If someone asked you to name what is in your tampon, what would you say? I'm guessing you'd probably say something like "fabric," or "cotton," or maybe even, "heck if I know." The fact is that the majority of us are putting things into our bodies that we don't necessarily know much about — which is even worse when you consider the fact that the FDA doesn't regulate tampon ingredients. Luckily, entrepreneurs Jordana Kier and Alex Friedman's startup LOLA has taken on the challenge of creating a more transparent feminine hygiene company. The two met in college and have been BFFs ever since running into each other over tampons: Friedman was involved in a student organization that stocked bathrooms with tampons, and Kier turned into one of their consumers.
LOLA is committed to offering 100 percent hypoallergenic cotton tampons that contain no additives, chemicals, or dyes. They're biodegradable, too, which also means they're good for the planet. The coolest part of LOLA is that it's a subscription based service, so tampons are delivered right to your door. The process is also customizable, so you can choose options that work best for you: You get to choose between 18 different products that range from light to super coverage, decide how many boxes of them you want, and even choose the frequency of the deliveries. You can change or modify your subscription at any time, making this service risk-free.
We should demand more for our vaginas than tampons with unknown ingredients, so a service like this is definitely needed. Even Kier and Friedman couldn't figure out what was in the tampons they used when they tried: "The more we started doing research around the ingredients and what was actually in the products, and the more we realized we couldn't figure it out," Kier told Cosmopolitan. She also said that because the cotton supply changes year to year, getting exact estimations is almost impossible. "I think Alex and I were shocked to realize we had never thought about this product that we've been using for many years."
If you want to try LOLA, you can get a one-box trial for a month before making a full commitment to the subscription. We also want to acknowledge the other menstrual product trailblazers that have been making waves in recent years, so if tampons aren't your thing or you want to try some other barrier breaking feminine hygeine products, here are three others to check out.
1. The Diva Cup
The Diva Cup is a simple and easy to use menstrual cup that allows you to save time and money on your period, while also being comfortable. The cup is made of silicone and involves a simple fold and release insertion; it can stay in place for up to 12 hours. The product was invented by a mother and daughter team who sought to make a menstrual product that was more properly designed for women's bodies and eased the process of menstruation.
If you've ever wished you could wear a pad that was reusable instead of having to constantly buy new ones, then Lunapad is definitely the innovative menstrual product for you. Lunapads are reusable pads that attach to your underwear, which means they will save you both time and money, while being environmentally friendly at the same time. They sell pads in all sizes, colors, and patterns; they even sell postpartum and pantyliner kits!
If you want to wear menstrual cups but are worried about spillage, you'll love FemmyCycle! This menstrual cup is designed to not spill no matter what weird angle you might take it out in, which saves you from the panic of making a huge mess. Since it attaches to and around your cervix, that blood isn't going anywhere but in the cup. Plus, you can reuse it for years!
Images: LOLA (3); DivaCup, Lunapads, FemmyCycle/Instagram