Determined to alleviate period pain, BeYou boasts a range of Holy Grail natural products that offer stress and pain-free alternatives to help keep pesky period cramps and pains at bay. From discreet and easy-to-use Relief Patches to CBD-infused Muscle Balm, Drops and Sprays, this empowering brand means you can carry on going about your day without Mother Nature getting in your way.

Ahead of BeYou's launch at Cult Beauty, we sat down with the brand founders Krutika and Hemang Patel and asked all the questions you could possibly want to know about this liberating brand that we've quickly fallen head over heels for.

{Cult Beauty} First things first, can you tell us about the brand’s beginnings and ethos? What’s BeYou’s story so far?

{Krutika Patel} It all started when I started my first job, which was male dominated. I was on my period, and carrying a hot water bottle through the office back to my desk (I’ve always tried to avoid pain killers where possible) when one of the men shouted at me in front of my peers, “Stop using that… it’s not professional”. I just couldn’t get my head around the reaction?

As I left work I felt so upset that I was practically screaming down the phone to my brother when he made the valid point: “Why is it such a big deal, periods are natural?!”

That’s when the research started and, a year later, we felt we ready to release {BeYou} into the wild.

Our ethos? Make a change for women everywhere by "Celebrating Individuality Together". Ultimately, showing the importance of Being You! We want everyone to stop focusing on what makes us different in a negative way; to appreciate that diversity makes us stronger, and understand that united… we are unstoppable.

{CB} Can you tell us what makes CBD so great for dealing with period pain?

{Krutika & Hemang Patel} We’re not able to make claims here as the MHRA would surely come down hard on us, however, there is lots of research online which shows why. And there are lots of studies being done now to investigate the exact mechanisms of how CBD actually works.

To really understand this, it's probably best to start with the ‘standard’ causes of period pain – extremely simplified of course!

During a period, the muscles in your uterine-wall contract to allow the lining to shed. This compresses the blood vessels that line the womb, cutting off the blood supply (leading to a lack of oxygen). This lack of oxygen causes the tissues to release chemicals that trigger pain. While your body is releasing these pain-triggering chemicals, it also produces prostaglandins, which encourage the womb muscles to contract even more! It's a vicious cycle of cramps and pain!

These prostaglandins peak during menstruation and are responsible for the inflammation which causes so many of the symptoms. It’s also important to note that numerous studies have shown that people with higher levels of prostaglandins have heavier periods and more pain – and that treatments which lower prostaglandins can be effective.

We’ve all used Ibuprofen – which is something called a Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (or NSAID in short). This type of drug works by inhibiting two enzymes which are responsible for producing prostaglandins (remember how that was linked to inflammation?): COX-2 and COX-1.

The problem is that inhibiting COX-1 can cause lots of gastrointestinal side effects. This is where CBD comes in – it inhibits COX-2 – so you get the anti-inflammatory benefits without the side effects associated with inhibiting COX-1. So going full circle, if CBD inhibits COX-2, thereby decreasing the prostaglandins, it follows that the anti-inflammatory effects can help with period pain. In fact, most of our customers who suffer from endometriosis tell us after a few months of using CBD consistently their base level of pain is reduced significantly. And that’s not surprising given what we know so far. Imagine what we’ll unearth as more and more trials are done!?

{CB} Speaking of ingredients, can you tell us how eucalyptus and menthol work in the patches?

{KP & HP} The superstars! The {BeYou Patches} are transdermal, meaning they deliver the eucalyptus oil and menthol (steam distilled from their leaves, not synthetic) through the skin into your body.

Eucalyptus oil is a natural vasodilator and anti-inflammatory. It helps draw the blood (and thus oxygen) back to the vessels lining the womb. This again inhibits prostaglandins - again mostly by targeting COX-2 and not COX-1 (in fact, that’s one of the reasons why peppermint is such a superstar ingredient for IBS / IBD sufferers). We actually have lots of people who suffer from IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions like Colitis and Crohn’s rather than period cramps – they simply cut the patches into smaller pieces and place them where they want.

Menthol has powerful analgesic (pain relieving) properties and works alongside eucalyptus oil in several different ways:

1) As the menthol is absorbed into your skin, molecules called ligands attach themselves to pain receptors, producing a numbing effect.

2) Menthol also causes vasodilation, it reduces the skin barrier function, allowing the eucalyptus oil to be absorbed faster (thus accelerating the anti-inflammatory effects).

3) It causes a signal to be sent which the brain interprets as cold, relieving the ‘heat’ of inflammation and...

4) The soothing menthol aroma can help reduce nausea related to period pains – in fact, its one of the first thing people notice!

Most people believe the patches are just like a normal heat patch – all they (and hot water bottles) do is bring blood back to the area. Clearly the ingredients in our patch go a few steps further! It’s also worth noting – using a hot water bottle for more than 30 minutes at a time can actually do more damage than good!! Most people respond to that with a resounding “my life has been a lie” haha but that’s why we made sure the patch releases the ingredients over a 12 hour period – that way you can just jump into bed and not have to worry!

{CB} Why was creating a natural range so important to you?

{KP & HP} In short - it’s just been a huge part of our childhood! Whilst growing up, our grandad, originally from India, has always been a firm believer of Ayurvedic medicines. He has always used natural remedies (where possible) to help him through life (he’s now 85 and fitter than both of us put together!). Seriously, you should see some of the natural ointments our grandparents would make to help us with things like cuts and stomach aches. So naturally, this has always been something we’ve been exposed to, which meant we’ve always questioned what we were putting into our bodies.

{CB} Can you share the biggest challenges you faced while launching BeYou?

{KP & HP} Convincing people to give it a try because there are so many gimmicks out there pushing adverts out to people daily. It’s still the biggest challenge today. However, we will be forever grateful for our loyal customers who are now part of the BeYou family and are constantly spreading the word to friends and others they see on social media! It makes all the difference!

{CB} What were your main objectives when creating this range?

{KP & HP} With so many women suffering with severe period pain, it was our number one objective to provide all natural products that genuinely help them through the most dreaded time of the month.

Patches: to be all natural, easy to use and discreet (unlike hot water bottles which can be a total inconvenience especially in the workplace, or when walking around), and of course effective.

CBD: Our main objective was to ensure we could offer a reliable level of quality. We tested twice externally to ensure people could trust the CBD that we put out in the market.

{CB} Can you tell us what sets BeYou and its products apart from the rest of the industry?

{KP & HP} Customer service from yours truly. Anyone who has messaged us will know we pretty much get back to them straight away, no matter the day, or time. We’re huge believers in having the best customer service out there and its something which most people who message us actively comment on afterwards.

Beyond that, our name describes us best. We have a genuine desire to create products which empower people from all backgrounds to be themselves. That means things which help people feel comfortable in their own skin – not just physically, but mentally (probably some not-so subtle hints on future products hidden in that!). 

{CB} What’s the best/most rewarding customer story you’ve received?

{KP & HP} It’s so hard to pick! We have so many stories that have made us proud. The best thing about BeYou is waking up every morning to a bunch of people emailing saying how much it’s changed their lives.

We have different best stories. Kru’s favourite is a mum who said both of her daughters used to miss out on so much of life. One of her girls would not go to school a couple of days a month (and had already been prescribed and gone through trying and hating tramadol, codeine, high dosage co-codamol, and even morphine!), and her other daughter wouldn’t go to work a few days a month. Since they had started using the patches both of her girls were full-time at school and work respectively and feeling so much happier.

Hemang’s best story is from someone who was considering a hysterectomy because of the pain she had been experiencing for years. That left a lasting impression on me as it was one of the really early bits of feedback we had when we launched. I couldn’t believe the impact it had on her general quality of life. We’ve had a few similar ones to this, but that one particular left a lasting impression because her husband actually got in touch with us a few weeks later to thank us as well. It was just a really nice way to start the journey we’re on!

{CB} What’s on your nightstand?

{KP} Ear plugs to drown out the husband snoring and period books! I'm currently reading Period Power by Maisie Hill.

{HP} Two period books, a few non-fiction ones, a Google Home, and lots of yet-to-release samples!

{CB} What’s your favourite way to practise self-care?

{KP & HP} Meditation, yoga, gym and eating well. BUT taking a break and doing whatever we like is also so important! You have to just let loose sometimes! We spend a lot of time discussing BeYou, which is amazing as siblings we are best friends, but a gin and tonic doesn’t hurt anyone.

{CB} Why do you think women still feel stigmatised for speaking out about menstruation?

{KP & HP} Lack of education and men’s perceptions. Imagine for a second we were all females on this earth. This wouldn’t even be a question!

For generations women have been made to feel they cannot be open about it – in many cases because of the reaction by men, and the media. It should be seen as normal as when a boy starts growing facial hair.

{CB} What do you wish would change within society and/or about the medical field and the understanding on female gynaecological issues?

{KP & HP} Education and a callout to GPs to be more aware of certain conditions would be a starting point. For example, 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis, yet it takes up to 8 years to be diagnosed! This massive delay of diagnosis has left women with major fertility issues. There aren’t many non-invasive ways of finding out about this condition other than a laparoscopy yet its estimated only 100 endometriosis specialists are able to perform laparoscopic surgery.

This isn’t just for endometriosis though, for so many of the prevalent gynaecological issues out there it takes far too long to diagnose because doctors are often so dismissive of period pain. Having said that, we’ve heard so many stories of people’s doctors backing their case and helping them get the help they need.

We also wish we could go back in time and convince big pharmacy to spend half of the money that was going into studies and trials for male reproductive issues… into female ones.

{CB} Is there any sexual health or feminine hygiene advice you wish you could go back and give your younger self?

- That all women’s vaginas and periods are different!

- Be open about periods because it’s the only way to remove the stigma,

- Use natural period products, too many pads have bleach and perfume which is not good for the vagina,

- Never use perfume or soap to wash intimate areas,

- Don’t get suckered into ads for ‘intimate hygiene‘ products – the biggest example of this is cleansers! Most gynaecologists will tell you the only thing you need is water.

{CB} What’s the biggest taboo facing women today that still needs breaking?

{KP & HP} The word taboo. By referring to something as taboo we are perpetuating it. We really need to break the wheel. The problem is you need to educate people about the taboo first – which is why we often talk about taking on the period taboo, or body positivity taboo. We really need a generational shift whereby children growing up are not inundated with messaging about these things being weird or different. Although this is starting to happen – it will take a while before we no longer need to preface something as ‘taboo’ or ‘stigmatised.’ 

{CB} Finally, what’s next for BeYou?

{KP & HP} Global domination. No, we’re really excited about so many mini ventures within the BeYou brand that we just can’t share yet. Like we said earlier, lots of amazing products, campaigns and of course initiatives in the pipeline.

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