‘When I entered my perimenopause, it wasn’t really talked about.’ – Rebekah Brown (Photo: Samantha Wood Photography)

Struggling with the symptoms of perimenopause? You’re not alone. Rebekah Brown, founder of menopause supplement brand MPowder, shares her experiences with perimenopause symptoms, her inspiration for creating perimenopause supplements, and her top tips on easing symptoms. Get ready to feel your best as you begin your menopausal journey…

My perimenopause story

The onset of perimenopause symptoms

I got quite sick with perimenopause symptoms and was trying to heal myself. It’s good we’re hearing more and more about perimenopause these days but a couple of years ago, when I entered my perimenopause, it wasn’t really talked about. My symptoms were anxiety, sleeplessness and feeling like I wasn’t able to do my job anymore. Also, my clothes didn’t fit properly, my skin didn’t feel like my skin and my hair didn’t feel like my hair. The most extreme thing was the anxiety, making it almost impossible for me to do my job, which I had always loved previously.

Seeking medical help for perimenopause symptoms

When I went to the GP I didn’t go in thinking I was perimenopausal, I went thinking there was something really wrong with me. My brain just wasn’t working as it should and I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I was told the most likely cause of my symptoms was burnout and potentially depression. Long story short, I decided I didn’t want to take antidepressants as I inherently knew I wasn’t depressed. I only really ended up looking at perimenopause after I spoke to some women who were a little bit older than me and they explained their own symptoms. Initially, I felt quite angry that no one had told me about this stage and at the lack of support and information. Also, I didn’t like the way menopause was represented as a kind of end-of-life stage especially on the branding of the supplements that did exist in health food stores.
‘My brain just wasn’t working and I didn’t feel like myself anymore. MPowder came about after helping myself get better.’

Doing my own research into perimenopause

I’m a researcher by trade and MPowder was the result of me deciding to learn what I could do to feel better. I’m not a naturopath or nutritionist, but what I discovered was growing evidence around the efficacy of food, and also a number of lifestyle interventions. So, as I started to deploy them myself and began to get better, I became more and more curious about what could be done. It was then that I had the opportunity to meet and talk with lots of different experts and I spoke to many women going through the life stage at the same time as me. Out of that, MPowder was born.

Creating my hormonal supplement brand: MPowder

The first MPowder blend went into trial in May last year and it ended up being our first incarnation of Peri-Boost. It contains tons of helpful herbs and minerals, including Moldavian dragonhead, a herb from the mint family. Like many herbs, it’s been around for generations and been used in holistic practices.

Perimenopausal skin benefits of MPowder

There are strong study links to Moldavian dragonhead being good for collagen production and cell renewal. However, when we put it into our trial product, we weren’t initially tracking skin changes as there was no peer-reviewed evidence of its skin benefits. But, in the first three to four weeks of our trial, during which time participants tracked their symptoms weekly, people kept asking whether there was something in there for skin as theirs was improving. Some commented on elasticity, some said their rosacea reduced or vanished.
At week six, we did a measure and found a lot of the women had seen changes and improvements to their skin. There are obviously a lot of other ingredients in there, including moringa, raw organic cacao, flaxseeds and soy, but I put a lot of weight on the Moldavian dragonhead because it is potent and seems to get results. It’s interesting, because skin changes and hormonal outbreaks were some of the things that knocked my confidence the most. What you also find is that women who had problems with their skin as teenagers when they first started menstruating, can often get problem skin again during perimenopause.

What makes MPowder different to other perimenopause supplements

There are some great supplements, but there are also ones where the dosage levels just aren’t going to deliver results. MPowder contains 24 different ingredients and all at therapeutic doses – this is what makes the bags a little pricey. But if you bought all the individual ingredients, you’d soon see how it stacks up. We’re direct to consumer, because that’s the only way we can viably operate as a business. The other thing that differentiates us from other brands is a desire to continually learn from the feedback we get. We have to produce in really low runs, because each time we do are order, we look at the data from our customers and we tweak the dosage levels. The latest Peri-Boost, for example, has got extra antioxidant components in it as our customers were telling us that’s what they felt they needed.

Helping other women with perimenopause symptoms

The motivation for the business was really a desire to help people feel better in this life stage. First and foremost, we’re a community that creates things with the people we’re looking to support. Our testers and customers are absolutely critical. We call them our “makers”. They tell us everything; they’re really honest on whether they like the taste, whether it mixes well, whether the bag is annoying etc. Because we set ourselves out to be a co-creation community, the emphasis is not on mass production, but on creating something that makes a difference.
I genuinely believe we are an “and brand” because 60 per cent of our customers are on HRT. So, it’s not that you take our powder and don’t need or want HRT. We’re honest with people and say they need to look at their whole lives, not just what they’re taking and what they’re eating, because that’s how you ensure you really do “peri well” as we call it.

Rebekah’s 3 tips for managing your perimenopause symptoms

  • Eat more plants and proteins. You can get a lot of protein from plants, and chickpeas are to be worshipped.
  • Drink loads more water. Carry it around with you everywhere you go and make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Reduce your alcohol. For me, it’s something I don’t actually feel sad about. To begin with, I was annoyed because I associated drinking with being able to switch off and have fun. However, alcohol really doesn’t sit well with my symptoms. I’ve pretty much cut it out completely now.

About MPowder

A 30-day supply of Peri-Boost or Meno-Boost is £69. Each pouch comes with the offer to track your symptoms for the first month. You’ll also get free access to health experts and a personalised report at the end of 30 days. Plus, you can join a private Facebook community, The Powder Room. Here, you can connect with others also using the blends, get advice, or join free workshops. Visit mpowder.store or follow the company on Instagram at @mpowderstore.