Menopause, Health & Wellbeing Product Review 2015

By Aimee Blakemore – Stratum C Brand Manager Stratum C Menopause Skin Care has recently been partnering with other organisations to find the best solutions for menopause management and we have had the opportunity to test some fabulous products that … Continue reading

New Study Published on Menopause Symptoms

ID-100150733This month celebrates 25 years of NAMS – The North American Menopause Society. To celebrate, they have published a ‘Special Feature’ in the The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, which could help change the way that physicians and health care professionals treat menopause, for the better.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), one of the largest internationally recognized professional communities addressing health issues during Menopause, has published a comprehensive study on Menopause and it’s symptoms, officially stating that menopause is a physiological health issue, and detailing all the areas where menopause can affect the average menopausal female.

This is fantastic news for menopausal women everywhere and a great step forward in finding specific and effective ways to treat the changes that Menopause brings. The paper is based on an earlier book published by NAMS in 2000, and is publicly available on the NAMS website for all to read.

Just some of the changes talked about in the study include: skin care, hair care, mood swings, increased risk of osteoporosis, and sleep disturbance – just to name a few!

The paper, which has been published in The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, will now be used as an official guide for medical and healthcare professionals everywhere for clinical recommendations to the care of their menopausal patients – a huge break through for Menopause and women everywhere.

The paper was published to celebrate 25th anniversary of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and we expect to see great things from the healthcare and medical community following the publication of this insightful feature.

For more information on how to address skin concerns during menopause, visit www.stratumc.com, where you will find advice and detailed information on the effects menopause can have on the skin, in additional to helpful tips on healthy nutrition through menopause. Plus, Stratum C products provide innovative skin care to improve skin health and give your skin a boost, when you need it most.

References

Original News Article – http://www.pennlive.com/bodyandmind/index.ssf/2015/02/talking_menopause_harrisburg_a.html

NAMS Website – http://www.menopause.org

The best ways to look after your hands

As we prepare to introduce our fabulous new hand and nail care product, we thought it would be good to round up the best hand and nail care tips as we approach the cold Winter.

Hands are often the first sign of ageing. Over time they become worn and the prolonged exposure to the elements can take its toll.

hand cream_v2 smallStratum C have created a fabulous and unique hand and nail care product – the Complete 4 Total Hand Care Cream, addressing all aspects of hand care by combining scientifically proven ingredients which conquer age spots, wrinkles, sun damage and nail strengthening – all in one revolutionary new cream.

The formulation has been developed and produced in the UK over the past year by Forme Laboratories and uses a combination of ingredients which will make your hands feel revived, refreshed and renewed. There are 4 main targets that this cream addresses – skin ageing, age or ‘liver spots’ caused by hyper-pigmentation, nail strengthening and protecting your skin from the sun – the first product in the Stratum C line to combine SPF into their moisturiser.

SPF comes in many different forms and Stratum C has previously not included SPF ingredients due to the desire to keep the products simple and sensitive to problematic menopausal skin. Often, sun protection ingredients can become irritant to sensitive skin or have negative side effects, but the new Complete 4 cream uses ingredients that avoid the use of parabens and oxybenzone, commonly used in sun creams which can cause irritation to the skin. Complete 4 will protect your skin from 88% UV rays, whilst also helping to boost nail strength, collagen and reduce dark spots.

A revolutionary new ingredient called TEGO Cosmo has been included to break down age spots and prevent them from returning. This scientifically component suppresses the enzyme in your skin, Tyrosinase, helping to break down the build up of melanin which causes age spots to form. This ingredient has been shown to be more effective than Kojic acid and does not carry the dangerous carcinogen properties related to overuse of skin lightening elements like Hydroquinone.

Complete 4 also contains Matrixyl 3000 – the collagen boosting peptides which are used in Stratum C’s core product range, the Protect Cream and Repair Serum. Over time and as your oestrogen levels begin to subside, so does your collagen, which can have a devastating effect on skin ageing. Matrixyl has been shown to boost collagen levels by 70% when used over a 28 day period and continues to improve the longer you use it.

Complete 4 also uses splashes--hands--pouring-water--bacteria_3251878Keratin Amino Acids to help strengthen nails and condition the skin by replenishing levels of naturally occurring Keratin proteins, which are essential for maintaining a healthy structure for skin and nails.

