You know how you sometimes ask a doctor friend about the weird pain your shoulder, or a lawyer friend for her thoughts on taking your landlord to court over a broken window. Well, Celeste Lee and Lorrie King were often getting hit up for professional advice like that. But they’re not attorneys or MDs. They’re beauty experts, each having worked in the business for decades.
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The kind of questions they were asked were about sagging skin along the jawline or darkening circles under the eyes and a whole assortment of issues that come as we get older. They did their best to give helpful answers, they really did, but they knew a disturbing truth: The beauty bosses paid as much attention to women in the throes of menopause as they did to a missing eyelash.
“Even though we have been in beauty ourselves for over 20 years, we discovered a dirty secret,” says Lee, “which was that no one wanted to address or even discuss hormone-caused aging because the big skincare brands either didn’t know how or simply didn’t want to solve it. Ninety-nine percent of anti-aging skincare addresses the hydration on the surface of the skin only, rather than what goes on beneath—where skin cells actually start.”
That’s when Lee and King realized that they could do something about this glaring oversight.
Small Makes a Big Difference
Lee and King are into science. So when they decided to start Caire Beauty, they worked with a PhD in microbiology. They knew from their experience that with most any ointment you slather on your skin, the molecules are too large to penetrate the epidermis.
“We want to improve the skin from the inside out,” says Lee.
As they made their plans, their science guy, the former head of innovation at Johnson & Johnson (so no slouch), drew on a napkin a detailed diagram of what happens to skin as it ages. “It was the proverbial drawing on a napkin,” says Lee with a laugh.
“We challenged ourselves to create a breakthrough,” adds King. And they got one. They pushed to get the smallest molecule of hyaluronic acid (HA) possible so it could penetrate the skin layer. Hyaluronic acid is known to fight free radicals, attract immune cells, improve collagen formation, reduce wrinkles, improve blood flow, and plump up dry skin to look more radiant. Many experts consider it one of the most important compounds in skincare products.
Instead of the reviled phrase “anti-aging,” Lee and King call their products “Defiance Science.” Currently Caire, which was launched last summer, has two products that contain their custom formulations. The “Theorem Serum,” which is supposed to be applied twice a day, has been shown to improve skin firmness by 200 percent over 28 days in clinical trials, according to the co-founders. Their other product, a “Triple Lift Molecule Mask,” is intended to tighten, hydrate, heal, and lift if used one to three times a week.
Caire will be introducing other products this summer, including a body cleanser and moisturizer and a face cleanser and moisturizer. All Caire products are “vegan, gluten-free and generally free of bad things,” as the website states.
“It was super important to me to ensure that Caire science be both clean and clinically sound,” says King. “There are dozens of skincare companies in the world. And yet women over 40 and 50, which is the single largest group of women in the country, are not offered sophisticated solutions created specifically for them.”
Lucky for us, Lee and King are changing all that.