Hmmm… what category does something like this go under? Hair + Makeup? Sure.
We’re talkin’ ’bout periods today folks. So if you’re offended by any of the following terms, I suggest you walk away:
– Heavy flow
– Menstrual cycle
– Vagina or any of it’s hilarious variations
OK even I’m blushing, so let’s just get down to business.
As you may know, I have been very slowly making my way toward a more natural way of life with sustainable fabrics, natural deodorant, organic food, etc. When possible. I don’t consider myself crunchy by any means, but little things here and there that are easy to change? I want to do that. I recently even got a SodaStream because I have a serious addiction to sparkling water and the amount of trash I was producing was insane.
Enter: the monthly visitor. Aunt Flow. The crimson wave. A period in adult talk.
I’ve been using the same old reliable stand-by products since I was 14 years old. Tampax tampons and Always ultra-thin pads (with wings! weee!) Now, here I am 20-some years later finally looking into other options.
My first thought was to try something reusable. That would be the ultimate way to reduce the amount of trash I was putting into the landfills. So I bought a MeLuna Menstrual Cup. In fact, I spent a pretty penny and bought multiple menstrual cups of varying sizes, shapes, strengths, and colors — and unfortunately could not get them to work for me. I became VERY FAMILIAR with my vagina because there was so much poking and prodding down there trying to get those damn things to pop open. And it was an epic fail. No return policy on those babies! After 3 cycles, I gave up. I’m convinced my cervix is just too powerful. Haha.
The next option I thought to try was the THINX reusable period underwear. Buuuutttttttttt. I didn’t. It just doesn’t sound like the greatest thing in the world to me. I’ve had them in my online shopping cart for a year, and maybe one of these days I’ll woman up and purchase them. But I’m still super skeptical.
So I left behind the wide world of reusable products and thought I should at least try the organic route.
I was pleasantly surprised at how many products are on the market. I ended up just grabbing the first thing I saw at Target out of convenience and cost efficiency, so I’ll give you a little review of how they’re working so far!
The brand is called L., and not only do they use hypoallergenic sustainably-sourced cotton produced with no pesticides, rayon, fragrances, deodorants, etc (can you believe how much shit we put in our bodies?!) but they also have a 1 for 1 program. Which means that for every tampon or pad that you purchase, they also give one to a girl in need from a developing country. Win. Win.
(And fellas, if you’re still here for whatever reason — research for your wife? I get it — they make glycerin-free and paraben-free high-grade latex condoms too.)
The pads are made in Italy, and as I mentioned, they are very cost efficient. $6.99 for a pack of 42 pads. Which is the same cost as a pack of 46 Always.
But do they work? I know that’s the real question.
And so far, in my experience, yes. They do work. I miss the “dry-weave” texture on top of the pads that Always had, but other than that, I haven’t had any issues. The pads are still thin/absorbent and the tampons are pretty typical. Since having a baby, I personally have had to double up as a precaution, and I do the same with these.
(H-E-A-V-Y F-L-O-W. Shhhhh.)
The downside of course, is that I’m not reducing waste as much as I hoped to. The packaging is recyclable, so that’s awesome. But the pads are individually wrapped, which is convenient, but probably not the best for the environment. Gotta wrap ’em in something, I suppose! My biggest disappointment was to find out that the tampons have a plastic applicator. BPA-free, but plastic nonetheless. So for all that effort to make organic products, I wish they could also make a biodegradable applicator.
Anyhooooo… my final consensus is that if you are looking to make just the slightly better choice for your health and the environment, I’d definitely give these a try.
And now you know I have a heavy flow. Stop looking at me!
Have you switched from the old reliable stand-by products? Share your faves if you dare!