Temperature changes, in particular hot flushes, are amongst the most common menopausal symptoms, and they can be very hard to manage. In fact around 75%% of women experience hot flushes at some point during menopause.
They can be uncomfortable in themselves and can have a knock-on effect as well, disrupting sleep for example. However, there are things that can help.
What causes hot flashes?
As with all things menopause, the root cause of hot flashes are the hormone changes, particularly a drop in oestrogen and progesterone, all of which affects the action of other hormones that are responsible for regulating the body's temperature.
How do hot flashes manifest?
Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not just about feeling hot. They can be quite disconcerting, including:
- Suddenly feeling heat spread through your chest, neck, and face
- Red, blotchy skin
- A rapid heartbeat
- Feeling hot followed by feeling cold
- Feeling anxious
What can you do to help?
For most women hot flashes/flushes are something that can be managed or minimised but usually not entirely got rid of. To some extent, what works best for you depends on how severe your symptoms are.
One solution is hormone therapy (HRT), but not everyone chooses that option, and for many women it isn't suitable because of other health issues. However, there's also an increasing emphasis on naturally occurring plant hormones (phytoestrogens), which can be found in your diet, in skincare products like our MPlus collection, and in supplements. Using plant hormones, combined with other techniques, many women find that they can manage hot flashes holistically.
Diet and lifestyle
Diet and lifestyle has an impact on just about everything, so it's fitting that it would have an impact on how the body manages hormonal changes during menopause. Some of the things that can help with the severity of hot flashes include limiting your intake of refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, spicy food and salt. Generally eating a healthy diet, with lots of vegetables with a high water content to help you stay hydrated, and finding foods that are a natural source of oestrogen, can all help.
Supplements, such as vitamin E, have been shown to have an effect on reducing the severity of hot flushes as well as being generally good for skin health. One study suggested that folate (vitamin B-9) can be effective in reducing the number and severity of hot flashes. Other supplements such as ginseng and collagen are also often taken for other side effects of menopause, such as skin health. Before taking supplements however, it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor first.
Some find that relaxation techniques can help with hot flashes, particularly the anxiety component. Whether that's mediation and breathing exercises at home, or holistic treatments such as reflexology, massage and aromatherapy, staying calm can help manage hot flashes, especially in conjunction with other factors.
Dress in natural fabrics
Wearing natural fabrics, loose fitting clothing and layers can also be helpful in managing hot flashes. Natural fabrics breathe better, loose clothing is simply more comfortable, and layers will allow you to remove and add clothing as necessary.
Drinking plenty of water and keeping a bottle with you at all times is a helpful thing to get used to - and it's generally good for your health anyway. Keeping skin cool and hydrated from the outside is also a good idea, and will help you freshen up as required, so we recommend keeping a handbag sized cooling spritz.
Our Motivating Morning Facial Spritz is a cooling face mist that's lightly fragranced with geranium to energise and revive mind and body. It's imbued with natural plant oestrogens which can help combat the effects of the menopause on your skin. It can be used as a toner as part of a morning skincare routine, or throughout the day to offer relief from hot flushes whenever you need it. It's complemented by a matching Comforting Night Facial Spritz, which also helps to cool the skin, but contains orange blossom fragrance to help you relax and unwind.
Want to find more skincare solutions for hot flashes?
SHOP SKINCARE FOR HOT FLASHES COLLECTION