Today’s big read is a conversation with Catherine Wilson, co-founder of OLIVIEREWILSON and a knowledge bank of at-home treatments that can support our skin in midlife. Her business was born out of her own skin challenges and her range has evolved in response to her menopause symptoms.
We chat perimenopause, discover just what cryotherapy ‘is’ (!), and get Catherine’s reflections on what worked for her.
We hope you enjoy the read.
With love, the MPowder team.
First, tell us a little bit about your own peri-menopausal journey. What symptoms did you experience and what lifestyle tweaks and changes made a difference?
My journey began age 42 when my skin was becoming increasingly dry, to the point where my feet would crack at the sides and I would wear plasters to hold them together. Thank goodness for Compeed!
Despite applying oils, serums and balms and wrapping myself in cling film (yes I tried that!) my skin remained tight and itchy. Eventually, I decided to see an Endocrinologist, and had my bloods done. He advised I start taking a low dose DHEA and applying progesterone cream. I also refined my diet and started to eat more oily fish, nuts, avocados, seeds and berries.
When I left my job in the city, I decided to take some time away - and went travelling in an RV around America. It was in Sedona, Arizona where I was introduced to Red Light Therapy and the skin health benefits. I was completely hooked.
I always knew when I started my own business it was going to be skincare focused. I’d become an accidental expert as a result of my own challenges. And, after researching and learning more about the skin health benefits of LED, I decided I wanted to create an at-home solution.
For me personally, a blend of diet, LED therapy and microneedling has transformed my skin. The products I apply are now absorbed so much better and my skin is so much more hydrated. I still suffer from dry skin on the soles of my feet, however it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be.
Tell us about your business and what drives it?
OLIVIEREWILSON was born out of my own experiences and my own frustrations too! I couldn’t find a brand offering an advanced range of complementary home use solutions that also educated on their benefits, so I developed my own.
My initial product passion was microneedling which I completely fell in love with because of the instant results. It literally changed my skin by boosting absorption of my topically applied products. It’s such a genius creation to supercharge your skincare routine and encourage collagen production for bouncy younger looking skin.
Our focus is on best-in-class skincare tools using the latest technology. Think healthy glow, a strengthened skin barrier and brighter complexion. It’s a brand in motion where I speak from personal experience, educate and advise on what our products can do for you, your skin and your mood.
Last year, I developed our Cryo Sticks. I had started having hot flashes and needed a solution that would help calm, balance and soothe things. Out of the blue, I would be overheating, I would open all the windows in the house (which made me pretty unpopular!) The Cryo Sticks have been a skin saviour for me. I keep mine in the freezer as I like them extra cold and use them day and night. They’re definitely the first thing I reach for in the morning and they’re a God-send for puffy morning eyes.
Tell us more about Cryotherapy.
You’ll likely have heard of cryotherapy in one form or another. Cryotherapy - meaning cold therapy - has evolved into a wellness phenomenon, popular amongst Makeup Artists, Athletes, Beauty Editors and Beauty gurus. A non-invasive treatment that has been lauded by Dermatologists for years to treat a host of skin conditions. The procedure uses freezing cold devices to supercharge and instantly refresh your skin. Cryotherapy encourages cellular regeneration and stimulates rejuvenation from within. Used to treat everything from easing hot flashes, reducing inflammation, boosting circulation, minimising pores to calming and lifting the mood.
The rapid cooling of the skin increases blood flow to the area, bringing nutrients and oxygen to firm up and tone for instant results. You can use our Cryo Sticks anytime of day and are great prior to applying makeup to give the complexion an instant refresh and that just-back-from-a-hike glow! They will de-puff, detoxify and flush lymph and are particularly useful to use around the eyes first thing in the morning. They have also been known to treat tension headaches and ease hay fever symptoms.
Cryotherapy and menopausal skin
Hot flashes are among the most talked about effects of menopause. These occur from a lack of oestrogen. Cryotherapy has been shown to help balance the complexion which will ease hot flashes. I am sure some of you can relate to this sudden onset of heat that comes out of nowhere, the embarrassing flushing at the most inopportune times, the sleep disturbances, the sweating, all of which you wish you could do without.
Cryotherapy has been reported to improve hormonal response and balancing, almost like a reset of this internal thermostat.
OLIVIEREWILSON’s approach to cryotherapy concentrates on “targeted home use devices”. I wanted to create aesthetically beautiful products that will last forever so I crafted the Cryo Sticks from medical grade stainless steel with silicone non slip handles. They’re filled with cooling liquid so will stay chilled for hours, are suitable for all skin types and all occasions.
What other at-home treatments are beneficial for peri-menopausal and menopausal skin?
To support the changes in your skin and mood, I highly recommend the introduction of LED to your skincare routine.
Affectionately known as the ‘Happy Light’, each treatment of Near-infrared 830nm and Red 633nm LED wavelengths can trigger a positive reaction in your body, and in turn will help balance your feel-good and stress hormones, reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, and increase collagen production for healthy plump supple skin. However, these skin benefits aren’t just a beautiful thing for a glowing complexion - increased collagen and improved circulation is also helpful for people suffering from musculoskeletal issues or living with chronic pain.
A combination of Cryotherapy and Red Light therapy can lift the mood. It is suggested that this occurs as there is an increase in the production of endorphins, specifically dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter associated with mood and emotional responses.
To find out more about OLIVIEREWILSON, head to www.olivierewilson.com - and, if you’re curious to try the range, Catherine has generously gifted the MPowder Community a 20% discount until the end of August 2022. Simply enter CRYO20 at checkout.