Paula's Choice has always been a pioneer in skincare. Under the guidance of founder Paula Begoun, the brand has gifted us with many cult-favorite products like the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. For nearly three decades, the brand has thrived thanks to its ability to leverage the latest skin science and place its consumer's needs at the forefront of development.
The brand's latest launches—the Clinical Phytoestrogen Elasticity Renewal Serum and Body Treatment—are perfect examples of this. Both products target a prime concern amongst perimenopausal and menopausal women—estrogen deficient skin. Begoun says as women go through menopause, their estrogen levels decrease, which can impact the skin. Specifically, it can cause the skin to become thinner with less collagen, reduced elasticity, increased wrinkling, and increased dryness. "For years, we've known about how sun damage and pollution damage ages skin, but somehow the effect of estrogen loss was not on my radar," Begoun shares. "I wish it had been as I would have done my own skincare very differently 20 years ago."
Begoun's journey with her aging skin and feedback from customers inspired her to find a way to address these concerns. Her quest led her to one dynamic ingredient, phytoestrogens. "I started looking into phytoestrogens several years ago as I was researching issues of estrogen loss that was happening to my own body," she says. "Applied topically, phytoestrogens bind to receptors sites in the skin that communicate to skin that it now has closer to normal estrogen levels, so it can carry on with all the functions that give skin its youthful qualities."
The brand included three non-hormonal soy-derived phytoestrogens in each product's formula: Daidzein increases skin density, suppleness, and strength. Genistein stimulates growth factors in the skin needed to improve and maintain elasticity. It also reduces dryness by restoring important hydrating substances. Equol is a component of daidzein that is rich in antioxidant properties. It also jumpstarts essential processes in the skin that boost smoothness, elasticity, and collagen production.
It took three years for Begoun and her team to perfect the serum and body treatment formulas. "We took extra care to get the formulas just right, ensuring safety and efficacy," she explains. "While early on I saw incredible results for myself in terms of a reduction of crepey texture and increased bounce back of my skin, we never rely on anecdotal results. We did clinical testing to ensure that the products delivered on everything we hoped for—and they did."
When it comes to the serum, which you can apply to your face and neck, a 12-week study revealed promising results. For example, 86% agreed the skin on their face appeared less thin, and 86% said the fine lines and wrinkles on the face appeared reduced. The body treatment—meant for your chest, forearm, and hands—proved equally effective. 86% agreed fine lines and wrinkles on the decolletage appeared reduced, and 83% agreed decolletage appeared less crepey.
Currently, the Clinical Phytoestrogen Elasticity Renewal Serum is available on the Paula's Choice website, while you can purchase the Body Treatment via Nordstrom. Begoun is excited for these products to enter the market and predicts there will be more launches related to estrogen-deficient skincare in the future. "By 2030, the world population of menopausal and postmenopausal women is projected to increase to 1.2 billion, with 47 million new entrants each year," she notes. "As the word about how estrogen loss impacts skin reaches a broader audience, having solutions for this very specific concern is going to be huge."
Thornton MJ. Estrogens and aging skin. Dermatoendocrinol. 2013;5(2):264-270.
Setchell KDR, Clerici C. Equol: history, chemistry, and formation. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010;140(7):1355S-1362S.