Manufacturers of tampons are moving toward transparency—proving that when it comes to sexual health, we want to know what's going on in our bodies
We're constantly paying attention to what we put in our bodies (is that latte organic, dairy-, gluten-, GMO- and fat-free?!)—except there's one thing we put in (quite literally) and likely don't think twice about: our tampons. But considering the fact that these period savers can contain synthetic materials and even toxic chemicals like pesticides that have been linked to cancer (yikes!), we definitely should be more cognizant. (Have you heard about Thinx? "Period Panties" Are the New Tampon Alternative.)
The good news: The tampon industry is becoming more transparent. Both Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly Clark (two major manufacturers of the sanitary products) both recently announced that they'll be sharing all ingredients used in their products on their website and on packaging in an effort to help you be more informed about what you're putting in your bod.
LOLA, a crazy-convenient tampon subscription service, was even created with this transparency in mind. "Since our teenage years, we hadn't once thought to stop and think, 'What's in our tampons?'," say Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman, founders of LOLA. "To us, it just didn't make sense. If we care about everything else we put in our bodies, this shouldn't be any different." (Psst... If it's that time of the month and you're not feeling so great, try the 10 Best Foods to Eat When You're on Your Period.)
Because of that realization, LOLA and its founders formed a fierce commitment to tampon transparency—their products are 100 percent cotton and don't contain any synthetics, additives, or dyes some of the big brands do. (Jessica Alba Built a Billion Dollar Business on those kind of products, and the Honest Company now offers organic tampons too.)
"Our mission is to get women thinking about what's in their products. Given that menstruation is not the sexiest topic, many women don't think about or discuss their feminine care habits or products with other women," say Kier and Friedman. "We want to empower women to make proactive and informed decisions about what they're putting in their bodies."
As a rule of thumb: If you wouldn't put it near your lips, you probably don't want to put it near your lady bits. Read the labels and look for 100 percent cotton products free of fragrance to keep things au naturale.