For locking in moisture and making your hands soft and gentle, we have also included Shea Butter for its skin conditioning and moisturising properties, and Manketti Nut Oil – which is commonly used in sun protection, body butters and balms to protect the skin.

We have put together a list of everyday tips to help you make the most of caring for your hands and prevent further damage through exposure to the elements:

  • Always wear gloves when cleaning and washing up – having your hands in water for prolonged periods of time can cause the skin to become dry – try putting on moisturiser before you put your gloves on and afterwards to lock in the moisturising ingredientsyellow-gloves--cleaning--person--clean_3218467
  • Always wear gloves when it is cold – the cold can have a huge negative impact on hands as they are constantly being exposed to the outdoors
  • Moisturise regularly – and after every time your hands come into contact with water
  • Try to eat more fatty acids to improve overall skin health such as oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds
  • Keep fingers moving to improve circulation, try daily exercises like drumming your fingers on a table or clenching and releasing your fists repeatedly for 5 minutes

Look out for more hand care tips throughout November and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for helpful links and content to help you take care of your skin during menopause.

@StratumC

http://www.facebook.com/Stratumc

http://www.stratumc.com

Age spots – a closer look…

Age or Liver spots and hyperpigmentation, are caused by a number of contributing factors. This article will look at why they appear and how to protect your skin.

What are age spots and how are they formed?

Age or liver spots are an inevitable side effect of the ageing process. They are caused by melanin or Lipofuscin synthesis in the skin, which is made worse by exposure to UV light. The production of this pigment is controlled by an enzyme in the skin called Tyrosinase.

One of the most well-known and more prominent causes of age spots is sun damage. We are by now all very familiar with the terms UVA, UVB and SPF – but what do all these letters mean? Sunlight is made up of several types of light; Visible light is the white light spectrum that makes up the largest proportion of sunlight; Infrared light is invisible radiant energy with a longer wavelength than that of the red wavelength on the visible spectrum, hence the name Infrared; Ultraviolet (UV) light contains 3 wavelengths – UVA, UVB and UVC which are shorter than that of the violet wavelength on the visible spectrum, hence the name Ultra Violet.

But what do they all do?

Ultra Violet light is made up of A, B and C rays, each have different properties and are defined by their wavelengths. UV light makes up a small portion of the sun’s radiation.

  • UVC – has the shortest wavelength and is mostly absorbed by the atmosphere and so very little reaches the earth’s surface.
  • UVB – is the mid range wavelength and also greatly absorbed into the atmosphere, which along with UVC rays is responsible for the phytochemical reaction that lead to the production of the ozone layer. UVB rays are harmful to the skin and can cause sunburn. However, UVB also promotes Vitamin D production within the body.
  • UVA – has the longest wavelength of UV and was once thought to be less damaging to skin. For this reason, it is the light which is used in tanning beds and light therapy for psoriasis. However, more recently, UVA has been found to damage the skin, directly and indirectly (via free radicals) and is a contributing cause of skin cancer. However UVA also promotes low blood pressure by increasing the body’s level of nitric oxide and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Infrared light is responsible for the heat energy that we feel from the sun and is linked to treating medical conditions in areas of physiotherapy and mental health. Infrared is not harmful unless you are exposed to industrial quantities. It is commonly used in many everyday tasks including fiber optics, thermal imaging, night vision and in healthcare treatments.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists, admissions for skin cancers are rising and some scientists believe that this could be related to the increased level of UV rays penetrating the thinning ozone layer, therefore making us more vulnerable to sun exposure. However, a simpler explanation could be because many people are also not taking the necessary precautions in the sun.

How can we prevent sun exposure that leads to age spots and potentially, skin cancer?

Untitled-1Firstly, avoid tanning booths. They have now been banned in many countries as they immediately pose a threat of skin cancer. Too much tanning can cause age spots to form more easily and so the easy way to avoid this is to limit your exposure to UV light.

Try not to get sunburn. There are now a wide selection of products on the market today which all vary in SPF (Sun Protection Factor) levels for the desired level of protection. For example, factor 15 is commonly used as it protects from 93% of harmful UV rays. However factor 50 protects from 98% and is highly recommended to those who have paler, more vulnerable skin, such as small children. More commonly today, can you also find make up products which act as an SPF once applied.

