Changes to the skin as we age.
As women go through menopause and age our skin and membranes change.
These changes can be caused by hormonal changes, environmental factors like sun, pollution, toxin exposure, dehydration, poor-quality cosmetics, and poor nutrition.
As we age our collagen levels decline. Collagen is a protein that makes up over 80% of the skin. It provides the skin, muscles, bones, and tissues with strength and structure. Wrinkles, sagging and dryness can be signs of lower levels of collagen.
Some ways to look after your skin.
Improve your collagen by eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Orange and dark green leafy veg contain vitamin C and A that can support collagen production.
- Get the blood flowing to the skin by having a massage or give yourself a massage.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking water, herbal teas, and ‘drink your food’ by eating fruits and veggies that contain higher water content.
- Use a collagen supplement or make and drink bone broth which is full of skin-loving properties.
- Use natural skincare products that do not contain toxins and parabens.
- Vitamin C helps with collagen production which helps skin elasticity.
- Use a food supplement designed to support the skin.
Why is Sea Buckthorn good for the skin?
Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), is a small shrub that grows at high altitudes in the northwest Himalayan region. It’s a very hardy plant and able to withstand harsh winter conditions, it’s a pretty tough plant! It produces orange/yellow berries and has been used as a traditional remedy for skin and health conditions for many generations.
Sea Buckthorn oil contains many beneficial nutrients; vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.
Although Sea Buckthorn is referred to as Omega 7 it contains fatty acids 3,6,7,9 as well as vitamin E and A, with Omega 7 being in the highest amounts.
Omega 7 is found in the membrane of skin cells and mucus membranes and consuming it hydrates the skin from the inside out.
Changes to the genital area
Vaginal Atrophy – Symptoms include dryness, itching, and discomfort of vagina, vulva, and anus as well as thinning of the tissues.
Systemic HRT (patches and pills) and localised vaginal estrogen (pessary, cream, rings) can help but this isn’t an option or choice for all women.
Studies have shown how Sea Buckthorn oil can help with changes to the vaginal tissues. This study concluded that: “SB oil showed beneficial effects on vaginal health, indicating it is a potential alternative for mucosal integrity for those women not able to use estrogen treatment for vaginal atrophy.”
Changes to odour
Many women are embarrassed when they notice a change in odour. One of the reasons for changes to odour can be caused by an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome. This can sometimes be remedied by using a specific pro-biotic.
If you are suffering from changes please get help and support and please consult a professional or expert in this area.
See your GP – If you notice changes to your vulva and vagina like dryness, thinning, change in odour, discharge, and especially bleeding please visit your GP.
A book I recommend on the subject is called ‘Me and my menopausal Vagina’ by Jane Lewis.
Not only the Vagina
It’s not just the vagina that Sea Buckthorn can help. It is good for all mucous membranes. The mucous membrane is membrane lining body cavities that lead to the outside the body. The respiratory, digestive, and urogenital tracts. Mucous membranes line many structures of the body, including the stomach and intestines, and the ureters, urethra, and urinary bladder, mouth, nose, eyelids, trachea (windpipe), and lungs.
Eyes – As they age some women experience dry eyes
Nose and mouth – These areas can be affected.
Skin – Many menopausal women get intensely itchy skin. This can be caused by the changing estrogen levels. This is called formication and can feel like ants crawling under the skin. Dry, flaky skin is also common.
Skin Care supplements
When women want to explore a more natural solution, sometimes nutritional supplements can be a helpful addition.
I was recently introduced to a Sea Buckthorn range by Vitae. I have known about the benefits of SB for years. One of my closest friends is Russian and is very familiar with the plant as it grows there natively. She uses the fruit in cooking and smoothies.
Vitae sent me some samples for my clients and me to try. Unfortunately, I haven’t been seeing clients face to face during the pandemic (I have been seeing them online thought) so couldn’t pass them on but I have given them to some of my peri-menopausal friends to try.
We have only been trying them for 6 weeks and we cannot give an honest review until we’ve used them for three months.
I love the products as they are designed specifically for supporting and nourishing the skin and membranes.
They have tons of research and trials behind their products too.
They have products for digestion, nervous system, immune system, brain, joints, and bones as well as the skin and mucous membranes.
OlioVita Sun – This is the product I’m currently trialing. Photoprotection and hydration for the whole body throughout the day. My skin is sun sensitive and I get prickly heat so I’m hoping using this now will help my skin in the summer.
OlioVita – Is their pure Sea Buckthorn product which may help with vaginal, skin and other dryness.
OlioVita Intima – This is an external cream for the genital area with SB extract, mallow extract, argan oil, hyaluronic acid, and soothing peptides. I was also sent a few samples of this and I like the product. It makes everything ‘down there’ feel more comfortable.
You can purchase these products in the UK from Natural Dispensary.
If ordering from ND please use my practitioner name ‘Tanith Lee’ 🙂 I will receive a small commission that supports my blog.
External Skin Care products
Not only is SB oil helpful when taken internally it can help skin when applied externally.
My Russian friend also introduced me to a Russian cosmetic range called Natura Siberica. It’s a fantastic organic, affordable skincare range that uses many Siberian herbs in its products. It uses SB in many products and is very hydrating.
You can grow it in your garden as a scrub or as a hedge too
As a nutritional therapist, I can help you support your skin and menopausal symptoms.
If you wish to have a quick ‘virtual chat’ about how I can help then please follow this link