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Conventional pads Vs. Organic Cotton pads

Did you know that traditionally, period products such as pads and tampons have been made with synthetic, chemically produced materials?  Some modern pads, including ours, have made the switch over to cotton, but there are still plenty of big-name brands who still manufacture their pads with synthetic materials. 

When you’re thinking about what you’re really putting down there, and which product or brand to buy, it’s so important to know as much as possible.

For example, did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It’s also the thinnest, at less than 2.5mm. Your skin is also extremely permeable, but the skin in and around your vagina is especially so. In fact, the skin in your genital area is up to 42 times more permeable than other areas of your body! This means that chemicals that touch your skin down there can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream, and from there head straight to your other, delicate organs. Because we typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down, these chemicals can accumulate over the long term.

Why is this important? Because conventional synthetic pads can contain the equivalent of up to 4 plastic bags, which are full of chemicals! Consider all the plasticizing chemicals contained in plastic bags and potentially YOUR big-name brand pad or tampon – there are BPA and BPS, which disrupt embryonic development, and are linked to heart disease and cancer. You’ve heard of phthalates, right? Well, while these have been run out of the beauty and cosmetics industry, they’re used to give paper tampon applicators a smooth finish, and they’re also known to disrupt the regulation of gene expression in our bodies. Conventional pads can also contain other potentially hazardous ingredients such as fragrances and other odour neutralisers.

To demonstrate just how much plastic and chemicals are used in the manufacture of conventional pads compared to more natural ones, we put one big-name brand’s synthetic pad next to our natural one and set them on FIRE! Check out the difference in how they burn, and all the toxic smoke that the synthetic one spews out as it burns.



Did you see how the conventional synthetic pad was MELTING? That’s only going to happen if there are plasticised materials in there.

On top of all that, have you ever thought about how your pads and tampons are so brilliantly white? It’s because they’ve been bleached! And what’s the easiest and cheapest way to bleach? With chlorine, of course! And chlorine isn’t exactly the friendliest of chemicals for either you or the environment. It can create toxic dioxins and trihalomethane, and studies have shown that dioxin collects in your fatty tissues. This is no bueno, as some published reports show that even tiny levels of dioxin in the body may be linked to:

  • Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
  • Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
  • Immune system suppression
  • Hormonal and endocrine system disruption

How about the comfort factor? Well, synthetics and plastics restrict air flow, and they can also trap heat and dampness, making your intimate areas a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. And no one likes a damp feeling down there either!

Now, when it comes to COTTON, it has such great benefits! Check these out!

  • It’s a natural, more sustainable resource. It grows naturally, and after harvesting, it will grow again!
  • If you go for ORGANIC cotton, it is totally free of all the nasty chemicals we already talked about for synthetic pads and tampons. Just make sure you go for ORGANIC, because regular cotton is often sprayed with horrible pesticides or is GMO, and you don’t want that anywhere near your privates!
  • Cotton is more breathable and wicking, so it absorbs moisture away from your skin and allows it to breathe, reducing the chances of bacteria or yeast growth whilst improving air flow.

Lots of feminine hygiene brands are jumping on the cotton bandwagon these days, which is great! Women and girls have so many options to choose from. But while some of these brands will say their pads are made with cotton, they might not be organic, or they might only refer to the top-sheet (the part that touches your skin). This is a good step in the right direction, but we say it’s not enough. At Audrey Sun, we use ORGANIC cotton for our top-sheet, leak-barrier wings, AND the top layer of our absorbent core! Our cotton is also bleached with the TCF (Totally Chlorine-Free) method, meaning there is ZERO chlorine in our pads. We also have a natural pulp secondary core, for greater absorption! The top core adds comfort and provides quick absorption, and the secondary pulp layer ensures your flow is LOCKED DOWN!

So, at the end of the day, it’s really a no-brainer – if you want the best period pad for you (and your daughter too?), go for the natural option. The more natural and organic, the better for you and the environment.

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