Dealing with Menopause and Mature Skin

Airdate: 2/17/11

This show is dedicated to dealing with the side effects of menopause including what to change (and what to avoid) for skin care, hot flashes, and other common concerns!

Paula Begoun: Good evening. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Paula's Choice Team, keeping you beautifully informed live every Thursday evening at 6:00 pm here in Seattle, Washington. And lots of different times around the world and of course on the podcasts. You can call in with your questions but we also have some email questions. I have one that I want to get to in just a bit here.
00:00:31 I have Kate Mee as the producer tonight. Kate Mee is also my Product Development Director because Desiree Stordahl is off partying with her girlfriends. So she is not here tonight.
Kate Mee: Hello.
Paula Begoun: Hi Kate. How are you?
Kate Mee: I'm good, glad to be here.
Paula Begoun: And I'm glad you are here, too. Kate is now a famous product development director because she has been going to New York. Now this was your second time to talk to beauty editors about Paula's Choice.
00:01:02 And you saw a whole bunch of beauty editors to show them our new shine stopper product and you wowed them last time with our AHA and 2% exfoliating system and our teeth whitener, our two-minute teeth whitener. You are famous!
Kate Mee: We have actually done it three times now, and the last time went really well. The editors loved the Shine Stopper. We did a really neat demo where we took olive oil and we put it on one of their hands and, actually, we put it on both of their hands and then put the Shine Stopper on top of one.
00:01:33 And within 3 seconds it absorbed that oil. And you could not only feel the difference but you could see the difference. It was really impressive.
Paula Begoun: That was Pierce Mattie's idea, right?
Kate Mee: Yes, our publicist came up with that idea.
Paula Begoun: And you figured out how to make it work. And it looked like magic! You came in and we tested it out and I went, "Whoa, this product is better than we thought it was!" That was really something.
Kate Mee: Yeah, we actually had to find a little olive oil in a small bottle so they believed us, what we were putting on their skin instead of carrying around a little sample.
Paula Begoun: They didn't believe, I know, isn't that funny! And then there's… sorry, Kate, you were going to say something?
Kate Mee: Oh, no. I'm fine.
Paula Begoun: Are you done? Is that it? You aren't going to say anything for the rest of the evening?
Bryan Barron: She's not talking for the rest of the hour.
Kate Mee: I'm done talking for the rest of the evening.
Paula Begoun: Well, I do and unfortunately I do take over. But I don't take over totally because I can't do anything without Bryan Barron. Bryan Barron, the better half of the Paula's Choice team who has written books and reviewed products for years with me. Hi Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Hello.
Paula Begoun: And who's losing weight cause he's so nervous about his upcoming wedding and I can barely see him. So him and Ben, his…actually, what do you refer to Ben as other than the man you're marrying? Is fiancé appropriate?
Bryan Barron: You know, I've never liked that word so I don't use it. I think I've just been around too many women in my life who kind of abuse that word. "It was my fiancé this, my fiancé that, when I was with my fiancé…"
Kate Mee: I have a hard time saying ‘boyfriend', I can't imagine ‘fiancé'.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. You know, actually, I've been calling him my husband for quite a while.
Paula Begoun: Yeah.
Bryan Barron: And to the people that know us really well, it's just Bryan and Ben.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, it is Bryan and Ben; but now the two of you are so skinny that together you barely make up a person. You're both losing too much weight. Cut it out! I'm actually losing weight too, but you know, we have so much to talk about…Has anybody noticed that I've taken off a couple of pounds since we had our weight loss coach on a couple of weeks ago?
Bryan Barron: You know, actually I have. And as long as we've worked together, and with some of the frank discussions we've had, that's still a gray area for me Paula.
Paula Begoun: I know. You never want to say, "You look like you lost weight." Because then I'm going to say, "What, was I fat yesterday?"
Bryan Barron: It's just like what you were saying about how your boyfriend calls you sweet and then you fly off the handle.
Paula Begoun: Like I'm not sweet all the time?
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
Paula Begoun: I know; I'm volatile.
Bryan Barron: What, I was five pounds heavier last week and you kept your mouth shut?
Paula Begoun: That's because I'm a menopausal woman. There's a segue. You know, it's interesting that we're talking about how to deal with menopause and mature skin.
00:04:33 You know, when you look at the symptoms associated with going over the age of 50; although, technically, menopause really starts, they say, from the moment you're born because literally all of the transitions your body will go through as a woman – gaining hormones and then losing hormones…
00:04:57 But the effect of somewhere around the age for some women in their late-30s, early-40s, as they start making less and less estrogen until some time in their 50s when it almost shuts down entirely. That process, for 75% of the women out there, and some statistics would say even higher, is hell! In fact, just thinking about talking about this topic, I'm having hot flashes.
00:05:30 Really, my back is dripping wet. I have my handy-dandy fan out, but I'm afraid that it'll sound like… [holds fan to microphone] See, it sounds like a wind.
Bryan Barron: It does.
Paula Begoun: When I try to fan myself. But I mean, really, there's hot flashes, there's depression, there's difficulty getting to sleep, there's waking up during the night, there's waking up too early, there's backaches, joint pains, there's the sensation of your skin feeling like it's tingling, like something's running up and down it.
00:06:03 Forgetfulness. By the way, there's a great You Tube of a woman singing about forgetting. Oh, I should put that up on some…where can I put that up? It's the funniest song I've ever… We'll have to figure out how I can post that somewhere. It's one of the best menopausal You Tubes I have ever, well, actually, it's hysterical for any woman who's experiencing forgetting. How ironic!
00:06:31 I can't remember the You Tube. I can't remember the You Tube song because I'm menopausal. Oh my gosh. It's just on and on. There's anxiety, and vaginal dryness, and because you're making less estrogen, a lot of the female traits – skin being soft and plump and feeling smooth and silky – starts diminishing.
