top of page

My personal (peri)menopause  TOOLKIT

For women in midlife more than ever, the concept of self-care is vital to our well-being. Ten years ago self-care might have meant a manicure and some time in the gym doing cardio, but not anymore. 

Below you'll find the things I do (in no particular order of importance) each and every day to restore, protect and prepare my body for several more decades of health and strength....

You may be asking, "but what about skincare?"

My friends, every piece of this toolkit lends to healthy skin as we age.  That said, I'll do a dedicated toolkit for menopause and skin health very soon. 

collagen (13).png



Team Collagen here! Collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, plays a vital role in maintaining skin elasticity, joint health, and overall structural integrity.

As we age, collagen production naturally declines - supplementing with collagen can help improve skin elasticity and increase hydration, giving the skin a more youthful and radiant appearance. 

In addition, collagen is crucial for maintaining joint and bone health. It provides structural support to cartilage, which cushions joints and allows for smooth movement. Supplementing with collagen can help reduce joint pain and inflammation, improve mobility, and support overall joint function. Furthermore, collagen contributes to bone density and strength, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

I have two favorite collagen supplements:  PauseLife Skin and Bone .  I choose Skin and Bone when I want a flavored collagen drink and I love it pre-workout. Click on this link and get a discount until June 9 

The other is Dr Rajani's Multi Collagen Peptides You can use the code PENN15 for a discount on all Dr Rajani's products. I choose Multi Collagen Peptides when I want an unflavored powder that I add to a shake or smoothie.  I do not miss a single day of collagen.  Be on the lookout for content on YouTube all about the HUGE benefits of collagen, especially in midlife! 

Beyond Collagen I take vitamin D3+K2, Vitamin C, magnesium, a hair supplement (Biosil), and I supplement protein every day. I'll elaborate on some of these below. You can find all of these supplements on my Amazon Storefront.



This is a Personal decision and every woman should make her own informed choice. For me a combination of Evamist (estradiol) and progesterone from MyAlloy, plus testosterone from my own doctor are core.

I personally do one spray of the evamist each morning and one 100 mg capsule of the progesterone at night. The testosterone is topical- and must be managed well by a doctor (labs etc). There are online resources available now with menopause experts ready to help women in all 50 states.  For more information on each resource simply click: MyAlloy or Midihealth.  Midihealth takes some insurance plans while MyAlloy is self-pay at this time.  All have top notch, well informed menopause doctors ready to help! If you choose to use the MyAlloy service then be sure to enter code PENN20 at checkout for a discount! 

collagen (5).png
collagen (8).png



My weekly exercise program consists of daily long walks with my dog and/or with a human that I Iove and, critically, lifting heavy weights 4-5  times per week. These things are non-negotiable for me and have been for years.


There is so much data on how critical strength training is for women at all ages, but especially when we're approaching menopause. We must maintain our muscle mass as we grow if we want to age well. Lifting heavy weights has scores of benefits including protecting our bones, increasing our metabolism (so we burn more at rest), enhancing our brain function, and so many more. I plan on talking about this more in the future, but for now I so encourage you to explore this amazing form of exercise.

This is where protein comes in! Protein is crucial during menopause as it helps maintain muscle mass, which (again) tends to decline with age and hormonal changes. It also supports bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Additionally, adequate protein intake can aid in weight management by promoting satiety and preserving lean body mass. Like I said above I shoot for 120 grams a day or MORE (Dr Mary Claire Haver recommends 1.5 grams per kilo of weight). 

This from the article "Resistance Training is Medicine"

"Inactive adults experience a 3% to 8% loss of muscle mass per decade, accompanied by resting metabolic rate reduction and fat accumulation. Ten weeks of resistance training may increase lean weight by 1.4 kg, increase resting metabolic rate by 7%, and reduce fat weight by 1.8 kg. "



Did you know?

Sleep is particularly important during menopause as it helps regulate mood and reduce stress. Quality sleep supports overall health, boosting immune function and cognitive performance. Additionally, adequate rest can help mitigate the risk of weight gain and cardiovascular issues, which are more prevalent during this stage of life.

Magnesium (I use Magnesium L- Threonate from Cymbiotika on Amazon) is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in promoting quality sleep. It helps regulate neurotransmitters that are involved in the sleep-wake cycle, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and reduces neuronal excitability, which can help us fall asleep more easily and enjoy deeper, more restorative sleep. Adequate magnesium levels can also help alleviate insomnia and other sleep disorders by calming the nervous system and reducing stress and anxiety.

Moreover, magnesium supports the body's natural production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle. By enhancing melatonin synthesis, magnesium can help establish a regular sleep pattern and improve overall sleep quality. 

Other tools I use for sleep are:

Progesterone, my 8Sleep Pod (more on this soon), a weighted sleep mask- I love the NodPod from Amazon, white noise and a fan (noise and temp regulation). I also try to avoid eating too close to bedtime and limit the amount of water/drinks I have right before bed (getting up to pee and then not being able to fall back asleep is a real thing!!).

collagen (11).png
collagen (12).png


Stress Reduction 

Honestly, looking after my sleep, nutrition and exercise all contributes to helping me manage my stress. in addition, having wonderful and supportive friends and family can be amazing when the pressure is high and I need to ground myself.

In addition, these are some of the top things I do when I feel stressed:


  • Setting boundaries - knowing how to say no (even to myself and opportunities that I really wish I could pursue!!)

  • Breathing (you don't need an App, but there are some nice ones like Breathwrk if you like the support)

  • Meditation. There are some great free options on YouTube!

  • Organizing my space. I do this every few days. I tend to create 'little messes' when I'm working on content. But interesting enough, I find it so soothing to take an hour or so just to methodically put things away when the cyclone has passed 😂

  • Take a walk in nature. I cannot emphasise enough how helpful this can be.

  • Focus on routine and habits. I adore Atomic Habits by James Clear available on Amazon in hardcover, audiobook and Kindle.

  • PEMF - stress management ... overwhelmed and tired (I wake up at 5am). Mika (my pup) lays on my mat with me. 15 mins. stepping away and taking a moment to be quiet. Time out. Checkout the PEMF mat from HigherDose, code PENNHD gets a discount. 


Healthy SWAPS

I quit drinking alcohol (for now I am replacing it with the delicious non-alcoholic drink "Poppi" On Amazon in raspberry rosé...Highly recommend!! This can be found in some local grocery stores or you can order straight from Amazon. 


Quitting alcohol during (peri)menopause is a great idea because it can significantly reduce hot flashes, night sweats and other things that generally disrupt our sleep. Plus, ditching the drinks helps keep our mood more stable and reduces anxiety, making it easier to handle daily stress. And let’s not forget, saying goodbye to alcohol can also help us maintain a healthy weight and protect our heart health — win-win!

It is important to mention that any reduction in alcohol consumption reduces our risk of disease in old age...Food for thought!


This has been an amazing life swap for me...I do not miss alcohol and I encourage you to think about this "swap"!

collagen (15).png
collagen (10).png


Hair Preservation 

Photobiomodulation offers several benefits for hair health. It stimulates hair follicles, promoting increased hair growth and thickness by enhancing cellular activity and improving blood flow to the scalp. This non-invasive treatment can help reduce hair loss, strengthen existing hair, and improve overall scalp health, making it a promising option for those struggling with thinning hair or alopecia. I am using the RLT hat from HigherDose (code Penn20 gets a discount) I love it and highly recommend it.  

In addition to red light therapy I consistently use hair serums (currently Revitalash hair foam (find it here on Amazon) and Grande Hair serum (also here on Amazon), both with prostaglandins to improve hair health, thickness and density) and I take supplements for my hair (Biosil and collagen namely). 

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of LED for skin- If you are curious: my current favorite LED mask is Dr Rajani's LED mask with SUB-MENTAL led to get that under-chin area! Code Penn10 gets a discount on all Dr. Rajani products. 


Education (HUGE)

This is the biggest piece of the puzzle.  WE ALL need to educate ourselves to make the best choice.  Each and every one of us may do something different! As long as we are armed with education we have fighting chance at making the RIGHT decisins. 

Here are some resources to get you started:

Estrogen Matters

The book "Estrogen Matters" by Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris (found on Amazon) challenges misconceptions about HRT, highlighting its potential to improve quality of life and reduce risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, and even certain cancers. This is a MUST READ (or listen) book for every woman!

The New Menopause 

Dr. Mary Claire Haver's new book, "The New Menopause," (also found on Amazon) offers a comprehensive guide to navigating menopause with practical advice on hormone therapy, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. It aims to empower women with the knowledge and tools to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life during this transitional period.

Social channels that I follow that are incredibly informative and factually accurate:

Dr Mary Claire Haver

Dr Vonda Wright

Dr Corinne Menn

Portland Menopause Doc

Dr Rocio Salas-Whalen

Estrogen Matters (Instagram) 

Follow me of course! 


collagen (14).png

Penn Smith Skincare participates in the Amazon Associates Program. This is an affiliate program and all Amazon links are affiliate.  If you choose to use them I will receive a commission.
FTC: Some links are affiliate. This means if you use them I will earn a commission.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin related diagnosis or treatment options. Information in this blog should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this blog are not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.  Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care  professional to determine if it’s right for you.

bottom of page