Up your in take of Vitamin C. Studies have shown that high levels of Vitamin C which is rich in anti-oxidants, can help break down the enzyme in the skin which causes age spots to form and also protect you from free radicals. This can also be found in Stratum C Pigment Correction Gel.

Apply your sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before you go outside. This is equally as important in winter, as you are still being exposed to sunlight.

Use Stratum C Pigment Correction Gel – a unique combination of several powerful active but natural ingredients which helps to reduce the appearance of existing spots and prevent new ones from forming. Vitamin C is combined with natural Bellis Perennis Extract which have been shown in clinical trials to reduce the production of Tyrosinase by 50%. Additionally an extract of olive leaves called Oleuropin is included which has been proven to both prevent the formation of Lipofuscin and to reduce the appearance of existing age spots. It also contains Hyaluronic Acid for intense moisturisation which helps to improve collagen synthesis and fight ageing. The Vitamin C content also provides fantastic antioxidant protection, as mentioned above. This gel leaves a wonderful sheen on your skin and tingles a little, so you know the ingredients are really working. It should ideally be applied 3 times a day and is recommended for the face and hands, which spend more time in the sunlight. For more information on this product, please visit www.stratumc.com.

If you have concerns about age spots or skin cancer, you should seek advice from a healthcare professional. We have also included some helpful links below for more information. Follow our #30daysofautumnskin campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, starting 1st October 2014.

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Skin/Skincancer.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-skin/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/skin-cancer/

http://www.skincancer.org

http://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/SkinInformation/SkinCancer.aspx

13 Ways To Brighten Your Eyes

Vitality Eye Serum LARGE croppedOur eyes are an invaluable part of our body. They are the first thing people look at when they see us, and the focal point of our faces, so keeping them looking their best can be very important.

During menopause, symptoms such as night sweats and insomnia can take their toll on your eyes. Below are a few ways to prevent tired eyes, in addition to the launch of our NEW Stratum C Vitality Eye Serum.

  1. Eating an iron rich diet – green leaves, legumes and dark chocolate. Iron deficiency could be a cause of dark under eye circles.
  2. Don’t over pluck your eyebrows – thinning eyebrows is often a sign of ageing and can draw attention to the areas you would rather it didn’t…
  3. Limit your salt in take – the daily recommended intake of salt is 6g per day. Too much salt can cause water retention around the eye area.
  4. Edible eye patches – Most people like to use cucumber as an eye pad to help reduce puffiness, but it is also thought that sweet potatoes make a great eye remedy as they are full of anti-oxidants. Place a slice over the eye for 10 minutes in the morning after applying your Vitality Eye Serum.
  5. Mascara – by making your eyelashes look longer, it will open up your eyes and stop them looking so tired. Use an eye lash curler over your mascara to get even more volume.ID-100218396
  6. Make up – get a good primer to help fill in any lines before you apply any powder to the eye lid. Use your favourite concealer to cover up the under eye area, to smooth the skin and create an even skin tone.
  7. Eye pencil – darker eye liner can exaggerate crow’s feet so try using darker eye pencil just above the upper eye lashes, and a lighter or white pencil to highlight the lower inner eye corners to brighten any darker areas.
  8. Take your sunglasses everywhere – by wearing your sun glasses, you will prevent squinting in bright light – therefore reducing the impact of crows feet.
  9. Drink plenty of water – staying hydrated can improve the condition of your skin and help improve the circulation around the eye.
  10. Get the right amount of sleep – too little sleep will make you tired – but too much sleep is also not good – try getting theID-100116409 recommended 7 to 8 hours per night. See our tips on #30daysofsleepingwell on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  11. Always remove your make up before bed – leaving your make up on can damage your lashes and clog your pores leading to problem skin. Use Stratum C Gentle Cleanser which uses Rose Hip Seed oil and makes for a gentle, but thorough cleanse and is great for removing make up.
  12. Teabag treatment – use a cold green or chamomile tea bag to rest on the eye morning or evening which can help to relieve puffiness.
  13. Natural Peptides – Use Stratum C Menopause Vitality Eye Serum – which contains naturally derived peptides from rice, soya and yeast proteins and helps to reduce puffiness and improve circulation, whilst also improving fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen. This light, sumptuous gel also contains Hyaluronic acid for added hydration and high levels of Irish Moss seaweed extract full of anti-oxidants and added skin protection.

