We get it, talking feminine care can feel awkward, but here at MADE SAFE, we believe that this conversation is a top priority. That’s why in our New Year’s Revolution challenge for this month, we are challenging you to rethink your period products.
MAY: Feminine Care Products
The feminine products we use come in contact with some of our most delicate and absorbent tissues. Considering that these products will be up close and personal with such highly sensitive tissues repeatedly throughout a lifetime, we think it’s time to take a closer look at the products we use and ask: What’s in that?
Substances commonly lurking inside conventional period products
The dirty truth is that many conventional period products are host to a number of concerning chemicals. Some of the most common chemicals inside conventional period products are:
- Dioxins & Furans – Often found in bleached feminine products, they are byproducts of the bleaching process that have been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and reproductive toxicity.
- Pesticide residues – Can be found in pads, tampons, reusable pads, and period panties made with conventionally grown cotton. While the health effects associated with pesticides vary dramatically, some of them include: cancer, behavioral issues, and more.
- Undisclosed fragrance ingredients – Beware of scented pads and tampons that are not transparent with “fragrance” ingredients. Secret fragrance formulas have been found to contain chemicals linked to allergies, cancer, and endocrine disruption.
- Plastic – Typically found in conventional pads, tampons, menstrual cups, synthetic fabric period panties, and some reusable pads. Plastic is not a planet-friendly material as it is not biodegradable, meaning that the products that help you get through the week will live on for years and years to come.
- Silver nanoparticles – Found in conventional period panties used for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. Silver nanoparticles have not been properly assessed for health impacts, but there is a growing body of evidence linking them to toxicity to both cells and to aquatic ecosystems.
Looking to steer clear of those nasty ingredients? Here are some tips on what to look for in period products to help make healthier choices for you (and planet too).
- Tampons. Look for 100% organic cotton, unscented (fragrance-free), unbleached or bleached using chlorine-free bleach. Bonus (to you and the planet) if you opt for plastic-free packaging and applicator!
- Pads + Liners. Look for 100% organic cotton, unscented (fragrance-free), unbleached or chlorine-free bleach. Bonus for plastic-free packaging.
- Menstrual Cups. Look for 100% medical-grade silicone (preferably undyed).
- Period Panties. Look for organic cotton as the primary material, full disclosure of all materials (including fabric and treatments applied to the fabrics). Avoid panties labeled as “antimicrobial” or “antibacterial” as these can contain nanomaterial silver or other chemical treatments.
- Reusable Pads + Liners. Look for organic cotton as the primary material. Avoid reusable products containing antimicrobials and antibacterials.
MADE SAFE® Certified Solutions + Staff Favorites
Finding the right products can feel overwhelming. Let MADE SAFE help! Here we have listed MADE SAFE® certified period solutions as well as some better-choice staff favorites.
Natracare: Pads + Tampons
Organyc: Pads + Tampons
Sustain Natural – Menstrual Cups* + Period Panties*
Cora – Menstrual Cups*
DivaCup – Menstrual Cups*
* NOTE: These products are staff favorites and not MADE SAFE certified.