#ELLERecommends: I Tried 7 Period Products From Homegrown Brands And Here’s How It Helped Me
Some of these are game-changers
There seems to be a sudden burst of variety in products for the five days that you bleed—sustainable pads, tampons with applicators, pain relief patches and roll-ons, menstrual cups, and so much more. In the last couple of months, I gave a few new things a try. My periods are a tad heavy, with few tummy cramps now and then, and here’s my experience.
Say goodbye to old school and electric hot water bags. Nua’s Cramp Comfort is the next step in the evolution of heating bags and made it straight to my period essentials. It’s literally a self-heating patch that you place on your panties and does exactly what your bulky water bag does. Cramp Comfort helped ease my cramps and easy to use and dispose of.
The patches are air-activated, which means they begin to emit heat upon contact with the atmosphere. So be sure to open it only when you’re ready to use it. Cramp Comfort lasted for up to 8 hours, and I was impressed that the heat was consistent throughout. The patches are made of all-natural ingredients like iron, vermiculite (clay), activated carbon, and natural salt. Don’t you just love science?!
I also used Nua’s sanitary napkins, which come in three variants—light flow, regular flow and heavy flow. They are thin, did not itch or cause a rash, and did the job quite well. Each napkin comes with a disposal cover (something the mass-market brands don’t offer), which comes in handy when you’re outdoors. My only grouse—the variants are colour-coded in terms of design, but the light flow and heavy flow are just lighter and deeper shades of red, which makes it a tad tough to distinguish when you’re in a code-red period emergency.
Carmesi’s sanitary napkins come with a certified 100% rash-free claim, which it upheld, in my experience. I tried the sanitary napkins as well as panty liners—both stayed firmly in their place, were absorbent, and did not leak or leave me with that uncomfortable feeling of a wet sanitary napkin. Each pad comes with an individual disposable cover—a big plus.
The pad’s top layer is plant-based (corn fibre), which may be why Carmesi’s unused sanitary napkins don’t stay well in the pack. I had misplaced my half-used packet and found it after a year of purchase and didn’t think twice before using it. Unfortunately, the pad literally disintegrated—the wings came off like paper, the part that was stuck to the panty stubbornly refused to come off! If you know you will use the entire pack in a short span of time, I’d say Carmesi is a decent option.
Sirona’s pain relief patches became a must-have in my period essentials after the first time I tried it. Essentially, it looks like a large band-aid, which you apply directly over the skin, be it your lower abdomen or back or any other body part that doesn’t cooperate with you during shark week. Its cooling properties made a significant difference in instantly alleviating my period pain.
The herbal ingredients (menthol and eucalyptus oil) give off a mild, soothing fragrance, but it’s still discreet enough so that no one can tell you’re wearing it. You can keep it on overnight—I’ve used it for 8-9 hours, and it was effective till the end. I’ve tried a couple of other general pain relief patches but removing them turned out like getting a particularly painful waxing session! Sirona patches remain intact while in use and also come off easily enough. If you’re on the hairier side, wetting the patch and skin around it while taking it off will help.
Sirona also offers something I didn’t know I could buy—two types of disposal bags for period products. The ‘I Love Clean’ bags are sealable, thin, and easily fit into a clutch or handbag. They are odour-concealing, leak-proof, tamper-proof and OXO-biodegradable. My experience says that both are exceedingly effective and super handy when you’re out of the home.
Having used American brands’ tampons with applicators (super user-friendly), I was excited to try Sirona’s. And I wasn’t disappointed—these are on par with internationally retailed tampons—my period kit is incomplete without it.
Noraa scores big on sustainability—its products biodegrade completely in six months, are made from organic cotton, corn starch, virgin pulp and bamboo, and are without any plastic or chemical glues. If that makes you doubt the product performance, I’m stoked to say that the sanitary napkins perform just as well as the mass-market options. Like many homegrown brands, Noraa’s pads and panty liners also come in individual disposable packets. However, the liners are packed vertically, so bear in mind that they won’t really fit into a jeans pocket the way some others do.