Now you are fully equipped for tackling tired eyes. You can also follow our social network campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where everyday we post useful tips for ways to relieve menopause symptoms. Follow us to keep updated with daily tips and also look up our previous campaign #30daysofkeepingcool and our current one, #30daysofsleepingwell.

If you have any questions about Stratum C, please get in touch via our website www.stratumc.com. Or by calling us on +44 (0) 1252 267950.

The Benefits of Aloe Vera

The Benefits of Aloe Vera

We have all heard of Aloe Vera, the plant used for its therapeutic properties and popularly used as a natural emollient, due to it being gentle, calming and soothing making it the perfect choice for skincare. Aloe, or ‘Aloe Barbadensis’, is full of nutritional benefits for your body and very popular amongst skin care manufacturers as it is packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. It is also a perfect astringent, making Aloe the essential ingredient for a toner due to its deep cleaning, hydrating, moisturising and rejuvenating effects.

ID-10076222With so many choices out there, it can be difficult choosing which skin care product is best for you. Having the right levels of Aloe Vera and other active and natural ingredients in your skincare regime will make all the difference.

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Aloe has mild healing qualities and is also known to kill bacteria, and when used as part of a skin toner, it delivers all the benefits into freshly cleansed skin.

Toners gently close the pores,  so using Aloe will confidently leave the skin perfectly clean, nourished and healed. Aloe Vera has properties which allow it to reach deeper body tissues, taking all the nutrients of the Aloe into the skin. It also helps to retain moisture in damaged tissue; the penetrating power of Aloe allows water and other moisturisers to sink deeply into the skin, therefore also making it ideal to use before applying your face cream. Collagen is a big factor in preventing skin ageing during menopause and Aloe Vera has been found to increase the production of fibroblast cells, these are the cells responsible for for producing collagen and it has been known to increase by up to eight times as much as normal cell production.

mailoutimagetonerStratum C Calming Toner uses a high level of active ingredients to give you the highest quality products. As well as Aloe Vera, which gives it a natural green hue, it also contains Hyaluron, Papaya, Cucumber, Sage and Orange Flower which all help to enhance the delivery of Coenzyme Q10 into the dermis. CoQ10 is an important anti-oxidant ingredient used in our Calming Toner, this active ingredient will prevent dry skin, ageing and a dull complexion by powerfully combating free radicals. Stratum C Calming Toner compliments our existing Gentle Cleanser with Rose Hip Seed Oil, giving you a complete regime for beautifully clean skin. Use the toner morning and night, after cleansing to deeply clean the pores, remove make up and bacteria, leaving it soft and replenished.

To purchase the Calming Toner or any item from the Stratum C Menopause Skin Care range, please visit www.stratumc.com.

If you would like to be added to Stratum C’s mailing list to receive our free monthly newsletter, there are no obligations and we won’t share your details with anyone else, all you have to do is sign up using the link below. We look forward to sending you lots of helpful information, please click on the link and fill in your details – http://eepurl.com/MKAUj.

No More Tired Eyes…

Vitality Eye Serum LARGE croppedLack of sleep and disturbed nights can lead to tired, puffy eyes and dark circles. The skin around the eyes is more delicate and as we age it becomes thinner and more transparent, causing our capillaries to become more visible, and making dark circles more prominent.

Stratum C have recently launched their NEW VITALITY EYE SERUM beautifully designed for menopausal skin and eyes that are becoming thinner, sensitive and more vulnerable to signs of ageing.

Using only naturally derived peptides extracted from rice, soya and yeast proteins, Stratum C Menopause Vitality Eye Serum not only boosts collagen levels but stimulates blood flow around the eye to visibly reduce dark circles and puffy areas caused by tiredness and dehydration. Combined with Stratum C’s luxuriant anti-ageing ingredients Irish Moss Seaweed extract and Hyaluronic acid which are found in the popular Repair Serum, moisture levels around the eye will be replenished and existing fine lines and wrinkles reduced.

Packed full of anti-oxidants, this wonder eye serum is packaged in an innovative, sophisticated air tight syringe that dispenses exactly the correct amount required for a single use for both eyes. One syringe contains 100 uses. The serum can be included in your daily skin care regime and should be applied to clean skin, morning and evening to achieve the best results.

This fabulous new serum is now available to buy from www.stratumc.com and other selected retailers across the UK and online. For more information, please visit the Stratum C website.