01:07:01 Your skin makes less of itself, makes less healthy skin cells. Some of that smoothness that women feel different than guys goes away. You have more male hormones, more progesterone, running around your body than estrogen. And then you get facial hair, you start losing hair on the top of your head, you get more facial hair. I am, I'm having a terrible hot flash. Okay, we need a wind storm here just for a second. Okay, sorry, I really am having such a hot flash.
00:07:30 The night sweats. I mean, it's on and on. Any woman struggling with the symptoms and somewhere between their 40s and their, well, pretty much it's over, you're pretty much done making that kind of estrogen sometime around the age…it's pretty much over 57, 58, 59, 60. And the associated stuff with it is just not fun. And then we worry about skincare.
00:08:00 So I'm not going to deal on the show today with issues of whether or not you should or shouldn't take hormone therapy, take estrogen, or some combination of estrogen with progesterone, hormone replacement therapy. I'm not going to get in to that. What I'm going to mostly talk about is some of the tricks you can do to help yourself get through some of the discomfort and also some of the mind tricks.
00:08:29 Because what happens a lot is the frustration and the discomfort of what you're going through seeps through into emotions. Now, some of it is the depression and everything could be caused just because the of the change between having estrogen and not having estrogen. But sometimes it's just a perception. Your vagina hurts cause it's raw from not, you know, cause loss of estrogen makes that a problem.
00:08:57 And so you're walking and it hurts; you're sitting down and it hurts; and then there's the sensation of skin crawling. A lot of that just builds up out of anger and frustration that, actually, may or may not be associated directly with the menopause. So, what I'm going to do is talk mostly about some of the things I've done to deal with some of these problems, and then mostly concentrate on skincare issues. But before I do that, I've got to talk about this new product from Olay because I get the feeling this is going to be one of those products women are going to go, "Oh, wow, I've got to try that product," and it sucks.
00:09:40 You know, typically Olay does incredible work. We have, over the years, in my books and on Beautypedia, have rated Olay's products pretty decently. And every now and then they come up with something that I just want to throw the product at them and go, "What were you thinking?" Like their Pro-X line, which is red and expensive and not as good as their Regenerist line.
00:10:05 Stuff like that. Or Definity.
Bryan Barron: Well, in some cases, with Pro-X. It's more about marketing with that line. Their formulas are pretty much the equivalent of Regenerist, you're just paying the premium for the whole Pro-X positioning.
Paula Begoun: Which they pretty much admitted to us when we interviewed them directly. We interviewed their marketing department, and their chemists, and they were actually…
00:10:31 they actually didn't have a good reason why Pro-X was any different than Regenerist. They were actually at a loss for explaining it other than marketing. In fact, pretty much they said, "We're marketing it differently." But, okay, so the red Pro-X stuff you don't have to waste your money on that if you want a decent, actually very well-done drugstore products, Olay Regenerist is, absolutely, for the most part, most of their products are just at the top of the game.
00:11:03 But then there's this new one from Olay, their Total Effects, 7-in-1 anti-aging eye cream. So, first of all, I don't even know what 7-in-1 means, because there is no way this addresses even one of the concerns of what's happening under your eye in terms of wrinkling or dark circles. It comes in a fancy looking pen with a pump applicator that dispenses a very shear, tinted something or other.
00:11:32 It's not even a very emollient product. So if you had dry skin it wouldn't be enough for your skin. As a matter of fact…
Bryan Barron: No.
Paula Begoun: …it isn't emollient at all. It is too shear to cover dark circles. It doesn't contain sunscreen, so during the day, if you didn't put sunscreen on underneath it, it would leave your skin vulnerable to damage. And then when you look at the ingredients, other than niacinamide, it is a boring, badly done little product, with a lot of drying ingredients in it.
00:12:08 I don't know what they were thinking. And Bryan's brilliant suggestion was to use one of Olay's far-better-formulated serums from Regenerist and then to use Elizabeth Arden's – they have a new concealer that Bryan says is worth trying, of course I think my concealers from Paula's Choice are brilliant, but we review other products – Arden's Flawless Finish Full Coverage Concealer.
00:12:35 This Olay Total Effects 7-in-1, I can think of seven reasons why this is a bad product to consider.
Bryan Barron: Well first of all, from the get go, if you have dark circles, and you're buying this product thinking that, "Oh I can just…" Because, literally, the magazine ads for this product, I think their actual tagline – I don't have the ad in front of me – but I think the tagline is "brush dark circles away."
00:13:01 And it just doesn't happen with this product. It doesn't happen with any product really, but if you apply a nice full coverage concealer with a brush, you can hide your dark circles, and that's a big part of it right there.
Paula Begoun: Except not with this product. And some of it is the single ingredient contains niacinamide. I mean, niacinamide is a great skincare ingredient. There's no question about it. But skin is very complicated.
00:13:00 There isn't any skincare issue that can – in terms of sun damage and wrinkles and oily skin, skin discoloration – any problem you can think of associated with skin can't be addressed by one ingredient. And dark circles, I mean that's a whole. Actually, we should just do a show on dark circles under the eye and how to treat them because it can't be done with just one product. And there's great limitations.
00:13:57 I mean, just what the world needed is another, one more of the thousands of products out there that have been launched for under the eye area that says it gets rid of dark circles, and what I'm about to say that nobody wants to hear is that there are just great limitations in terms of what you can do about dark circles. Actually, let's make sure we do a show coming up soon on dark circles because it's a problem for everybody, and there's definite ways to go about it – and it isn't with this product – but there are definite things you can do, and they're cheap.
00:14:31 They don't have to be expensive, they just need to be products that contain ingredients that work and offer some amount of coverage. And let me answer this one question – I'm done ranting about Olay – this one question from Jen. Jen says she lost her voice and has been listening to us on podcast for some time and, Bryan, do you want to read part of her letter there?
