If you’re like most women, you probably don’t think too much about the menstrual products you use each month. I know for myself, I didn’t learn about all the various options out there until my early twenties, which is when I began making the switch to healthier, cleaner menstrual products!
But the reasons for doing so aren’t just for the sake of trying something new. Conventional menstrual pads and tampons are loaded with an array of potentially harmful materials including:
- Chlorine bleach
These compounds are disruptive to our environment and even our skin, hormones and endocrine system. Here’s the thing we rarely consider:
Our skin, especially the delicate tissues inside our vagina, absorb what we expose it to.
In fact, our vaginal ecosystem is even more sensitive and absorbent than regular skin, and soaking up the many chemicals within conventional pads and tampons is a real thing, my friends. So here are some natural and non-toxic period products for you to get your hands on!
Natural & Non-Toxic Period Products
1. Organic Cotton Pads
I’ve always been a pad girl. I just prefer the simplicity and hassle-free nature of them. I like the brand Natracare which offers all the same types of pads you see with conventional brands: pantyliners, regular, heavy flow, thong style, etc.
The difference between conventional pads and natural pads is they’re a whole lot better for you! They contain organic cotton (which means it hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides), no chlorine bleach, synthetics, or superabsorbants made from petrochemicals. They’re also biodegradable.
2. Organic Cotton Tampons
Although I like pads a lot, I do use tampons as well sometimes, and perhaps even more important than non-toxic pads are non-toxic tampons, because those puppies are in direct contact with our super-absorbent-vaginas, and like I mentioned, chemical compounds such as perfumes and bleaches are not what we want to be absorbing.
Again, Natracare is a fave, and their tampons are available in Junior, Regular, Super, and Super Plus, as well as with applicator and without applicator.
A note on no applicator:
For most of my life I always used tampons with applicators – until I tried ones without – and I honestly prefer them. I avoided them because I feared my fingers would get all messy without an applicator, and you know what? It’s a tiny bit true, but it’s not that bad and for some reason, I actually find them easier to insert and I now prefer them overall. In terms of using less packaging, I highly recommend them!
3. Menstrual Cups
Oh, menstrual cups! I have the brand the Diva Cup and I really like it. In fact, I have a whole review video covering the pros, cons, and how to use it!
The DivaCup is a small silicone “cups” that are inserted into the vagina to capture blood and contains no latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, pthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, colours or dyes (whew!). Menstrual cups are excellent for a few reasons:
- They last longer than tampons during the day (up to 12 hours)
- They’re durable and can last many years since they’re reusable
- Silicone is a safe, non-toxic material that is biocompatible, meaning the human body easily accepts it without adverse reaction.
- Easy to sterilize
- You don’t need to buy disposable pads and tampons regularly, making them a better option for the environment and your wallet
There is a learning curve, but they’re really efficient once you get the hang of it. The DivaCup must be emptied, washed and reinserted at least 2 times a day (twice in a 24 hour period) and can be worn overnight without concern of leaking.
4. Washable Cloth Pads
I just recently purchased my very first reusable pad. I got the Mini Pad by the company Lunapads and I’m really looking forward to trying it out. Their pads are made of organic cotton and fleece and contain no added chemicals, perfumes, or adhesives. They’re also reusable for up to 5+ years, replacing 120 disposables!
Reusable, washable cloth pads are some of the most environmentally gentle menstrual products. They can be worn for about as long as a single-use padAlthough they require more effort in terms of washing and reusing, I decided to give them a try since I work from home most of the time. If you do choose to wear these while going out for the day, bringing along a suitable container to store a soiled pad to wash later is necessary.
5. Period Panties
Period panties are exactly what you may be thinking: underwear designed to absorb your flow. Although I’ve not used period panties yet, I’m interested in giving them a try soon and wanted to include them in this list of options as I know a couple people who use the brand Thinx and really like them!
I’ve been told they’re very comfortable and totally leakproof, but can start to smell if worn longer than 8 hours, especially on a heavier day. According to Thinx, their period-proof undies hold up to 2 tampons worth, yet look and feel like regular underwear. Pretty cool, I’d say!
So there you have it! Natural and non-toxic period products for you to try. I’d love to know which of these you use if you already do.
Check out my video below to learn more about these products and to take a look at them: