10 Next-Level Feminine Health Products (Your V Will Thank You)
You've probably noticed the tidal wave of new and improved feminine health products. Whether you're scrolling through Instagram, reading mindbodygreen, or moseying around CVS, you don't have to search for long to find organic pads and tampons or fragrance-free feminine wipes and washes.
And it's about time! Women's health products have been neglected for years. Did you also know that tampon companies aren't required to actually disclose what ingredients they use? This means they could include things like dioxins (from the cotton bleaching process), synthetic fibers, and even petrochemical additives. This doesn't mean all your feminine care products are toxic, but it does shine a light on some pretty serious issues with transparency.
I don't know about you, but I think I have a right to know what's going in, on, and around my body—especially in, on, and around that part of my body. And that's why these new brands that are transparent about their ingredients, standards, and practices are so exciting. There's no doubt about it, these 10 next-level feminine and sexual health products will make you wonder how you ever lived without them.
1. Rael feminine wash
The vagina has built-in self-cleaning mechanisms, so there's no need for douching, scrubbing, or putting pretty much anything up there. In fact, these practices can actually disrupt the pH balance and cause issues like yeast infections. Plus, unless you have an infection, there's nothing wrong with your vagina having some sort of odor—everyone's vagina smells a little different, and it can change throughout your cycle. That's 100 percent OK. For vulvar care, experts recommend a simple soap and water combo. This RAEL Feminine Wash, ($9.50), that is hypoallergenic, pH balanced, and free of any artificial fragrances is amazingly foamy and soothing and is likely even gentler than the soap or body wash you're currently using. Expert tip: RAEL also makes some pretty luxurious sheet masks and acne healing patches that are worth a gander.
2. Dr. Kerklaan PMS cream
Step aside, NSAIDS. Cannabis-based remedies are becoming more popular by the minute for pain, anxiety, and, yes, menstrual cramps too. This Dr. Kerklaan PMS Cream ($65)—made with a full-spectrum extract of organically grown hemp—is specifically designed for inflammation, bloating, and pain and tension associated with your period. It's non-psychoactive, pH balanced, paraben- and sulfate-free, cruelty-free...and it smells like vanilla. Need I say more?
3. LOLA lubricated condoms
OK, so these aren't just for women, but we can definitely take advantage of condoms that are made without potentially harmful chemicals like nitrosamines. As one of the leaders in the organic tampon movement, LOLA has started expanding into other personal care items as well. Their new condoms ($10 for a box) are made with natural rubber latex and lubricated with 100 percent locally sourced, medical-grade silicone oil.
4. Cora organic pads
If you prefer pads to tampons, you have a lot of brands to choose from. Cora makes organic pads in regular and overnight versions that are "powerfully absorbent yet mind-blowingly thin." They're available by subscription, and you can customize your order to how long your period typically lasts and how often you switch them out. Cheers to never running out of pads again!
5. Queen V bombshell bath bombs
These fragrance-free, cruelty-free, gynecologist-recommended bath bombs ($9 for a pack of three) are formulated with ingredients—like sweet orange, rosemary oil, and magnesium sulfate—aimed to relieve menstrual discomfort and soothe your body. In fact, supplementing with magnesium has been shown to improve menstrual cramps in multiple research studies. It also has a beneficial effect on sleep and mood, making it the perfect supplement for that time of the month. These bath bombs won't contain a proper dose of magnesium to get these kinds of results—I'd suggest looking into an actual magnesium supplement for that—but it's a start if you're in need of a little extra self-care.
6. Menstrual cups and discs
Menstrual cups are also one of the newest innovations in women's health products. They're meant to simplify your life and cut down on the environmental impact of all those tampons and pads. This one from Lunette ($39) is made from natural, medical-grade silicone. It is reusable, BPA-free, and contains no chemicals—a great choice for your bank account and the environment. Another option is this FLEX disc ($15 for your first box), a tampon alternative that lasts up to 12 hours (it holds five tampons' worth of liquid), reduces period cramps, and even allows you to have sex during your period without any leakage (because unlike a menstrual cup, it sits in the widest part of the vagina, called the fornix).
7. Moon Cycle essential oil roll-on
When you're on your period, there's a lot to deal with. And you're not typically in the head space to deal with it all. This Moon Cycle essential oil blend ($19.95) from Saje Wellness is formulated with geranium, Roman chamomile, and lavender to help ease period cramps and uplift your mood. I apply this to my belly and lower back, and it just makes me feel better. Combined with my heating pad, it's one of my favorite self-care rituals. You can also add seven to 12 drops to a full bath.
8. Thinx period-proof underwear
Thinx is everywhere. They're the first period-proof underwear that actually reduces or eliminates your need for tampons, pads, menstrual cups altogether. They're made with four layers to protect you from leakage and keep things dry, including an antimicrobial lining, a moisture-wicking cotton layer, absorbent fabric, and finally, a leak-resistant barrier. One pair is about $30, and you can tailor a set to your cycle as well.
9. FORIA CBD-infused female lubricant
Lubricants are also on the list of items that can contain unsavory characters like paragons and synthetic fragrances. This lubricant from FORIA, $48—based in organic coconut MCT oil—is infused with CBD from organically grown Colorado hemp, one of the main non-psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant. It's known for fighting inflammation and promoting relaxation. In other words, it's designed specifically for women to enhance pleasure and promote relaxation.
10. SHE. organic tampons
Founded by three sisters in California, SHE. is another contender for "best tampons in the world." They're made from 100 percent organic cotton—without chemicals, fragrances, synthetics, or dyes—and have a thin BPA-free applicator. You can create a customized subscription that is delivered monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly.
So whether you're a Midol loyalist or can't stop telling random people about how much you love your menstrual cup, however you decide to tackle the logistics of your period and the symptoms that come with it is totally up to you. That said, it's nice to know that we have so many more options than we did 10 years ago—and many of these new companies seem to be prioritizing the health of our bodies and the planet. That's something worth celebrating, even if you're bloated, dead tired, and crampy. Now, if we could only tackle that tampon tax...