Stripes founder Naomi Watts in glasses and button down shirt

[Peri]Menopausal Support

Menopause is having a moment. After decades of tiptoeing around this very normal phase of life, menopause has finally become part of the wellness and beauty conversation. And about time. 

[Peri]menopause has finally become part of the wellness and beauty conversation.

Half of the population are women. Half of the population will experience menopause. 1 billion women will be in perimenopause by 2025. And 25 million women in the US are dealing with menopause symptoms today. No wonder then we are seeing a boom in both perimenopause and menopause-​focused wellness brands and products that seek to address some of the 34 symptoms (yes, you read that right) of this transition.

25 million women in the US are dealing with menopause symptoms today.

While every woman experiences perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) and menopause (which officially begins one year after your final period) differently, all women experience noticeable changes to their skin and hair brought on by hormonal fluctuations. 


All women experience noticeable changes to their skin and hair brought on by hormonal fluctuations before, during and after menopause.

The most common complaint is dryness as estrogen is directly related to collagen and essential skin lipid production and skin hydration. Next up, changes in the hair which also becomes drier, thinner, and frizzier as the hair cycle slows down. Then, there’s the changes in the vulva and vagina which can also become dry, irritated and inflamed.

While all of these issues are a result of plummeting estrogen levels, the good news is that there is more to menopause relief than prescription hormone therapy. Here, our head-to-toe guide to the best products to support perimenopausal and menopausal wellness.

The Gut

Health always starts from the inside out and the gut plays a crucial role in our health, affecting everything from the immune system and our mental health to cardiovascular health. A higher level of diversity in gut bacteria is directly associated with improved overall health and estrogen is essential for gut health as it promotes the growth of diverse beneficial bacteria, maintains gut barrier integrity and decreases inflammation in the body. As estrogen levels decline during menopause, it can also lead to higher vaginal pH levels which can cause urinary tract infections and vaginal dryness. Taking a good probiotic containing bacterial strains designed to support female health, daily, is therefore key.


The Skin

Just like the gut, estrogen supports the skin in a variety of ways, promoting collagen and hyaluronic acid production and a healthy barrier function. Studies show that women lose about 30% of collagen in their skin during the first five years of menopause, followed by a gradual 2% drop every year after that. Hyaluronic acid levels in the body also decline, while a disruption in the skin barrier leads to a depletion of moisturizing ceramides and lipids. Combined this all leads to a multitude of skin issues including dryness, sensitivity and dullness alongside a lack of firmness, more fine lines and wrinkles and uneven tone and texture.

Menopausal skin therefore needs ingredients that boost collagen production, hydration levels and restore barrier function such as ectoine, a natural protection molecule that delivers optimum hydration to skin cells; hyaluronic acid, a humectant that pulls moisture into the skin; peptides, which stimulate the production of collagen; and squalane, which moisturizes, repairs and reinforces the skin barrier.


The Hair and Scalp

More than half of women over age 50 experience thinning hair. Why? You guessed it–estrogen. Both the hair growth cycle and the hair follicle structure are highly affected by hormone fluctuations and as estrogen levels drop, the hair follicles shrink and change shape, meaning that hair grows more slowly and sheds more easily, while the texture can also change and hair might become kinky or curly. 

At the same time, the skin on our heads produces less sebum leading to dry and flaky scalps and also drier hair which then becomes duller, and more brittle and prone to breakage. Menopause therefore requires a rethink of your haircare routine as the focus should shift to stimulating growth, scalp health and boosting volume and moisture. Try adding a weekly scalp dermarolling session which will stimulate hair growth and increase topical absorption of a restorative scalp serum. Your daily shampoo and conditioner should also work harder to protect and hydrate strands.

Dryness Down There

As mentioned, estrogen is related to collagen production and skin hydration, and a decline in levels can lead not only to dryness but also itchiness and irritation around the vulva and inside the vaginal canal. Vaginal pH levels can also become unbalanced, exacerbating these symptoms and also possibly leading to  bacterial infections. Keep the vulva hydrated and in its proper acidic state with a gentle cleanser formulated with probiotics that support intimate microflora and microbiome friendly lubricant to keep things juicy. 

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