That Time at Girls’ Night… [LOLA Review]

This post is sponsored by LOLA.

Warning: Once you read this blog post, you cannot unread it.

At a girls’ night not too long ago, the topic of tampons came up. I know, it was a little random, but both the wine and laughter were flowing, and I think it was related to doing Double-Unders at the gym and then who knows how the conversation ended up where it did. #girlsnight

Anyway, one of my friends ignited the conversation by asking the group: Do you KNOW what’s in tampons?!? With the way she said it, I was all ears because, honestly, I hadn’t thought much about tampons and my health. Her first point was that our epidermis (skin) in our largest organ, including our vaginas (male readers, if you haven’t left already, feel free to do so now) and anything that is in or on a tampon can easily be absorbed into our bodies. Yikes. I hadn’t thought about that. We chatted a little more about the topic, and, eventually, the conversation moved onto something else, but, of course, I was so intrigued about tampons and what I was putting into my body, I spent the next few days researching on my own. Here’s just a sampling of what I found:

  • The FDA does not require brands to disclose a comprehensive list of ingredients in their feminine care products, so most of them don’t.

  • Because tampons are considered medical devices (I know, right?), there’s no labeling requirement for ingredients. Even when you go to specific tampon brand websites looking for this information, it’s still not totally clear.

  • Major brands use a mix of synthetic ingredients in their tampons, including rayon and polyester – not just cotton. Their tampons may also be treated with harsh chemical cleansing agents, fragrance, and dyes.

Over the past year, I’ve been working to transition all of my beauty and bath products to ones that are more natural. The process started when a LEAP food sensitivities test revealed that I had a ton of chemical sensitivities. I had so many, I was actually pretty freaked out and immediately started making changes to my lifestyle habits. Nowadays, especially with an autoimmune disease and some wacky hormones, I’m so much more aware of just about everything that I put in and on my body.

Over the past several months, I’ve made the switch to natural skincare, makeup, hair products, soaps, deodorant (although, I’m still looking for the perfect one) as well as a number of household cleaners. Now that I know the truth about tampons, they’re the next product in my life to be swapped, so I’m especially happy to have found LOLA when I did.

LOLA products are simple, natural, and easy to feel good about. I was happy to see that the ingredients are clearly listed on the side of the box. The ones I use include just two ingredients: 100% organic cotton and BPA-free plastic for the applicator. LOLA also makes cardboard applicators, non-applicator tampons as well as pads and liners.

Another great thing about LOLA is that it makes life so much easier with their subscription service. No more running out at the last-minute for a box of tampons! Their subscription is fully customizable so you can choose your mix of light, regular, super, and super+ (or mix of day and night pads), your number of boxes, and frequency of delivery. LOLA’s subscription is also super flexible, so you can change, skip, or cancel at any time.

Pricing is $10 for 1 box of applicator tampons (or $18 for 2 boxes per month), which is a little more than I typically pay, but I often find myself shelling out the extra money with other beauty products and food, so why would tampons be any different? It’s definitely a purchase I feel good about.

Even though I received a LOLA box for free to review, I’ve since signed up for a reoccurring monthly subscription. After our chat at girls’ night and a bunch of my own personal research, it was a no-brainer. Plus, now that I know what I know, I can’t go back to using regular tampons.

If you’re interested in trying LOLA too, the first 100 readers to use the code Carrots on LOLA’s website will receive 50% off their order! The offer is only good for new customers and those in the continental US (unfortunately, LOLA does not ship to Hawaii or Alaska).

Question of the Day

Have you ever researched feminine care products? Are you as surprised as I was? 

42 Comments

  1. I switched to a Diva Cup a few years ago and have never looked back. I feel so much better about what I’m doing for the environment in addition to my body! I have sung my praises about them to all my girlfriends and coworkers.

    1. @Chelsea: Totally love the Diva Cup. I’m curious as to how it would fit into a “less chemicals” lifestyle–Tina, what do you think about that alternative??

    2. @Chelsea: I converted to the Diva Cup about a year ago and I’ll never go back either. I made the switch for all the same reasons–fewer chemicals. It took some figuring out at first but I’m so happy I did. For some reason, my period feels so much more natural with the Diva Cup than when I used tampons. And much fewer hassles!

    3. @Chelsea: YES! I was going to comment the same about the Diva cup. I LOVE IT! Sometimes I forget I even have my period with it in, which is an amazing feeling- that never happened with tampons or pads and I don’t have to feel as guilty about the amount of waste I am creating!!!

    4. Same here, switched to Diva cup about 2 years ago! I still carry tampon in my purse in case (in case my period start without warning), because the cup is not THAT convenient, but I love the cup, it’s the best decision ever and it save me a lot of money!

  2. It’s been an ongoing process for me to try to switch everything out starting with food, makeup, skincare, etc. it’s so discouraging that we have to seek out this information basically on our own and shell out a lot of extra money to be healthy! I agree though once you know the truths, you can never go back!!!! I may have to give LOLA a try!!

  3. I’ve seen the commercials for Lola, I just never really gave it any thought. I think I ignored Lola at first because I was worried they’d be solely applicator free. But now that I know they’re not, I may have to give them a try! You’re right, why cheap out on tampons? I mean, we are literally putting them inside us…seems kind of crazy now to not care about what’s in them!

