YesAge CEO and co-founder Julie Mercer-Ingram

Finding My YesAge

I'm Julie, the CEO and co-founder of YesAge. This company is a very personal and mission-driven project, and I want to tell you about how I got to the "why" of YesAge. 

The idea for YesAge came to me at a vulnerable time in my life. In my mid-40s, it seemed like new aging-related symptoms cropped up nearly daily. My body was changing, whether I liked it or not.

The topic of aging was one that I had been thinking a lot about. I had recently lost my mother, who passed away after a shockingly quick battle with an aggressive cancer. My husband lost his father a year earlier, and I had another close family member dying of terminal cancer.

Despite all the sadness that these losses brought, I was also feeling a strangely thrilling satisfaction. My 40s brought a new and liberating sense of fun and confidence to my life. I was feeling like a successful businesswoman. I was proud of who my kids were growing up to be. And I was feeling more passionate and connected in my marriage than ever. My experience of aging had been complicated and surprisingly positive.

But every time I opened up social media, watched a movie, or interacted with pop culture at all, I was told that I was doing something wrong by aging. Or, worse, that I was wrong, because I was aging.

Anti-aging is everywhere - cosmetic products, medical interventions, supplements, foods, and drinks. Everywhere I looked I was being told that I should stop aging, which, it bears mentioning, is ridiculous. Aging is something that, of course, we are all doing, all the time. There's no stopping it. And yet, the dominant cultural message I was receiving told me that I should be trying to stop aging, and spend plenty of money doing so.

Instead, aging can easily be understood in the most positive of terms. We accumulate wisdom. Our bodies, through lines and wrinkles, show the evidence of a million smiles. Our friendships deepen. We know who we are and what we want, and mostly, we know how to get it.

Rather than run from getting older, I wanted to accept the realities and limitations that aging entails. Even more importantly, I felt ready to embrace the freedom, strength, and opportunity that come with age. I wanted to say “Yes!” to my age, and to the aging process, and to embrace the beauty, learning, complexity, and gift that is aging.

The beauty industry insists that your skin shouldn’t display signs of aging. This anti-aging propaganda is so ingrained that after searching extensively for a skincare brand that truly accepts and addresses aging skin, I was not able to find anything. Sure, I found some brands that at first glance use pro-aging language, but digging a little deeper, they were all trying to tell me that I should hide signs of again. 

With no testing standards and minimal regulatory oversight, the beauty industry is full of promises that contain ingredients that are completely untested and unsubstantiated. The products are not only questionable for humans, they are environmentally harmful as well.

Frustrated by the lack of honest pro-aging options and seeing products with dubious ingredients and bad environmental practices, I set out on a mission to create what I was searching for - all natural products with a completely positive aging perspective.

This wasn’t too far out of my wheelhouse, having worked in plant medicine for over 8 years and creating a top wellness brand in California.

With the vision and know-how came YesAge, a thoroughly age embracing company. YesAge offers natural and beneficial products that are specifically formulated to assist aging skin in staying clean, healthy, and hydrated. Our products are designed for all skin types and humans who are middle-aged and upward. 

The foundational pillars of YesAge are: (1) promote positive aging, (2) create trust through testing and transparency, and (3) use sustainable ingredients and packaging.

First, the promise of YesAge is that we will never disguise our pro-aging ethos with “anti-aging” sentiments. It’s impossible to deny aging, and doing so would miss out on the beauty, strength, connection, and experience that comes with aging. YesAge is designed to fit into any philosophy or choices for how people age. The truth is, not everyone is comfortable with signs of aging on their skin. However, even with the most costly interventions, all skin ages. YesAge products are here to support all humans whatever their aging journey looks like. We are also engaged in the pro-aging movement and are exploring ways to connect, contribute, promote, and advocate for age inclusivity and positive aging mindsets.

Second, all YesAge products are tested by an independent laboratory. YesAge products are free of pesticides and other harmful contaminants that are common in many beauty products. All test results are available to customers. Reading our ingredient list doesn’t require a PhD, because we’re only using natural ingredients. We hope this transparency builds trust in YesAge.

Third, YesAge commits to not harming the environment. Our products include sustainably sourced ingredients in recyclable aluminum bottles. Walk down any beauty aisle and you will see plastic packaging everywhere. Virtually no brands that use environmentally friendly packaging. Glass is hard to recycle in many places and can be dangerous if dropped and broken in the bathroom. The obvious solution is to use aluminum, which is infinitely recyclable. 

With the wisdom of age comes strength and knowledge that we want to honor. YesAge celebrates the journey of aging, and we invite you to join us in aging positively from the inside out.

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