Your Guide to Organic Feminine Hygiene Products
It goes without saying: menstrual pads and tampons are applied directly to the most sensitive and permeable skin on your body where they sit for hours — anything against your skin can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream since there is no barrier to stop it. This is worse than the toxins you may be exposed to in food!
If the average age of menarche is 13 and the average age of menopause is 51, that’s a whopping 38 years of menstruation. It’s estimated that on average, a woman uses between 11,000 and 16,000 tampons in her lifetime which is why it’s important to increase your awareness of the substances used to make these items by manufacturers and to consider making the switch to safer and greener alternatives for less impact on your health — and on the environment.
Let’s take a look at the chemicals you should watch out for and some alternative brands to consider in feminine hygiene.
Have you ever wondered what makes your tampons and pads so sparkling white? Well, that would be bleach of course. What seems like a benign process is actually one that leaves behind toxic residues. Dioxin is a chlorine bleach by-product linked to cancer and endometriosis. The issue with this residue is that over time it can build up in your body.
Swap your bleached tampons and pads for a reusable menstrual cup such as the Diva Cup which is made from medical grade silicone and consider brands that use hydrogen peroxide, a natural whitener and antibacterial instead of bleach.
Household and body care products are filled with toxic chemicals that manufacturers call fragrance and pads and tampons are of no exception. Artificial fragrances such as propylene glycol and polyethylene have been linked to hormone disruption, vaginal dryness and infertility. Furthermore, these scented pads and tampons can cause allergy and throw off of your vagina’s naturally acidic pH; this can lead to conditions such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. To avoid fragranced pads and tampons look for ‘scent-free’ or ‘fragrance-free’ and avoid words like ‘odor-neutralizing’ on packaging.
You may think that your cotton tampon or pad is 100% cotton but it most likely isn’t. Conventional manufacturers routinely use plastic and synthetic fibers to make your sanitary products in order to increase absorbency and because it’s cheaper than using pure cotton. However, it’s unfortunate that these synthetic microfibers sit against your delicate skin and membranes where they can cause irritation, increase your risk for toxic shock syndrome and of course, their final destination is to the landfill and ocean.
The first thing you can do is switch to organic tampons that don’t contain an applicator in the packaging, such as Natracare Organic Tampons. There are many organic, 100% cotton and completely biodegradable pads and tampons available in the market today. Organyc also carries some of the best natural feminine hygiene products in the market.
Switch to Organic Cotton
Cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop. The pesticides and herbicides used in cotton production disrupt the ecosystem, harm the workers and negatively impact your health as the consumer. Many pesticides are known hormone disruptors, therefore close to your intimate areas is not where you want them to be. To avoid pesticides, choose products that are certified organic by a third party such as the USDA Organic.
Transparency is Key
Choose companies that disclose the ingredients on the label. Since the government classifies feminine hygiene products as medical devices, companies do not have to disclose their ingredients which is why you’ve probably never seen a list of ingredients on the package of your tampons or pads. Transparency is the first step to getting out of the dark ages of feminine hygiene. You have the right to know what you are putting into your body.
Menstrual pads and tampons are regular staples for most women and there are finally healthier options for you to choose from companies that incorporate organic, sustainable and non-toxic materials.
Shop our Feminine Care page and discover more natural feminine hygiene products and accessories that are healthier for you and the planet.