Beauty Skincare Flash Forward Naomi Watts Is Acting Her Age How Judy Greer Mastered Her Mood Swings 9 Beauty Founders Making the Meno Aisle Happen Punching Things & Other Workouts for Perimenopause Real Talk: Menopause Is a Privilege The Drugstore Brand Making Menopause Skincare Accessible Punchline No More: It's Time for Menopause on TV to 'Change' The Rage Is Real — Here’s How Menopause Affects Mental Health CLOSE Part of Flash Forward 9 Beauty Brand Founders Who Are Making Menopause Mainstream The beauty industry is finally recognizing this neglected demographic, with gorgeous products to suit every need. By Erin Lukas Erin Lukas Instagram Twitter Erin is a Brooklyn-based beauty editor and has been with InStyle since 2016. She covers all facets of beauty for the site. InStyle's editorial guidelines and Kayla Greaves Kayla Greaves Instagram Twitter Website Kayla Greaves is the Executive Beauty Editor for InStyle, overseeing all beauty coverage on the site. She has previously held positions at HuffPost and Bustle. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on October 18, 2022 @ 07:00AM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Courtesy Life can be unpredictable, but menopause is a milestone that anyone who menstruates will experience. However, despite the fact that approximately 1.3 million women in the U.S. enter menopause each year, there isn’t exactly a ton of information about what exactly happens before and after your last menstrual cycle. While doctors, the media, and your mother and grandmother may have been cagey about perimenopause and menopause, the conversation is getting louder in 2022. This is thanks in part to a shift in the beauty industry, with more brands stepping into the space products created to address the major skin, hair, and wellness concerns that women and gender-expansive people over the age of 40 experience as they approach and enter menopause. Ahead, InStyle celebrates the beauty brand founders who are pushing the conversation forward and creating innovative products to help make menopause better. Hyper-Targeted Menopause Products for All Your WTF Symptoms Rochelle Weitzner, Founder of Pause Well-Aging Courtesy Rochelle Weitzner knew something was shifting when she experienced her first hot flash in her 40s. “I was working in the beauty industry at the time, so I thought it would be easy to find products to suit this new life stage,” she shares. “But everything seemed rooted in the 1950s — either suggesting beauty ended at 40 or offering little to no information to assure me that what I was experiencing was normal.” That’s when she knew she had something new to offer the skincare market. Weitzner wanted to create a line that celebrated getting older, not diminish it, so she launched Pause Well-Aging in 2019. Pause’s formulations work to increase collagen production — which starts to decrease after 30 — to help skin look its best for any stage, rather than trying to erase your skin’s natural journey. “For many women, the frustration is that they are feeling the most empowered and confident they’ve ever felt but are still searching for the skincare holy grail at 50,” Weitzner explains. “The whole Pause exec team are these women, which is why we created this very special and unique skincare line. [We’re one of the] first to focus specifically on the impact of menopause on aging skin, that combines a clean-meets-luxury approach, and is laser-focused on giving [someone] the best skin of her life right now.” But Weitzner knows when it comes to menopause, the dialogue needs to go beyond just skincare. “My hope here is that we normalize the conversation to a point where we no longer whisper the word ‘menopause,’ we no longer feel shame when hearing the word menopause, and we openly discuss menopause throughout our daily lives,” she says. “But really, [I hope] we end up giving women so many wonderful product solutions to choose from, that we can make menopause an afterthought in her daily life.” Menopause has been stigmatized for too long. With Flash Forward, we turn it into an open conversation and celebrate the people making that possible. Scroll to the bottom for more from this special issue. Stacy London, CEO & Founder of State of Menopause Courtesy While hormone replacement therapy can offer relief for many menopausal women, it’s not an option for everyone, including Stacy London. So, the former host of TLC’s What Not to Wear co-founded State of Menopause, a line of products designed to provide relief from menopause symptoms, whether that’s crepey skin or vaginal dryness. “I co-founded a menopause company because I couldn’t take hormones and I wanted affordable, effective product options to help me with issues I was experiencing. In founding the company I hope to make the experience of menopause something easier in general,” London shares. “It is a topic shrouded in shame and secrecy, and