Caire Beauty co-founders on why nobody is talking about how menopause affects women’s skin
Did you know both men and women’s hormone levels start to fall naturally in their 30s? So much for thirty, flirty, and thriving! We’ve already answered your burning questions about menopause and explored the basics of menopausal therapy, but what about your skin? It’s common for women in their “F years” (40 and above) to start seeing sagging, bagging, and wrinkles when they look in the mirror. Are hormones to blame? And is there anything you can do about it?
Yes, according to Celeste Lee and Lorrie King the female power duo who launched Caire Beauty in 2020. Lee and King describe Caire as a “hormone-defying skincare” that is on a mission to fight the skin structure aging that is caused by hormone decline.
“We’ve both been in the beauty industry for more than 40 years,” Celeste told us. “But even we didn’t know that hormone decline can cause internal aging. Why? Because nobody talks about it.”
Caire launched with a Theorem Serum Boost and a Triple Lift Molecule Mask, both of which contain Hyaluronic Acid molecules to help strengthen the skin from the inside out. We spoke with the co-founders about what to know about hormones, starting a business, and the one piece of advice they would give their younger selves.
Katie Couric Media: You both had years of beauty experience before launching Caire. How did you two meet and decide to start this new endeavor?
Lorrie: We were introduced by a mutual friend and started running into each other at different beauty events. We both have over 40 years of experience in the beauty industry, and we started talking about how many of our friends would come to us and say, “Do I need to get Botox?” “What can I do about these lines and sags and bags?” We talked and decided, look, we know science, we know product, we know marketing… we should do this.
Where did you get the idea for Caire Beauty?
Celeste: We’ve both been in beauty across all industries — fragrance, skincare, bath & body. But what was shocking was that even we didn’t know that there is an internal aging that occurs and it is caused by hormone decline. Why? Because nobody talks about it. When you’re a teenager, there are a ton of products to address acne. But the same isn’t true for women who are going through a dramatic hormone decline.
When do people start seeing this hormone decline?
Celeste: For both men and women, hormone decline starts at age 30. It’s shocking to people when I say that. At the beginning — around age 30 and 40 — you lose about 1% of hyaluronic acid and collagen production a year. It’s very minor and you can’t really see it.
When women turn 40, that rate accelerates — and in some cases, doubles. However, men continue to protract at a rate of 1% each year. It’s terribly unfair. Since we live in a society that is so youth-centric, so nobody wants to talk about it. And it can be challenging for a woman in her 40s to change the way she’s taking care of her skin.
What exactly happens to a woman’s skin when she goes through this hormone decline?
Lorrie: One of the top symptoms that women notice is extraordinarily dry skin, but problems are going to differ from person to person. As estrogen and progesterone contract each year, your skin cell production decreases.
Celeste: Collagen and elastin are both proteins that are key to skin health, and hyaluronic acid is the goo that holds it all together. Think of your skin like a brick house — the collagen and elastin are the bricks, and the hyaluronic acid is the mortar holding it together. What happens when the mortar declines? The house collapses. What does a collapse look like? Well, that’s when you see creases in the forehead, wrinkles, sagging, changes in where your cheeks sit… the list goes on.
What makes Caire Beauty products different from what’s already on the market?
Celeste: We have a technology that we call “hormone-defying science.” Our products infuse tiny hyaluronic acid molecules — which I like to call a “youth molecule” — into your skin. There’s also a peptide that tells your skin to turn on the latent skin “seeds” that can produce more collagen and more hyaluronic acid, which are two of the three key components for the structure of your skin.
Lorrie: We’re really passionate about it, because at the end of the day, your face is your identity. You may be in your highest income earning years, but if you look in the mirror and see sagging, you just don’t feel good.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were getting started in your career?
Lorrie: To stay the course, and know that I have the skills and passion necessary to bring tremendous value to each role I step into. As a “woman of a certain age,” building a multi-million-dollar business of my own for all of the 40+ women who have also been challenged and overlooked is very important to me and my co-founder. I knew the audience that I wanted to serve, and given my expertise in the beauty industry, I knew that skincare was the right product.
Celeste: I wish I had known many moons ago that there are business accelerators, boot camps, and other venture structures (sometimes housed under a larger corporate umbrella), that are specifically focused on helping you bring the vision or your idea to life in a viable and vibrant way. Last year, Lorrie and I were selected out of 1000 applicants into ERA, an NYC Accelerator, modeled after the Y Combinator in Silicon Valley which famously birthed companies like AirBnB and DoorDash. ERA put us through a four-month boot camp. It was intense but we learned a ton, met amazing mentors who are continuing to lend a hand, and helped us hone how to describe the true purpose of Caire Beauty.
Is there a woman who inspired you to launch Caire?
Lorrie: My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Annie V. Moore, is my Taurian spirit friend! We were born years apart, but almost on the same day. She was a beautiful Black woman: A woman who walked into a room with her colorful personality, clothing and genuine warmth. She believed in me beyond belief. I recall asking her why on earth she cast me as Addapearle, the Good Witch, in our grade school play, The Wiz. She said, “Even though you do not think you can sing, I believe in you enough for you to stretch yourself; to put you in a place to embrace your true creativity”.
Celeste: I went to U Penn with Gary Lauder, a grandson of Estée Lauder. One time we were doing a group project together and Estée called for a chat! I’ve never forgotten how easygoing and genuinely interested she was in what we were all doing. After that, I made a point of learning all about her. To me, she is the epitome of the word entrepreneur.
Who is a fellow female entrepreneur who inspires you today?
Lorrie: If I had to pinpoint a single entrepreneur that I admire, I love Madame CJ Walker or Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter or Nancy Twine of Brigeo or Trinny Woodall of Trinny London, but I have such a dynamic circle of sisters who have all left the corporate life and now cheer me on. Some of these women include:
- Carla Hall, an Emmy award winning chef (the Chew, Food Network, Netflix) & author
- Bridget Chisholm of BWC consulting, who has facilitated over a Billion dollar in capital for investments in business enterprises with a focus on elevating minority led businesses and has been an advocate for Caire.
- Allyson Ward of The Capstone Group who has built a leadership and coaching business in addition to taking center stage and presenting at Tony Robbins’ biggest events
- LaDetra McGaha White of Noble Insight who has built a thriving strategic marketing practice.
Celeste: Entrepreneurship comes in so many forms. Stacey Abrams turned a bummer election loss into a life changing moment. Her Fair Fight organization helped people in Georgia get their voices heard, and she’s now actively working to ensure rightful voting access everywhere. She’s so articulate, but she’s not just some talking head— she’s an in the trenches. She’s a doer who has achieved major measurable success.