Natural Feminine Care Products
All women have to use menstrual hygiene products.
However, we don’t have to be exposed to toxic chemicals in the process.
I did not learn until recently that conventional feminine care products are filled with pesticides, bleach, and harmful plastics, among other things. And since our skin is permeable, these materials are being absorbed directly into our bloodstreams and being distributed throughout our bodies. I found this article very helpful when researching, because it goes in depth into the ingredients used to make pads and tampons, and why they affect our health.
The exciting news is, there are tons of alternatives. And in the end, they may be preferable to the store bought versions anyway!
Reasons to Switch to Natural Feminine Care Products:
- It’s healthier – Just making this one switch could have a huge impact on your health. If you start researching and reading personal testimonies you might be surprised at just how much! Removing toxic chemicals can prevent you from contracting serious health issues, but it can also help you eliminate common period problems. Many women who have switched claim they noticed less cramping, lighter periods, and have even reduced the amount of days they are on their period.
- Save Money – It starts out as an investment, but reusable products will save you money in the long run (potentially hundreds). Many of these alternatives can last for years, so you can skip running to the store every month!
- Help the Environment – The average woman uses about 16,000 pads and tampons in her lifetime, and a lot of these products end up in landfills. So every individual who switches to reusable (or more biodegradable) options makes a huge difference!
Cloth pads are my personal favorite, and I will probably be sticking with this option forever. They work just as well as disposables, but are healthier, less expensive, and reduce the amount of waste produced. They are used exactly like disposables, except instead of being sticky the two wings usually clasp together.
All cloth pads are require different methods of washing so read the instructions, but in general they all follow the same rules. After using them rinse out well in your shower or sink, and then either store in your laundry basket or allow them to soak in water or vinegar. At the end of the week throw all of your used pads in the washing machine with a load of laundry and then allow them to air dry. If you are at work or school you can discreetly store used pads in a wet bag (like this or this) in your purse.
In a way they are more convenient than disposable pads, because I know I am always prepared for my period no matter what. I will never have to make emergency trips to the store, because I am prepared for the next five years of cycles!
Where to find them:
Locally – I purchased mine from a friend. That are plenty of women and small businesses that are offering these products, so start asking around!
Etsy – There are tons of people selling them on Etsy at very reasonable prices!
Lunapads – This company is unique because they sell pads with removable inserts that you can change throughout the day. Many people prefer the 2 piece pads and find them even more convenient.
GladRags – This company offers 3 piece pads so you can customize the absorbency, and one of their coolest offers are kits that include a soaking bucket and a natural cleaner!
Organic Cotton Pads/Tampons
These options are perfect for those who spend a lot of time traveling or out of the house and would prefer disposable options. These products work exactly like traditional feminine care products, they just don’t include all the toxic ingredients!
Where to find them:
The Honest Company: They sell pads, tampons, and liners that are made from organic cotton and are free from bleach, pesticides, fragrances, deodorants, rayon, and synthetic superabsorbents!
Natracare – This company sells pads and tampons that are made from organic cotton and are free from plastic, chlorine, and rayon. They are also compostable!
Seventh Generation – This company also offers pads and tampons made from organic cotton, but one extra bonus is that you might be able to find them in a store instead of having to purchase them online. Just type in your zip code and it will let you know if any stores near you are selling them!
Organyc – This company sells pads and tampons made from organic cotton, but they also branched out and offer things like organic cotton balls, cotton swabs, makeup wipes, and baby wipes!
Period panties are made from absorbent material that either allow you to skip using any additional protection at all, or give you peace of mind when avoiding leaks. After using them rinse well in the shower or sink. Then add them to your next load of laundry and allow them to air dry.
Where to find them:
Thinx – This underwear is anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and and leak resistant. They can hold up to two tampons worth of flow, so they really can be used all by themselves without any additional products.
Lunapads Underwear – This option has an absorbent panel permanently sown in, so it’s an all in one replacement for disposable pads, pantyliners, or light bladder leakage products. This company offers different lining options so you can customize them for your exact needs.
Menstrual cups are unique because they collect your flow rather than absorbing it. Because of this, you can use them for up to eight hours, wash them, and then use them again just minutes later! This is probably the most economical option because many different brands can last up to ten years before needing to be replaced! After your full cycle all you do is wash them thoroughly, (some brands say you can boil them) and then store them in a cloth bag or any container that allows airflow.
Where to find them:
Lunapads Cups – This company sells single cups as well as kits. The kits include a cup, pantyliners, and a bottle and wipes that allow you to clean the cup more easily. They also sell a cleaner specifically designed for the cup (that doubles as a body wash!)
Gladrags cups – This company also offers single cups and kits that include pantyliners to avoid leaks. The kits also include carry bags and laundry bags so you can store your supplies discreetly, as well as a stain remover.
If you have seen any changes in your health or your menstrual cycle after switching to a more natural form of feminine care I would love to hear about it! I switched a couple months ago, and I will never go back!