 

More tips to help ease puffiness and dark circles…

Your eyes reveal most about you, even more reason to keep them glowing; Here’s how:

  • Rest your eyes during the day if you are sat at a computer screen and reduce the brightness on the screen.
  • Ensure you always wear your glasses when and if needed to prevent over straining.
  • Drink plenty of water so fragile eyes do not become dehydrated.
  • Aim for 7 – 8 hours sleep per night and sleep with head slightly elevated.
  • On waking place a cold flannel or sliced cool cucumber over the eyes and hold for 1 – 2 minutes to refresh and calm puffiness.
  • Limit your salt in take as it can cause dehydration and as the skin is so thin around the eye area it will present itself here first.
  • Cold potato slices contain the enzyme catecholase, which acts as a skin lightener to rid dark circles. Cut them into thin slices and place in cool water before placing over your eyes and relax.

A good cover up…

Applying make up around the eyes can help to transform the appearance of your entire look. ID-100218396Your eyes are what people are drawn to when they speak to you and therefore if you are looking to add to your natural glow, it has to be done right. Below are some tips on how to make the most of your eye make up:

– Start with your brows, as messy or thinning brows can make your eyes look tired. Well groomed brows can give you an overall younger and fresher look and shape your whole face.

– Use an under eye concealer with brightening pigments, they will diffuse light and cover wrinkles. Use a concealer that is slightly lighter than your skin colour to give a brighter, lighter look and not a dark shadow.

– Lift your top lashes with a good, clear mascara for long youthful pretty lashes and to wake up tired eyes.

 

The controversial little beige bean – Soy

Menopause is a time of change, a time to really focus on our health and wellbeing and giving our bodies the best we can, and with scares and concerns over HRT, we are all trying to follow a more alternative path.

We are constantly bombarded with what is good and what is bad for us. The buzz words, super foods and trendy diets.

Native to East Asia this little bean, the soy bean, made a big entrance and we were told to drink it, eat it and take it in supplement form. Then studies were made and we were told the sometimes confusing information of the damaging effects and links with breast cancer. So is soy a fad? Is it cheap to make? Is it just business and why is it promoted as a health food?

‘Somehow, the ancient Chinese knew that soybeans still contain many toxins after cooking and thus avoiding eating it until they learned to neutralise those toxins through fermentation. In traditional Asian diets, soy is only used in small amounts as a condiment, with pork, seafood and other animals providing the bulk of the protein. Only very recently has soy been eaten the way we typically eat it, consuming large amounts in an unfermented and often highly processed form’

http://www.optimumchoices.com/Soy.htm

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The Good

Soy is derived from the soya bean, a cholesterol free, high in protein legume that has been known to have many health benefits, controversially including the fight against breast and prostate cancer, menopausal symptoms, heart disease and osteoporosis. This little bean contains large amounts of polyunsaturated fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and omega-3. It may help decrease unnecessary carbohydrates from empty calories. Soy at its best is found in tofu, tempeh and miso the traditional Asian soy product, rather than the synthetic or processed form. According to the Linus Pauling institute “diets rich in soy appear safe and potentially beneficial”. From that, maybe keep to the recommended daily amount (25 grams per day) or if concerned opt for alternative foods.

…….and the Bad

The researched risks of soy have actually been studies on the isoflavones, which seem to be causing the issue. These powerful phytoestrogen chemicals found in soy plants have been found to work like oestrogen in the human body and are most prevalent in soy foods than in any other foods. This could potentially be a risk to women during menopause as studies showed soy phytoestrogens have the oestrogenic effect of stimulating growth of breast cancer cells in tissue cultures. These studies revealed that soy protein isolates stimulate growth of normal breast cells much the way that natural oestrogens do. Being that progesterone is low and decreasing during menopause this could add to breast cancer risk.


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The Conclusion

If high levels of soy’s phytoestrogens (isoflavones) found in predominately synthetic supplements, protein powders and processed foods are consumed, research shows that it may disrupt the endocrine system and could lead to a higher risk of breast cancer and other hormonal and vitamin imbalances. The findings have not established the efficacy and safety of soy isoflavones. The main concern is the fact that the chemical composition of isoflavones is similar

The old saying is ‘everything in moderation’ and if you’re consuming a healthy diet without eating or drinking large quantities of soy, then you lower your risk of an imbalance in mentioned health issues or disruption of hormone levels. Life is about balance, especially during menopause.

