While reading this blog, you may be in disbelief about the toxic ingredients in your feminine hygiene products. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of the dangerous chemicals in products that are supposed to keep down there healthy and clean. Being careful about what foods you eat is just as crucial to your health as the products you use on your bodies, if not more. Studies report that toxins absorbed through the body are worse than when consumed through eating or drinking. This could be because the absorption via the skin, which is porous, happens at a higher rate and leads directly to our bloodstream, unlike eating or drinking, where enzymes in the saliva and stomach help to break it down and lessens the damage. 

It is time to pay attention and know what you are putting on your body to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals in your everyday or monthly feminine hygiene products. Our Kusahe promise to you is we strive to never use harmful and synthetic ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, alcohol*, glycerin, toxic perfumes, dyes, EDTA, SLS, phthalates, or any other ingredients you can’t pronounce.  

Common Toxic Ingredients

Some toxic ingredients, such as phthalates, parabens, and bisphenols, are more common than most. Still, there needs to be more research on exposure and its effects on feminine health. Feminine hygiene products like tampons tend to have multiple toxic ingredients, most of which are not disclosed anywhere on the packaging or ingredients list. We have chosen 3 ingredients,

  • Phthalate
  • Fragrance
  • Parabens

But there are many more that you should know about that are just as concerning, such as GMOs, chlorine bleach, soaps, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). 

Phthalate

Phthalates or phthalates esters are used as plasticizers in the manufacturing of plastics. And they are also used in hygiene products such as feminine washes and sanitary napkins. In the research article, Feminine Hygiene Products - A Neglected Source of Phthalate Exposure in Women, Gao et al. (2020) explain how the occurrence of phthalates is rarely reported in feminine hygiene despite being associated with reproductive toxicity and precocious puberty in females. The researchers (2020) further highlight that in sanitary napkins, the phthalate may result from the plastic materials used on the top and bottom layers and the hot melt adhesive used during the manufacturing process. 

Common Side Effects  

  • Vaginal Health - reproductive toxicity and precocious puberty.
  • Women’s Overall Health - type II diabetes and insulin resistance, overweight/obesity, allergy, & asthma. 
Fragrance

Synthetic fragrances and perfumes are common ingredients in many feminine hygiene products to mask unpleasant smells. It can be found in wipes, deodorants, tampons, feminine washes, pads, and douches. But the fragrant products are full of chemicals that are dangerous to your overall and vaginal health. Many OBGYNs, including our co-founder, Dr. Barb, advise against using vaginal products with fragrances because they do more harm than good. Your vagina is not supposed to smell like roses or anything fruity. Trying to make that happen can result in severe allergic reactions and vaginal health issues. 

Common Side Effects  

  • Vaginal Health - endocrine disruption, vaginitis, inflammation, yeast infections, cancer, birth defects, dryness, & infertility. 
  • Women’s Overall Health - pain, itchiness, hormonal disruption, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulties, migraine headaches, neurotoxicity, mucosal symptoms, & contact dermatitis.
Parabens

Parabens are widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. They are common in many feminine hygiene products such as wipes, panty liners, tampons, pads, deodorant sprays and powders, and bactericidal creams and solutions because they are active against many fungi and bacteria. High concentrations may lead to contact dermatitis, severe allergic reactions, and skin irritation. 

Common Side Effects  

  • Vaginal Health -  endocrine disruption,  & allergic rash.
  • Women’s Overall Health - increased risk of breast cancer, allergic reactions, dermatitis, & skin irritation.

Find yourself having reactions to certain feminine hygiene products; you may be allergic to the toxins in them. As you read the 3 toxic ingredients we chose to highlight, feel free to do your own research on what ingredients are in your hygiene products and what alternatives you can safely use because there are hundreds of toxic ingredients (often undisclosed in the ingredients list) that can be found in tampons, feminine washes, wipes, spray, suppositories, douches, and more. At Kushae, we strive to find the best, all-natural, effective, and gentle ingredients. Suppose we cannot find an all-natural ingredient that works the best. In that case, we will use the safest and most effective alternative for our female hygiene products. We continuously strive to provide you with feminine hygiene products that you can trust and do not disrupt your pH balance for a better personal care routine.

Reference

Gao, C. J., Wang, F., Shen, H. M., Kannan, K., & Guo, Y. (2020). Feminine Hygiene Products-A Neglected Source of Phthalate Exposure in Women. Environmental science & technology, 54(2), 930–937. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b03927

January 18, 2023 — Kushae Fulfillment

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.