February 9, 2018
By: Ashley Carvalho
Hands up if is this you: You buy organic produce and you’re well into swapping your beauty and skincare products over to natural. Nice work! But, here’s a tougher one. Have you considered the ingredients in your monthly use of tampons? Who just lowered their hands???
Up until recently, we did too. So, mind if we talk vaginas for a sec?
The nature of our vaginas is to quickly absorb anything placed inside them. This is due to our vaginal tissue being lined with a very permeable mucous membrane. These membranes are filled with blood vessels, which allow any chemical they are exposed to to be easily absorbed into your bloodstream. Got it.
But shockingly, the FDA does not regulate the ingredients used in feminine hygiene products and the ingredients don’t have to be listed on the label or disclosed by the company. (This is because the FDA considers tampons to be a cosmetic product, and don’t get us fired up on the fact that cosmetics are not regulated!)
The materials used to produce conventional tampons are often grown using harsh chemicals — (reminder, these are easily absorbed into your body when placed up there.) Some of the common nasties found in traditional pads and tampons include pesticides and herbicides, rayon, dioxin, fragrance, chlorine and even BPA. These toxins can contribute to an array of health risks, including TSS, increased bleeding and even worsened PMS symptoms. Long term exposure can cause endometriosis, immune system suppression and, unfortunately, has been linked to cancer.
And… we use these, in multiples, monthly??
Because of this, we jumped on the organic tampon train and have carried toxic free cotton tampons in Shop Good for years! But, we never stop researching. We knew there had to be a more sustainable, cost effective and less-wasteful option. So, we found you an even better alternative.
Hi, Sea Sponges!
Did your jaw just drop? Hear us out!
Sea sponges are plant-like organisms that grow in colonies in the ocean, similar to coral. When sea sponges are harvested, divers leave a small piece of the sponge behind so that it can regrow. This makes sea sponges a very renewable resource, and of course, completely natural and free from any chemicals or synthetic fibers.
Here’s some more fun facts about these surprising tampon alternatives:
- Sea sponges are naturally absorbent and contain enzymes that discourage odors and bacteria growth.
- Rather than containing unhealthy byproducts like pesticides and dioxins, sea sponges contain beneficial sea minerals.
- They are extremely comfortable — they form to your body, come in various sizes and can even be cut with scissors to create that perfect fit.
- They are reusable and kind to the earth. You can reuse your sea sponge for up to 3-6 months! (compared to throwing away the traditional disposable type)
- Sea sponges can even be worn during sex when you’re on your period.
OK. How to use — aka what you’re all wondering at this point:
- Wet the sponge with water and squeeze it to make sure it’s softened.
- Simply insert the sponge into your vaginal walls until you no longer feel it. If you can still feel the sponge, it’s probably not in far enough.
- Enjoy the comfort and barely-there feel of the sponge for up to 12 hours wear time. (we’re serious!)
NEXT. Cleaning directions — aka, what you’re asking yourself next:
Sea Pearls can be rinsed and reused multiple times and do not need to be sanitized after each use. We recommend that you clean your sponge:
- Prior to use for the first time
- Once daily or every other day
- If the sponge develops an unpleasant odor
- Prior to storing (sponges should be completely dry before storage!)
Use a natural chemical-free soap like this one or soak for 5-10 minutes in a cup of warm water with a few drops of tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or baking soda. Afterwards, simply rinse and squeeze out any access water.
Side note: Do not boil your sponge! Boiling shrinks and toughens sea sponges. Do not use harsh soaps or chemicals! Do not soak your sponges longer than the recommended time as it could cause the sponge to deteriorate faster.
So, ladies, who’s with us?! The Shop Good team is ready to support you… and a couple of us are on this journey with you as first time users! You can grab your first pack of the Jade & Pearl Sea Pearls here or come in to the shop and chat about it with one of our wellness experts! As always, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram if you have any questions at all!!