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Why Pause Well-aging Founder, Rochelle Weitzner, Likes To Keep It Clean

5 min read

Rochelle Weitzner | Pause Group

By Rochelle Weitzner  | October 09, 2022

When I decided to create Pause Well-Aging skincare, I knew it had to be clean, but it also had to be highly efficacious.  Because, let’s face it, at our age, we tend to see through Marketing BS a lot more easily – the products we buy have to deliver results!  The ‘clean beauty’ industry is still very unregulated, so definitions of clean tend to change depending on who you’re talking to. And given there are no standards or requirements around clean beauty, it’s up to each brand to determine what clean beauty means to them. Adding fuel to the fire, theFDA has banned just 11 ingredients, then you can see why conscientious and wellness focused brands have each adopted their own clean beauty standard.  

To me, ‘clean’ meant leaving ingredients that are known to be harmful to our health out of our formulas.

As a Vermonter with a roughly 1,500 square-foot vegetable garden and access to some of the most beautiful nature trails in the US, I have always been inspired to try to live the cleanest lifestyle that I can.  Don’t get me wrong – nothing will get me to give up my tequila or occasional ice cream indulgence, but I definitely gravitate toward foods that are organic, not genetically modified in any way, with no added hormones or antibiotics. As a veteran beauty executive, I know what goes onto your skin often makes it into your body, so skincare formulas matter. 

I also think age has played a huge role in guiding my product philosophy. I think we all generally start to take our health a bit more seriously as we age, but for me it went beyond that. My first hot flash at 48 definitely made me face my own mortality for the first time (laughs).But honestly, I was also looking around at other women in their 40s, 50s and beyond, at their lifestyle, and I saw some were juggling various medications, others considering HRT, or facing breast cancer or dealing with other physiological changes and lifestyle issues – all of which can make our skin more sensitive to certain ingredients. I thought of all those women when I was developing the formulas for Pause, thinking “how can I give them products they’ll feel good about, that also make them look amazing”.

The one caveat though is that I don’t believe that skincare must be only “natural.”  Think about it: poison ivy is natural, but do you want it in your skincare? Peptides, on the other hand, are largely lab synthesized, and have tons of safety and clinical data behind them, and they are safe and incredibly potent for reaching into the deep layers of our skin and providing true skin benefits.  It is this reason that Pause is not a “natural” line, but is definitely clean and very thoughtfully created with your wellness in mind.

So, back to the products. When I first started, step 1 was my decision to forego the use of any of what EWG calls the toxic twelve chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics.  These are ingredients that are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and toxins when introduced to the body.  

But that still didn’t feel good enough, so I decided to formulate all Pause products under the EU standard, whichbans approximately 1,300 chemicals in cosmetics, and are much stricter than what the FDA imposes. 

Then there are hormones.  You may not know this, but many plants are actually “phytoestrogens.” These are compounds that occur naturally in plants and mimic estrogen in the body.  The highest levels of phytoestrogens are found in soy products.  I know, you may be thinking “great, give me as much of that as possible so I can avoid menopause altogether.”  Well, sadly, it’s not so simple.  Despite tons ofresearch being conducted, it is still not clear whether phytoestrogens are helpful or harmful.  While there have been some reported benefits to menopausal experiences using phytoestrogens, there is also the downside that they are also known to be endocrine disruptors with the potential to cause adverse health effects, including the possibility to increase the risk of developing breast cancer.   Because there is so much that is still unknown about the impact of phytoestrogens as it relates to our overall wellness, I made the decision to steer clear of any soy, genistein or clover rich ingredients that could be endocrine disruptors.  These ingredients may be perfectly fine for the majority of the population but preferring to err on the side of overall health and wellness, we avoid these ingredients in our formulations. Likewise, many women (and men) who are cancer survivors or undergoing active treatment for cancer are unable to ingest or topically apply products that contain hormones.  As I want every women, no matter how she reaches menopause (naturally, surgically induced or through chemo) to be able to benefit from Pause products, this largely informed our formulation strategy. 

Beyond the elimination of all potentially harmful or toxic ingredients, it was also important to me that our products be vegan, gluten free, non-GMO and cruelty free.  The vegan and cruelty free designations go hand in hand as we are against the use of any sort of animal by-product as well as animal testing in any of our products.  On a personal note, the day we received ourLeaping Bunny certification was one of the proudest moments of my career. 

Today, we proudly publish our clean beauty standard on this website, to be shared with all customers as transparency is key to how we operate.   The Pause Clean Beauty standard says that all of our formulas are free from these synthetics and fillers: BHT, BHA, EDTA, formaldehyde, GMOs, mineral oils, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, propylene glycol, Sulfates, and triclosan. We’ve also left out any animal by-products and do not test on animals. You will always find a complete list of ingredients both on our packaging and on our website so you can have the information you need to determine what ingredients are best for you.

 

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