Each February we celebrate the launch of Veneffect, and this year is a special milestone ten years since our debut. The desire to launch our platform came about through our experience as women, mothers and through our professional experience. Rebecca’s experience as an OB/GYN specializing in hormonal vitality dovetailed perfectly with Cecil’s experience in the beauty industry. After experiencing the challenges of hormonal change firsthand, we spent years creating custom formulas tapping into the benefits of plant-based phytoestrogens to emulate the look and feel of skin at peak hormonal vitality. Now after ten years of those products being a reality, we can look back at what we’ve learned.
Cecil: In 2012 we were a bit ahead of our time talking about estrogen decline, the impact on our aesthetic and ways to adapt for longer term vitality. Today, we are joined by so many brave brand founders, most of them women, with solutions for period care, perimenopause, menopause, sexual wellness and general women’s wellness. The shift in openness to talk – out loud – about these realities and provide solutions is so gratifying to see! The lesson learned is to consistently pursue your goal – despite push back or obstacles.
Rebecca: There is no better motivation than personal experience. I was in my late forties when we first began researching our business, and now at 63 I have a new perspective on those critical years … what I like to refer to as the “ovarian retirement plan”. I think the most valuable lesson I can share, having experienced and negotiated with a new phase of my hormonal life, is to make a commitment to wellness to feel more vital throughout your lifetime. The truth about doing things that are healthy for you is they make you both feel good and look good, beauty is a great hook to sell a bill of health!
Cecil: I remember hitting my forties and feeling a dramatic change in how my body responded to life in general. I began to look for answers. I feel another key lesson is look for understanding, information and inspiration at every stage of life. When you shared the “ebb and flow” of hormones throughout a woman’s lifetime it became so clear to me that we needed to share that understanding with women on a much larger scale. It goes beyond skin care to a new way to think about vitality in every area of life.
Rebecca: Agree! Vitality encompasses every area from movement to eating and of course self-care. I’ve curated and continually shape a number of practices starting with at least 22 minutes of movement every day (adds up to about 2.5 hours a week but better in daily segments). Brisk walking, a session on the elliptical, a bike ride, anything that just gets the heart rate going a bit and helps metabolism and energy all day. Also, tend to your core, even a daily plank pose can help steady your body’s fight against gravity.
I pair exercise with low-glycemic eating – meaning very, very little sugar or simple carbs. I include plant proteins whenever possible, especially early in the day – nut butters, chickpeas, flax, chia, edamame are the great options and loaded with phytoestrogens that help offset declining estrogen. This combination of exercise and low glycemic diet is a big boost to skin as well, and my skin elasticity and luminosity is helped significantly by our phytoestrogen-based Veneffect products – and a dedication to a regimen both morning and night.
Cecil: I totally see the effects of some elevated heart rate movement every day. It gives me a lift in energy and sustains me through the day. It has also been easy to incorporate phytoestrogens in my food choices – my favorites are some chia or flax in a morning green smoothie, a handful of almonds as a snack and of course a couple of squares of dark chocolate in the evening with some chamomile tea has become a ritual I look forward to. The most rewarding and enjoyable result of our work for me personally is starting and ending my day with the skin care ritual designed to fill the need for infusing vitality into hormonally depleted skin.
Rebecca: Our serum is one of the products that we created that I find to be unique and essential. The oat kernel extract gives that extra lifting without tightness. I use it under my eyes as well – as an instant pick me up. It’s just one of those potent yet clean and simple formulas that gives a magical lift to everyone.
Cecil: I agree, and I have to say the combination of the serum and our Intensive Moisturizer is my daily must-have regimen, the unbeatable “Luminosity Duo”. And there is absolutely nothing like our Lip Treatment. That creamy consistency and deep hydration is an essential part of my routine all day long.
Rebecca: We’ve learned so much during this pandemic about communicating in the digital space. While it is crucial that we get our diagnostic tests in person, there is so much that can be communicated via “telewellness” and other on-line forums to share the many ways we can focus on wellness and beauty. I would love to expand our platform to reach more people and more geographies as the need for hormonal vitality has no borders – it affects every woman on the planet.
Cecil: When I think back to the ten years we’ve been traveling throughout the US and the UK to share the message, and in the last two years have pivoted to Zoom master classes, Instagram, podcasts and on-line content, it has opened up totally new audiences. While I know we are all a bit zoomed out, the bigger lesson is that we can adapt and create opportunity from challenge and after all that is what navigating hormonal change is all about.
Rebecca: I feel so fortunate to be able to share some of the secrets I have learned to help women optimize our unique physiology. The beauty industry has given me an opportunity to spread our message far beyond my medical practice. Passing on important information that all women need to know feels so natural to me, even our daughters tell us that they feel lucky to understand their hormonal intricacies better than most…this is a real blessing.
Cecil: I agree, our daughters were teens in those early days, and now as young women they benefit from our commitment to hormonal understanding and our example as female entrepreneurs and business owners. I am also grateful for our sisterhood and the synergy of our backgrounds to pay it forward for many women, sisters, mothers to come!