Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, bringing a host of changes with it, often affecting hair and skin. As estrogen levels decline, women may notice their hair becoming thinner and drier while their skin may lose elasticity, moisture, and radiance.

Summer can exacerbate these issues due to increased sun exposure, heat, and humidity. However, with the right care and attention, menopausal women can maintain vibrant hair and glowing skin all summer long.

Here are some essential tips to help you look and feel your best during this sunny season.

1. Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial for both skin and hair health, especially during the hot summer months. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and skin hydrated. Water helps to maintain skin’s elasticity and plumpness and prevents hair from becoming brittle and dry.

In addition to drinking water, consider using a hydrating facial mist to refresh your skin throughout the day.

If you need even more reasons to keep water nearby, read our article: 7 Reasons to Avoid Dehydration

2. Sun Protection

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is vital. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, even when it’s cloudy. Sunscreen helps prevent premature aging, sunburn, and reduces the risk of skin cancer.

Don’t forget areas like your neck, ears, and hands. For your hair, wear a hat or use hair products that contain UV filters to shield your strands from sun damage.

3. Moisturize Regularly

Moisturizing is essential for keeping skin soft and supple. Choose a rich, hydrating moisturizer for your face and body, and apply it after bathing to lock in moisture. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides which help to retain moisture and strengthen the skin barrier.

Many women use natural moisturizers such as ghee or shea butter on their skin. These products have been used for this purpose since antiquity. Essentially clarified butter, ghee is a staple in homes in India and is one of the most important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine. Ghee contains crucial short-chain fatty acids as well as fat-soluble vitamins which help soften and hydrate skin, reduce dark circles, and repair damaged skin.

Shea butter is a fat found in nuts growing on African shea trees. This wonderful moisturizer is super rich in fatty acids, contains natural antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.

For your hair, use a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask once a week to replenish lost moisture and repair damage.

4. Gentle Cleansing

During menopause, skin can become more sensitive. Opt for gentle, hydrating cleansers that do not strip the skin of its natural oils. Avoid harsh soaps and hot water, which can further dry out your skin.

For your hair, choose sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that are less likely to irritate and dry out your scalp and strands.

5. Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is crucial for maintaining healthy hair and skin. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and flaxseeds, can help keep your skin and hair hydrated and healthy. Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as biotin and zinc, are particularly beneficial for skin elasticity and hair strength.

A well-balanced diet such as the Mediterranean diet will support your vitamins and minerals needs.

6. Stay Cool

Excessive heat can aggravate menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and skin irritation. Keep cool by wearing light, breathable fabrics and staying in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

Cool showers and baths can help lower your body temperature and soothe your skin. Avoiding spicy foods will also help minimize hot flashes.

7. Exfoliate Wisely

Exfoliate

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, revealing smoother and more radiant skin. However, menopausal skin can be more sensitive, so it’s important to exfoliate gently.

Use mild exfoliants with fine particles or chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) that are less abrasive. For your scalp, use a gentle exfoliating scrub to remove buildup and keep your hair follicles healthy.

8. Combat Hair Thinning

Hair thinning

Hair thinning is a common concern during menopause. To combat this, avoid excessive heat styling and harsh chemical treatments that can further weaken your hair.

Instead, opt for natural hairstyles and air-dry your hair whenever possible. Consider using volumizing shampoos and conditioners to give your hair a fuller appearance. If hair loss is significant, consult a dermatologist to rule out any health concerns that could lead to hair loss, and to get professional advice and treatment options.

9. Unwanted Facial Hair Growth

Just like men, women have hair follicles all over their face and during menopause, unwanted facial hair often appears. If it becomes bothersome, there are things you can do to remove the hair or minimize its appearance. Waxing, shaving, and tweezing are perfectly acceptable ways to deal with unwanted hairs. Based on the degree of growth, plucking, tweezing, threading, or waxing may do the trick.

Your doctor can also prescribe a topical cream to slow the growth or refer you to a clinic that can perform electrolysis or laser treatment for hair removal. Read our article on laser treatment for more information and cost.

Electrolysis eliminates hairs by killing hair follicles with a targeted electric current. A one-hour electrolysis session can range anywhere from $50 to $200.

Both cream and laser permanently destroy the hair follicle so hair cannot grow back. However, note that this technique works best on dark hairs and is less effective for blonde or peach-fuzz type hair growth.

10. Stress Management

Stress can take a toll on your hair and skin, exacerbating menopausal symptoms.

To counteract stress, engage in regular physical activity, practice mindfulness or meditation, and ensure you get enough sleep.

Managing stress effectively helps maintain hormonal balance, which in turn supports healthy skin and hair. Remember, skin is an expression of your inner health.

11. Regular Check-Ups

Regular visits to your dermatologist or family doctor can help monitor changes in your skin and hair and address any concerns promptly. They can recommend personalized treatments and products suited to your specific needs as they change over time.

While menopause brings various changes to your body, it also offers an opportunity to reevaluate and adjust your beauty routine. By staying hydrated, protecting your skin from the sun, moisturizing regularly, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress, you can maintain healthy, radiant skin and hair throughout the summer.

Embrace this phase of life with confidence, knowing that with a little extra care, you can look and feel your best.

Annie Gaudreault is the founder of Veev Health and Wellness. As a holistic nutritionist, endurance athlete and women’s health coach, she supports the wellness needs of women living busy lives. Annie is a regular contributor to The Health Insider and is a sought-out women’s health and nutrition expert for media, corporations and lifestyle organizations.

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