Defy the Menopause – how to keep younger skin just like Linda Barker

Women experiencing the menopause will recognise the uncomfortable symptoms that develop, including dry, itchy and less supple skin caused by the aging process which is accelerated during this time.

But you don’t to have itchy, dried up skin.  There are an increasing number of solutions, including the recently launched first-ever skincare range created expressly for menopausal women.

Linda BarkerOne of its high-profile advocates is atelevision personality Linda Barker. Stratum C™ works by encouraging the epidermis to produce more collagen to combat the wrinkles and dullness that develop during the ageing process.

Stratum C™ was created by the UK’s  Forme Laboratories based on scientific research at the University of Reading and it’s  the first skincare range scientifically developed for menopausal skin.

The active ingredients are a special combination of peptides – chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin – including Matrixyl®, a wrinkle-reducing pentapeptide.

Stratum C™ contains several times the amount of Matrixyl® than conventional high street creams and the optimum amount recommended by latest research. This combination causes the body’s cells to nearly double their rate of collagen production.

In addition to collagen-stimulating ingredients, Stratum C™ contains hyaluronic acid for intensive hydration and moisturising, and a muscle-tightening ingredient, which during clinical trials, has been shown to reduce existing deep wrinkles by 45% in just one month.

The breakthrough technology used to combat wrinkles and boost collagen production has made the product a must-have for celebrity interior designer and household favourite, Linda Barker. As the ageing process accelerates during menopause, the skin changes and this causes fine lines and wrinkles to form. The skin is less able to retain water, and collagen production; which gives our skin its thickness and suppleness; decreases.

Traditional anti-aging creams can contain as much as 90% water, with minimal quantities of active ingredients. Stratum C™ serum and cream contain just 18% and 45% water respectively, meaning that they contain larger quantities of active ingredients that are proven to deliver long-term collagen growth and wrinkle reducing properties. The two products are most effective when used together; the serum targets problem areas, whilst the cream is for long-term protection.

As Professor Ian Hamley who conducted the research at the University of Reading explains: “One of the active ingredients in Stratum C has been shown, in studies that I carried out, to increase the production of collagen by skin cells by up to 70%. This is especially important for women going through menopause, which has been shown to suppress the body’s natural collagen production leading to premature ageing of the skin.”

Linda Barker, 52-year-old TV presenter and interior designer, famous for her healthy diet and lifestyle says: “One of the big surprises was the impact of menopause on skin. I didn’t realise that hormonal changes didn’t just influence moods, cause hot flushes and affect weight but that also my collagen levels would drop dramatically leaving my skin dry, weak and dull.

With my television career I wanted to protect my skin during the menopause from wrinkles and excessive ageing. Who wouldn’t? I found Stratum C and was impressed that it was created just for menopausal skin, so it contained all the ingredients that I needed. It even has a breakthrough technology allowing my own skin to increase its collagen production, leaving my skin feeling hydrated, plumped and rejuvenated.”

Linda continues: “What surprised me most was that I chose Stratum C for the science but the cream and serum are some of the most luxurious, rich and lovely feeling face creams I have ever used. It is my secret beauty tip for staying young and feeling great into my fifties.”

Menopause is a time during which skin needs the most help. For an average of five years the skin goes through temporary changes, and Stratum C is specifically tailored for this. With two million women in the UK going through the menopause each year, this is a very small market for large skincare companies. Stratum C is a unique range, which will be extended over the coming months to include treatments for acne and hyperpigmentosis (age spots), which are also common side-effects of the menopause. Our aim is to deliver a solution that helps protect skin from the ravages of the menopause using the best science available, and without compromise.


Stratum C is priced at £85 for the cream and £49 for the serum and are available to buy from

Stratum Serum

Elixir’s tester, Anna Morris, age 62, tried the cream and the serum for 3 weeks and these are her comments.

“I noticed that my skin was getting dryer and dryer – and nothing I tried seem to relieve the dryness.  I applied the serum first and this seemed to prep my skin for the cream.  I found the cream was just the right texture and my skin absorbed it – and almost straight away if felt smoother and softer.  After two weeks it was a lot plumper, softer and the texture of the actual skin seemed finer.  I know that £85 is a lot to pay for a face cream but its worth it as a little goes a long way and it works. ”

Anna awarded the Stratum C Menopause Skin Protect Cream 9/10 for effectiveness in alleviating menopausal skin problems.