Insight Aug 5, 2020

We all get periods, until we don’t. Let’s talk.

Let's talk about menopause

Avon recently published its Too Little Information (TLI) report revealing women around the world are unprepared and uninformed when it comes to menopause. More than two fifths (44%) of women globally were unaware of perimenopause until they started to have symptoms. 

We caught up Avon’s head of future innovation Gina Ghura, the driving force behind this research to find out more about why, in a world of TMI we still have a huge conversation deficit around perimenopause and menopause.

Firstly Gina, peri -what? 

The perimenopause stage is the process leading up to menopause (after your last period) as your body starts to undergo the huge changes to your hormonal balance. At this time women start to experience many initial symptoms, and this is often much earlier than they expect. We partnered with Dr Sarah Jarvis on this report and she explained that the perimenopause phase can actually last anything from a few months, to many years.  

What can women expect during perimenopause?

It can cause emotional and physical effects for women, including mood swings, painful breasts, hot flushes and low sex drive. But it can also have effects on skin, including ageing, sensitivity, redness, inflammation and dryness. Perimenopause starts when the ovaries start to produce less oestrogen, and it causes a significant decrease of skin collagen in the first five years (up to 30%), leading to a loss of firmness.

What did the research reveal about women’s experiences of these life stages?

We found some strong themes in our research. A huge proportion of women don’t understand the difference between the two phases: menopause and perimenopause; nearly half of women are unprepared; the same proportion feel anxious and women are more likely to turn to google than a healthcare professional. Of course for many, it can be a real change for good – if there’s one thing women are good at, it’s adapting and thriving. The most alarming insight however is that in all countries, women reported not discussing it with their friends. Everything is less frightening and less isolating if it’s out in the open so we need to start talking – it’s completely natural after all.

Why did Avon do this research?

We’ve spent years in laboratories researching the impact of hormones on our skin, and when looking specifically at the impact of menopause and perimenopause we released it was a massively under discussed topic. We wanted to learn more about women’s experiences and understand why there’s a huge lack of information and conversation. By understanding, we can not only focus on developing new technologies and innovative solutions to help women feel their best at any stage of their lives, but we can drive change in society.  We’ve been doing beauty differently for 135 years and we are perfectly positioned, through our global community of five million Reps, to support women’s emotional experiences by opening up conversations. With the support of experts, like our partner Dr Sarah Jarvis, we will equip or Reps with the facts and guidance they need to support their customers.

Is there a product coming to help address the skin issues women experience during menopause and perimenopause?

Yes! Coming soon is adapt Sync – keep your eyes peeled for more information. It’s all about beauty in balance – with these wild hormone fluctuations it can leave us feeling out of balance so we created the world’s first skincare brand offering holistic solutions for hormonal skin issues.

How is adapt Sync different to other skincare products?

The collection is formulated with soothing botanical adaptogens, such as tumeric and Avon’s patented tiliacora. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants derivatives that help the body resist stressors, whether physical, chemical or biological. They’re called adaptogens because they adapt to what the body needs. The adaptogens in Avon’s adapt collection work to bring beauty in balance. Tumeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, whereas tiliacora is a plant native to Southeast Asia that helps to cool the skin and increase hydration and firmness. 

What products are included in the adapt Sync collection?

The perimenopause-focused collection includes three products suitable for all skin types:

  • Icy Cooling Elixir Facial Mist – a microfine mist for hot flushes, to instantly cooling and boost moisture
  • Dream Cream Night Cream – a 3-in-1 cream to firm and calm skin, boost collagen production and support sleep with relaxing lavender and jasmine
  • Hydra Rescue On The Go Serum – moisture-boosting serum formulated to work across multiple skin layers.