Alternatives

Coconut and almond milk are great if you have been drinking soymilk and want something different to avoid too much consumption

To still have that all important balance of protein on a daily basis, other foods are turkey, fish such as tuna, salmon and halibut, cottage cheese, pork loin, lean beef, eggs, natural yoghurt, nuts and seeds.

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‘The richest sources of phytoestrogens in the human diet include soybeans, red clover, whole grains and flaxseed. Herbs with high concentrations of phytoestrogens include hops, thyme, liquorice and verbena, notes NYU Langone Medical Center. Some herbs often thought to have phytoestrogens that in fact do not include saw palmetto, wild yam, chasteberry, ginseng, black cohosh and dong quai. These herbs may, however, mimic the effects of estrogen in certain conditions’

http://www.livestrong.com/article/83849-foods-contain-phytoestrogen/

Reference – http://www.johnleemd.com/store/soy_menopause.html

Reference – http://www.optimumchoices.com/Soy.htm

 Reference http://www.livestrong.com/article/85804-foods-rich-isoflavones/

Premature menopause….help is out there.

Where to find help for premature menopause?

Premature menopause (also know as premature ovarian failure POF) usually occurs before the age of 40, where periods cease altogether. It can be a very emotionally trying time and women often need to grieve and adjust physically and mentally to the diagnosis. The issue does not mean the woman in question is ageing prematurely, it means the ovaries have –

  • Stopped releasing eggs or they are being released intermittently.
  • Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone become intermittent or have stopped being produced.

Why does premature menopause occur?

Genetics – This could be due to abnormal chromosomes or abnormal individual genes. Chromosome abnormalities that can lead to primary ovarian insufficiency include:

  • Turner syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Women who have a Y chromosome which is only found in men
  • Abnormal hormone function found genetically

Illness – cancer and also autoimmune disorders where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s organs and tissue, can be possibilities and some viruses.

Medical Procedures or toxin – Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the most common causes of toxin induced ovarian insufficiency.

Hysterectomy

Poor diet, smoking and obesity have also been linked to premature menopause

Symptoms

The symptoms will be the same as any woman in her menopause, although additional issues will be physical and emotional concerns. This is due to menopause signals the end of women’s fertility, therefore preventing pregnancy and other health concerns due to lack of oestrogen, such as osteoporosis.

Women undergoing a natural menopause will no doubt experience some of the symptoms below, which means premature menopause will involve the same, only with the added pressure of physcological effects.

  • Irregular, missed, heavier or lighter than normal periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Increased facial hair
  • Hair loss/thinning
  • Skin changes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bladder irritability and worsening of loss of bladder control
  • Emotional changes and mood swings
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Loss of libido
  • Adrenal insufficiency which include weight loss, decrease appetite, abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, salt craving, darkening of the skin
  • Hearing loss as ovarian deficiency can cause deafness

Along with the above symptoms, if you undergo any of the list below you should consult your doctor to determine whether you may be experiencing premature menopause:

  • Chemotherapy
  • You or a family member have had hypothyroidism, graves disease or lupus
  • You have unsuccessfully become pregnant after a year of trying
  • Mother or sister has experienced premature menopause

How can premature menopause be diagnosed?

  • Physical examination by your doctor.
  • Blood sample to rule out any other possible conditions such as pregnancy or thyroid.
  • A test may be done to measure oestradiol levels, this shows whether your ovaries are starting to fail and if they are below a certain level it may signal menopause.
  • The most important test is a blood test measuring follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This stimulates your ovaries to produce oestrogen. When ovaries slow down your body produces more FSH to drive the ovaries harder and FSH levels increase. Once they are over a certain level it indicates menopause.
  • These tests however are not always reliable or conclusive.

Treatment and help

Stay healthy and take care of yourself with the right nutrition, exercise and enough sleep. This can help relieve menopausal symptoms and aim to make them easier to manage. Staying healthy will also prepare your body for various treatment options.

Speak to your healthcare provider if you wish to try and conceive. They will be able to diagnose the possibilities and offer you the best treatment for fertility.

Your healthcare provider will also be able to discuss ways to boost oestrogen, which is vital for the bones. Women require oestrogen to stay strong and resistant to osteoporosis, breaks and fractures. Some medical evidence has shown possibilities to higher risk of heart disease.

