Let’s talk menopause and skin care: The menopause most unfairly, accelerates the ageing process at what is already a difficult time for most women. The main culprit is loss of collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein found in the human body and is responsible for the strength, flexibility and elasticity of the connective tissue of the skin. Production of collagen slows down as we age; add in the many hormonal changes we experience during the menopause and it’s easy to understand why our skin wrinkles, sags and loses plumpness during this particularly challenging (an understatement if ever I saw one) time.
Stratum C™ was created by Forme Laboratories and is based on scientific research carried at the University of Reading. It is the first skin care range scientifically developed to protect and repair menopausal skin. It has been clinically proven to increase the natural production of collagen peptides and designed to significantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promote healthier looking skin.
While investigating the use of collagen in wound healing, researchers at Reading University discovered that a specific chain of amino acids, known as *Matrixyl, almost doubles production of the substance in the skin.
Working with dermatologists, they have now helped develop a range of face creams that combines the active ingredient with other anti-ageing compounds. They claim the resulting beauty product, Stratum C, has several times more Matrixyl than other creams on the market.
*Matrixyl stimulates the body to make more collagen, a natural skin-plumping agent, and more hyaluronic acid, which also helps skin look younger.
The chances are that you might recognise the brand name Stratum C in connection with television presenter Linda Barker who is now officially, the brand’s spokesperson. Linda, perhaps best known from her regular stints on Changing Rooms, made a splash in more ways than one last year after her appearance on the diving programme of the same name. It wasn’t just her toned figure that created a buzz and made headlines, but also her unchanging face.
Linda spoke about the menopause and how it affected her in an interview with The Daily Express earlier this year.
Linda Barker, fabulous at 52: ‘Menopause made me stronger’
The menopause hit me like a freight train. Brain fog descended as I became forgetful and emotional – at the age of 48 I just wasn’t feeling in control of my life, which wasn’t like me at all.
I would wake up in a sweat during the night and have to go for a walk around the house to cool down, which would make me tired the next day. My periods became so heavy that I was tested for anaemia, then they stopped altogether.
But the worst thing was the anxiety. The trigger was always a hot flush – several times a day, I would feel it building from deep within until I’d have to remove layers of clothing as the sweat ran down my back. I came to expect the sense of panic that would then overtake me for absolutely no reason. Small problems took on monumental proportions.
The change is an appropriate name for it all because everything shifts – your physical being, your mental approach, the way you look. My face became hugely sensitive as the reduced collagen level caused my skin to thin and, of course, I saw more lines and wrinkles develop.
Linda started using Stratum C products in September 2013, before which she was using a whole cocktail of other products and unfortunately had a reaction to a product she was previously using – not ideal when you’re making regular TV appearances. She began using Stratum C products, her skin cleared up, and now she uses nothing else but Stratum C.
I want the best skin for the age I am. I’ve found the only skin care range not afraid to market itself specifically for menopausal skin, called Stratum C, which is claimed to double the production of collagen. I started using this just after a holiday when I’d suffered an eczema-like reaction to sun block. I cut everything else out and just used Stratum C, and my skin cleared up immediately. I don’t think face-lifts or Botox are for me.
One of the active ingredients in Stratum C has been shown, in studies that I carried out, to increase the production of collagen by skin cells by up to 70%. This is especially important for women going through menopause, which has been shown to suppress the body’s natural collagen production leading to premature ageing of the skin.
Prof Ian W Hamley
University of Reading
Stratum C Menopause Protect Cream
Luxuriant Apricot and Jojoba based moisturiser with Stratum C collagen boosting peptides, rich nutrients to protect the skin and exclusive wrinkle reducing technology.
Stratum C Menopause Protect Cream was developed following research at a leading UK University. The discovery showed that a special combination of peptides caused the body’s own cells to nearly double their own rate of collagen production.
Stratum C Menopause Repair Serum 15ml
A sumptuous light, clear, odourless gel that absorbs quickly into the skin. It delivers advanced nutrients and anti-ageing ingredients in higher concentrations to the areas on the face where you need it most.
Especially effective for areas around the eye (crow’s-feet), forehead (furrows) and glabellar lines (above the nose). This intensive treatment has been shown to reduce deep wrinkles by 45% in as little as 28 days use.
Intense Seaweed based clear gel with high levels of Hyaluron and wrinkle reducing peptides for intense treatment around the eyes, forehead and problem areas.
Stratum C Pigment Correction Gel 30ml
By attacking the enzyme in your skin which allows age spots to form, this gel gets to the heart of the problem. Using a breakthrough, natural and scientifically tested combination of ingredients, we can inhibit the effects of age related pigment on both hands and face.
With Stratum C Menopause Protect Cream weighing in at £85.00 for a 50ml jar, this range is not cheap. But I always ask myself if a product is in the upper price bracket because of expensive advertising campaigns, or, because money has been invested into research and the ingredients are of the highest quality. Stratum C does seem to fit in the latter category.
Stratum C products contain a much lower water content (as low as 18%) compared to high street anti-ageing brands that can be as high as 90% water. This means that Stratum C has higher quantities of expensive active ingredients and nutrients which are proven to deliver long-term collagen growth and wrinkle reducing properties. Our aim is to offer the most effective menopause skin care regime without compromise or exception.
The Stratum C range of products contain more Matrixyl than many other products on the market, but they also contain much less water and more of the 6 peptides (Matrixyl only makes up 2) and high levels of hyaluronic acid, which are key in anti-ageing and skin hydration.
The peptide Matrixyl, which is present in many anti-wrinkle creams, can almost double the amount of collagen our body produces, if the concentration is high enough, according to the research.
High Street anti-ageing creams may contain less than 1% Matrixyl, and shockingly, up to 90% water. Stratum C’s Protect Cream contains just 45% water and the Repair Serum just 18%, [both are to be used within 6 months of opening], the rest is made up of active and natural ingredients, with less than 1% preservatives, so they are suitable for use on sensitive skin.
51 next month (yikes!) and slap bang in the middle of the menopause and even though they’re fleeting, the hot flushes are back. *Shakes fist at the sky* Therefore, I consider myself the ideal candidate to trial these products. I’ve already had a little play with the serum and gel on the back of my hands – I’ll start using the products in full next month, but I’ve noticed two little things already:
- The serum and gel spread really well and absorbed immediately into the skin.
- My skin was noticeably softer after application.
We’re all going to go through the menopause and I appreciate it can be distressing for a lot of women. Fluctuating hormones and all the changes they can bring to skin; weight; hair; body temperature; moods; joints (just how long is this list?) is no fun. I’m very pleased that the beauty industry is (finally) starting to recognise that menopausal skin requires specific skin care products tailored to our needs.
Stratum C Menopause Protect Cream £85.00
Stratum C Menopause Repair Serum £49.00
Stratum C Pigment Correction Gel £49.00
Official Website Stratum C