It’s an inevitable life stage that every woman in her middle years must transition through, yet in spite of this, menopause has long been treated as a taboo topic that society is reluctant to talk about.
Now Italian skincare specialist Comfort Zone is seeking to shine a positive spotlight on menopause, while offering a solution to the significant skin challenges women face at this time of life.
The company has launched two new products into its Sublime Skin range – Hormon-Aging™ Oil Cream – a rich barrier product for daytime, and Hormon-Aging™ Oil Serum, a powerfully regenerative night oil.
The new menopause range has been developed with the help of Italian nutri-dermatologist Dr Maria Bucci and British holistic hormone expert Dr Alyssa Burns Hill. It also includes a dedicated ‘menopause’ facial for spas and beauty facilities.
Comfort Zone’s education and communications director Barbara Gavazzoli says: “We know a woman’s skin starts to gradually age from around 30, but as women enter the menopause, skin ageing accelerates rapidly over a period of just a few years.
The underlying structure that supports her skin starts to degenerate and communication between the skin cells is disrupted.”
Tackling ‘skin anarchy’
“Just as women experience physical symptoms from menopausal hormones – such as mood swings or hot flushes – the same havoc is happening in her skin. We call it ‘skin anarchy’.”
External effects can be dryness and thinning skin, wrinkles and sagging. At a deeper level, the drop in oestrogen and progesterone have a negative impact on the fibroblasts – the skin’s collagen production centres – which become weaker and less efficient.
As with all Comfort Zone’s products, great attention has been paid to how they feel on the skin. Gavazzoli says: “Our new range is re-densifying, regenerating and nourishing, with rich oil-based textures that offer a more luxurious feel and great barrier protection.”
The products are also ‘clean’ vegan formulas, free of parabens, silicon and other unwelcome additives. On a scientific level, they incorporate Comfort Zone’s new Cell-Support Technology™ to restore the skin to optimal functionality and support the cells in the midst of hormonal fluctuations.
Active ingredients include a biotech marine extract to promote the synthesis of new collagen, and chicory extract that acts on vitamin D receptors to strengthen the skin. To enhance regeneration, Comfort Zone scientists have used sustainable maracuja (passion fruit) oil which is rich in vitamin E-related tocotrienols to support skin lipids.
Hyaluronic acid brings super-hydrating and elastifying properties, while Abyssinian seed oil – which is high in Omega 3 and 6 - leaves skin smooth and silky. Gavazzoli adds: “If there’s one word we associate with our new range it’s ‘re-densifying’ – we’re replenishing what’s being lost through menopause and making the skin look, feel and act fuller and firmer.”
In line with Comfort Zone’s holistic approach to skincare, Sublime Skin Hormon-Aging™ is part of an integrated approach that combines the use of home care products and professional treatments with lifestyle advice to help women approach menopause with more positivity.
Dealing with emotions
“We have a special facial to address the emotional and physical upheaval women are going through. We want to help them regain their beauty and confidence in their ‘new beginning’,” says Gavazzoli.
Using two special massage techniques for ageing skin (a firm, kneading dermal petrissage, and the Japanese kobido method of applied pressure through the fingers), the facial is designed to reactivate cellular communication, encouraging deeper regeneration of the skin, as well as a renewed vitality.
“On an emotional level, the treatment is very comforting. There’s a part where the clients sit on the bed and the therapist works on their shoulders - giving them a reassuring touch as if to say ‘you’re ready, you’re beautiful, now go out and face the world’.”
Comfort Zone is also educating its younger therapists on menopause so they can have greater empathy with mature clients.
“Having any treatment can trigger emotions, but especially so if a woman is in a delicate hormonal state like menopause. Our younger therapists also need to be able to understand and deal with such situations,” says Gavazzoli.
This fully integrated, ‘inside-out’ approach has also been greatly enhanced by the contributions of Comfort Zone’s scientific committee members, Dr Bucci - who says “restoring skin firmness and compactness has to come from a very specific skin care routine” – and Dr Burns Hill, who works with menopausal women to balance both their hormones and their emotions.
Dr Burns Hill says: “Menopause is a life stage that’s fuelled by hormonal changes – and these go to the core of being a woman.
“These changes impact a woman’s sense of herself. This is a time when she realises that it’s much more important to look after herself if she wants to stay looking and feeling good.”
Gavazzoli adds: “We knew there was a real need for this type of skincare line, and by integrating it with treatments and targeted nutrition and lifestyle advice, we hope to help menopausal women everywhere step into a new age of beauty and fully enjoy it.”