Interviews

How One Woman Hopes To Improve Gender Equality Through Sexual Wellness

How One Woman Hopes To Improve Gender Equality Through Sexual Wellness

When you think about medical aesthetics, you’re likely thinking about procedures from the chest up. Lasers, cosmetic injectables, microneedling — all of these things tend to happen on our face or decolletage. But talk to Colette Courtion, the founder of JoyLux, and her idea of medical aesthetics extends lower. Like, below-the-belt lower.

Courtion, who became a mother in her forties after a career in medical aesthetics, learned first-hand about the side effects that childbirth had on a woman’s pelvic floor. “No one talks about this,” she says. This inspired her to form a company called JoyLux, Inc. which focuses on creating innovative health solutions targeting the enormous, but underserved female intimate care market.

Courtion has been a staunch advocate for women’s health and wellness, while promoting gender equality as it relates to sexuality.

Ahead, we talk to Courtion about her beauty routine, her love of lasers, and how to empower women through sexuality.

Spotlyte: Tell me about your beauty routine.

CC: I’ve been in the beauty world for a very long time, so I do take very good care of my skin. But it’s mostly at night. Mornings for me are tough — I have a three-year-old child, so getting out the door is quite a feat. [Laughs] For me, the key to beautiful, youthful skin is really having ongoing maintenance. I have a wonderful facial that I do with my aesthetician once every month or six weeks. I always leave glowing.

At night, what’s really important to me is that I cleanse. I use a [Harold] LancerTM 10 percent glycolic cream ($85). I also love this vitamin C serum by Jeanne Marie ($66) — the smell of it is just incredible — and then when I’m feeling really dry, I’ll use iS Clinical® [Reparative Moisture Emulsion] ($90). The key for me is keeping my skin clean. I don’t wear a lot of makeup. It’s about monthly exfoliation for me. I’m happy to say I’m in my mid-forties and I don’t have any wrinkles. People look at me and think I’m in my twenties or thirties. And of course, during the day, I wear sunblock — I like the SkinMedica® sunblock ($38). It’s really thin with a little tint, and I just love that.

Spotlyte: Are there any other in-office treatments or procedures that you are a fan of?

CC: I’m a big fan of lasers. Anything that deposits energy into the facial tissue to help stimulate collagen growth. Anything that helps to increase circulation. I’ve been doing them for 15-plus years. I think they have been one of the keys to revitalizing my skin and keeping it youthful-looking. IPLs and Alexandrite lasers that really treat red [tones] are my favorites.  

Recently, I’ve started doing microneedling, too. Not the intense ones. I try to get in for a laser treatment on the face at least once a quarter. Initially when I started, I did them more frequently.  

Now, I’m more about maintenance. I’m also a big fan of injectable wrinkle reducers. I’ve been doing wrinkle reducers since I was 30.

[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers are used to temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face such as the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetics specialists now.]

Spotlyte: What are some ways you find empowerment through beauty?

CC: For me, it’s about confidence. Whatever you’re doing, if you feel better about yourself, that’s going to mean you’re more confident in your life. I’m a big proponent of taking care of yourself, whether you’ve decided to use natural beauty, getting your hair colored, or exercise. If you feel good about beauty and how you take care of yourself, it makes a difference in your life. It helps women feel youthful and energized, which means they’re more confident in their relationships, their work. I’m a big fan of using beauty to help women live their best lives.

Spotlyte: Talk to me a little bit about how you got started in this line of work.

CC: I’m a serial entrepreneur. After being a marketing executive at Starbucks, I started my first company, which was a chain of skincare clinics. We really took medical aesthetics to a whole new level in the Seattle area. We were very innovative with how we used lasers and different energy sources.

While I was [working in the] medical aesthetics [field], I decided to have a child. I’m an older mom, and my girlfriends who had all gone down that journey shared with me, physically, some of the changes that could happen to your body after childbirth. And it’s something that a lot of women don’t talk about. Even your OB-GYN isn’t going to necessarily tell you about all these physical changes, and how that could impact your daily life.

Spotlyte: And this issue is incredibly common, correct?

CC: I did some research and realized that this is a very pervasive problem. Many women experience some form of bladder leakage as a side effect of sneezing, exercise, coughing... and it’s most commonly brought on by childbirth. And then with menopause, many women may experience additional sexual dysfunction issues due to the drop in estrogen. Most importantly, I found that most women rarely talk about any of this.

Spotlyte: What are some common misconceptions people have?

CC: Women initially think “There’s nothing for me.” The most important thing for me is educating women that there are many options out there. Most women just chalk this up as part of being a woman, and part of going through motherhood or through menopause.

Right now, there isn’t equality when it comes to women’s health and men’s health. We can talk about erectile disfunction all day long, but heaven forbid you say the word “vagina.” Even with sexuality, it’s OK for men to have these issues and there be solutions. But if we say women have issues and we can solve them, it’s an issue.

I also never think that you’re being proactive for your [significant other]. Sexual health is such a vital part of our overall health.

Spotlyte: Why do you think it’s so difficult for women to take their sexual health into their own hands?

CC: Look at our history! The fact that it wasn’t too long ago that we were fighting for equal rights for women. We live in a patriarchal society. God forbid women have pleasure, or have an equal say in that element of our lives. But that’s changing. I love to see the younger generation. To them, it’s like, “I’m going to enjoy sex as much as the guys.” Their attitude is very different.

But we’re dealing with women in their fifties and sixties who grew up in a different time. It’s just about changing the thought process and educating them. We want them to know that it’s OK to have these issues, and that they aren’t alone. We want them to enjoy their sexuality, and to feel confident in themselves. That is the most important thing to us.

SkinMedica® is an Allergan®-owned skincare line.

Allergan may receive commission for purchases made through links in this article.

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