When it comes to choosing your menstrual pads, do you pay attention to the ingredients listed on the label? Does it matter to you whether a pad is organic, or made with natural materials like cotton? Or is your choice influenced more by other factors: what’s cheapest, what’s on the drugstore shelf in front of you, or because it’s the brand you’ve always worn?
No matter which camp you fall into, we’ve got news: the ingredients in your period pads should matter, and it’s not enough to simply buy pads with an “organic cotton top sheet” printed on the label. Such pads do contain a top layer made with 100% organic cotton, but often the materials underneath that top sheet are still synthetic. To make sure you’re using products made of natural ingredients from the top to the bottom, we recommend choosing pads made with only 100% organic cotton.
Not convinced? Here are six reasons to use organic cotton pads.
1. Organic cotton pads are insanely comfortable
Imagine the softest, most luxurious bed sheets you’ve ever slept in, or your favorite cotton t-shirt. Yup, organic cotton pads feel like that. It makes sense if you think about it: a product made with the finest materials is always going to feel the best against your skin. Which leads us to another reason why cotton pads are so comfortable…
2. Cotton pads are breathable
100% cotton = 100% breathable. This is an area where the fine print matters. Unfortunately, many brands that sell pads with cotton top sheets actually have plastics and synthetics hidden underneath. The next time you’re shopping for period products, look for pads labeled as “made with 100% organic cotton” for total breathability.
3. Cotton pads keep you feeling dry
One of the reasons synthetic materials such as foam, wood pulp or suberabsorpent polymers (SAPs) are used in pads is because they absorb and retain liquid well, thereby keeping you drier. But properly designed, a cotton pad can also absorb fluid quickly, disperse it effectively, and keep it from resurfacing. And since cotton is a breathable material, you won’t have to deal with the swampy, plasticky diaper feeling that typical pads can cause.
4. Organic cotton pads are chemical-free
Pads made with things other than 100% organic cotton can contain all sorts of dubious synthetic materials. What’s worse, most brands don’t even list their product ingredients on the label! Here are just a few of the items commonly used to manufacture non-organic pads:
· Wood fluff or pulp
· Superabsorbent polymers like polyolefins and polyacrylamide copolymer
· Fragrance which can contain dozens of chemicals (like styrene and chloroform) that brands aren’t required to disclose
· Polypropylene (also known as plastic)
Your skin is a living, permeable organ, capable of absorbing and transporting chemicals into the body. The products you use in and near your vagina should matter.
5. Organic cotton pads are easy on sensitive skin
The skin surrounding your vagina can be especially sensitive, as anyone who’s ever experienced “pad rash” will attest. These rashes can lead to swelling, redness, itching, and general discomfort. Pads made with 100% organic cotton are hypoallergenic and free from harsh irritants like chemicals and perfumes.
Basically, your vagina deserves the best
Your vagina (technically, the passageway from internal to external female genitalia) and vulva (the correct term for all of your visible female genitalia) are both pretty incredible, if you stop to think about it. They can give you amazing orgasms, deliver babies into the world, and protect your internal organs from infection. Consider all this — along with the fact that the average woman will spend years of her life on her period — and it becomes obvious that when it comes to pads, you deserve the best ingredients. Period.