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Dioxins, Plastics, Perfumes? Doesn’t it make you just itch to know what your pantyliner is made of?

Introducing the new age of products designed from a women’s health perspective.

By Amy Spreadborough, Emerita, on Sep 7, 2011 | 0 comments



Many pantyliners you’ll find on store shelves are made with super-absorbent chemical additives, and many feature plastic coversheets as well. This may be nice for enhancing absorbency. But you wouldn’t wear plastic underwear, so why wear a pad that’s not natural?

It’s a conversation whose time has come, as more women are learning to question what their feminine care products are made of… as well as what that exposure to chemicals and synthetic materials may mean for themselves, their friends and daughters.

Many women use pantyliners daily. So, particularly if you’re a young woman, you have many, many years of potential chemical exposure ahead of you. The average woman will have periods for about 38 years, and she may use pantyliners far beyond her menstruating days for normal vaginal discharge or light incontinence. More research is needed to understand the potential health impacts of this ongoing exposure.

And it can be hard to know what your pantyliners are even made of in the first place because most pad and pantyliner packages don’t list ingredients. In short, you may know more about what’s in your shampoo or toothpaste than what’s in your pantyliner.



That’s why we’ve introduced 100% natural cotton pantyliners. Both the coversheet and absorbent core are nothing but 100% natural cotton. That’s great, because cotton has long been lauded for its natural breathability and its ability to wick moisture. And our cotton is not chlorine-bleached. That’s important because chlorine-bleaching processes can leave behind trace levels of dioxin, a known carcinogen.



It’s important to read labels even when comparing other natural brands. For the most part, most natural pantyliners contain wood pulp filler, which is absorbent, but is simply not naturally breathable cotton.

Why are so many conventional pantyliners made this way? We don’t know. But we think it may have to do with a lot of conversations that aren’t happening: conversations where consumers ask questions. After all, when was the last time you or your friends talked about which pads you use? Quite possibly never! This silence is understandable. As a society, we’ve been conditioned to be embarrassed about our periods.

Look How Far We’ve Come…

In the early days of disposable pads shopping, stores featured drop-boxes where women could place money so they wouldn’t have to speak to a clerk or take a box of pads from the counter themselves.

Back then, it was a wash-and-wear world where feminine hygiene was really about old cloths and pins. Then mid-century brought the advancement of the belt, famously lampooned in this Tina-Fey-penned Saturday Night Live skit. Let’s face it: Nobody loved the belt ;)



The latter part of the 20th Century brought a flurry of advancements in feminine protection, but not always with consideration for protecting a woman’s delicate vaginal balance topmost in mind.

Some brands of pads and pantyliners began incorporating super-absorbent additives to help them absorb more while staying as thin as possible. Kind of like disposable baby diapers. They also incorporated plastic material in their coversheets. You started seeing decorative inks and designs, kind of like with paper towels. Chemical perfumes were added, too. All of this likely had many benefits in terms of making the products more appealing to consumers. But the conversation seldom came up about what these materials meant for women’s bodies.

Needless to say, that’s a lot of plastic material close to your skin—in a place of the body that’s happiest when it gets to breathe.

If women do experience irritation, a study by Harris Interactive showed they’re likely to assume it’s a yeast infection, as opposed to wondering whether it could be from some chemical exposure, or from lack of breathability.

Today, the conversation is changing again—finally—as women are becoming more aware of the health benefits of natural cotton. We hope you’ll not only learn more about our products, but that you’ll also find the spirit to help your daughters, sisters and friends learn about the benefits as well.

Thank you for helping us carry on our mission of “improving the health and lives of women.”

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