  4. I use the Diva cup too. To me it just makes sense, less impact to the environment and I have found it works so much better for me on heavy days.

  5. Love this post because knowledge is power! I’ve become very aware of what I use and invest, this is no different when it comes to finding and using the best option.

  6. I second a menstrual cup! I use the blossom cup and am never going back to tampons. Life changing!!! So, so much easier, less changing, and no weird string hanging out. Plus, you never have to worry about having enough tampons with you and so much better for the environment.

  7. I’m reading this as I’m wearing a tampon and already planning to run out during lunch to buy some natural tampons!

  8. I also moved to the Diva Cup after lots of research and I must say after a bit of a learning curve its one of the best things I’ve ever done. After learning more about what they don’t tell you about tampons I was out. I highly recommend the diva cup or like products.

  9. Have you tried Native deoderant?? I am obsessed, and I swear I had tried every natural option out there and didn’t think any worked very well. Native is awesome!

  10. Is there a post (or could there be) of the all natural choices you have made? (what you use for household cleaners, deodarant, etc.)? I know you have probably have individual posts on each of these, but it would be awesome to have somewhere that lists them all! 🙂 I’m definitely going to try Lola!

  11. Love the information provided in this post about finding more natural and sustainable tampons, thank you!

    I’d like to point out though that while I know it’s supposed to be lighthearted, warning male readers to not read on really encourages shame around menstruation. You later mention that tampons are considered medical products, so why should we make it secretive? It’s a natural part of life for many people, and the lack of information in our products could be traced back to our lack of open discussion on this product.

    Also, not just women experience menstruation; dividing men and women into readers vs. people who may find this “icky” is not a great practice, and can also be really hurtful and excluding for trans* and intersex folks.

    I love that this post was presented with such great information, but going forward I think it’s important to consider how we can be more inclusive and also less ashamed about our bodies. Thank you! 🙂

      1. @Ann: Hi Ann!

        Transgender and queer folks experience menstruation–peoples’ gender identity does not always match up with their sex. I myself am not trans so I can’t speak to that experience, but from articles I’ve read it can often be a traumatic experience and very invalidating to someone struggling with identity, so it always helps to include all identities when we speak about menstruation. It’s something I need to educate myself about more as well, and reading accounts from people who have that experience I think is a great way to do so. Even just googling “trans menstruation” I found a few stories from folks sharing their experiences. Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. Agreed. The “male readers you might want to leave now” made me roll my eyes. It speaks to a level of immaturity and ignorance you wouldn’t expect from a woman who is almost 40.

    2. @Emily: I second this, and want to echo how important this conversation is, what great work Lola is doing, etc. So thank you for supporting and sharing! I’d encourage all of us (I’ve read warnings to “male readers” all the time on other blogs as well – it’s not just you) to think about this as a health issue that we all play an important part in supporting and learning more about. It’s easy to make offhanded comments without realizing the ways it can support a culture where only “women” talk about “women’s” health, and I encourage you to have these conversations on such a powerful tool as a widely read healthy living blog. Knowledge is power!

  12. Schmidt’s deodorant has worked for really well for my husband (a terrible sweater!) and for me. Try that one, if you haven’t already! 🙂

    1. @Mary: Yes- I second Schmidt’s- I love everything they have. It took me a while to get used to the original formula with baking soda so I got a few of the sensitive formulas and love those as well. I love the Lime/Bergamot and Rose/Vanilla original scents and the lavender and Jasmine sensitive scents. And their soaps Are awesome too. I got a free shipping code: SHIPITTOME. I get promotion codes emailed to me all the time.

  13. I have switched to the DIVA cup as well and would agree that it was a smart move! My sister did some convincing as I would grossed out by the idea, but I am sure glad I changed…..After you spend that initial $40 on a cup, you are not spending anymore. Worth the investment for your health and environment.

  14. I’m obsessed w/ Native deodorant. No other natural deodorants have ever worked for me until I came upon the Native brand!

  15. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, seventh generation and Whole Foods brand also have good natural tampons

  16. Echoing the comments above…saying things like “you cannot unread this post” and “male readers look away now” makes women’s health a taboo subject. If a man can’t read the word “vagina” without squirming and getting grossed out…it’s not really your problem, you know? Women (& people of varying gender identities) menstruate, we don’t need to be secretive about it. I’m posting this because I don’t really think this was your intention to come across this way. Your comments are probably totally harmless but they contribute to a big problem. That said, I really did like this post because I’ve been trying to switch to more natural products but never gave my tampons a second thought! I certainly will now, so thank you!

  17. I agree with Abby, we shouldn’t apologize for having a vagina and periods. They are a natural part of life. That being said, I am very guilty of treating both as offensive subjects and that is just depressing to write.

  18. Highly, HIGHLY recommend a menstrual cup. They are made from completely natural rubber, have no chemicals, don’t produce any waste, and they are easy and comfortable.

  19. I second Native deodorant! It’s been a year and it hasn’t stopped working yet. Also, tmi but do they leave any fibers behind like some other organic brands? what about absorbency? I’ve felt pretty self-conscious about the subpar absorbency that other organic brands have offered. So hard having to sacrifice performance for health!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest posts to your inbox!

    I respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.