Bryan Barron: Sure. So, Jen wrote in and said, "I'm going to be turning 40 this year and I have some concerns about skincare."
00:15:03 She talks about a couple products she's currently using, including the Clarisonic brush, and she describes her skin as combination to a bit oily and sometimes dry, which is kind of classic combination skin. She's been thinking about trying the Paula's Choice line of products, but doesn't know which routine would be best for her skincare needs. She's hearing things about Resist and Skin Balancing and wonders what the major differences are.
00:15:28 She needs products that cut down on oil, help reduce pores, reduce blemishes – she breaks out a bit here and there but nothing too major – and of course get her on the path to reducing and preventing wrinkles. Does she use BHA, AHA? And she signs it, "Help."
Paula Begoun: So, I'm glad she's hearing about us, because I love when people hear about Paula's Choice; it makes me very proud. Skin Balancing, by far from my Paula's Choice product line would be the way for her to go.
00:16:00 In terms of differences, Resist has a range of products that are put together to really address all of the issues around wrinkles. But in terms of Skin Balancing, absolutely the product line address wrinkles. Actually, all of my Paula's Choice products to one degree or – well, maybe not all – but a lot of the skincare products address wrinkles to one degree or another.
00:16:29 What Skin Balancing does that Resist doesn't do is address the issues around breakouts and oily skin, and that's what Skin Balancing is all about. And then when you have oily skin and blemishes and breakouts, by far the best option is to consider one of my BHA products. BHA – beta hydroxy acid – refers to the ingredient salicylic acid. And so, Jen, what we're going to do if you're listening on podcast is – we have your email, because she sent the letter by email – and we're going to send you a set of Paula's Choice Skin Balancing products for you to experience.
00:17:08 And I think you'll be surprised. Your wrinkles will look better; that's some of what a BHA can do. Exfoliate skin. The sunscreen, of course, will protect from further sun damage, which is why we got primarily the wrinkles in the first place, and you're young yet so you'll have plenty of time to catch up and reduce the damage. She's also using the Clarisonic brush. There's no reason not to continue using that.
00:17:33 I don't think it's particularly necessary to spend $200 on it but there's no reason to not continue. So we're going to send you the Skin Balancing products from Paula's Choice and it will have a BHA product in that because that's the best for your skin. So let's talk about menopause and mature skin. First, to be very clear, Bryan had a great take on this today when we were talking about the show – and I am still having a hot flash – mature skin is a funny term because, typically, what we would say, and I have said for years, is that age is not a skin type.
00:18:09 Just because you are going through menopause doesn't mean you won't have some of the exact same problems that a woman might have who is in her 20s or 30s. So, for example, I am 57. I am very menopausal. But I still have oily skin. I still have breakouts. I still have blackheads. The products that usually are boldly labeled with the word for mature skin are bad for my skin because they're too heavy; they're too creamy.
00:18:39 Because the assumption is you have, you go over a certain age and all of a sudden your skin is dry and getting wrinkled and all these other problems and there's some miracle ingredient somewhere that's best for being that age. Unfortunately, I wish it were that easy but it isn't.
00:18:59 The truth is is that you treat the skin type you have. For me, I have certain skin problems: the oily skin, the wrinkles, the sun damage, the dry skin under my eyes. I use products that address the various issues. There isn't one ingredient that is for all women who are over the age of 50, or any group of ingredients that are for women over the age of 60.
00:19:27 It's about using the best products, which means for all skin types a very well formulated sunscreen – that is essential. You don't all of a sudden wake up one day and go, "Oh, I see some wrinkles," or, "Oh, I see some…" You know turning 40, in all due respect to Jen who just asked that question, when women say to me, "I'm 50, I should start doing something." Ladies, you should have started, it would have been far better had all of us, I mean lord knows I am singing to my own choir. I wish I had known what I know now because you can't start young enough.
00:20:04 Because wrinkles start from the first day your skin sees the sun. Sun damage is the primary issue and the products that take care of aging skin the best, no miracles, just antioxidants, something called cell-communicating ingredients. Those are ingredients that tell cells, tell skin to make better cells.
00:20:30 And ingredients that reinforce the surface of skin. That put back into skin what skin has lost partly because of estrogen loss going through menopause, but also actually really primarily because of sun damage. And the comparison I always say is that [fact] side test of aging, compare the skin on the parts of your body that haven't seen the sun to the skin on the parts of your body that have and what you will notice is that your breasts, your abdomen, your real end –
00:21:04 none of those parts that haven't seen the sun on a regular basis are as old looking as the back of your hands, your chest, your face, the parts of the body that are more exposed to the sun. So while estrogen plays a part, absolutely, you are making, when you stop making estrogen your body slows down making new bone – bone loss plays a part in how the skin ages.
00:21:30 You are losing the structure of your face so there is less support for the skin. Your skin starts making less soft skin cells. You start slowing that down. So there is a lot of things that are happening partly of estrogen loss but primarily, primarily, because of sun damage. It is about sun damage. And you can't start –
00:21:56 Well first of all it is never too late, it is also never too early. But let's talk a little bit about, given that I am sitting here still – this hot flash, it never lasts this long. It is probably because I am talking about it.
So, oh, sorry –
Bryan Barron: It knows you are aware.
Paula Begoun: It is really a personal thing. You feel like your body is your enemy. So first I want to mention because, again, I'm not going to get into the discussion of hormone replacement therapy but I do want to just personally say that I am not able to take hormone replacement therapy.
00:22:32 I have a history of breast cancer in my family and as a result I am not a candidate for hormone replacement therapy. But believe me, I considered it. Because women on hormone replacement therapy have less associated symptoms. But what I did do because I was beginning to experience vaginal dryness, which is just a pain and Bryan you don't have to listen right now if you don't want to.