yet another way for our society to make people feel badly about themselves. We need to appreciate the wholeness of this experience — the hard stuff and the opportunities it presents.” But London doesn’t just want to normalize talking about menopause, she wants to democratize and optimize the conversation. “State of Menopause is anything but a vanity project: My company and many others working in this area are paving the way for more open and honest conversations around menopause, pushing for a better understanding and appreciation of this stage in life,” London says. “What we need and are hoping for is a major shift in our outdated perspective on the topic. Like most things that are masked in secrecy; we fear what we don’t understand or simply the things in life for which we don’t feel prepared. Menopause is something everyone should understand, respect, and know how to manage.” London’s ultimate goal? Informing people before they reach menopause so they’re in control of all the choices that come with this stage of life. Sonsoles Gonzalez, Founder of Better Not Younger Courtesy Sonsoles Gonzalez has worked with numerous beauty giants throughout her career. And while her gigs have taken her all over the world, what she’d hear in boardrooms was often the same. “For years, I sat in meetings where all briefs stated ‘Target audience: women 18 to 44,’ she shares. “I used to joke, ‘What happens to women after 45? They disappear?’” Gonzalez knew there was an opportunity to create products especially geared toward women 45 and over — and it certainly wasn’t going to be about trying to conceal their age. “I created Better Not Younger [in 2019] to help women address aging hair issues,” the founder explains. “After 40, women may see more gray hairs, however, there is so much more happening to our hair than the loss of pigmentation. The scalp is thinner, providing less protection to the follicle, causing them to shrink, weaken, and also impact growth patterns. There are also fewer oils being secreted to protect the hair. And our bodies aren’t as efficient with nutrition, which is why we need to supplement.” Better Not Younger currently has dozens of products that address everything from volume loss to dryness associated with aging, and even offer specially formulated purple shampoos that keep gray and white hair brilliantly shiny. In fact, the line is so good, a number of celebrities have taken notice, too. Everyone from Jennifer Cooliage to Cynthia Nixon swear by the products, and they have no qualms bragging about it — or using them to get ready for their next big red carpet. “From day one, our purpose at Better Not Younger has been to change the narrative around women and aging,” says Gonzalez, and that means starting with a baseline level of respect for people in the oft-overlooked age range. “These women are super savvy, accomplished, and have a great sense of self. They know their bodies are changing, and they are now being given an opportunity to access products truly designed for them.” Looking to the future, Gonzalez is not only aiming to grow her own brand, but also wants to see the beauty market and more media outlets do more to normalize the conversation around menopause and aging. “Women are definitely ready for this,” she says. “So why wait?” Michelle Jacobs & Sally Mueller, Co-Founders of Womaness Courtesy Contrary to the fact that menopause contains the word “pause,” it isn’t an expiration date. This is the mindset that Michelle Jacobs and Sally Mueller wanted to bring to the beauty industry when they launched Womaness, a beauty and wellness brand that speaks to women in their 40s and 50s experiencing the wide array of menopause-related symptoms. “We felt a menopause makeover was long overdue,” says Mueller. “And so we created Womaness, a full suite of menopause solutions across skin and body care, sexual wellness and feminine care and supplements. No matter your symptom — or where it occurs — we have you covered.” When developing the brand, Jacobs and Mueller held multiple focus groups with women in this stage of life, and came to the conclusion that along with physical symptoms, their mood and well-being was impacted by menopause, which is why Womaness also offers supplements and sexual wellness products in addition to skin and body care. Ultimately, the co-founders hope that in addition to providing women with solutions, Womaness opens the conversation about menopause to prepare younger generations for this stage of life. “We firmly believe — and have heard from the doctors whom we consult with for Womaness — that women should start to prepare themselves for this stage of life when they are younger,” Jacobs shares. “That means they have to take care of their bodies and understand that menopause affects heart health, bone health and mental health — so they can ensure they’re on the right path when it comes to aging more gracefully and healthfully. The more women know, the more prepared they will be. As in most cases, knowledge truly is power.” Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Founder of Kindra Courtesy Catherine Balsam-Schwaber wants to stop the cycle of confusion and frustration that women experience as they near menopause. “What’s happening now is that we have women who, frankly, came into being after the women’s liberation movement who are now arriving at this major life event and actually asking the questions: Why did no one tell me? Isn’t there a better way?,” she says. Balsam-Schwaber created Kindra to make this milestone less overwhelming and disruptive to daily life. The line includes supplements that help improve focus and sleep, along with vaginal wellness products that relieve dryness and tenderness, and a cooling mist for hot flashes. “The lack of attention and innovation for women on our menopause journey is the double whammy of sexism and ageism. Science has not always had a focus on these years, let alone our entire sex, and it’s been made clear to a new generation of women that there is a significant gap in our society’s view of and care for us,” Balsam-Schwaber says. And filling the gap of education and resources is exactly why Kindra exists. Lorrie King & Celeste Lee, Co-Founders of Caire Beauty Courtesy When you work in the beauty industry, being asked for product recommendations from friends and family comes with the territory. As industry veterans Lorrie King and Celeste Lee entered their 40s, they found it increasingly difficult to suggest products for the common skin concerns that their peers were experiencing. So when doctor friends explained to them that the dryness, wrinkles, and eye bags their friends were complaining about are caused by the hormone drop that occurs as people approach menopause, they set out to create solutions. The result is Caire Beauty, a line of skincare products formulated with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, red algae, and pro-collagen peptides that help with absorption beyond the skin’s surface. “Our ‘a-ha’ moment was when we learned that estrogen (and other sex hormones) are necessary for basic skin synthesis! The change in skin production caused by hormone decline is called ‘internal’ or ‘intrinsic’ aging and is something the skincare business basically doesn’t talk about,” Lee says. “It has traditionally focused on external aging — meaning the sun and pollution.” The pair found that the overall stigma associated with perimenopause and menopause has directly influenced how companies talk about beauty, wellness, and lifestyle products that are associated with this stage of life. With Caire Beauty, they hope to end the one-size-fits-all approach to creating skincare essentials. “The millennials are joining Gen-X and Boomers, and I expect that they are going to even further change how we ‘do' midlife and peri/menopause,” Lee shares. “Beauty and identity are naturally linked; it’s part of how we humans understand ourselves, and because we are more visual than ever before, the beauty industry needs to get on board and rethink what ‘anti-aging’ means. The era of a one-size-fits-all-ages (and genders for that matter!) is ending. Meaning the moisturizer that is used for anyone from 18 to 88 is not good enough.” Carol Mehas, Founder of StellaVia Courtesy “I began looking for truly effective solutions and that’s when I recognized a white space in the women’s wellness market, and saw the need for a safe space to help women navigate menopause,” StellaVia founder Carol Mehas shares. That’s why she teamed up with Dr. Allyson Shirkhande and Dr. Jessica Shepherd to create a CBD-powered beauty and wellness brand that addresses everything from hot flashes to thinning vaginal tissue. “One billion women will be menopausal by 2025 and will find that the wellness as well as the beauty industry has not continued to innovate or solve for them as they enter a new life stage,” Mehas explains. “Our approach at StellaVia is to elevate the overall experience by offering unique, by-women-for-women products in beautifully designed packaging.” While StellaVia has created products to help everyone on their unique menopause journey, the overarching goal of the brand is to give women a sense of community as they navigate their way through. And for Mehas, this also means welcoming competing brands with open arms to help normalize this life stage. “Most women are unprepared for the realities of menopause,” she shares. “As more brands enter the space, I cannot wait for a future where this rite of passage is celebrated, demystified, and approached from a lens of empowerment." Beauty Boss profiles the brains behind the brands making waves in the beauty industry. From the ideas that first inspire brands to how best-selling hair, makeup, and skincare products are made, find out how these leaders get it done.