As women in midlife, which means all of you women between the ages of 40-60, this is the time in our lives when we start to take serious notice of the changes we see when we look in the mirror each day.
We start to ask ourselves "Am I looking old?" or "Am I doing the right things to preserve my youth?" and we often start to ask Google "How do I look after my skin and hair naturally over 40?". This is most likely how you found this blog article. Welcome, I am glad you are here. You're in the right place.
We have brought together the information from two women's midlife health experts here to help you know how to get healthy skin and hair in midlife. You will hear my perspective as a plant-based skincare formulator, brand Founder of Clean Kiss, and a Skin Health Coach, and also from my good friend and expert Teresa Isabel Dias, Menopause Educator and Pharmacist, from MenopausED
What Is Happening to My Skin in Midlife?
According to Teresa Isabel Dias, "Aging and decreased levels of estrogen at menopause contribute to loss of collagen and elasticity. The skin becomes less able to retain moisture leading to increased dryness."
Teresa suggests the following healthy lifestyle tips for women over 40 who are nearing Perimenopause, in the midst of Menopause, or Post-Menopausal.
You can take these steps to get mid-life skin that looks and feels healthier by:
- Stopping smoking
- Reducing sun exposure
- Using sunscreen, at least SPF30, year round
- Drinking enough water (8 glasses a day, also good for brain health!)
- Decreasing the amount of caffeine and alcohol (these diuretics make you excrete water)
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Getting adequate sleep
- Using a moisturizer
As Teresa has said, in midlife our skin naturally produces less collagen and elastin due to a change in hormones, namely a decrease in the production of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Oh my!
What Hormones Affect Our Skin in Midlife?
The skin undergoes structural changes in peri-menopause. Estrogen used to keep your skin supple and soft. But once it slows down, the dermis layer of your skin starts to thin and the collagen and elastin production slows down. In addition, your lipid matrix changes thereby making your skin dryer and possibly more sensitive too. If you've been experiencing these symptoms you are not alone and you are not imagining it!
These newfound fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, hyperpigmentation, and sensitivity cause us to age before our time, or right on time, which is why we suddenly notice the aging process or accelerated aging.
In addition, there are a variety of factors that contribute to premature and accelerated aging too such as damage caused by environmental factors (sun damage, toxins, free radicals), hormonal factors as discussed, and of course by inadequate nutrition or malabsorption of nutrients. You are eating, perhaps incredibly healthy food, but the food isn’t nourishing your skin and body the way you need for healthy skin.
How Does Gut Health Impact Skin Health?
One of the biggest factors that contributes to healthy skin is a healthy gut. But it is often the most overlooked factor as the multi-million dollar beauty industry proves. Most women look for skin health in a bottle (like a magic potion!) but they need to be starting with looking at their gut health as a primary starting place, and then at their stress levels and mental health as a secondary place. The connection between gut - brain - skin is real.
As mentioned, on your quest to have beautiful, healthy skin in midlife you need to start by looking at your overall lifestyle, starting with your gut health. By taking greater notice of how your gut health affects your skin you can start to uncover what works best in your body. There is no ONE SIZE FITS ALL!
How to Know if Your Gut is Healthy?
Ask yourself the following questions as a starting place:
- Do you eliminate regularly? (minimum of once per day)
- Do you eat 50-75% vegetables + fruit?
- Do you eat prebiotic foods (artichokes, cabbage, kimchi, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, bananas)?
- Do you get gas and/or bloating?
- Does your skin react when you eat certain foods?
- Do you drink at least 2L of water each day?
- Do you suffer from skin rashes, rosacea, eczema, or any other sensitive condition?
- Do you have an autoimmune disorder?
- Do you take a daily probiotic?
Not sure if your gut is healthy or the problem?
Take this Pro-Aging Freedom 8-Week Program with me and my expert guests and get 1:1 Skin Health Coaching to solve your midlife skin issues once and for all. Freedom, finally, can be yours.
Once you’ve established the state of your gut health, you can then start to focus on the next big factor for healthy midlife, natural skin and beauty. Choosing the highest quality natural skincare products you can find, that are free of toxins that can only harm your health and pro-aging efforts.
If you are concerned about your changing skin as you hit your 40’s and your overall health, then trust me when I say you can get all the skin treatments you need from natural, plant-based skincare products specifically made for women that are over forty.
What Makes Skincare for Women Over 40 Different?
The big difference in skincare for mature, midlife women 40+ is that it usually has higher concentrations of nourishing plant based oils, vitamins c and e, possibly ingredients to plump and hydrate the skin such as hyaluronic acid, and other protective or reparative ingredients. You shouldn’t find anything particularly harsh or abrasive in a natural product, but my advice is always to read labels and ask questions.
Don’t be fooled by Greenwashing! There are many companies that throw a plant on their label, throw the word “natural” into the product name, and fool you into believing that it is a safe, toxic-free, natural product. This just isn’t always the case so knowing what to look for, and what to avoid is key.
Here is a helpful guide with our Pro Tips for Pro-Aging Women Over 40 that can help you determine what to avoid in the Dirty Dozen and what to look for in our Clean Ten list.
What to look for in skincare products for Midlife Women?
