Okay, so we’ve already heard about the incredible benefits that come from eating organic produce and using organic skin care products, but a growing number of period manufacturers are now also offering organic options for sanitary pads. Is this something we should consider using, or is it simply just another health-focused marketing strategy?
If you’ve ever wondered if you should use organic pads, then you came to the right place! In this article, we will dive into everything you need to know about these innovative sanitary pads and why you should make the switch to go organic today.
What’s The Difference Between Organic and Non-Organic Feminine Hygiene Products?
First things first -- what exactly is the difference between organic tampons and nonorganic pads, anyway?
Traditional pads that most women are accustomed to are made with either traditionally grown cotton (meaning insecticides and pesticides were used), synthetic rayon (which helps with absorbency), or a blend of both rayon and cotton.
The cotton is treated with bleach and as well as chlorine to give it that super-white color, and on top of that, harsh fragrances are usually added to help control odor. Think about it, all these harmful chemicals can (and will) be absorbed by your body. In fact, vaginas are very good at absorbing really anything you put in them. This is why some medicines are designed specifically for vaginal use.
On the other hand, organic pads use organic cotton that has been grown either without any pesticides or with only organic pesticides. In addition, organic pads are also free of artificial fragrances - thank goodness!
How does the production process work?
Great question! The rayon commonly used in traditional tampons is actually made from cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp. Up until the late 1990s, sanitary pad manufacturers would bleach the wood pulp, which would introduce small trace amounts of dioxins into the material. (More on dioxins later!)
Today, rayon is produced using elemental chlorine-free and sometimes even totally chlorine-free bleaching processes, significantly reducing the production of dioxins but not eliminating it entirely. However, according to experts, no amount of dioxin exposure is considered safe and should be avoided at all costs.
Organic cotton is also bleached but with peroxide -- which is a much safer bleaching method.
What Are the Benefits of Using Organic Pads?
By now, you hopefully understand the basic differences between organic pads and nonorganic pads, but what exactly are the benefits of “going green,” and why should women make the switch to organic cotton?
Well, there are actually a ton of benefits of making the switch to organic pads -- here are a few of them:
Organic Pads Are Better For Your Body
Traditional menstrual pads contain chemicals called dioxins that are created by the bleaching process used to make the material look bright-white. However, this is extremely alarming because exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer. According to the World Health Organization, dioxins can also cause hormone issues, trouble with your immune system, reproductive issues such as painful periods and endometriosis, as well as developmental problems.
When you use traditional pads with these hazardous chemicals, the absorbent tissues of your vagina can introduce them to your bloodstream.
Fragrances and other harsh chemicals in standard pads can also cause irritation and hormone disruption - no thanks!
Organic Pads Are Breathable
Unlike traditional pads composed of horrible manmade fibers, organic pads made with organic cotton allow your skin to breathe while keeping you dry -- all thanks to an absorbent cellulose core. This softer material also reduces the risk of pesky allergies and skin irritation that can result from the plastic content of standard pads. You will also have a much lower risk for fungal and bacterial infections that can result when airflow is limited to this sensitive area.
Organic Pads Are Safer for Wildlife
Eco-friendly period products, like organic pads made of organic cotton, can make a serious positive impact on the health of the Earth. According to experts, non-organic pads can take up to a whopping 800 to 1,000,000 years to fully decompose, compared to just 2 years for organic cotton pads.
In addition, organic cotton farming doesn’t require the use of any pesticides that kill off native bees, insects, and birds, who play a significant role in our ecosystem. Some of these harmful pesticides also break down into synthetic estrogen, which is associated with reproductive issues and even infertility.
Organic pads also use significantly less energy, and water for manufacturing standard pads do, and many versions are compostable and biodegradable.
Organic Pads Are Healthy and Affordable
The cost of organic pads is honestly really comparable to the cost of standard pads, but without the potential risk of skin irritation and the staggering environmental damage!
Since pure organic cotton is so absorbent, many women find that they can use fewer pads for each period. This makes organic pads a cost-effective solution for your monthly time-of-month.
Organic Pads Stay Comfortable All Day Long
Believe it or not, conventional pads are mostly made up of plastic, with very little or no cotton content. The resulting fabric can feel rough against your skin and contribute to rashes and itchiness.
If you find conventional pads to be uncomfortable, organic pads could be a better option for all-day wear -- even overnight.
Far from bulky, these soft, innovative pads won’t show under your clothes and will barely be noticeable as you go about your busy day. Styles with wings prevent leaks that can damage your clothes, while expanded versions are available for effective bedtime use.
Organic Pads Are Better For The Environment
Organic pads are primarily made with -- you guessed it -- organic cotton! Organic cotton farming works with nature, not against it. Harmful herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides aren’t used, so dangerous chemicals don’t leach into waterways, and soil life is well-protected.
Organic Pads Are Fully Biodegradable
Since organic pads are made from only natural cotton, they are fully biodegradable. After use, you can simply toss your used organic pad into the trash, knowing that they will return to nature without leaching any harsh chemicals or plastic particles into the ground or ocean.
How Do Organic Pads Compare To the Absorbency of Conventional Pads?
Okay, so here comes the trickiest thing about the difference between using organic pads and synthetic ones. Lots of women found the wetness factor to be a little more noticeable while using organic pads compared to the synthetic ones.
This tends to make us think that organic pads are not absorbent enough, but the truth is that they are actually much more absorbent than synthetic materials.
So why the wetness? Well, it’s because of the nature of organic cotton, the surface of a pure organic cotton pad can’t be perforated like the synthetic fabrics. You see, conventional pads made with synthetic fiber have a perforated surface, which happens to absorb a touch faster than the organic cotton pads.
So, even though a pad that is made with organic can absorb a lot more of your flow, some women may feel the need to change it a little more than the synthetic ones.
A Final Word
So, why use organic pads, you ask?
Well, for starters, organic pads like the ones from Rael are made with 100% cotton and absolutely no synthetic additives or harmful chemicals. This means that you can safely use your pad without worrying about your most sensitive region absorbing harsh ingredients. Additionally, since organic pads are made from pure cotton, they are fully biodegradable and won’t end up polluting one of our many beautiful oceans.
The next time you’re shopping for pads, consider purchasing from Rael -- we have a true passion for making a positive impact on the Earth. Periods are natural, and so is Rael.
If you’re looking for a step further toward natural sustainability, check out Rael’s organic cotton reusable pads here.