How I'm Helping Women Feel Empowered During Menopause and Beyond

This article is part of Health Divide: Menopause and Black Women, a destination in our Health Divide series.

Headshot of Lorrie King

Illustration by Mira Norian for Verywell Health; Design by Verywell Health; Photo courtesy of Lorrie King

Meet the Author

Lorrie King is a cofounder of Caire Beauty, a skin care brand designed for women experiencing menopause, and an advisory board member of Let's Talk Menopause.

When my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, menopause was the last thing on my mind—until my period stopped, and it never came back. Little did I know then that my journey with menopause would lead me to cofound a beauty company with the goal of helping women manage the less-obvious symptoms of aging, especially when it comes to their skin.

After my mother received her cancer diagnosis, I did everything in my power to care for her, but the shock and grief I was experiencing caused my body to shut down. My period disappeared, plunging me headfirst into my menopause journey.

What I didn't realize was that menopause isn't a one-and-done thing. It's an ongoing decline in hormones, and even after your period stops, that doesn't mean menopause is "over." This is a common misconception that can lead to a lack of awareness and understanding about the natural effects of aging on women’s bodies.

When we think about the symptoms of menopause, we tend to, at most, picture hot flashes, night sweats, and the end of menstruation. However, the symptoms of menopause can be as diverse as the women experiencing them, and many signs often go overlooked.

For me, hot flashes were rarely an issue, but I experienced other, less stereotypical symptoms, such as sleep disturbances that had me waking up every few hours during the night.

Lorrie King

Menopause isn't a one-and-done thing. ... Even after your period stops, that doesn't mean menopause is over.

— Lorrie King

One of the most alarming side effects I experienced, however, was a steady increase in my resting heart rate over a period of a few years. During this time, I went to several different doctors, trying to get to the bottom of the issue, but no one was able to pinpoint what could be causing my change in heart rate. 

Things came to a head when I woke up one morning with a resting heart rate of 110 beats per minute. I called my doctor, who advised me to go to the emergency room. Given that I was a woman in my 50s with high cholesterol, a heart attack was a real concern. So, they performed an EKG, a chest X-ray, and all sorts of blood tests—all of which came up normal.

I saw a rheumatologist and a cardiologist. I got an MRI. All the results were normal. It wasn't until I had my hormones checked that it finally clicked: menopause was causing my racing heart.

Armed with this knowledge, and with the help of my doctor, I was able to find a treatment plan to address the worst of my symptoms and start feeling like myself again.

How My Menopause Experience Led to a Skin Care Brand

As women, we often have a strange relationship with menopause. It's something you never really anticipate—unlike getting your period—and even as you age, you don't necessarily know when it's going to happen or how the symptoms will manifest.

So many of our mothers and grandmothers never really shared their experiences with us when it came to aging, and as a result, we're often unprepared for the unusual, unexpected, and at times incredibly challenging side effects of growing older.

Over the course of my mother's battle with cancer, I became especially well-acquainted with one of these side effects: the impact that aging—and, by extension, menopause—can have on our skin. As my mother was undergoing chemotherapy, I watched her skin deteriorate to a shocking degree. I remember holding her hands, noticing how dry and rough her skin was, and thinking, “There has to be something out there to improve the health of your skin.”

Lorrie King

As women, we often have a strange relationship with menopause.

— Lorrie King

At the time, I was on a mission to find products that would make her more comfortable, which was why, when a friend of mine in the beauty industry told me about chemotherapy comfort kits, I bought one for my mom. I soon realized, however, that none of the skin care products that came with it were really helping solve the problem; they were just sitting on top of her skin. 

Between my own ongoing menopause journey and my mother’s experiences with cancer, I found myself thinking a lot during this period about how aging affects our skin. Even though the chemotherapy did factor into my mother’s symptoms, I slowly began to understand the immense role that hormone decline plays in the health of our skin as we grow older.

Given that the skin is the largest organ in our bodies, shouldn't we be paying more attention to it during this period of change?

This ended up being one of the biggest reasons I cofounded my skin care company, Caire Beauty.

So often, the relationship between hormone loss and skin health goes unrecognized and unaddressed. Women typically start noticing changes in their skin during their 30s: a subtle loss of vibrancy and fine lines that get deeper as you age. Some women also notice dark circles under their eyes, along with spots, other blemishes, and a loss of elasticity. These symptoms can lead us to, consciously or subconsciously, start thinking of aging as a negative process.

The idea behind Caire Beauty is to bring awareness to menopause while offering women products that can empower them to take control of their skin health as they age.

How I'm Making a Difference

Although my mother passed away, her journey gave me the motivation to create products that could potentially help other women going through similar experiences.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in women's lives and help them navigate the challenges that come with aging. I'm excited to get up every morning knowing that I’m working toward a broader mission on behalf of women everywhere.

More than that, though, my experiences with menopause have made me aware of the importance of a bigger question: "What can we do to advocate for and support women at this stage of their lives?"

Menopause can be an incredibly challenging time of transition, and the changes that it presents can be difficult to navigate. But aging doesn't have to be a negative process. It can also be a time of transformation and growth, allowing women to embrace this new stage of their lives and feel confident as they age.

That all starts with bringing awareness to what these changes can look like and providing women the support and resources they need to navigate them.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health. Menopause basics.

  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats can last for years.

  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Caring for your skin in menopause.

  4. National Library of Medicine. Aging changes in skin.

By Lorrie King
Lorrie King is a co-founder of Caire Beauty, a skincare brand designed for women experiencing menopause, and an Advisory Board member of Let's Talk Menopause.