One of the frustrations women deal with as we start peri-menopause in our late 40’s is increased water retention and bloating. Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels impact our ability to maintain a normal fluid balance. Additionally, heightened stress levels and damage from inflammation relating to the menopause can also encourage our bodies to hang onto more fluid. There is some good news. Once your reached menopause and no longer experience periods this bloating should decrease naturally – some things really do get better with age!
During perimenopause, bloating increases in our whole bodies, but it’s particularly concerning when it occurs on the face. We can all agree that bloating in our bodies is never ideal, but a nice pair of yoga pants and a cute tunic can help hide our bloated torsos. It’s harder to conceal it in our faces. Ironically, I suppose there is some benefit that many of us are wearing masks these days, but this makes the appearance of our eyes, necks and other exposed areas even more obvious. Plus, we all hope we can reduce mask usage post pandemic!
There are some simple lifestyle changes we can make that will help you maintain a normal fluid balance:
- Get the right amount of sleep,
- Manage your stress,
- Drink plenty of water,
- Cut back on sodium,
- Decrease alcohol consumption and
- Increase your consumption of potassium via supplements or potassium rich foods.
- Adding an extra pillow and keeping your head elevated while you sleep and
- Applying cold compresses or facial masks can also help a lot.
- We also recommend taking cooler showers and washing your face with cooler water as hot water can contribute to puffy faces (and can also be very drying).
Still, with all these good habits, you will likely still find you will wake up some days to an alarmingly puffy looking face. To minimize this occurrence we recommend you adopt a habit of facial massage. Massage is a powerful medicine for facial puffiness. Particularly massage that encourages lymphatic drainage.
The link between lymph and the menopause:
Your lymphatic system is a vast circulatory system that works with you blood vessels to carry away excess fluid and toxins. As we age, hormonal imbalance interferes with the efficiency of our lymphatic system – our lymph vessels lose contraction strength and frequency, allowing fluids to build up. This is where facial massage comes in. Done correctly, facial massage can give our lymphatic system a little boost when it comes to draining fluid and toxins that build up overnight during sleep. You can do facial massage anytime during the day, but it may be most effective before going to sleep and/or when you wake up. Plus, it’s a relaxing way to start and end your day!
Facial massage is easy and enjoyable to do – please see attached video that demonstrates a simple lymphatic facial massage. Massage can be done with your fingers, but we recommend using a simple inexpensive tool like a jade roller . The jade roller is particularly effective because it has smooth cool surface gently sooths and massages your skin care products into your skin. We recommend you keep your jade roller in the refrigerator for a super cooling effect. In fact, it can be helpful to keep all your skin care products cold as this can also help decrease puffiness. More and more women are investing in cute little skin care refrigerators that are great for storing all your skin potions and tools. But if you don’t have room for one of these or do not want to invest, the good old kitchen fridge works fine.
In our instructional video we teach you to target the lymphatic drainage ports in front of our ears, and at our clavicles. If we massage, or push the fluids in our face to these ports, they act like drains that will allow the lymphatic fluid to be reabsorbed by our bodies so we can excrete them naturally. Massaging also relaxes tense muscles in the face that lead to lasting expression line, i.e., wrinkles.
Please watch our video and try this for yourself! You will enjoy it and be able to look forward to a healthier leaner looking face in no time!