But Rochelle Weitzner isn’t shying away from the conversation these days. In fact, she’s tacking this issue head on with a new skin care line called Pause Well Aging. The former CEO of Erno Laszlo and former CFO at Laura Mercier Cosmetics and RéVive Skincare is billing this new brand as a first-of-its-kind, science-based skin care line focused on supporting skin during the three stages of menopause.
The beauty industry veteran says there are a few reasons why skin care for menopausal women had yet to be addressed in a meaningful way.
“First and foremost, the beauty industry still has an archaic mindset that beauty ends once a woman reaches 40. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and especially today with women reinventing themselves in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. And second, the beauty companies have been so focused on capturing the millennial consumer that the consumer with the money to spend and desire to see real results was left to fend for herself,” said Weitzner.
According to Weitzner, the physiological skin changes that come with menopause – loss of collagen, loss of elasticity, loss of radiance and extreme dryness— are well known. And they were known by Weitzner personally as she has had those hot flashes and didn’t find products to help with her skin (the “aha” moment that led her to create the range).
Pause’s approach is to formulate specifically for these changes using clean, highly efficacious ingredients, she said.
The line has three SKUs that include two main formulations—a Hot Flash Cooling Mist ($39), a use-anywhere fine mist that minimizes flushing and provides instant relief during a hot flash, and a Collagen Boosting Moisturizer ($72), a deeply hydrating formula that can tighten facial contours, increase skin density and improve elasticity to estrogen-deprived skin. Key chemistry in both products is the proprietary Pause Complex, described as a “carefully researched fusion of vitamins, antioxidants and peptides that helps fuel collagen production and diminish the visible signs of skin aging.” Specifically, the complex contains niacinamide, 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) natural (bitartrate), palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, poria cocos polysaccharide and ribose.
What isn’t in the products are parabens, phthalates, SLS, SLES, petrolatums, GMOs, triclosan, EDTAs, BHT, BHA, propylene, formaldehyde, mineral oils and animal by-products, according to the company, adding that all all formulations reflect the vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny-certified “Pause Clean Standard.”
The third SKU is a Fascia Stimulating Tool ($115), an FDA-cleared Class I medical device that uses gentle massage to help stimulate collagen production, improve tone and texture, and enhance sub-dermal tissue health.
“We also focus on skin health and wellness from both the outside in—with topical products—and the inside out with our FDA-registered class 1 medical device that was designed to stimulate collagen production and help with tissue health and quality. In our case, we’re borrowing from the science of IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization) that physical therapists use to treat elite athletes. We are applying this science to the face, neck and chest to realize the same tissue health and quality improvements,” said Weitzner.
While still a very new brand, Weitzner maintains that the hot flash cooling mist is a standout.
“This is an incredibly unique product that immediately cools on contact and continues cooling for an hour. It also helps to reduce flushing and evaporate the annoying sweat that comes with a hot flash. There is nothing else like this product in the marketplace,” she said. It has even piqued the interest beyond Pause’s target customers.
“We’ve also started to develop a cult following for this product from men and mothers using the spray on their kids, who are just generally hot after sports or working out,” Weitzner said.
The Pause line is currently available on the brand’s website and through Amazon.
“I’ve structured the company in such a way that our partners are an extension of our team, so as a digitally native brand, which we intend to remain for a while, it was crucial to align with experts in that domain. Working with our distribution partner, Dotcom Distribution, we have the flexibility and agility to focus on improving and strengthening our existing channels with the introduction of sampling, gifting and virtual bundle offerings. In the meantime, we will look to find the right brick and mortar partner to enable our customers to find us offline if they choose to shop this way.”
Weitzner sees Pause as more than just a product line. She wants the brand to give women resources and space to share their stories as they adapt to the "new normal" that is menopause. To that end, she created the Connect the Dots, a blog featuring articles, stories, science, lifestyle features, humor and more that reflect the company tagline: “Pause. Learn. Laugh.”
Weitzner teamed up with Grace Beauty Capital to establish her new venture.
"Menopause is a huge transition for women—and a huge underserved market and I couldn't understand why nobody had the courage to tackle it," Frank Fazzinga III, Grace's founder and partner, said in a statement when the line launched in June.
After just a few months on the market, Weitzner is set to expand the Pause product roster. She told HAPPI that new products are due out sometime this month.