When looking for natural skincare products for women over forty, be sure to keep two things in mind: water and oil. Yes, I know this seems counterintuitive since they don’t "mix" but trust me that your skin requires both in order to provide a nourished glow. Remember, the lipid matrix in your skin changes as you hit perimenopause, so always be thinking about how to add and re-balance the lipids (healthy fats) in and on your skin.
For example, I recommend that my clients use a Rose Chamomile Facial Tonic
on slightly damp skin and then apply their Rosehip serum
on top of the tonic. This way their face gets the benefit of the floral hydrosol which gets sealed inside the epidermis by the oil-based serum. The result is a well nourished, soft feeling skin and hydrated complexion.
In What Order Should You Apply Your Products for Healthy Skin?
Always apply your products from lightest to heaviest. Again, starting with a facial tonic, then your serums, eye cream, day cream, and always finishing with your SPF Broad-Spectrum UV sun protective cream. For our natural plant-based skincare line for women over 40, visit us at our online shop
Finally I must stress this point once again, that you cannot buy skin beauty and magic in any bottle! No matter what anyone tries to tell you or sell you. That is just clever marketing and a lie! All great skin starts with a healthy lifestyle.
Final comments on what makes for a healthy lifestyle should also include a balanced life of equal parts of fun and work, getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, reducing stress and adopting a ritual of taking time for yourself is critical. For all these tips and more, get your own copy of our Pro-Aging Guide.
What About Getting Beautiful Hair in Midlife?
Teresa, our Midlife and Menopause Expert has the following humourous observation for what happens to our hair in midlife. "Hair tends to grow where we don't want it and fall out where we need it! Thinning of the hair on the scalp in midlife can cause significant effects on body image, self-esteem, and quality of life. Treatments depend on the cause of the hair loss and include a healthy diet and adding some vitamins to support hair growth, which I can help you with."
And if that isn't enough, "You may notice rogue hairs on your chin and upper lip and/or the appearance of fine hairs (peach fuzz)."
"I always say that the best investment for this is a good pair of tweezers, a magnifying glass, and good lighting, but you can also try waxing, shaving, electrolysis, and laser therapy." Thank you Teresa! Excellent advice.
As a 49 year old woman I can tell you that rogue chin hairs have been popping up for years. I giggle every time I pull one out because I remember being a twenty-something and being told this would happen, by an older friend, when I hit Peri-Menopause. Sure enough it has! This is nothing a little tweezing can’t help. The bigger issue for me is keeping the hair on my head looking healthy, shiny and vibrant.
The same advice I gave you for skin in midlife applies to hair too. Hair needs water and oil to stay looking healthy, manageable, and luscious. Aging hair is no joke. Our hair definitely show signs of age and sun damage, just like our skin if we don’t look after it.
What does this mean for your aging hair?
Protect your hair just like you’d protect your skin. That means practicing smart sun enjoyment by wearing a hat in the sun, or tying it up and tucking it into your hat. I like to apply a Hair Butter to my long naturally curly hair to protect it from sun damage. I then braid it with the Hair Butter on it so that I get a little hair treatment when outside on a hot sunny day.
For natural hair products that give your hair the oil and water nourishment that it so badly needs in midlife, check out these natural curly hair solutions.
About Jodie Pappas ~ Founder, Clean Kiss:
If you want more Pro-Aging Tips for Women Over 40, Jodie can help you. Jodie is a Plant-Based Skincare Formulator, Founder of Clean Kiss
, a Published Author, a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200), and soon to be a Certified Aesthetics Nutrition Practitioner (CNAP). Jodie has seen first-hand how a healthy, balanced lifestyle contributes to healthy aging, and happy skin and hair in midlife.
Join Jodie's upcoming program on May 24th. Pro-Aging Freedom: 8 Weeks to Radical Acceptance
. This program is designed for women in their midlife, 40s+, to feel acceptance of their body, to appreciate the aging process rather than fighting it, and to learn all about the nutrition, movement, mindset, stress and sleep required to be able to enjoy your midlife now and forever.
Learn more about Clean Kiss.
Clean Kiss makes natural, clean skincare for women over 40 that promotes pro-aging beauty and radical acceptance of the beautiful aging process, in mid-life.
Clean Kiss was founded by Family Natural Health Expert, Jodie Pappas, out of her own personal quest to find natural products for herself and her family that ACTUALLY worked. After first creating her signature natural deodorant, she went on to produce a full line of 100% plant based skincare and body products.
Hypoallergenic, Cruelty-free, Vegan, No Petroleum-based ingredients, No Parabens, No Silicone, No Phthalates, No Toxins, No Fragrance, No Alcohol, No Plastic.
Each product is created in small batches using chemical-free formulations that have been recognized with several awards, has developed a loyal customer base of Clean Kissers, and has gained some international media attention by Business Insider, InStyle Magazine, The Toronto Sun, Breakfast TV Toronto, CHCH Hamilton, Global TV and more!
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About Teresa Isabel Dias, Founder of MenopausED:
If you wish to reach out to Teresa for her support and guidance you can do that here.
Many women experience physical, emotional, and mental challenges in midlife due to hormonal changes. As a pharmacist and a Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP) Teresa Isabel Dias provides education and support on symptom management for women at work and at home so that they feel like themselves again and enjoy a vibrant, and productive life.