“Menopause, a rite of passage” – by Laura Casey

At ESPA, we want to ensure that we are helping with the skin, body and mind wellbeing of everyone. From any age, gender, stage of life, we want to provide advice and products that can help you. Today we are talking about a subject that most brands consider “taboo”, the menopause, and how to deal with your skin and body during this time. This post is a guest article written by ESPA UK and International Training Manager, Laura Casey.

“I wake up properly half- way round the track as I’m jogging, fighting a kind of menopausal jet lag and wondering if tossing and turning at night counts as exercise. I shake off an irritation that lingers long after my alarm has been switched off. I observe my mood as if it’s a separate thing and understand this chemical imbalance comes with fluctuating hormones. This is not who I am. This has to be managed. With each step I feel my skin land a fraction of a second after the rest of me. It amuses me as I imagine how it would look in slow motion! I laugh out loud- a positive side effect of this time of life- what other people think of me is nobody’s business but their own!

As energy starts to flow, I suddenly become fully present, loving the autumnal air. I relish the sight of the sun rising above misty fields and of cold dew on natures delicately spun art and feel absolute gratitude for this time. To think, half an hour ago, I thought I’d prefer to stay in bed nursing my aching joints and bad humour. I allow a self- righteous smile and decide today will be a good day!

  • After using the Skin Stimulating Body brush (upwards on dry skin) which is such a simple way to help move lymph along the channels,
  • I take an invigorating shower using my Fitness Shower Oil, thoroughly enjoying the oil- to soap- to milk, magic texture and purposefully inhaling the uplifting Eucalyptus and Clove bud aroma.
  • I follow with Positivity Bath and Body Oil as a therapeutic body moisturiser. My skin really likes this, and I love how grounded and happy the aroma of Gardenia, Jasmine and Rose Geranium, makes me feel.

How grateful I am for this start to the day!

I go to the mirror and greet my lived- in face. I see my ancestors in the angles of my features, the moles, the uneven skin, the ‘imperfections’ I think how lucky I am to have been gifted this DNA. I have looked at this face for 52 years and have seen the treasure map of life’s journeys being filled in with each new life experience. The map is getting wrinkly, discoloured in places- so many stories to tell! There is constant evolution. I am glad for it and resist the urge to define myself by how I think others should see me. I look at my hair turning from black to white and find it fascinating. Our bodies are amazing! I notice my once luscious lashes seem to have relocated to my chin, apparently loving it there, as they are growing even more lusciously! I try to turn the magnifier mirror round to pluck the pesky usurpers and realise it’s already on the magnified side. I laugh again. My husband asks, ‘what’s funny?’ I decide to keep that one to myself!

I begin my morning ESPA skincare ritual for menopausal skin, which is never a chore but an absolute joy. I use:

  • Hydrating Cleansing Milk which is so great for my dry skin. I love the coolness, the caring milky texture and the delicate rose scent. I prefer to apply with fingers and remove with cotton wool. Sometimes I like to splash off with water but not today, I need the extra love.
  • The Hydrating Floral Spafresh Mist reminds me of my dewy run as the aroma-mist lands on my skin giving me much needed hydration and a moment of calm as I inhale the Rose Damascena and Neroli.
  • Tri-Active™ ProBiome Resilience Eye Treatment is the best eye cream I have used, proven to increase hydration by 48%! It absorbs incredibly well and leaves the skin around my eyes silky smooth and bright due to the natural Bio-retinol, Tuberose and Peony.
  • I follow this with a few drops of Tri-Active™ Regenerating Treatment Oil with, mineral rich Microalgae, rejuvenating natural Bio-retinol, and gorgeous Frankincense and Rose aroma. After a deep inhalation, I take this down my neck and décolleté to treat the skin but also to prolong using it, as it is such a pleasure. My skin absorbs this within a couple of minutes while I clean my teeth, then
  • I smooth, antioxidant rich Tri-Active™ Resilience ProBiome Moisturiser on top of the treatment oil. Its exceptional ingredients, including Honeysuckle and Neroli, enhance my skin’s elasticity, and the luxurious texture locks in moisture, giving my skin a plump, dewy look. The ‘map’ looks revived, raring to go for more adventures.

I walk into my home office and forget why I’m there. The hormonal rollercoaster pauses for a second to take on more passengers- welcome memory loss! I remind myself this is not early onset dementia- it will pass. I make a mental note to feed my brain with good food and cut out the sugar. I opt for smashed avocado on sour dough with smoked salmon and live yoghurt. I decide to enjoy a coffee knowing it will probably attract more passengers- roll up menopausal hot flush!

In my training room I go straight for the window. My eager and bemused students ask me ‘aren’t you cold, it’s winter?’ I think to myself Cold! You’re kidding- I have an internal furnace that could melt Antarctica. I make a mental note to find an alternative to wine with dinner later (no, unfortunately Gin has the same effect!) and include phytoestrogens; Tofu with a miso soy glaze sprinkled with sesame or flax seeds. Lemon and Ginger tea will go nicely!

Many of us, during this time, as well as working and looking after the home, continue to be responsible for children who are not yet able to be fully independent, while also caring for parents whose needs are increasing. It becomes even more important to carve out some space and time to restore equilibrium. Whether that’s an extra hour in bed, a blank day in the diary or a long walk. You could also check out the ESPA You Tube channel for great tips on positive thinking, mindfulness, sleep, yoga, self -care rituals and much more. If you’re looking for an instant teleportation to the spa then a soothing diffuser and candle is the button to hit!

Yes, the menopause can be a tricky thing to manage as it is so different for all of us and there is no right or wrong way to do it, but it will pass and there are many advantages to this time of life. In traditional Chinese medicine this is called ‘a second spring’ and celebrated as a gateway to an energetic older age. Some women find their libido surges. No more PMS and It’s great not having to book your holiday or a music festival around period dates or spending any more on sanitary products. Join the ranks of the wise and sexy older woman- think Helen Mirren, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, where beauty is defined by depth and confidence, kindness and wisdom. This is our time, let us acknowledge and honour menopause as a rite of passage into freedom!


Thank you for reading.

Writer and expert