My Menopause ‘Aha’ Moment
I remember this one day in particular when it hit me that my body was changing in a big way. I arrived to an early morning wedding booking at a hotel in the city. There were 6 women in their 20’s all curled up drinking coffee on the bed. They were complaining about feeling cold. At the time, temperature wise, I felt perfectly comfortable. One of the women jumped off the bed and turned the heat up in the hotel room. My perfectly comfortable feeling dissipated quickly. Within minutes I had sweat dripping down my back and forehead. I saw my reflection in the mirror and my face had turned beat red. I was experiencing my first real hot flash!
I knew I had to learn how to deal with these changes and still look polished while working.
I was running a very busy mobile makeup and hair service so I read everything and anything I could get my hands on about “the change.” I learned through trial and error how to keep myself looking professional during work hours all while going through ‘the change of life.’ In this post I’ll teach you the importance of using the right skin care prior to your makeup application. I’ll also provide you valuable advice on how to choose the best moisturizers for your skin at this stage of life. You’ll also discover one of the biggest mistakes menopausal women make when choosing under makeup skincare and how making a few small changes can transform how long your makeup lasts.
How to Prepare Your Skin for Makeup During Menopause
Think of your skin as a canvas. When you prep your skin for makeup it’s that canvas that dictates how how long your makeup will last throughout the day. If you use the wrong skincare prior to applying makeup your results will reflect this. When you use the right skincare products your makeup will also reflect this.
Skin preparation is so very important. This is especially true during menopause because at this stage of life you can no longer slap on some rouge and call it a day. It takes a little more time and maintenance especially during menopause to look put together, polished and professional but the results are so worth it.'Makeup is only as good as the skin it's applied to'Click To Tweet
Start to manually exfoliate on a regular basis
What is exfoliation?
This is the removal of the top layer of dead skin cells on your skin. There are various ways to exfoliate from manual to chemical. I’m going to discuss manual as it’s the least invasive and most cost effective way to get good skin results. As we age our skin becomes dull. Our pores can become clogged and our overall skin texture is lackluster.
A manual exfoliation is what many menopausal women should incorporate into their skincare routine on a regular basis. Manual exfoliation removes the superficial top layer of skin leaving your skin smooth. This method also helps your other skincare products absorb into your skin much better allowing you to use less products with better results. Manual exfoliation can be done in the comfort of your home for minimal cost using drugstore creams or mild scrubs. The more sensitive your skin issues, the milder the exfoliation needs to be.
Why exfoliation makes a difference to how makeup looks and holds up
Have you ever noticed that when you wear foundation or concealer the product sometimes gathers and flakes in areas of your face such as around your nose or your mouth? Or that it gets into your fine lines and sort of ‘sticks’ there? That is caused by a layer of dead skin rejecting the makeup. Makeup either wants to sink into the skin or repel off the skin. The better the condition of your skin, the better the makeup will ‘sit’ on your skin and the longer it will last. Adding an exfoliation step into your regular skin care routine during your menopausal years can help with flaky dull looking skin. It also makes a huge difference to how well your makeup looks and lasts throughout the day.
How do you use a manual exfoliation product?
- wet your face with warm water
- place a small amount of a good exfoliation product onto your fingers (Vicki’s favourite exfoliating cream? Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream)
- lightly massage the product onto your face using circular motions
- using a clean cloth and warm water remove the product to reveal smoother fresh looking skin
Introducing mechanical brushes such as a Clarisonic
Once you have been exfoliating for awhile and are feeling the benefit of it, this is the perfect time to introduce a mechanical brush such as a Clarisonic into your skin care routine. The benefit of using a vibrating brush to exfoliate is that you get a deeper exfoliation compared to using your fingertips only. You simply apply a small amount of cleanser to your vibrating brush head and massage onto the skin. The results can be outstanding! If you decide to go the mechanical brush route be sure and start slowly on the lowest speed and only increase intensity if and when your skin reacts well to it.
How often should you exfoliate?
If you’re just starting out with exfoliating stick to once every 10 days. Once your skin gets accustomed to the process increase your exfoliation to 1 – 2 times per week.
Note: A lot of women who are going through menopause find their skin in general to be more sensitive than it was before going through the change. Many women also find that they may experience occasional breakouts or dry patches on their skin. Skin issues they’ve never had to deal with before! Some menopausal women even develop rosacea and other unusual skin conditions.
While some women have never incorporated exfoliation into their skincare routine others who are used to exfoliating on a regular basis may stop doing so because of new skin sensitivities. This is the biggest mistake many menopausal women make.
If you are experiencing unusual skin sensitivities try using natural homemade exfoliates. You can also try using gentle exfoliation wipes that can be found in most drugstores. Exfoliation wipes are more gentle to skin yet still provide a decent exfoliation. In my professional makeup kit I carry exfoliating wipes made by Kiko Milano. I use these on many of my 50 and over clientele as part of their face prep prior to makeup.
Vicki’s extra tip: Kiko Milano wipes are great for getting rid of dead skin off your lips too!
Don’t sweat it ladies! Light moisturizers work best under makeup
If you suffer with hot flashes/flushes throughout the day rather than smearing a heavy moisturizer onto your face before applying your makeup try using a small amount of a moisturzing lotion instead. Warm the moisturizing lotion onto your fingers and then gently ‘pat’ into your skin. This provides much needed moisture that sinks into your skin rather than just sitting on top of your skin. You want a slightly tacky feeling on your skin prior to applying your foundation and/or concealers. This tackiness will help your makeup products stick better. Remember that if your moisturizer is too heavy your makeup will slip right off your face the first moment you experience a hot flash.
Vicki’s kit fav moisturizers for women over 50 who are dealing with menopausal symptons:
- Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre
- Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer
Both are staples in my personal and professional kits because they do their job well!
Primers yay or nay?
Nay. Here’s the thing you need to keep in mind when preparing your skin for makeup. The less products you layer under your makeup, the less ‘slip’ you’ll deal with on your face as the day progresses. Most primers are made with silicone based polymers which add a silky layer of product over your moisturizer and under your foundation. Primers can be a great addition to your makeup regime providing you aren’t experiencing menopausal systems such as hot flashes. When you experience a hot flash and begin to perspire the silicone present in primers will not protect your makeup from melting. Instead silicone increases the slip on your skin creating an ice rink effect! So there goes your makeup. Slip, slidin’ away! 🙂
Prep your skin properly using the steps above and stop using primers for now. You can go back to them after your hot flashes subside.
The Importance of SPF
If you’re in pre-menopause or menopause right now you have probably at one time been a sun lover. Even if it was for a brief couple of years in your teens you may have done damage to your skin by spending time in the sun without proper protection. Stop the madness now and begin incorporating skin care that contains a good SPF level in it.
My favourite SPF moisturizer to wear under makeup? Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50. Give it about 10 minutes to properly sink into your skin then apply your makeup as usual. It’s a great prepping product that does double duty by protecting your face against the sun.
Disclaimer: Content within this blog post is provided for general informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice.