Female gender symbols written in chalk along the side of a city building for an article about products made specifically for women


According to the 2016 State Of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, it is estimated that there are 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., employing nearly 9 million people and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses. From food & beverage to beauty products, many of these new businesses are addressing women’s unmet needs and creating products made specifically for women with a focus on fluctuating hormones.

Hormonal Food & Beverage: Women are designing products meant to help balance or ease unpleasant symptoms associated with hormones. New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Brewery released Libeeration beer, a gruit style ale “which could potentially alleviate the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and insomnia.” The beer contains motherwort, lemon balm, chamomile, stinging nettle, mugwort, rose and is finished with Saphir hops to add a tangerine note. Moon Cycle Bakery is a subscription service that delivers sweet nutritious treats to women just before their period every month. The brand collaborates with Katie Lemons, Twist of Lemons food and health blogger, and Rachel Mansfield, recipe developer, to craft baked goods made with nutrients thought to relieve period symptoms. For example, the gluten-free Raspberry Black Bean Brownie is made with primrose, which contains Vitamin C, iron, calcium and magnesium to ease period symptoms like water retention and cramping while the Matcha Coconut Bites feature chia seeds that are high in fiber and ginger, which may reduce menstrual cramping and inflammation. The Sweet Potato Brownie with Chocolate Chunks highlights Vitamin B, Omega-3 fatty acids and maple syrup meant to help reduce cramping pain.

Hormonal Beauty: Life is already complicated and busy. Beauty products that address women’s monthly needs are launching. To help make “that time of the month,” a little easier, Odeeva launched a monthly subscription box for women. It provides women custom-made boxes of tampons, pads, liners and samples as well as an online community to educate and inspire. For every box purchased, the brand donates a day’s supply of feminine products to a girl in need, via Girls Helping Girls. Hormones can impact women’s complexions over the course of a typical menstrual cycle, which can include dryness, oiliness and breakouts. Recognizing this, Amareta formulated a skincare regimen that works with women’s fluctuating hormones. According to the brand, most women experience three distinct phases over the course of a cycle: a luteal phase, a menstrual phase and a follicular phase. Petal Soft is a cleansing balm to help hormonal acne and inflammation in the luteal phase and the Moonlight gel cleanser is designed to combat hormonally-induced dullness and hyperpigmentation during the menstrual phase. The brand also offers skincare products for pregnant women and new mothers. Fertile Alchemy, founded by Brittany Braggs, “is a brand for women seeking to connect with their femininity and fecundity.” The brand’s first product is an Aromatic Oil developed to promote hormonal balance and diminish anxiety with ingredients such as clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang, lavender, frankincense and jojoba oil to support fertility, emotional stability and PMS relief.

Baby On Board: Products designed for moms to be and nursing moms are appearing in consumer packaged goods. Lia, a start-up brand with an all-female design team, has developed an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic pregnancy tests. The Flushable Pregnancy Test is made from sustainable and biodegradable materials created from the same non-woven, natural plant fibres used for most toilet paper. Women use the kit in the same way as a traditional pregnancy test and the two lines indicate a positive result while one line indicates a negative result. According to brand, the test performs with a 99% accuracy rate, when taken on the day of the user’s expected period. Ikea, the Swedish furniture brand, received international press for its print ad, which asked potential moms to urinate on the ad to confirm their pregnancy and receive a discount code for a crib. Earth Mama Organics introduced Earth Mama Deodorant, which is formulated especially for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have sensitive skin. The product is available in four variants: Bright Citrus, Calming Lavender, GingerAid and Natural Non-Scents. Boobie Bar is a line of healthily grab and go nutrition bars specifically designed for nursing mothers. Designed by Wendy Colson, a lactation consultant and neonatal nurse, “The Original Herbal Lactation Bars” are formulated with: turmeric, which offers breast tissue support when lactating to aid flow, moringa, a powerful plant rich with potassium, coconut oil, which derives its “good fat” from lauric acid, an anti-microbial also found in breast milk, and organic shatavari, which supports the reproductive system. The bars are offered in three flavors: Blueberry Coconut, Gluten-free Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.

Lady Parts: Since 2010 when “Vagacial”/”Vajacial” (a portmanteau of the words vagina and facial), from California’s Stript Wax Bar received press, intimate beauty products designed especially for women’s lady parts have been gaining popularity.  With a “Glow Below” slogan, Lady Suite, focuses on premium skincare for women’s “lady parts.” The brand’s first product is Lady Business Oil with natural cedarwood + sweet orange oils. The formula is free from parabens, phthalates, silicones, artificial colorants and synthetic fragrances. The Perfect V is a luxury beauty & skincare line made for a woman’s “V.” The eight SKU range spans from cleansers and exfoliants to serums and wipes. The products are PH-balanced, dermatologist and gynecologist tested and paraben-free. The Benchmarking Company predicts that “Down There” beauty will be an upcoming trend poised to shape the state of beauty for the next 10 years and beyond. According to the company’s research, 54% of 6,212 female respondents are interested in purchasing organic/natural feminine hygiene products for personal issues such as dryness or odor, as well as natural/organic tampons, lubricants, and vaginal cleaners or moisturizers. Expect to see more consumer packaged goods made especially for women to launch.

Winter is here and unfortunately hibernating is not an option. Let Trendincite LLC, a woman-run business, custom-design a targeted trend excursion, an empowering marketing presentation, a feminine-focused newsletter or a curated retail list of women-owned shops and restaurants.

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