Non-Toxic Feminine Care Alternatives

Dear female stranger…

(…or male, I’m sure there are plenty of women in your life you care about that would benefit from you passing on this information on to them)

I have two things to share about periods.

First, if you want to discreetly ask your friend for a pad without alerting an bystanders, just tell her that your Aunt Flo (flow) has come to town to visit you. Mine visits way too often and always overstays her welcome…

Second, I learned a few years ago that conventional feminine care products are often filled with things like pesticides, bleach, and harmful plastics. And since your skin is permeable, these materials are being absorbed directly into your bloodstream and being distributed throughout your body.

Not cool!

Especially since I had no idea for like the past ten years of periods that there were alternatives to the products I was buying at the store. I imagine that most other people don’t either, it’s one of those things that you never question because everybody is doing it.

 

There three main benefits of switching to more natural alternatives are:

Health and Comfort – Before I switched I spent a lot of time reading personal testimonies online. Many women claimed they noticed less cramping, lighter periods, and have even reduced the amount of days they are on their period. After a few months of trying it myself,  my periods have gotten a lot lighter, I hardly need to wear a pad more than 2-3 days. There are even people who say it has helped reduce more serious health problems related to their reproductive system.

Save Money – It starts out as an investment, but if you choose reusable feminine care products it will save you money in the long run. Instead of buying products once a month, you buy them once every few years.

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.

Organic Pads and Tampons

I use these when I’m traveling and need something disposable. They look and are used exactly the same as conventional products, they just have different ingredients.

Where to Find Them:

Look in your local health foods store (I spied some at target recently too), or find them online at…

Seventh Generation – This company offers pads and tampons made from organic cotton. I’ve used this brand the most, because it’s one of the easiest to find in stores.

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!

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.

Cloth Pads

Cloth pads are my favorite option. 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 just clasp together.

Most cloth pads have the same washing instructions. After using them, rinse them out well in your shower or sink. You can store them in your laundry basket or buy a small bucket and let them 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 (like towels or sheets) 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.

Sure, it’s little more work than conventional pads, but it’s nice never “running out” of pads. Technically I’m stocked up on pads for like, the next five years of cycles.

Where to Find Them:

Locally – I purchased mine from a friend who sews but doesn’t officially sell them, you might want to start by asking around!

Etsy – There are tons of people selling them on Etsy at very reasonable prices!

Lunapads – This company sells 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. They also have kits that include a soaking bucket and a natural cleaner.

Menstrual Cups

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! I’ve never used one before purely because I strongly dislike tampons and will only use them when absolutely necessary. But I’ve heard really good things about them, and if you are a tampon person this will probably be your favorite alternative.

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:

MoonCup – It is latex-free, hypoallergenic and containing no dyes, perfumes, BPA, phthalates, plastic, bleaches or toxins. The Mooncup menstrual cup is ideal if you have sensitive skin or allergies.

Lunapads Diva 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) I believe that these are now sold at Walmart, so keep an eye out the next time you are there.

Gladrags cups – This company 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.

Period Panties

I want to try these so badly. Someone try these for me and tell me if they work! 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.

If you try this out and see any changes in your health I would love to hear about it! I am so glad I learned that there are alternatives!

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