Win: LaFemmeVerte natural skincare - worth £100
Inspired by menopause, West Suffolk twins Louise and Sara Beauchamp launched skincare brand LaFemmeVerte - and we've got £100 of products to give away
You were inspired to launch LaFemmeVerte by your personal experiences, weren't you? Tell us about that.
In 2019 we turned 50 and found ourselves living only five miles apart for the first time in many years. We were in the perimenopausal and menopausal stage of our lives and felt we had lost our sense of identity and purpose. We had been through some difficult times in our respective lives, and we wanted to do something authentic and empowering not just for us, but to also help and support other menopausal women. We decided that we would love to embark on this new project together.
How did the brand go from idea to reality?
We have always loved the natural world and found ourselves drawn more and more to nature, in particular plants and their beneficial properties. Our mother Joy had been passionate about plants, and it felt as though it was a part of her legacy.
We began thinking about developing a beautiful natural skincare range to celebrate this transformative stage of our lives and embarked on studying for diplomas in natural skin care formulation, Louise with Formula Botanica, and Sara with The School of Natural Skincare.
We decided we wanted to formulate natural, safe, and tested products for women just like us. The formulas are designed to address the problems faced by women in this stage of their lives. We also wanted the products to restore that sense of femininity and for our community to rediscover themselves, accept themselves and celebrate everything that is wonderful during these years.
We have consciously chosen to not outsource the production of our products, and all our products are designed by us and made by us to preserve their integrity.
You're launching with a trio of hero products: introduce us and explain what makes each formula stand out from the skincare crowd?
Our Radiance Day Cream is our “heroine” product. We wanted to focus not only on beautiful, healthy skin but also on stabilising emotions as so many menopausal women report fluctuating moods. We researched very carefully the best known essential oils for calming anxiety and enhancing a sense of wellbeing.
The blend of all-natural ingredients - including hyaluronic acid to plump fine lines and wrinkles - is something we are particularly proud of. The premium butters and oils, such as illipe butter and prickly pear seed oil, have been selected for their outstanding natural efficacy in leaving skin feeling firmer and looking radiant for a more youthful complexion.
Our Nourish and Glow Joyous Facial Serum is formulated with chia seed oil, the richest known botanical source of skin moisturising alpha linolenic acid, and camellia seed oil, which will leave skin hydrated, velvety smooth and supple. We chose evening primrose oil too, because it helps to regulate sebum production and prevent breakouts, a common problem for menopausal women. Used either on its own, or underneath our LaFemmeVerte Radiance Day Cream, this all-natural serum will work hard to diminish fine lines and wrinkles.
We formulated our beautiful Oil to Milk Cleanser with jojoba oil to gently cleanse skin and effectively remove dirt and makeup without stripping it of its natural oils. So even when rinsed off, skin is left feeling clean yet still moisturised and supple.
To dig a little deeper: what's going on with our skin in peri- and menopause and why do we need to rethink our skincare regimes as a result?
Menopause is an incredibly complicated process that all women endure as they reach middle age or even earlier in some cases, particularly women who have been treated for ovarian cancer. The menopause is a natural part of aging that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51. But around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Blood flow through the dermal capillaries is reduced during menopause, and less nutrients and oxygen are available to the cells of the epidermis. This contributes to the thinning of the epidermis and a slower cell turnover rate, which is accompanied by a reduction in the barrier function of the epidermis, leading to increased water loss, reduced elasticity and more pronounced wrinkles and drier skin.
Replacing water and nutrients is essential to combating these typical effects of the menopause. However, that is not all. It’s also important to think about emotional wellbeing too, and through improving the appearance of our skin we feel better about ourselves.
Whilst many women have had a good skincare regime throughout their adult life, our LaFemmeVerte range has been designed specifically to target many of the issues associated with menopausal skin.
Issues surrounding menopause have forever been treated as taboo, but that's finally changing, isn't it? What's prompting that change?
With celebrities such as Davina McCall talking about the menopause and the impact it has had on them, in conjunction with an increased coverage on the internet, menopause as a subject has been brought very much into the public domain. There is however, still a long way to go with women reporting less than supportive workplaces and integral to our work is to help raise continued awareness and influence change for the better.
What are your professional backgrounds? And how are you enjoying working together, as twin sisters?
Louise’s professional background is organisational development and Sara’s professional background is as a teacher. We love working together and recognise we have different strengths which complement each other. We have always been creative and LaFemmeVerte is the embodiment of us as individuals.
What's the ambition for LaFemmeVerte?
Our ambition is to build our online community for women to have a supportive place to share and talk freely about their experiences of menopause. In the beauty and cosmetic industry, we would like the name LaFemmeVerte to become synonymous with the phrase “menopausal skincare”.
What would you say to encourage women to try the products?
Our natural skincare products use only naturally derived ingredients to support women in their transformative stage of peri- through to post-menopausal and beyond, to achieve a restorative sense of wellbeing both emotionally and physically.
Quite simply, natural ingredients work! The natural compounds found in botanical extracts can be assessed for efficacy just as effectively as synthetically produced chemical compounds can. Good for you and good for the planet, our natural ingredients are environmentally friendly, both in how they are derived and in how they degrade, and by playing our part to ensure sustainable and ethical supply chains and naturally honest production methods, our footprint is light and our processes transparent.
We would say to women if you are feeling a little lost, lacking in confidence and struggling with symptoms of menopause then join the LaFemmeVerte community and share in these beautiful products, created especially for you.
To mark the launch of LaFemmeVerte, Louise and Sara are giving Velvet readers the chance to win a full skincare set, comprising day cream, serum and cleanser, worth £100!
For your chance to win, click HERE and complete the form using the code ‘FEMME’. The competition will close to entries at midnight on October 20 2021 and the usual Ts and Cs apply.
More by this authorAlice Ryan