Let’s say you go for a nice long run. You come home feeling invigorated, refreshed, and happy to have done a nice thing for your body. You’re thirsty. You grab a glass, head to the fridge, and pour yourself a nice big serving of Galaxolide (your favorite drink, and a known endocrine-disrupting chemical.) Once you’ve had your fill – you jump in the shower to rinse off. As you step out and begin to dry off, you pull out your favorite bottle of chlorine-bleach lotion, and generously slather it all over your skin. Ah…there’s nothing like taking care of your body, right?
Hold up – what the what?!
If you think this sounds ridiculous, you’re right. No one would knowingly wipe bleach all over their skin, right? Right. So that’s why the following fact is so troubling: according to a recent report by the nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth, traditional feminine hygiene products may use ingredients that are known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), carcinogens, or allergens. Yikes.
Our vaginas are more sensitive and absorbent than our skin. So when we reach for our tried-and-true traditional products – we are welcoming these chemicals and their not-entirely-known side effects into our system in a dangerous way. Um, no thanks.
The bad news: these chemicals are in most of the products you find lining drug store shelves.
The good news: There are lots of better options out there, if you’re willing to do a little digging. Not sure where to start? Be Prepared, Period. is on your side.
Detox Your Period
Our new blog series will dive into the different types of natural alternatives available to you, giving you a run down of how they work, and which product may work best for your body. Here’s the thing: there’s no one perfect product out there. Every body is different, and what works for you may not work for us. That’s totally okay! That’s why we carry all types of products in our store. During this series, we’re going to be giving you an inside look at the features and facets of each of the products, and you can use this information as a guide to making your own detox decision.
With tons of healthy options, comes tons of questions. How do you know if you want a natural cotton tampon, a menstrual cup, or a natural pad? So many products, so little time. And while you may not have the opportunity to try them all out – we’ve got your back. BPP’s very own Kelci DeFrancesco has done the work for you and has reviewed each of the different options. So keep reading, follow along, and decide for yourself which option is best for you!
Product Review #1: MaxION Pads by Maxim Hygiene
If you’re like me, you started using pads when you got your first visit from Aunt Flo in middle school or high school. I distinctly remember a particularly uncomfortable experience involving a paddle boat at a summer camp where things got a little….soggy. Needless to say, once I was comfortable enough to move on, I bought my first box of tampons and never looked back. But during my quest to find natural alternatives to conventional period products, I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. So my journey begins with these natural pads:
After reading the box – I was intrigued. Silver? Tourmaline? Could these pads really deliver natural protection while reducing common symptoms of PMS? I was ready and willing to give it a fair shot.
To keep each product review consistent, I’ll be reviewing them according to the following criteria, on a scale of 1 to 5, five being the highest:
-Performance and ease of use
-The Earth-friendly factor
-The discrete factor
These pads were simple to use. While opening the protective strip definitely brought on some middle school flash backs, I was pleasantly surprised that it fit comfortably in my underwear – unlike the pillow-like maxi pads I used to sport. While it was thin, I felt super secure and comfortable all day. It was thin enough for me to forget I was wearing it, and still I went all day without a single leak or “wet” feeling. Nice!
Score: 5, for holding up all day
With these pads, I liked knowing that bleach and other harmful chemicals were far, far, away from my va-jay-jay. Even better – I was happy to know that these chemicals weren’t being used during the production of this product, either. Happy body, happy earth!
Score: 4, While they are not reusable, these little pads do come with the added bonus of a reduced toxic footprint.
Let’s be real, when you’re used to wearing tampons, going back to a pad can be a bit of a blast from the past. Still, I quickly readjusted to the feeling of a pad. Will you completely forget that it’s there, like a tampon? Probably not. But is it worth knowing that you’re not inserting toxic chemicals into your private parts? Oh heck yeah.
Score: 3, comfortable – but still there, if you know what I mean.
The Discrete Factor:
These pads were slim and easy to toss in your purse, or even fit comfortably in a pocket. Once you put one on, they are definitely a little bit more obvious than your standard tampon. It was nothing that I think anyone else would notice, but I definitely felt the difference.
Score: 2, easy enough to conceal, while still leaving you with the feeling of wearing a noticeable (albeit slim) pad.
So what about the “silver and tourmaline ions” talk mentioned on the box? I’m not sure if it was the power of suggestion, but I definitely felt better while I was using these pads. I am a pretty heavy cramper, and it was nice to feel like I had another secret pain-fighting weapon working for me during my time of the month.
Score 5: I don’t normally look to my period products to help reduce any of my symptoms, so I’ll give these a five for the added psychological and physical benefits of these added detoxifying particles.
The Final Rundown:
I was pleasantly surprised by these pads. Honestly! Since they come in all different absorbencies, they are able to work for a variety of ages, bodies, and menstrual flows. If my natural product quest were to stop here, I’d say I’d be pretty satisfied in making the switch, just knowing that I’ve eliminated all those gross chemicals from my monthly routine.
Join us next month as Kelci tries her next product – non-applicator tampons!
Here’s to a better period,
Kelci D. and the Be Prepared Period team