Kate Mee: He is plugging his ears right now.
Paula Begoun: La, la, la, la, la. So the vaginal dryness is just obnoxious and I was in a new relationship with the man I am now committed to and it was just not pleasant. It was awful. And my gynecologist who is just a wonderful, wonderful woman here in Seattle, she is head of gynecology and obstetrics at Group Health, suggested I put in an estrogen ring.
00:23:27 This is something you would insert vaginally. It releases minimal – it just releases estrogen, primarily just to the vaginal wall and minimally deposits anything systemically. The difference was night and day. I feel like I'm , I'm never going to give this up. I'm going to use it into my 80s. It changed my life. It was really astounding and it is a fairly inexpensive thing to do. Most insurance companies cover it.
00:24:00 That was –
Bryan Barron: I had no idea that was even an option. That's amazing.
Kate Mee: Is it the birth control ring, the NuvaRing?
Paula Begoun: No, no, no. It is called an [EsRing] and it is specifically designed for vaginal dryness. It has nothing to do with – if I could still make babies I would still need to do birth control. So it doesn't replace birth control at all.
00:24:32 So, yeah, it changed my life. The other thing that changed my life on a much less serious, well I don't know serious or not serious, so I get night sweats. They have calmed down now to a large degree. But I mean I had the night sweats where you wake up and you are damp and your pillow was damp. And it is just uncomfortable. Until you have it you have no idea.
00:25:00 So what I started doing was I would go to bed in very lightweight over-sized tee shirts with no arms. And I never cover my feet at night. Never, never, never wear socks. And my feet are always hanging out. And the most important thing, well actually three important things: I always keep a fan everywhere near me. There is a fan on bed stand.
00:25:28 There is a fan in my purse. There is a fan in my car. There is a fan in my office drawer. I have fans – and pretty fans, too, by the way. I have traveled to Asia many times and I am always picking up new fans. And actually because I use them so much I have gone through a few of them, I've broken a few. So I keep a fan next to my bedside but then the other thing I do which has really changed things is I keep a towel, a change of bed clothes right next to my bed.
00:26:01 Because what happens is you are going through the night sweat, you wake up, your bed is wet, the pillow is wet, and your clothing is wet. And then you have to get up and get the towel and change the clothes and look for a new thing to put down on your pillow because you don't want to lay back down on the cold wet dampness. So I always have towels and new bed clothes around so I don't have to go anywhere.
00:26:29 So I fan myself. I have water next to the bed because drinking water really – by the way, splashing water on yourself unless it is an iced cube just gets you more wet. Don't do that one. And I have tried keeping ice next to me – I feel like I should just keep a refrigerator next to my bed. I have tried keeping ice next to the bed but by the time I have the night sweat it has melted. But I do put a glass filled with ice next to the bed so that by the time I wake up and I have sweated, I have – the water is cold.
00:26:59 Because drinking cold water helps a great deal. I will tell you, that has changed my life so, so much in terms of dealing with the night sweats and the hot flashes, but particularly those night sweats. The other thing that I wanted to mention, Kate asked – Kate, did you bring up the blotting papers?
Kate Mee: Yes.
Paula Begoun: During the day? That was a great suggestion.
00:27:27 Because when you get hot flashes during the day you tend to get sweaty looking and more oil comes through because of the activity of the sweat spreading over the face. So after you – so I take – you know it is funny, I less blotting papers, Paula's Choice has some of the best inexpensive blotting papers out there and I never thought of doing that because after I am done sweating I would just put powder on. But then that always makes it look thick.
00:27:58 I can't believe I am just now learning this and I am almost done with hot flashes. But the blotting papers was a brilliant idea, Kate. I could have reduced the oil and then followed up with a little bit of powder after I was done fanning myself and sweating.
By the way for the ladies who are listening, let me mention that one of my favorite Web sites is
00:28:29 Dr. Weil does for the medical alternative medicine world what I believe I do for the cosmetics industry, skincare and makeup. He is an amazingly objective man. I have rarely seen anything on his Web site in terms of medical solutions to problems or alternative medical solutions to problems, and he has a lot of stuff on alternative medicine, alternative options for dealing with menopausal symptoms.
00:29:09 Soy foods, flaxseed, dong quai, black cohosh, Vitamin E, B vitamins, Evening primrose oil or black currant oil, this is all about oral consumption. I can say that in terms of the research there is limited research, if any, showing that any of those play a role other than anecdotally and placebo study-wise –
00:29:35 doesn't show up as having much benefit but I would absolutely suggest that you check with Dr. Weil. He is – you will be impressed with some of the information there in terms of what he offers. I know there is something else I am forgetting, but then again I am a menopausal woman, so I can't remember.
Bryan Barron: Is there anything, you talked about sunscreens and then the ingredients to look for in skincare, but have you come across any products that actually are something that a woman going through menopause should consider, other than the basic for signs of aging. Is there something to help hot flashes be more bearable?
Paula Begoun: No. You know every now and then a company – I wish there was. Every now and then a company, I think Lauren Hutton had a product line and she made claims – is her product line still around?
Bryan Barron: Yes, it is.
Paula Begoun: She made claims that one of her products would reduce night sweats or hot flashes – I think it was hot flashes. And there was nothing in the product that was unique or different. There was definitely no research about any of that. There is really, other than an iced cube along the back of your neck, and a fan, there isn't anything topical you can put on to reduce the side effects of hot flashes and night sweats.
00:31:01 You know, I think it would be great for us to do a show – we need to find, maybe Jane Dimer would come on, my physician, to talk about more details about what to do medically about menopause issues. But in terms of skincare it just, other than everything I have always been talking about
00:31:27 You have to use sunscreen. It is the most important thing. Products have to be loaded with antioxidants. Your diet has to be loaded with antioxidants. There is no research that shows that exercise reduces – sorry, I jumped off into exercise. There is no real research showing that exercise reduces hot flashes. But it makes you feel so much better about yourself and about your life and about your living in general that your mood is better. Your weight is better.
