“The skin barrier is comprised primarily of ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol. It’s well understood that both the quantity of lipid production slows with hormone decline as well as the quality of the lipids themselves. Our goal…was to create a truly novel moisturizer, one that would defend against both internal and external aging.”
That’s a quote from Dr. Joseph Librizzi, the Chief Scientific Officer at Caire Beauty—founded at the start of 2021 by Lorrie King and Celeste Lee to “educate, advocate for, and inspire women to live midlife more confidently,” Lee told me in a recent interview.
The Lipid Generation: Women Over 40 Get Their Own Skincare
Many brands that bring novel ingredients and leading-edge science to their customers do so in partnership with innovative ingredient companies. These suppliers, after all, live and breathe cosmetic chemistry and have full-time R&D teams; they make it their business to imagine and discover and develop ingredients with irresistible benefits that no one else has dreamed up.
Conversely, Caire Beauty is a brand that has developed an exceptional new ceramide ingredient in-house. What they’ve created is a ceramide-lipid emulsion. Produced using very little water and very little heat, their CeraLipidTM ingredient is made with incredibly small lipid molecules; the emulsion itself is remarkably absorbable, and (perhaps most notably) “the lipids remain intact and whole until skin contact,” explains Celeste Lee, Co-Founder of Caire Beauty.
“Skin cell generation, desquamtion, and lipid generation” are among the changes women experience after the age of 40, Lee told me recently. Beyond that, “Cleansing and bathing remove natural lipids.” And, she notes that many brands formulating with ceramides opt for plastic ampules or encapsulation because ceramide lipids are very delicate. They break easily, explains Lee; so it’s “hard to put them in a formulation without destroying them.”
The challenge that Dr. Joseph Librizzi, the Chief Scientific Officer at Caire Beauty, (along with the two other staff scientists at the brand) solved was formulating with intact lipids, with lipids small enough to pass below the stratum corneum, and without using disposable plastic ampules.
Consumer Demand: Skincare Products Deliver Longevity with Natural Ingredients
The phytoceramide market is expected to grow by over $138m between 2022 and 2027, according to a recent report from market research company Technavio. And a company media release promoting the report emphasizes that, “the market share growth of the cosmetics segment will be significant during the forecast period.” This is purportedly because, the ingredients “can fight the harmful effects of free radicals on the skin, thereby delaying the aging process.” And Technavio makes a correlation between consumer demand for natural and organic cosmetic products and this projected lift in the phytoceramide market. This correlation makes sense because, of course, phytoceramides are derived from plants.
The Caire Beauty ceramide fits right into this market niche: “Our TGM [The Grownup Moisturizer] uses a natural ceramide, Oryza Sativa (rice bran oil), rather than a synthetic. While both types are valid, at Caire, we are aiming to keep our formulations clean and vegan so this was the right choice for us,” King tells me.
Explaining further, her Co-Founder Lee says, “A key philosophy at Caire is our aim to use small enough molecules in addition to technologies / techniques that can help ingredients penetrate the skin barrier to work inside skin as best as possible is what make skincare go from good to great, or at least better.
“So, the difference between a surface-only and one that can improve the health of the entirety of the skin barrier. Caire’s patent pending technique allows us to create a ceramide-lipid…emulsion that results in three key benefits: one, the lipid size becomes extremely small; two, the lipids remain intact and whole until skin contact; [and] three, the lipid emulsion is exceptionally absorbable into skin.”
Lee also points out that The Grownup Moisturizer, which is the brand’s latest product and the first to be formulated with CeraLipidTM, does include other ingredients (jojoba oil and shea butter) that are rich in phytoceramides; but, she notes, “they are not part of the super-absorbable, super-small CeralipidTM emulsion designed to strengthen the skin barrier.”
Innovation and Education: Supporting Legacy Beauty Consumers in New Ways
Caire Beauty is working intentionally to meet their demographic’s consumer expectations. And this work seems to starts with the understanding that “female life expectancies have lengthened very quickly (compared to the historical record) and yet, there is a strong stigma against menopause and aging in general,” as Lee explains. “At age 50,” she says, “we can expect to live another 35 years on average. That’s more than 40% of our total lifespan – vastly more time than most people can even conceptualize. How we live and take care of ourselves in midlife (40-70) guides how we will live our older lives.”
The brand is intentionally innovating in the lab: “We are in development with a futuristic emulsion that builds upon our hyaluronic and collagen-acceleration matrix, and is specifically designed for the neck area, a notorious annoyance for many women over 40 and 50.” And they tell me that they are eager to find “a signaling peptide that can activate elastin generation within skin” in the cosmetic ingredient marketplace.
Additionally, Caire Beauty’s consumer education is not strictly focused on skincare. The brand is intentionally helping women understand all things menopause. For example, Caire “[partners] with other lifestyle brands (such as menowell energy bars, become clothing, micropause supplements, v-qool anti-hot flash patches); healthcare access providers (such as HerMD, LisaHealth); and community leaders (BetterAfter50, Perry, Let’s Talk Menopause) in amplifying the conversation about what perimenopause, post menopause is in the first place and how and why women in midlife can experience this era of life better than their mothers did.”
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