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Naomi Watts Launches Beauty Brand With Focus on Wellness Through Menopause

The actress started the company after personally struggling with menopause, a topic she says is unfortunately still highly stigmatized.
Naomi Watts attends the 29th annual ELLE Women in Hollywood celebration.

Naomi Watts attends the 29th annual ELLE Women in Hollywood celebration.

Naomi Watts is on a roll. Her Netflix series The Watcher is No. 1 TV show on the streaming platform, she’s constantly defying stereotypes by proving a woman’s career in Hollywood doesn’t end at 35 and, most recently, she founded her own company. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Watts launched Stripes, a beauty and wellness line catered to menopause health. The 54-year-old told Fashionista that the brand’s name was inspired by the look of thread-like chromosomes inside us. 

“These women should feel unapologetic,” she said. “They should feel proud of this time that they’ve spent on the earth and that all their cumulative experiences mean something. This is not the end of life where we should be invisible and irrelevant. It’s the beginning of something wonderful, actually—we’ve earned this time, we’ve earned our stripes.”

Stripes has partnered with biotech company Amyris to provide “holistic, science-backed solutions with active ingredients that are sustainably sourced and created to be good to both you and our planet.” The Stripes website also includes a “Menoguides” tab under which articles and research-based writing about menopause can be found. 

As estrogen levels decrease during menopause, dehydration becomes a common symptom. The topical products in the Stripes lineup all contain squalane and ectoine, meant to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin barrier, as the main ingredients

Stripes currently sells four skincare products: a body oil, a hair mask, two vaginal wellness products and two probiotic supplements. The products span between $40 and $85.

Watts knows that menopause is highly stigmatized and “considered still, unfortunately, a dirty word.” She started the brand after personally struggling with menopause in her mid-30s.

“I came up with Stripes because [menopause] was a pain point in my life and a time when I wasn’t feeling like my best self,” she said. “I felt very alone and was confused by the fact that people just weren’t talking about it.”

Watts hopes that someday talking about and understanding menopause becomes just as normal as puberty, which people are empathetic toward.

“We need to understand that this [menopause] is a natural phase of life,” she added. “Everyone’s headed there, and those that aren’t headed there will be affected in some way or another, even if indirectly.”

Watts notes the importance of being the first internet generation to go through menopause. She thinks Stripes will meaningfully contribute to the conversation that has already been sparked, and empower people going through perimenopause and menopause to take the reins on their bodies and the process—instead of just letting it happen to them.

“It feels like we’ve all signed this secret code of silence and that’s probably going back to the fact that we didn’t live this long before,” she continued. “We’ve been able to dig around privately and figure out that there is a community out there that does want more from this experience in this time, and we don’t want to just exist with agony anymore.”