00:32:00 There is obviously, definitely research that shows when you are not overweight you tend to experience hot flashes and night sweats differently. It is not that there is any difference in getting night sweats or hot flashes, you just experience them as less tormenting.
Oh, and by the way, get used to cold showers. You take a hot shower you are never going to get your makeup on. I keep making that mistake because I love a hot shower. And then I have to stand outside practically naked until I cool off. And I don't like rinsing in cold water, but get used to cooler showers at the very end.
Bryan Barron: Paula, I have one more question on that note. Is that why you went through that phase a couple of years back when you would only drink iced coffees?
Paula Begoun: Yes.
Bryan Barron: Was there something about drinking a hot beverage?
Paula Begoun: Oh god, it's the worst.
Kate Mee: I remember those days!
Paula Begoun: The big lattes from Starbucks with the ice. Yes, hot coffee – hot anything, I couldn't do tea. Well, I'm not a big tea drinker anyways but yeah –
00:33:00 Hot spicy food, oh, I love spicy food and it will trigger – actually not anymore. I'm really, although again I am having a hot flash like you wouldn't believe, but yeah, I'm pretty much on the other side of it. Oh, we need to take calls. I'm sorry, I'm just – let me just mention the skincare routine for menopausal skin, mature skin, any skin –
00:33:30 The different problems – skin discoloration, oily skin, acne skin, blemish/blackheads – those absolutely need to be treated the same regardless of age. But overwhelmingly this is true for all skin types but even more so for somebody going through menopause. Sunscreen. Products loaded with antioxidants. Diets loaded with antioxidants. Products that contain ingredients that repair the surface of skin. Cell-communicating ingredients like Vitamin A and niacinamides that tell skin cells to make better skin cells.
00:34:05 And it doesn't have to be heavy, greasy products. If you have very dry skin they can be more emollient but you don't, if you are using ingredients that help skin heal and protect it from further damage from the sun, it can be astounding how much better your skin will feel and respond to anything else you put on it.
00:34:26 And in terms of AHAs, alpha hydroxy acids which the ingredients would be glycolic or lactic acid or beta hydroxy acid which would be salicylic acid, both of those products exfoliate the surface of skin. That is brilliant for skin. Gets off the built-up dead layers of skin that older skin and sun damaged skin can't get off on its own. The rule is AHAs work on the surface, BHAs work on the surface and inside the pore.
00:35:00 As a rule BHA is great when you have any amount of sun damage and oil skin, blackheads and blemishes. By far BHA would be preferred. AHA, alpha hydroxy acid, is generally considered the option for normal to dry skin that doesn't break out. However, we have lots of women who prefer BHAs that don't struggle with breakouts or blackheads because it has some unique properties. But this is one of those, it is about personal preference.
00:35:33 One is not any better than the other. In fact, with the new Resist skin resurfacing system we have a lot of people that are using their beta hydroxy acid products on the days they don't use the 10% AHA resurfacing liquid. So you can mix it up. The issue is you have to exfoliate and you have to use beautifully well-formulated products and they don't have to say "designed" or "better for mature skin or older skin."
00:36:04 Let that go. Your diet doesn't have to change because you are all of a sudden 50 anymore than it does when you are 20 or 30. It should be a healthy diet all the time. Okay, I need to stop talking. Let's take calls. Who is our first caller?
Kate Mee: We have a lot of great questions tonight. We are going to start off with Carol Ann from Arizona.
Paula Begoun: Hi Carol Ann.
Carol Ann: Hi Paula, thank you so much for taking my call.
Paula Begoun: Sure, what can I do for you?
Carol Ann: I have to tell you. I have been using your products for 12 years. They were actually introduced to me on a cruise ship that we were on. My question to you is for most of up until the last couple of years or you probably know better than I do, when your Clear products started coming out.
Paula Begoun: Yeah.
Carol Ann: I had been using your Skin Balancing products. And then because I am 42 now and I am definitely starting some of the menopause, in particular the hot flashes you were speaking of.
00:37:01 But I am using the Clear and Normalizing Cleanser because, again, I'm one of those people; I'm very similar I think to Jen's question that I break out and it's just crazy. Should I continue using that? Like I have that mixed with the Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion or should I switch to Resist?
Paula Begoun: So tell me how your – so you are using – give me the order of things. What are you using again?
Carol Ann: I use the Clear and Normalizing Cleanser, the Pore Clarifying Gel, and then I use the 5% benzoyl peroxide acne fighting treatment that comes with it. That is Clear. On occasion I use the 2% beta hydroxy acid gel. And then every day I use the Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion.
Paula Begoun: So tell me how your skin is doing?
Carol Ann: It is definitely doing better than it was. I still have a few breakouts. Sometimes my forehead gets these tiny little bumps.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. Have you tried going to our regular strength benzoyl peroxide as opposed to the 5%? Or do you do better with the 5% than the regular strength which contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide?
Carol Ann: You know, I don't know if I have tried the 2.5% only because I had broken out and I wanted that quick [fix].
Paula Begoun: I know, more must be better. So here is what – so I have a couple of thoughts. One is that I'm going to change you, Kate, you have to write all of this down. That is what Desiree normally does.
Kate Mee: Okay.
Paula Begoun: I'm going to send you a set of our Skin Balancing products, the Skin Balancing cleanser and the toner and the gel. And then I'm also going to send you my Moisture Boost – actually I'm pretty giving you what I use because it sounds so familiar to me. The Moisture Boost Treatment for around your eyes because the skin around the eyes tend to be drier. It doesn't have to say eye product on it.
