Women have been menstruating for, like, ever, but the feminine care industry has advanced at a glacial pace. Okay, so we don’t create tampons out of wood wrapped in lint as the Ancient Greeks did, but there hasn’t been much innovation since Gertrude Tendrich started the Tampax company in 1933. Until now, that is.
Yes, there’s a revolution happening – a revolution in period products.
From period-proof underwear to menstrual pain blockers, companies are changing the period game on the daily. And this is just the start. These new period products are already on the market, but rumours of a tampon that can test for disease and a Bluetooth-enabled tampon monitor abound. On that note, keep reading to check out an epic list of the period products disrupting the industry as we know it.
Picture this: You get your period, slip into some super-comfortable underwear, and go about your day, no tampon needed. Thanks to technology, that day has arrived.
New York-based company THINX is just one brand on the cutting-edge of period products. Customers first pick the style that suits their needs. There are six silhouettes to choose from, ranging from hip-huggers to thongs. (Yes, thongs! No stone left unturned here.) Each piece is fitted with four high-tech layers, making the underwear “anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant.” While THINX panties are designed to hold up to two tampons’ worth of blood, during heavy flow days, most reviewers agree you’d be wise to consider the panties a backup, rather than a tampon replacement.
If you love staying active, Dear Kate should be on your radar. Dear Kate makes period-proof underwear and activewear so you can keep up with your on-the-go lifestyle, period be damned. Again, the technology here is pretty ground-breaking. Dear Kate lines all its products – from leggings to underwear to leotards – with its trademarked moisture-wicking, leak-resistant technology. What makes Dear Kate a genuinely cutting-edge company, though, is the fact it makes its products for every woman. Dear Kate’s unique Curve collection creates underwear and activewear in sizes 16 to 26.
If you’ve ever opted to stay “high and dry” during your period, say hello to PantyProp. The company makes period-proof swimwear (among other products) that allows you to hit the beach or the pool and say goodbye to period-induced FOMO forever. Whether you choose a one-piece, bikini set or skinsuit, it will come with a built-in absorbent liner and leak-proof technology. On heavy days, you’ll need to couple your swimsuit with a tampon, but you’ll still be able to hit the beach as you should: in comfort, with style.
Menstrual pain blockers
Any woman who has experienced menstrual pain will tell you it’s no walk in the park. Whether it’s mild or wild, one thing is certain: if you could do away with it, you would. And now you can. Put away the pain relief. Toss aside your hot water bottle. Uncurl from the foetal position. Livia is here to rid your life of period pain – all with the press of a button. The wearable device features two gel pads, which you attach to the areas where you feel the most pain. The device then emits pulses which stimulate the nerves, effectively closing the “pain gates” and blocking the pain out. Like many smart tech companies do, Livia has created a device that is as stylish as it is practical; users can buy USB charging cables, flower-shaped gel pads, colourful covers, and travel cases to boot.
You already know about tampons, pads and cups. Now it’s time to become familiar with menstrual discs. The Flex Company makes disposable discs that comfortably form to the shape of your body, sitting just past the vaginal canal. That’s one perk. Here’s another: A Flex disc will last up to 12 hours, mess-free. Plus, unlike tampons, discs are the only internally-worn menstrual product on the market not linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Not only is a Flex disc great for your body – they’re hypoallergenic, BPA- and phthalate-free, and made without natural rubber latex or silicone – but it’s also great for you. Flex reports up to 70% of women who use a disc notice less cramping than with a tampon. Plus, a disc is the only period product you can wear while having sex. The list goes on, but it’s safe to say we love this women-led company.
Organic period products
While some start-ups are creating new period products, others are working to rethink traditional products. Check them out.
Lola is one such company. The New York-based company was launched back in 2014 when founders Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman realised they had no clue what was inside a tampon. When their research revealed that feminine care companies in the USA weren’t required to disclose their ingredients, the idea for Lola was born. The company is transparent about its ethos: to create simple products, without toxins, dyes and synthetics. In fact, Lola tampons and pads feature just one ingredient: organic cotton. That’s the good news. The even better news is that Lola offers a subscription-based service to its customers. For now, the company only ships to the USA, but you can sign up for shipping expansion announcements on the site.
If you’re in the United Kingdom, TOTM (Time of the Month) is here for you. The company creates 100% organic pads, tampons and liners, and delivers them to your door as and when you need them. A hypoallergenic period cup is also coming soon. (Stay tuned.) All TOTM products are vegan-friendly (i.e. they are produced without animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients, and they’re not tested on animals) and biodegradable, which helps to reduce landfill waste. As if these weren’t reasons enough to sign up to TOTM, the company also donates 10p to Endometriosis UK for every box bought.
Speaking of giving back, Cora is another company that is disrupting feminine care at home and around the world. Cora makes organic period products including tampons and liners. You can start with a free trial, and once you’ve found the right products for you, set up a regular subscription. For every monthly supply you purchase, Cora will provide a month’s supply of pads and health education to a girl in need in Kenya and India. Given that 300 million girls and women around the world use rags, plastic, sand and ash to manage their periods, we can’t think of a better way to play your part in making the world a better place.
Get the scoop, straight from Stylish 365: