You hit your 40s and, suddenly, the hair and skin you have known all your life start acting like you've never met.
Not only that, your head seems to catch fire as easily as a struck match, sending your hairdo and makeup into meltdown.
Menopausal changes in body chemistry can lead to a faded look in the mirror. So what to change during the change? A few local beauty experts suggest some adjustments to your beauty habits.
1. Start with what goes inside. Hair tends to thin, grow more brittle and coarsen. Skin loses its luster and firmness. What you take into your body to fight the loss of moisture and protein is as important as what you put on it.
Niki McClellan, a stylist at Great Clips on Ogden's 12th Street, said she advises clients to make sure they get their probiotics through eating lowfat yogurt. Essential fish oils and proteins, craved by middleage hair and skin, can be taken in through tuna fish and/or fish oil supplements. Gelatin will also strengthen hair and nails that may have gr brittle.
2. Trim the top. Hot flashes, combined with a newfound brittleness, can wreak havoc with hairdos. Simple updos an ponytails can hel put the kabosh o overheating, as c a-line cut -- a re layered bob that length framing t face.
"Many women don't like to go too short or wear it up all the time," said McClellen. "They feel their face is too exposed. But a bob to your chin or even longer can alleviate that naked feeling, yet not be as hot, since the hair is off of your neck."
Some hair products are also designed specifically for aging hair. Necana Lamb, hair and makeup artist for Profiles Salon in South Ogden, said that products like Redkin's Time Reset and L'Oreal's Age Density Force both work well on brittleness, and help bring life and body back to aging hair.
3. Pamper the skin. Judy Roskelley, skin/cosmetics expert and instructor at Newgate Mall's Marinello School of Beauty and the Permanent Cosmetics Place, said that the skin changes dramatically with menopause because collagen and elastin decrease along with the decrease of estrogen. "You see more dry skin, some wrinkling, some fading of color overall," Roskelley said. "Some people even suffer breakouts." Her No. 1 tip for keeping skin youthful is exfoliation. "Under that category would be such things as microdermabrasion or a chemical rejuvenation treatment, which will help to lighten up sun damage and age spots. And of course, sunscreen is very important. Put it on every day -- sunny or cloudy, winter or summer," said Roskelley.
An SPF of at least 15, which now comes in numerous moisturizers and foundations, is recommended.
4. Change your foundation.
Perhaps you have used the same foundation on your skin all your life. A change may be in order to look your best now.
"I seem to have better luck with the powder foundations," said Roskelley. "Most brands have a version of some kind of mineral foundation that goes on with a brush, in most price ranges."
Lamb recommends a matte finish in your foundation and other makeups as you get older.
"Shimmer is something you can do, but sparingly," Lamb said. "Matte fills in wrinkles, so it works a bit better for your look overall."
5. Simplify the eyes, stain the lips. Lips also get lined and lose their full texture with age, and also lose some of their color. Roskelley said, "As your hair goes gray, so does your skin. You literally don't have as much pigment in your skin, lips and hair."
For a temporary fix that does not feather or show lip lines, Roskelley suggests a six- or eight-hour lip stain rather than a heavy lipstick. Most brands carry a variety of colors.
Eyes can sometimes be the worst of it, as they get fine lines and the delicate skin around them droops a bit. Add hot flashes, and you can turn mascara into a muddy river on cheeks, or grow rings, raccoonlike, around eyes. You may have to take your old smoky look down a notch, too, advises Lamb.
"But make sure your eyebrows are well-shaped and penciled," Lamb said. "That will give you needed lift. Keep the color between your eyebrow and top lashes -- no liner underneath, and no mascara on the bottom lid. Then your eyes won't run if you do sweat."
Roskelley also suggests that midlife is a great time to invest in permanent makeup enhancement. You can have eye liner, lip color and eyebrow enhancement tattooed on the skin as a solution to both fading and melting.
Additional source: "Your Perfectly Pampered Menopause" by Colette Bouchez (Broadway, 2005)