00:39:00 It just has to be really well formulated. So I'm going to send you those products. I don't know that I think the Clear cleanser is the best for what you are describing on your skin. And I think the toner, the Skin Balancing Toner because of the niacinamide it contains and other ingredients will be better when you are done cleaning your face. And I think the Skin Balancing cleanser, I think your skin will like that better.
00:39:29 I'm also going to send you the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. Let's make sure you are not overdoing it and being too zealous and see how your skin responds when you are using lesser strength. Sometimes the higher strength isn't always the best way to go because it might be an irritant kickback effect. But you are going to have to experiment a little bit. But I think you are doing all the right stuff. Let me ask you a question –
00:39:59 When you apply the, I'm sorry, tell me again. You said which product you were using? Was it the Skin Balancing Mattifying Lotion? Is that what you were using?
Carol Ann: Yes, the Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion, correct.
Paula Begoun: Is that the one with sunscreen guys?
Carol Ann: Yes, SPF 15 and antioxidants, correct.
Paula Begoun: Have you ever tried using a foundation of pressed powder with sunscreen, Carol Ann? Have you ever tried that?
Carol Ann: I have the pressed powder, and I will be honest with you, I used to hate lotions until I found this one. Because I feel that it is light and it doesn't feel like it is all –
Paula Begoun: Then never mind, I won't take it away from you. But here is what I am going to do. Just for the sake of experimenting, so in the morning after you are done cleaning your face you put a generous amount of the Skin Balancing toner on or you can put on the BHA and a little bit of the benzoyl peroxide product. And then instead of using – just as an option – I'm not going to take it away from you.
00:41:00 I'm going to send you some samples of our different foundations that have sunscreen. And the pressed powder, you already have our pressed powder with sunscreen I take it?
Carol Ann: Correct.
Paula Begoun: So I am going to send you some of those with our sponges that you apply them with. We will send you a whole bunch of samples; you will decide if you like it even. If you like them you will email Desiree or Kate and then we will get you the full size one.
00:41:27 I would like you to experiment with using foundation and pressed powder as your sunscreen. Lotions can be great but when you have blemishes, a lotion for me, and again I am just putting myself into your shoes which I probably shouldn't do, but they can trigger breakouts sometimes. So I want you to experiment with using a foundation and pressed powder for your sun protection. Again, this is all about experimenting to see what works. So Carol Ann, we are going to send you a whole bunch of stuff and then you will let us know how you are doing and at the very least you will have stuff to play with.
00:42:06 And anything you don't use you can give to somebody you like.
Carol Ann: So don't use this lotion then? Just use the –
Paula Begoun: No, use it. You need your sunscreen. Use your sunscreen until I send you this new stuff and see how you do when you use the cleanser, the toner, your 2% gel and the benzoyl peroxide product. Depending, whatever you are doing during the day.
00:42:32 And then instead of putting on the Skin Balancing Mattifying Lotion with sunscreen, try the foundation and pressed powder with sunscreen just to see how your skin does. See if that helps. You might have to go back to the Mattifying Lotion. But your skin will tell you that.
Kate Mee: Okay, so our next caller we have Patty from South Dakota.
Paula Begoun: Hi, oh, Kate, you are from North Dakota?
Kate Mee: No, I'm from Montana but I have family in North Dakota.
Paula Begoun: Oh Montana, oh my god! Oh god, you are going to kill me. I definitely am menopausal. Oh god I am so embarrassed. Kate I have known you for 10, 11 years now and I do know you are from Montana. But –
Kate Mee: That's okay. My brother lives in North Dakota and I travel there quite a bit. So it made sense.
Paula Begoun: Maybe that's it, so you just rescued me. I'm sorry, who am I talking to from South Dakota?
Kate Mee: Patty.
Patty: This is Patty.
Paula Begoun: Hi Patty. I'm sorry.
Bryan Barron: So Patty is just going to jump in and say, "Listen, alright."
Patty: I have just met my clone.
Paula Begoun: Who?
Patty: We are the same age. I still get those hot flashes. I feel like in the morning, why did I even bother taking a shower when I just want to wipe my face off and start all over. But here's the deal: I teach middle school kids and there is nothing worse than having a hot flash when you are up in front of all those teenage eyes looking at you. And I'm just wondering, is there a certain kind or type of makeup/foundation that I can use that would look better?
Paula Begoun: No. Once you start perspiring, it is like somebody threw water at you. But I'm going to tell you, I am so blatant about taking my fan out just about any place in the world – and I don't care who is in front of me. I don't even try to fake it anymore. It is like world you deal with me, I'm not dealing with you. I'm sweating and I –
Patty: I know, I open my windows and it is cold here. And they are like, "Could you shut the windows? We are freezing." And it is like, no, it is hot in here!
Paula Begoun: I am telling you. A fan. You have got to – you know when my sister and I were traveling in Italy, she actually had one of those fans that was automatic. You pressed a button and it just [unintelligible].
Patty: I have seen those, yes. Can you blame here?
Paula Begoun: So I want you to know, keep that fan on your desk. You are starting to sweat, you just take it out and you tell your students, "You don't have to understand it, but I am hot and I'm talking to you with this fan going. Deal with it!"
00:45:06 I'm telling you –
Patty: Deal with it. We will all be happy.
Paula Begoun: Just deal with it. Now in terms of your skin type, Patty, tell me what you are doing to take care of your skin?
Patty: Okay, I do have oily skin still at 57 years old. And I just now started using your Skin Balancing cleanser.
00:45:29 And I have some of your 2% AHA. And that is about what I have right now just to get my feet wet with your things.
Paula Begoun: And so what else are you using besides the cleanser and the 2% -- which 2% BHA are you using? Do you know which one you got from me?
Patty: I have the lotion. No, sorry, no I have the liquid. I have the liquid.
