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May 04, 2021
Menopause is one of the “female-only” phases that society largely tucks away, so the symptoms are not widely talked about. It’s well past time to undo the taboo of talking about uterine functions - we all know someone that will, at one point in their life, experience menopause. Women experience everything from insomnia, depression, vaginal dryness and hot flashes to forgetfulness, headaches and irritability. With so many difficult changes often coinciding with other mid-life issues, this can be a difficult time to navigate. We need the support and understanding of others as well as wisdom from sages who have walked this path before us. We are a community and this is a time stories, solutions, understanding and acceptance is greatly needed.
In 2001 I was writing for several large publications, and I wrote a blog on Sex and Skin. Every single publication refused to print it! I published it on our blog because sex is another topic we need to peel away the taboo from. Twenty years later, talking about sex is a hot topic on blogs, podcasts, magazines and all over social media! With everything from Gwyneth Paldrow’s ‘Smells Like My Vagina’ candle to a whole emerging category of vaginal care in the indie brand movement, we are moving to a place where the discussion of sex is not off limits or risqué anymore. However, menopause has not quite made it to the discussion list - it’s not exactly a sexy topic. Talking about menopause can be such a complicated subject for many people and we need to be open to getting the conversation happening in a meaningful way. Social media shows us the shiny, romanticized side of life, but it can also be a helpful tool in starting these conversations. Exposing yourself and others to difficult subjects like menopause can help normalize them, making the process easier to understand and respond to. When the shock and discomfort of something is removed, we are able to support others and ourselves fully as they experience a change like menopause.
While emotional support from friends and family, as well as medical care, is valuable and needed, skin support and advice is largely overlooked. As women we see and feel the changes in our skin and often chalk it up to aging. We may already be dealing with an array of midlife, premenopausal/menopause changes and the differences in our appearance as we age can be hard to adjust to. Know that this is common, and there are solutions.
Low estrogen levels impact our skin in many ways, one of the first signs being skin dryness. Low estrogen also reduces collagen levels and production which causes skin thinning, increased wrinkles and lines as well as sagging and loss of elasticity. These symptoms can make skin look “tired”, ruddy and lackluster.
Common skin issues:
While this can be a confusing and trying time in our lives, it’s also a passage through the gateway to our next phase of womanhood. There is a sense of freedom, wisdom and emotional stability that we earn with age. When as a society we don’t talk about things and embrace them they can feel negative or scary, but as we share our experiences we can see the beauty. Change in any form can be difficult, menopause is a significant change and yet we transform into sages, taking up a new mantle. Age does not diminish our beauty, it simply asks for a new way of caring for ourselves.
To all my sisters - embrace, connect, talk, and rejoice in the new and more powerful you.
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