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BellaOnline's Ethnic Beauty Editor

Dealing With Menopause

First of all, what is menopause? It is a natural life change that occurs when a woman's ovaries begin to produce less estrogen. This causes the menses/the monthly to cease. When one doesn't see her 'friend' for twelve months straight, it is believed she is in menopause. Symptoms however, can begin even in the thirties, for some. This is called perimenopause. During these inevitable phases, estrogen production slows and the menses become irregular, and will eventually end.

An ethnic beauty may also experience a 'personal summer' in the midst of winter. Called a hot flash, this can be accompanied by a pendulous mood swing. To combat an unexpected rise in body temperature, wear light layers, instead of one big heavy sweater. This way, articles of clothing can be removed, or replaced when necessary. A small spritz bottle of scented water may help, as will decreasing the consumption of ingestible triggers like caffeine and alcohol. Soy and chickpeas can also be incorporated into the diet because they contain a plant derivative similar to the estrogen lost by a menopausal woman.

Other symptoms of menopause can take the form of skin issues -- such as dryness, adult acne, or even loss of facial firmness. For pesky acne that can appear on the neck and chest, and often forms along the jawline and beneath the chin, skin will need gentle cleansing or exfoliation. Now offered are also adult acne products; yes! Why? Because as we age, skin cells often need renewal help. Fade/blemish creams or spot correctors may be in order; Ambi® and Clinique™ make these. Mineral powder, cream concealers, or makeup foundations can hide diminishing blemishes. For parched or firmness-bereft skin, moisture should be replaced, preferably by a face cream that contains hyaluronic acid which will help skin to hold hydration. Don't forget, oily skin needs moisturizing too – oil free though.

During menopause an ethnic beauty can experience dry, or thinning hair, or those awful little wiry chin, or shhh – even chest hairs. To get rid of these, why not tweeze? Waxing is another option, or one can use a depilatory cream. I'd suggest keeping razors away from the face because the blade can cause unsightly irritation, bumps, or worse -- inflamed ingrown hairs. Done by a dermatologist, electrolysis, can permanently remove unwanted body hair. For thinning head hair, especially at the crown, one should gently handle. Deep conditioning and a fingertip massage can stimulate the scalp. Non-severe balding spots can be quickly filled in with an eye shadow that mimics a beauty's own hair color. I have known women who have used Just For Men® to cover thinning gray strands. An ethnic beauty can also try a new style, one that will deemphasize hair loss. A weave or a lace front wig (which appears natural with a scalp and all) are other great hair volumizers! Remember, choices abound.

Menopause has been known to contribute to disturbed sleep, causing one to become irritable or suffer hazy thoughts, slight memory loss. To induce calm, health food stores carry herbal remedies and teas. However, speak with your doctor before ingesting anything new because you want nothing to adversely coincide with other medications that you may be taking. While you're at it, ask your doctor about Ginko Biloba which has long been touted as a memory aid.Omega-3 fatty acids are also said to minimize distress symptoms. Chamomile tea, and valerian are believed to calm. Or using natural inexpensive lavender buds, why not create an aroma-therapeutic sleep sachet? Add a few drops of an essential oil to a relaxing bath. Yoga or other exercise can help; an ethnic beauty will breathe deeply, and get toned in the process. In dealing with menopause, don't forget your sister-friends who may be experiencing some of the very same symptoms! Start a discussion, and understand; this is one of life's inescapable little curve balls. Decide how you'll deal with it. Then be thankful that you are yet in the game.

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