Best source of information

  • Your current healthcare provider for questions and concerns.
  • The Daisy Network is a registered charity for women who have experienced premature menopause. They provide a network service to support and help you at this time.

Reference

http://www.webmd.boots.com/menopause/guide/premature-menopause

http://www.daisynetwork.org.uk/about-premature-menopause

http://www.menopausematters.co.uk

 

Expose your skin to helpful, not harmful ingredients

Exposing ingredients

How toxic are you?

We are bombarded with information all the time with news, media and friends informing us on ingredients to avoid.  Plus our own personal unexplained skin irritations, inflammation or damage.  Just as you think you might have cracked it, more cautions are advised.

How do we really know and where do you start as a consumer?

The first step is understanding the ingredient list, which can be quite a task all of its own.

Standing in the shop, reading the label, its either a long & unpronounceable name, in Latin or more often than not you’ve never heard of it. Unless you studied science its all a whole new language!

Read from the top to the bottom of the label.

Ingredients are listed with the first five being the highest quantities.  If you are aware of an ingredient that you personally can’t use or you are wary of an irritant and it is placed in the top half, then avoid this product.

Getting to know your ingredients.

  • If you suffer with sensitive skin, allergies or you are concerned with side effects of certain ingredients a good place to start is looking at the cosmetic safety database and Wikipedia. Start building your knowledge on basic ingredients and their levels of toxicity.ID-100159476
  • Be aware though, some may have no scientific recorded as of yet, so these will be marked with a ‘0’ on the database which is classified as the least harmful. Its important to know his may not be the case, hence researching elsewhere.
  • Concentration is not considered, therefore it may not be an irritant at low levels such as 0.1%, but applied at 100% it could be very harmful.
  • Some ingredients have the same name between naturally derived and synthetically produced versions, be aware it may still irritate your skin as these are very different.
  • You may have a reaction to any product and it could become stressful with so many opinions out there. If an ingredient has been known to cause an irritation and if it’s used in trace amounts such as some preservatives, it would require a higher concentration before it reached your blood stream and became a problem.

 Avoiding irritants.

Try and isolate your own personal triggers from previous products used and the possible ingredients causing an issue. If any ingredients have been raised, make a note, avoid using any products containing them. If you’re unsure, the main ingredients that cause irritation are:

Detergents  – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Preservatives  – Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, formaldehyde and parabens

Fragrances – or Parfum, this term can interpret artificial fragrance which is a major irritant, high dosage of natural essential oils can also be an irritant to some. Lemongrass being one of the most provoking, even at low concentrations.

Emollients and emulsifying agents – Mineral oil, vegetable oil and petrochemical derived ingredients such as butylene glycol, capric/caprylic triglyceride, ceteareth-20, fatty alcohols (e.g.cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, coconut fatty acids, silicones (e.g. cyclomethicone, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane), emulsifying wax, petroleum jelly, fatty acids, glyceryl stearate, hydrogenated oils, isopropyl myristate, jojoba butter (hydrogenated jojoba oil), mineral oil, octyl palmitate, paraffin, squalene (as oppose to squalane which is a naturally derived hydrating product) and stearic acid.

Instead look for natural emollients such as Rose hip seed oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, safflower oil, wheat germ oil and apricot kernel oil.

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References

A reference states the facts and trusting your brand is key! Published scientific research should be available to back up evidence.

INCI list -(International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients)

Last but by no means least, the INCI list. This is the official directory for cosmetic ingredients. All ingredients must be submitted for registration on the system under the same name to make them legal. Another confidence builder is always that they are not tested on animals for cosmetic research, so this will put your mind to rest as to whether this is a concern. The INCI list can be viewed at http://www.makingcosmetics.com/INCI-63.html to help you understand the ingredient names and functions.

Stratum C Menopause Skin Care Range

Stratum C are products are formulated with the highest quality, natural active ingredient to support your skin during the menopause, a time when the skin is more likely to be changeable and sensitive.  We do not use any artificial colourings, fragrances and have minimal preservative systems. Our products are so gentle that most have to be used within 6 months rather than the more conventional 12 months. Stratum C contains no parabens, phallates, formaldehydes, EDTA or M.I. and with the optimum amount of natural active ingredients you can manage your skin beautifully, whilst preventing any irritations. www.stratumc.com