Protect your skin this summer



Menopause Advisor
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


03 July 2015

Today's blog

I really love my job and when I started writing blogs 3 years ago (time really does fly when you are having fun!) I honestly thought I would run out of ideas quite quickly – how wrong I was!

Over the years I have had so many interesting and varied questions from our readers that have made me go, ‘mmm, that would make a great blog subject,’ or, ‘well, I would never have thought of that, must look into it further,’ or, ‘strange, we have had a lot of questions on this lately so better write something’. So after another query which has piqued my interest here is my latest blog…

How's your sun protection this summer?

The question was, ‘Why do I need to use a stronger sunscreen this summer? – my skin seems to be burning a lot more.’

Well, it really is quite simple:

  • Falling oestrogen levels thin the skin, reducing your protective layer and making it more reactive to sunlight; and with less protection it will burn faster
  • Falling oestrogen levels make the skin dryer and more sensitive to just about everything, and if you are getting a lot of hot flushes and are dehydrated this can compound the problem.

What can you do about it?

1. You could try Sea Buckthorn Oil Capsules as these are known to help dry, menopausal skin, although it can take about 4 weeks to start showing improvement.

2. Try a colloidal silica supplement – you need silica to help support your connective tissue (keeps the skin firm) and as you get a bit older your need for this increases but it gets more difficult to extract it from your food – especially if you are not eating enough fresh fruit and veg.

3. Drink, drink, drink plenty of water! This is vital in the summer as dehydration can contribute to lots of menopause symptoms as well as drying the skin. We need lots more in hot weather. My previous blog post ‘10 reasons to drink more water during menopause‘ explains why proper hydration is so vital and offers tips on how to increase your water intake.

4. Be really careful about sunbathing and don’t lie too long in the sun – it seems that lots of older women are getting skin cancer these days.

5. Look for natural sunscreens as most normal ones contain lots and lots of chemicals that could cause irritation to already sensitive skin. There are lots of good ones around that are not too expensive – I recommend The Green People range of sunscreens.

6. Just one thing though, it is really important to get a good top up of vitamin D in the menopause as low levels can mimic menopause symptoms.  The recommendation is that you spend about 15 min in the sun without protection to stimulate the production of vitamin D then apply sunscreen but this timescale can depend on your skin type so go carefully. Read my blog post ‘The sun has got its hat on‘ for more tips on how you can up your levels of this important vitamin.

7. Some women find that they also get prickly heat rash which can be really itchy and unsightly. Nettle can often help with this so either have a couple of cups of nettle tea every day or you could take a nettle tincture. If you only get this when abroad on holiday, start a couple of weeks before you go and take every day whilst away.

One last thing...

So, here’s to a great and comfortable summer and thank you to everyone who has asked me questions over the years: you are all my muse!

Do you have any tips for a healthy holiday?

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