products have been introduced over the past decade. To combat dehydration and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, drink plenty of water every day, and be sure to include moisturizer in your skin care regimen.
- Get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep can result in increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which has been shown to break down skin cells and speed up the aging process. On the other hand, sleep can boost the body’s production of HGH, or human growth hormone, which is known for reducing and slowing the signs of aging.
- Check your diet. Poor nutrition can have devastating effects on the skin. To enhance elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, enjoy a nutrient-rich diet comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. These foods will promote healthy cell turnover, which results in fresher, younger looking skin.
- Reduce stress. Stress can lead to facial tension, which, in turn, worsens wrinkles. Plus, stress can lead to bloating, puffiness and other unsightly effects. Stress-reduction techniques like massage, deep breathing and meditation help improve the health of your skin.
What Can I Do About Unwanted Hair?
Fluctuating hormones before, during and after menopause can lead to the growth of unwanted hair. Dips in estrogen and increased production of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, lead to the development of coarse hair on the face, particularly the chin and upper lip. Many women combat unwanted hair by shaving, waxing, threading, plucking and other methods that are only effective in the short-term.
Laser hair removal techniques, on the other hand, provide a permanent solution to the problem of unwanted hair, facial or otherwise. For more information on laser hair removal, check out the commonly asked questions and answers, such as the following:
- How does it work? Laser hair removal uses energy to destroy hair follicles. This prevents future growth, but does not affect the skin around the follicles.
- How long does it last? While several treatment may be necessary in achieving the desired effects, the final results of laser hair removal are permanent.
- Is laser hair removal safe? Yes. The technologies used in laser removal are considered safe and effective in removing unwanted hair.
- Are there side effects? Most women experience no side effects at all, while others report mild skin irritation, which clears up a few hours after treatment.
- Does laser hair removal hurt? While you may experience mild discomfort, many women say that laser hair removal is less painful than waxing or plucking.
How Can I Manage My Weight?
As a result of increased cortisol, low estrogen and waning energy levels, many women experience weight gain during and after menopause. In return, weight gain can result in an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and other complications. However, tips like the following can help you manage your weight, boost energy levels and enhance your overall health and quality of life.
- Reduce calories. Reducing the amount of calories you consume is a surefire way to lose weight. However, avoid processed “diet” foods, as these options are typically loaded with sodium, preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. Instead, stick to a balanced diet of fresh foods with whole ingredients.
- Stay active. Regular physical activity will help you burn calories, enhance energy and improve virtually every area of health and well-being.
- De-stress. Excess stress has been linked to increased fat in the hips, belly and thighs. Making an effort to reduce tension and anxiety can help prevent stress-related weight gain.
Though the effects of menopause can be unsettling and uncomfortable, you do have options. With the tips provided here, you can enhance health and appearance, safely, effectively and gracefully.