Paula Begoun: The liquid is better for your skin type. So what else do you use besides those two products. What else is in your skincare routine?
Patty: That's pretty much it right now. And then I have my makeup and stuff and I try to use a mineral –
Paula Begoun: So you are not doing anything for foundation right now? I mean for sunscreen right now?
Patty: No, I don't. I'm sorry. And sometimes I think –
Paula Begoun: No, don't be sorry, dear. I love you anyway. Okay, here is what I am going to do. So I am going to do much what I just did for Carol Ann. I'm going to send you the Skin Balancing, the set of Skin Balancing products.
00:46:28 I do want you to try the Mattifying Lotion because you are not struggling with breakouts that much my recommendation to you is a little bit different than Carol Ann. However I still want you to experiment just like I recommended with Carol Ann to wear foundation and a pressed powder. And I'm going to send you some of those blotting papers. And actually Kate will you remember, we need to send Carol Ann some blotting papers as well for her oily skin. So Patty we are going to send you the Skin Balancing set, some blotting papers, and the same thing. Some of our foundations –
00:47:02 different selection of colors so you can experiment and see which one you like and when you know which texture you like you will get back to Kate or Desiree and they will send you that information when we get in touch with you to let us know what full size product you want and our pressed powder with sunscreen as well. And I think that will get you going. But definitely you started out with, really, if you had said Paula what two products besides sunscreen should I start with, for your skin type I would have said the Skin Balancing cleanser and one of my 2% BHA products.
00:47:35 So you did great. You did great.
Patty: Good. And I will take the blotting papers to school with me then.
Paula Begoun: And the fan. You have to go find a fan. I wish I sold fans. I need to –
Patty: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Alright, take care Patty. Kate, next caller.
Kate Mee: We have Lesley from Canada.
Paula Begoun: Hi Lesley.
Lesley: Hi, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. How are you?
Lesley: Good. I just love your show and your books are awesome. My question is I have mild Rosacea and of course I am 53 and my skin is changing all the time. And I am having trouble finding a suitable sunscreen that won't irritate my skin. So I was wondering what suggestions you would have or what skincare you would recommend.
Paula Begoun: So whose skincare products are you using now?
Lesley: Well right now I am not using a skincare line at all. I use an unscented goat's milk soap. And yes, I use olive oil.
00:48:35 And I use the Cetaphil moisturizing lotion.
Paula Begoun: Oh, Lesley, you need me. You so need me. I am now your Cosmetics Cop. I am now holding your hand and I won't let go. So somebody with Rosacea, soap is a huge problem. I don't care if it comes from a goat, a cow, a chicken or a rock.
00:49:00 What soap is, is drying. The ingredients that keep bar soap in its bar form, the same stuff that builds up on your sink can get into pores and clog pores. And it is just drying. You get done washing your face and you feel tight like you can't open your mouth. Right? It's just drying. All soaps. Ivory, Dove. Soap – it's a problem.
It is not gentle cleansing. Gentle is absolutely a cornerstone for when you have Rosacea.
00:49:29 You can't deal with Rosacea and irritate the skin in any way. Olive oil isn't a problem. Olive oil is actually a very good moisturizer, it just doesn't work during the daytime because it has nothing about it that has anything to do with sun protection and you need sun protection. So here is what I would like you to try. And sunscreens are tricky. Rosacea is a tricky skin disorder. I'm going to send you – it sounds to me like you are struggling with Rosacea and normal to dry skin. Is that right, Lesley?
00:49:58 That's right. It is slightly oily in the T zone but it is normal in the other areas of my face. So I wouldn't say it is dry.
Paula Begoun: So when you use the olive oil you just use a very little bit of it over your face?
Lesley: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Okay, so what I am going to do is I am going to send you my Moisture Boost group of products. It has a very good sunscreen. It has a very good BHA product which I think will help with the little bit of oiliness. It will exfoliate.
00:50:29 And actually BHA, salicylic acid, we have had a lot of experience from women with Rosacea telling us it helped calm down the redness. Salicylic acid, that is the active ingredient in my BHA products and anybody's BHA products is related to aspirin so it has anti-inflammatory properties. It also exfoliates in the pore and on the surface of skin.
00:50:56 It is a great, it's great – well, again, so one of the things about having Rosacea takes experimenting to see what works. But I think my Moisture Boost will be a very good group of products to get you started on . And in particular I think the sunscreen because one of the problems with a lot of sunscreens – it s not a problem it is just a lot of sunscreens contain synthetic sunscreen agents. That is not bad. synthetic sunscreen agents work beautifully to prevent sun damage. But the problem is that they can be irritating.
00:51:29 Synthetic sunscreen agents by their nature can be irritating. So the sunscreen in my Moisture Boost line mostly – it is just going to be gentler on your skin. So I want you to give that a try. What is the other thing? I just lost my train of thought. The BHA? No, I think that was it. Was there something – I am, now I am having a forgetful moment because I was talking about menopause. I lost my train of thought.
Lesley: Well that's okay. I think that happens to all of us now and again.
Paula Begoun: But I will get you these products and if you have any questions you can always go back on and chat with our customer service people and of course get back in touch with Desiree and we will help you out. So we will get you a whole bunch of products and I'm going to take another call. Thanks Lesley.
Lesley: Are you eventually going to have a show where you can talk about makeup application for us young and over 50?
Paula Begoun: I will.
00:52:29 We do makeup shows all the time but yes I absolutely – didn't we just do one? But we can always do another one. So you got to stay listening because we will get to it eventually.
Kate Mee: Okay, so we have Jana from North Carolina.
Paula Begoun: Is it Janet or Jana?
Kate Mee: Jana.
Paula Begoun: Jana. Hi Jana.
Jana: Hi Paula, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. How are you?
