Menopause & Skincare: Mukti & Audra James

For Mukti, founder of the Australian brand of the same name that is based in Byron Bay, it’s vital to share body & age positivity and have an open conversation with women about the changes that age brings along. Mukti, who formulates all of her brand’s skincare products, the process of creation of the Calming Collection range was the result of the changes that she experienced with in her own skin and which she could no longer address with the help of her usual skincare.

Mukti, founder of the Australian skincare brand (image courtesy of Mukti)

In addition to the Bio-active Collagen Booster ( which Mukti recommends from the age of 40), she created three products to care for the face – a Calming Cleansing Balm, a Calming Moisturiser and a Regenerating Rescue & Recovery Serum. Together this skincare trio not only helps to calm down the reactive skin, but bring nourishment and hydration, which ultimately help redress the balance which has been negatively impacted by the hormonal changes.

First step is to cleanse the face and neck with the Mukti Cleansing Balm, which contains organic Baobab, Chia and Carrot Seed, as well as Argan oil. In Mukti’s opinion one of the most useful ingredients for the skin during the menopause are the adaptogens. They help women adapt during this significant transitional period in a their life, protect from any additional stress and help achieve homeostasis – a more or less stable state within the body. Rescue & Recovery Serum contains not only adaptogens, but extracts from Australian native plants like Kakadu Plum, Kangaroo Paw Flower and Centipeda, which helps address sensitivities and reactivity within the layers of the skin. Wild Yam contains photo-hormones, which help re-balance the skin, while Red Raspberry Seed helps to slow down the process of hormonal changes in the body. Calming Moisturiser will help the skin deal with at times mixed symptoms thanks to the deeply hydrating, yet delicately active qualities of the cream that is formulated with the base of plant extracts. Shea Butter and Jojoba Esters will nourish, while Co-enzyme Q10, Vitamin E and Rosehip Oil will help improve elasticity and plumpness of the skin. Hyaluronic Acid will make small wrinkles less noticeable, while Australian extracts of Kakadu & Davidson Plums, as well as Quandong will calm the skin down and help boost its hydration level.

Australian aromatherapist Audra James notes that menopausal changes in the skin can start from 40 onwards, when, due to the diminishing oestrogen levels, skin becomes dryer, thinner and not as plump as before. One of the main rules in looking after your skin during that period, in Audra’s opinion, is the tender loving care. Audra’s own daily skincare ritual – this year she gratefully turns 66 – consists of the following ritual twice a day: cleansing face oil, facial tonic followed by the serum, as well as the face mask once a week. One of the underwater currents of the menopause, according to Audra, are the hormonal changes in the body which can ‘re-awaken’ previous skin conditions that might have been dormant, notably eczema, psorias and rosacea. In her private client practise she also notices many instances of hormonal spots that make an unwelcome appearance.

clinical aromatherapist Audra James (image courtesy of Audra)

Menopause also affects the quality of sleep and causes additional stress due to lack of good quality sleep, as well as night sweats. When it comes to skincare it also often happens that skin becomes sensitive or sensitised all of a sudden. This can be down to a few reasons: in part due to hormonal fluctuations and if you have been overdoing facial scrubs over the years, which have negatively impacted skin’s barrier function. Such skin sensitivity often means that skin starts to “react” to many of the so called “anti-ageing’ synthetic products that are still very popular with beauty retailers and you will no longer be able to tolerate them. Taking the above said into account, Audra thinks that natural skin care is the best tool because both skin and body react much better to natural ingredients, rather than the synthetic ones.

It is also a myth that natural skincare isn’t as effective, when compared to mainstream beauty brands – in fact, natural skincare is much more likely to contain antioxidants, vitamins and vital fatty acids that are essential for skin’s health and vitality during the testing time. Natural skin care, such as face oils, butters, balms, herbs, clays and flower hydrosols work perfectly well for women’s skin during menopause , giving it all the essentials to nourish it, helping it regenerate and calm it down. In facts this is one of the most effective ways to give skin back its natural glow ( and let’s be honest, we all want it irrespective of our age !) – all you need to do is spend a few minutes a day massaging your face with beautiful cleansing skincare product which has an oil base, apply warm compresses, which will gently warm up and scrub the skin.

Another key to success during this time is consistency. By following such daily skincare ritual, massaging your face delicately (delicate being the key word here!) will have a significant positive impact not only on your skin, but your inner confidence as well. Additional bonus of using natural skincare is that often such products also contain relaxing and balancing essential oils that help improve the mood. For example Audra makes a facial spray that contains pink geranium, which not only balances the skin (it is effective for oily, as well as dry skin), but helps you feel more able to deal with emotional rollercoasters of daily life. By misting your face with it, not only are you hydrating and balancing the skin, you are also re-gaining your own internal balance by simply inhaling the smell of aromatic waters. To an extent this is the essence of the natural skin care.

At the moment Audra doesn’t make skincare which is marked with ‘for the skin during menopause’, but for a few years now she has been making individualised skincare products for her clients, based on their skin’s needs which reflect what is currently going on in their bodies. Audra also thinks that this segment of skincare is only starting to gain momentum and has the most impressive potential – for brand founders, clients and beauty retails alike.

Note: this post, as is any other post in the “Menopause and Skincare Series” is not sponsored, nor features advertisement of brands. The information contained in this post is based on my own research and opinions of people who contributed their time and knowledge in order to help me address this still very sensitive for many women topic.

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