For those of us concerned about the purity of the products we put in and on our bodies, feminine care—from tampons to vaginal washes—should be no exception.
Although we once shied away from talking about these products, we now know tackling issues related to their safety and access is an important part of the future of women’s health. Some women are fighting to end the so-called “tampon tax” by striving to exempt these products from sales taxes, while others are advocating for legislation around ingredient transparency, or simply trying to raise awareness about the toxins commonly used in feminine care. “Women have a right to know what’s in these products—and a right to know they are safe,” says Erin Switalski, executive director of the health advocacy nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth.
You deserve better. Period.
There is good news. Brands are stepping up to the plate and offering safe, effective products that use natural ingredients to nourish and protect (others are really thinking outside the pad; check out Thinx—period-proof underwear!).
Want to find a paraben-free, glycerin-free, fragrance-free product? You got it.
Up-and-coming companies use natural plant extracts to balance pH, support good bacteria while quelling the bad, and moisturize and nourish some of the most sensitive parts of your body. Common ingredients now used in natural feminine care include organic cotton, aloe, green tea extract and agar (a seaweed-derived ingredient).
Some companies also use their brands as platforms to support women’s equality. Lola, a home-delivery, organic menstrual product company, has donated 100,000 feminine care products to low-income women and girls across the nation.
And the fight for greater transparency is building momentum, as like-minded brands join forces to advocate for legislation that would expand access to safe menstrual products.
“We were recently joined by Seventh Generation, Sustain and Honest Company in Washington, D.C., for a rally to support [U.S. Congresswoman Grace] Meng’s ingredient-disclosure bill for feminine products,” says Switalski. “This business voice for regulation is critical right now.” If passed, the bill would require menstrual products to be labeled transparently (it would also offer a tax credit to low-income individuals who regularly use menstrual products). In the meantime, what’s the best thing you can do? Seek out a company that has nothing to hide.