Top Chef’s Carla Hall on What Her Skin Needs During Menopause and Why She Never Wants to Be 30 Again

Top Chef’s Carla Hall on What Her Skin Needs During Menopause and Why She Never Wants to Be 30 Again featured image
Getty Images/ Paul Archuleta / Contributor

“Nobody talks about it,” says chef and television personality Carla Hall. “So many women don’t talk to each other, especially about what they’re going through. It’s sort of, they are suffering in silence.”

Hall, a fan favorite on the Top Chef franchise for both her humor and candor, is talking about the big M—menopause. “I don’t really understand perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause,” she says jokingly. “Let’s just call it Perry pause.” 

The 57-year-old says while she’s only had one hot flash, she’s had just about all of the other notable symptoms. “I’ve experienced sleeplessness, I’ve experienced foggy brain. I’ve experienced the vaginal dryness. And honestly, since we’re here, it really taught me openly and frankly, you know, with the vaginal dryness how much we don’t talk about it. I’m like oh my gosh. Does this mean that I’m not really into my husband anymore? What does this mean? Because we’re not talking to other women, we turn it back to ourselves, not like it is a thing that we’re going through.”

As far as her skin, she says dryness is the main issue there too. “My skin is the main thing and it’s just really, really dry. I’ve been getting facials since I was like 24 and I always paid attention to my skin. I never stopped! I never go to bed with my makeup on. I always wash my face. So, I think it was in my 40s when I was like, ‘Why is it that I can’t ever put enough moisturizer on?’ I never thought that I had to change products for more moisture. So, it was it was really relearning my skin again.” 

Today, Hall says she relies on products designed to counter the effects of menopause and hormone decline that replenish the missing moisture in her skin. “When I first started using Caire’s Theorem Serum Boost ($56) and Triple Lift Molecule Mask ($52), I was noticing my neck was looking wrinkly. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh what is this?’ When you’ve been told all your life ‘black don’t crack’ and you see it cracking…you’re like, ‘Hold on, hold the phone.’”

“When I started putting it on my face and neck, I stopped cracking. I honestly don’t want to promise the world. However, it made a huge difference in addition to my sunscreen and everything else that, you know, I use it is really paying attention to this area, that definitely decolletage. I really did see a difference, just the plumping of my skin, and people ask me all the time: What do you do for your skin?”

As far as why she thinks women don’t talk about menopause enough, Hall believes it has something to do with a societal resistance to aging. “I wonder if it’s because instead of respecting, honoring and celebrating older people, we’re constantly wanting to be in our 30s. I personally never want to be 30. I’d rather have the wisdom.”

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