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Achieving the Venus Effect

Apr 25, 2014 01:08PM ● By Megy Karydes

As we age, the influence of estrogen declines resulting in the loss of collagen and elasticity in our skin, according to Cecil Booth, co-founder and president of Chicago-based VENeffect Anti-Aging Skin Care, and her sister, Rebecca Booth, M.D., a gynecologist, author and co-founder and vice president of VENeffect.

We spoke to Dr. Rebecca Booth about their two-year-old skin care line, how estrogen plays a part in our skin quality and how we can look to the plant world to achieve better and healthier skin from the inside-out on a daily basis.

Your 2008 book, The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle ... at Any Age, explored the effects on skin and mood when estrogen peaks for a seven-day span each month you call the “Venus Week”. As an obstetrician and gynecologist, can you describe what happens during this week, and how an anti-aging line containing estrogen could help?

Mother Nature designs us to reflect our hormonal status in order to subtly signal when we are most fertile. Estrogen and testosterone peak together just as a woman moves into her “fertile window”, the week following her period and leading up to ovulation. It is this hormonal recipe that creates the Venus Week, enhancing the aesthetic, mood and metabolism to inspire romance. Women experience a clearer, more dewy complexion as estrogen stimulates a glow in the skin, but this substance begins to decline as early as age 28, following the fertility curve.

We created a line that helps women sustain the positive effects on skin with a safe, plant-based solution, extending the glow throughout the month and throughout her lifetime. That is what we refer to as the “Venus Effect”, and that is the inspiration for our skin care line.

Why is aging more visually obvious among women than men?

Testosterone is easily converted to estrogen in skin and bones. Because men have a steady supply of testosterone, they also have a more steady supply of estrogen in these important tissues, and the aging process affects a man’s connective tissues in a less dramatic way when compared to women.

Aside from the cosmetic aspect of an anti-aging product, what other benefits are provided to the user?

Phytoestrogens are natural molecules derived from the roots and seeds of plants that mimic the healthy effects of estrogen. Many of the healthiest foods on the planet are rich in phytoestrogens, such as flax seed, almonds, peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas, pomegranate, etc., and more.  These potent molecules are sourced from the seed or root of the plant. For cosmetic use, we sourced phytoestrogens such as resveratrol, grape seed, red clover and soy (these can be found on our ingredient statement). Phytoestrogens are proven to be active on receptors in the skin, both the dermis and the epidermis. Scientific studies have shown that many phytoestrogens applied topically can prevent and reverse sun damage, rendering photo-protection to skin.

Estrogen is a natural antioxidant and phytoestrogens are, as well, scavenging harmful free radicals and slowing the aging process. These molecules are also naturally anti-inflammatory, and some have been used through the centuries as natural wound healing agents.

How has being a woman-owned small business affected your growth?

As my sister Cecil says, “We find that being “by women-for women” resonates strongly with our clients and the sales associates who are representing our line, as well. Our message is authentic and needed, and that sustains us in a very competitive field. It has been challenging, given our size and status as an indie brand, and we work very hard to engage our audience. What we have found to be universal is that our retailers, suppliers and clients agree that there is a great need to address this segment of the market, which has been largely ignored by big companies. As women, with our unique backgrounds, we felt compelled to take it on—for ourselves and other women.”

For more information about skin care, estrogen, phytoestrogens and the VENeffect product line, visit, and

Dr. Rebecca Booth’s inside-out tips for beauty to achieve the VENUS Effect
• A diet high in plant protein (soy protein, hummus, nuts, nut butters, foods made with almond flour, etc.) can offer the support of plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, which have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on collagen.
• Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils and flax seed oils) are excellent “lubricators” of joints (to help with flexibility), improve dry eye and a host of other metabolic and mood elevating properties.
• Vitamin D: (at least 1,000 IU a day) now being thought of as a hormone, because it has so many varied effects on body systems, can contribute to a healthy, flexible, bone matrix and has positive effects on skin.
• Calcium: (1,000 mg/day prior to, and 1,500 mg/day after menopause, through diet or supplements) best spread out through the day, as the body cannot absorb more than 500 to 600 mg at once.
• Vitamin C: (400 mg/day) can help support healthy collagen.
• Exercise: Muscle development can stimulate new growth of collagen and prevent atrophy (loss of muscle mass) that can contribute to sagging tissues and declining bone density.
• Avoid collagen killers: smoking, too much sun, diabetes, poor nutrition, stress (due to excess cortisol) and poor hydration.
• Biotin: (1,000 mcg/day) may help support hair and nail strength that often decrease with declining estrogen.
• Phytoestrogen supplements: (70 mg/day of isoflavones) for a woman not on HRT may help support collagen and promote bone health. With the decline of estrogen at menopause, plant estrogen supplements can help offset the fallout.
• Skin care products powered by phytoestrogen, a safe, natural and topical technology that stimulates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production.