Meet The Makers: Phytomone

May 06, 2015

Meet The Makers: Phytomone

We're very excited to announce that you can now buy the  revolutionary menopausal skincare sensation Pause Hyrdra Creme here on  Sulis and Thermae. We spoke to Phyomone founder, and CEO, Jane Atherton about menopause, skincare and the science behind this game changing new product. 

1) What inspired you to start the business?

It was one of those lightbulb moments. I had been working as a clinical nutritionist and menopause coach for a few years. Previous to this I was a Skin Therapist.  It was when I started going through menopause myself and my skin started to change, as it does when hormones begin to decline, that I needed to upgrade my moisturiser. Due to my professional training, I knew what my skin needed, but found it very difficult to find something that addressed all of my problems. I also wanted just one product that I could apply to my skin, rather than having to use several. The problem with layering so many products, such as serums, eye creams, neck creams, pigmentation correctors, moisturisers and so on, during menopause, is the dreaded hot flush or night sweat, when all of these lovely products would be wiped away in an instant, leaving my skin unprotected. I wanted something that was quick and easy to use, that would penetrate quickly and efficiently and start working right away.

When I couldn’t find what I knew my skin needed, I thought, that with my training and background experience, this was something that I could.  So I set about creating a collection of products rich in plant hormones that would be suitable, not only for my hormonally changing skin, but that of many other women too.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about the science behind the Phytomone range?

Yes, of course.  But first let me explain how and why the skin changes during this stage of life.

The main cause of skin ageing during menopause is brought about by declining oestrogen levels, in some women this can begin as early as 35.  Oestrogen is responsible for collagen proliferation and skin density, the production of oil in the sebaceous glands, skin cell turnover and regulating melanin. So, without this hormone you are going to experience  skin changes, such as loss of firmness and thinning of the skin, lines and wrinkles will become more apparent  and complexion will look dull due to the slowdown of cell turnover.  Skin will feel dry as natural oil production decreases and age spots will begin to appear as melanin goes unregulated without the controlling effect of oestrogen.  So, as you can see, our skin goes through some dramatic changes without this hormone. In fact, in the first  five years after reaching menopause 30% of the skin’s collagen is lost, with around 2% every year after that.
So, with this in mind I developed the Phytomone collection around a rich source of plant hormones to help correct the effect the lack of oestrogen has on the skin.  Our ‘hero’ product, Pause Hydra Crème contains 6 special actives at full concentration levels to address all of the concerns mentioned previously. In particular, it contains Genistein, which is a compound found in soya beans and has a molecular structure very similar to human oestrogen, where it has the ability to bind to facial oestrogen receptors and increase skin density and collagen proliferation with amazing results. In fact it has shown to increase the density of the skin as effectively as a woman taking hormone replacement, but without any of the concerns many women worry about.
Our bio-mimicry formulations are all rich in native omegas, lipids, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and plant hormones, to rejuvenate and rebalance hormonally changing skin.
(It is worth remembering, using any anti-ageing cream before this time is not necessary, your body has a plentiful supply of collagen, which it is more than capable of producing, while you still have oestrogen, keeping skin looking firm and youthful.  A good moisturiser with an SPF is really all you need until then.)

3) The menopause still feels like something that women don't talk about openly (especially the physical effects) why do you think that is?

Well, In the right environment they do.  We run the UK’s most popular facebook page for menopause –
We have around 12,000 very interactive ladies who are great a supporting one another and sharing their experiences. We also have a ‘Secret’ group where we refer to our members as ‘Menopause Angels’ This group offers the highest level of privacy, should you want to post something of a personal nature and is by invite only.
But, yes on the whole women are quite reserved about discussing menopause in a non-menopausal environment.  There is still a certain amount of stigma attached to it even now. But with more communities like our facebook page popping up all the while, as well as discussing it here with you on your wonderful site, it helps raise awareness and hopefully it will encourage women to feel more open about discussing it.
The more educated we are about menopause, the more confident many of us will feel speaking about it.

4) After almost four years in development, how did it feel when you cracked the perfect formula? 

It was a mixture of emotions. When it arrived and I first applied it to my skin I was elated, everything I wanted it to be, but couldn’t quite believe this was actually ‘the one’
I had already rejected over 40 samples, every time something came up which wasn’t right and I was waiting for this one to be the same. When nothing negative appeared I was almost trying to find fault with it. In the end I left it sitting on my bathroom shelf for a couple of days, then went back and tried it again – It was still perfect – That’s when I opened the Champagne!
I had no idea it would take so long to perfect to be honest. I came very close to signing it off several times, but there was always some niggling little doubt stopping me. Which I’m extremely pleased about now because now I know I have got it right. I wanted Pause Hydra Crème to be used as a 4 in 1 product, which meant it had to be effective enough to use as a serum and moisturiser, yet delicate enough to use around the eye area. The special actives had to be in a full concentration levels to offer the best possible results, and there had to be an intricate balance of base oils, plant hormones, vitamins and carefully selected essential oils.
The first thing a woman usually does when trying out a new product, is to rub it in to the back of her hand, smell it and then notice how it feels on the skin and if it absorbs well or sits on the skin surface.  I was mindful of all of these. Pause Hydra Crème smells fresh and uplifting, the texture is interesting, a cross between a serum and cream, which feels quite rich when applied to the skin, but is readily absorbed.
It’s been a long journey, but a worthwhile one.

5) What are your top 3 skin care tips?

1. Switch to using a cleansing oil.  Cleansing is an important part of your skin care routine, whether you wear make-up or not. This is the perfect opportunity to massage nutrient rich ingredients into the skin, where it will nourish the skin and remove impurities, rather than stripping away natural oils, which is the last thing a more mature skin needs. Make sure you check the ingredient list, don’t use anything that contains mineral oil. This is a cheap oil, a by- product of petroleum which offers no nutritional value. While it may be fine for a younger skin, it will be of no benefit to mature skin.
2. Do not waste your money on anti-ageing creams if you are under 35. You can’t delay the ageing process by using these creams before you need them, this is not how your body works. A good moisturiser with and SPF is all you need until you reach this age.
3. When buying a good quality skin care product make sure it is in an airless pump.  Many special actives used in treatment products or anti-ageing creams are very volatile and will oxidise when exposed to air, leaving you with nothing more than a very expensive basic moisturiser.

Click here to get Pause Hydra Creme now.

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