Jana: Oh good. Thank you. I appreciate you taking my call.
00:52:57 What I was wondering is that I have started into perimenopause symptoms and I'm 45 and I was wondering if there is any effective treatments for hair loss when it is associated with that?
Paula Begoun: Ah! I can't believe I forgot to talk about hair loss. Don't you just hate that? I hate that. It's like just when you thought it couldn't get any worse it gets worse. You get hair in places you don't want it and you lose hair in places you want it. What the hell is that about?
00:53:32 It just pisses me off so bad. So yes there is. So what I want you do to is not waste your money on any of the products that say they can grow hair except Minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine but you don't, you absolutely don't have to buy Rogaine. You can buy it generically. You can go to Costco and pick up the generic one. They sell them like three in a grouping.
00:53:56 The research about Minoxidil for women is incredible. It works. There is no question about it. And, even though they recommend the 2% Minoxidil version for women and say not to use the 5%, the research shows that the 5% concentration of Minoxidil actually works better for women than the 2% version. What the problem is, is that it grows hair so much the Minoxidil people are concerned that if you get it on your face you can get excess hair growth on your face and women aren't going to like that.
00:54:33 But just don't drip it on your face every night. Because you have to use it twice a day. I want to just let everybody, I have been using it for years. I started losing my hair as soon as, well actually not my hair all over my head but right around the temple, like a receding hairline. And I started using it the second I started noticing I was losing my hair. And the hair grew back –
00:54:55 It never has grown back into what it used to be but I am not bald in those areas anymore. And the sooner you start using it and the more regular you are about it – because I tried stopping it for awhile. I don't know, got lazy. It is astounding. It really – I think the research says for 60% or so of the women who use it, it grows hair. In fact a lot of those when you go on the Internet and you look at companies, "We will grow your hair; we will grow your hair," a lot of them just use a form of Minoxidil, sell products, shampoos, expensive shampoos and conditioners and this and that and then one of the products contains Minoxidil.
00:55:34 It is just a very expensive version of it. So give that a try. And then really quickly because, oh, I don't know if I will be able to get another call in, but Jana what is your skin type?
Jana: I would say it is combination.
Paula Begoun: And are you using any of my products, Jana?
Jana: I have tried a couple of them before. And it seems like it is more convenient locally [rather] than order.
Paula Begoun: I know. I know.
00:56:07 That is why we have Beautypedia so you can see what other products we recommend. I want you to get the best products for you and there are a lot of options. Of course I think mine are the most brilliant. But Jana I am going to send you a set of the Skin Balancing – a lot of women tonight with normal to oily skin. I'm going to send you a set of our Skin Balancing products.
00:56:31 I think that, one, it will get you out of the drug store. And I think it will give you the kind of results you are looking for for your skin. And try Minoxidil. Go to Costco, you can pick it up cheap. Just be really good about using it regularly. Thanks for calling Jana.
Jana: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: You are welcome, dear. So do we have time? Let's sneak one in real quick.
Kate Mee: So we have a quick question from Wendy from California. And I bet a lot of women listening tonight are going to have the same question.
Paula Begoun: Wendy, what you got for me, real quick?
Wendy: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: Hi, what do you got for me? Real quick. Real quick.
Wendy: Yes, real quick. I'm post-menopause. I can't get rid of the [crepey], I don't even know how to pronounce that word. Crepey skin?
Paula Begoun: Crepey. Like crepe paper. Crepey.
Wendy: Like Crepe Paper.
Paula Begoun: Well it is really crappy skin. From the neck down, right? From the neck down.
Wendy: Yes.
Paula Begoun: So you have to wear sunscreen. You have to be neurotic about wearing sunscreen.
Wendy: I do.
Paula Begoun: Any parts of the body that see the sun. And then I'm going to send you my 2% weightless body treatment. The difference in your skin will be night and day, I promise. And in fact I will send them two of them, you can share it with another friend of yours who has crepey skin. So the 2% weightless body treatment, it contains 2% salicylic acid. It is absolutely the best thing for that crepey texture. You will be surprised at the difference.
00:58:00 I'm also going to send you some of our Slip into Silk moisturizer. You will love me. You will love me.
Wendy: Okay.
Paula Begoun: So thank you for calling Wendy. You will enjoy the products. I'm almost done. Oh, I taped "Dr. Oz" yesterday. I was in New York. I can't believe I got back home, the plane was 5 hours late. I taped "Dr. Oz," I was in my pajamas. It was a slumber party show. It was very, very cute. So I want to thank everybody tonight, it was a great show. We have to do this more often.
00:58:30 Lots of women struggling with menopause issues and this issue of mature skin. And notice that a lot of the women out there are in their 40s are noticing already that their menopause is coming on sooner than they would have even begun to think. My menopausal system started showing up in my mid-40s as well. So, this is Paula Begoun. I'm the Cosmetics Cop with my Paula's Choice Team.
00:59:00 Oh you know what, I just remembered. Wait. Bryan or Kate, does our Moisture Boost moisturizer, is that the one with [unintelligible] or is that the –
Kate Mee: That is the Skin Recovery you were thinking about.
Paula Begoun: Oh, we have to make sure we send her the Skin Recovery. Oh my god! I knew I forgot something. Okay, you will fix that, right Kate?
Kate Mee: I will fix it, yes. And one more thing Paula, really quick. Another question that Wendy had was about products to use under your eyes, so good moisturizers for that.
Paula Begoun: So we are going to send her our Moisture Boost Treatment. That is my personal favorite along with Skin Recovery. And we working on a lot of new products. But I have to go. Wendy, thank you for calling, you will love the weightless body treatment. So next week we are going to be talking about get the best experience at the hair salon. How do deal with your hairdresser and get the most beautiful hair possible. This is Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. Come visit me at Thanks everybody for listening, until next week.
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