Sanitary pads, towels, liners and tampons are all things that many people who menstruate will be very familiar with, but how many people are aware that conventional products like these aren’t actually all that natural or safe to use? It wasn’t really something I even thought about until my forays into veganism and trying to find more ethical and in some cases natural alternatives to things, but I eventually realised that all these things I’d been sticking in my pants and shoving up me contained a whole host of chemicals that, while not necessarily explicitly dangerous, weren’t exactly good for me either.
This was part of why I chose to switch to the Moon Cup a few months ago. Pads can contain chemicals often associated with plastics and can be bleached to create the pristine white that we associate with hygiene and cleanliness, and most who use tampons are well aware of the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from them – menstrual cups, on the other hand, are much friendlier to the body (and environment) than well-known sanitary care brands.
Of course, menstrual cups aren’t everyone’s cup (ha) of tea and not everyone is able to use them even if they’d like to. Luckily though, they’re not the only alternative and there are more natural and ethical options available in your average stores for pad and tampon users, too!
Veeda is a brand that produces 100% natural cotton, hypoallergenic sanitary pads and tampons that contain no chemicals, dyes or synthetics. Natural alternatives to the usual menstrual hygiene products are often rarer and, when you do find them, much more expensive, so Veeda strive to provide affordable, high quality products that are produced in ethically and eco-friendly ways. They’re also a brand that gives back to the community, aiming to donate one million tampons each year to women’s organisations (did you know that it’s often the poorest and most vulnerable people to who aren’t able to access things like these when menstruating?), and they’ve also created their own care fund and work with The Teen Project and Freehab, an LA-based free, residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre for young people exiting foster care and into homelessness.
Veeda were kind enough to send me a couple of samples to try out – their brand sounds great on paper, but what about their products?
Since I started using my Moon Cup my period has been so light that I don’t really need to use it at night (and since the issues I have with it and peeing, I don’t like wearing it at night either as I constantly get up to go to the loo) so I was pretty happy to have received 12 Ultra Thin Night Towels* with wings. I prefer pads with wings as I find this is generally safer with regards to leakage, and I find them more comfortable for wearing at night. These are made of a blend of absorbent cellulose fluff and they have a furrowed design to trap liquids, without the need for absorbent chemicals and other synthetic stuff that more popular brands use in their pads. So, no weird blue patterns on the inside of them! At £2.49 for 12 pads, it’s obviously not the cheapest option on the market, but given that they would be safe for most people to use thanks to the fact that they’re hypoallergenic and fragrance free, for many I’d imagine it’s a small price to pay and they are still a (generally) affordable price for most. I was honestly thrilled to open one up and to not be hit by an intense waft of awful perfume like so many brands now seem to insist on – honestly people, I don’t want my damn vagina to smell like a summer’s meadow and I dread to think what those fragrances are doing to my junk, either.
I used the pads a few nights during my last cycle and was very pleased with them. They’re very comfortable compared to other brands I’ve used in the past and they didn’t leak at all, but then I do have a very light flow at the moment so someone with heavier periods would probably want to look into their other pad options.
I also received a pack of 16 Regular Cotton Tampons*, also made from 100% natural cotton. Again, these are hypoallergenic and fragrance free, but it’s worth noting that they also don’t come with applicators, so if you need an applicator to insert your tampons then these may not be for you. They have a thin removal string to better prevent leaks and they expand in width rather than length for a better fit for your shape and to stop leaks (which using other tampons I have had issues with in the past). I haven’t tried these as I’m currently avoiding using tampons now that I’ve switched to a menstrual cup, but I’m nonetheless impressed with the product description and the brand and will either be saving these for emergencies or gifting them to a friend to try. At £1.85 for the whole pack, they’re definitely affordable and well worth the money compared to cheaper, chemical-laced tampons, but they are still tampons and still come with the usual warnings about TSS so please make sure you’re careful and still follow the instructions and maximum wear times. Natural tampons are certainly better, but any tampon could still cause TSS!
Both of these products are also biodegradable, which can’t be said for a lot of other sanitary products and it’s great to know that they won’t be contributing to any awful landfills or screwing up the environment after use.
I’m very impressed with Veeda’s products - they don’t break the bank and I’m also really pleased that I now know I have other excellent accessible, natural and more environmentally friendly options out there for when I’m not feeling my Moon Cup!
Have you ever tried natural cotton menstrual products? If so, got any recommendations?
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