When I first started reading labels and researching what’s in the products that we put on and in our bodies, I knew that food and beauty products were the logical things to focus on at first. It never occurred to me that the feminine and sexual health products I was using could be just as (if not more) problematic.
I never even considered the possibility that the tampons, pads, pantyliners, and lube I was using contained pesticides, irritants (uh hello, fragrance in feminine products?!), hormone disruptors, petrochemicals, and substances that enhance the absorption of these already less-than-stellar ingredients. But the reality is that the vast majority of commercial brands DO contain these harmful ingredients. The FDA doesn’t require menstrual hygiene product manufacturers to disclose their full ingredient list or even conduct testing to determine the long-term effects of their products on our bodies. Adding insult to injury is the fact that our vaginas are the most absorbent part of the female body. Yep, it’s true.
So recently when I went off hormonal birth control (that’s a whole other story – and I am 100% for respecting each woman’s individual choice on the matter, I know that hormonal birth control is absolutely non-negotiable for some women) I knew that I wanted to look up some natural options for condoms for fertile days, nontoxic lube, and period products. Sustain Natural was the obvious choice for me and I’m really excited to share my experience with many of their products.
First, a little background about their story. Sustain was founded by the daughter of Seventh Generation founders - she grew up with a passion for natural products and felt passionately about making safer women’s health products. Their motto is “treat your vagina better than your face.” Sustain is a certified B-corp, is FDA approved, Fair Trade certified, cruelty-free and vegan, USDA certified organic, and Forest Stewardship Council certified. They are also certified Made Safe, and exclude harmful chemicals for your body and the planet.
Condoms. I wasn’t super thrilled about having to use condoms as a married woman. I had been on varying forms of hormonal birth control the whole time I was dating, engaged to, and married to my husband up until late March when I was so frustrated by the multitude of side effects I was experiencing on my IUD. Any other time I had used a condom, I found that my vajayjay was super irritated. I would usually experience stinging and some soreness after sex with traditional condoms, even if I used a lot of lube. We tried every brand, vinyl instead of latex, and even lambskin, but we couldn’t find something that didn’t irritate me. When I ordered condoms from Sustain, I didn’t have my hopes up that their product would be any different. But boy did they prove me wrong!
Sustain is the first condom that has not irritated my vagina in any way, shape, or form, and I also barely noticed that we were using a condom. It’s ultra thin so you can still enjoy yourself without compromising on safety/efficacy. I highly, highly, highly recommend their condoms, even if you’ve found every other type of condom out there to be irritating and uncomfortable. Here are some high points of their condoms:
- Nitrosamine free – there is only one other brand on the market that is completely nitrosamine-free across their entire line
- FDA approved and triple tested for quality
- Made with ultra thin rubber lubricated on the inside and outside
Lube. I have always been a proponent of lube for a better sexual experience for both partners. When I read the label on the last lube we were using, I was disappointed to see parabens and propylene glycol on the list. Plus, I was irritated by the fact that most commercial lubes left us feeling kind of sticky and gross. Sustain’s lube is totally different; it is aloe based, 95% organic, petroleum free, silicon free, paraben free, toy safe, latex safe, and pH compatible with your vagina. We use the unscented formula (also comes with in a lavender-scented formula) and even without any fragrance it smells fresh and natural. Easy to rinse off even without soap, and I think it lasts longer than other lubes we’ve used. Hands-down the best lubricant I’ve used.
Tampons, Pads, & Pantyliners. After being on both the Depo shot and then an IUD, I hadn’t had a period in a few years. I knew that going off hormonal birth control would require reliable menstrual products that didn’t have a bunch of crap in it. Think about it – why would you want to shove some pesticide-treated cotton up your super absorbent hooha, or sit in said contaminated cotton all day? Talk about getting toxins directly into your bloodstream – no thanks. All of Sustain’s period products contain 100% organic cotton, rayon free, are hypoallergenic, and contain no harmful chemicals, dyes, or fragrances; their tampons are in a compact, recyclable, plant-based plastic applicator. Their pads are thin and absorbent, and have wings to keep it in place; and their liners are thin, breathable, and have full adhesive so you don’t have to worry about loose edges peeling up. Another super nice thing about Sustain is that you can put together a monthly “period kit” by taking a quiz about which products you prefer to use, how long your cycle lasts, and how many menstrual products you typically go through in a day. You can order subscription-style or one kit at a time.
Wipes. I haven’t yet tried Sustain’s wipes but it’s on my to-do list. Most post-play wipes are loaded with alcohol (among other harmful ingredients) and can be highly disruptive to your vagina’s pH. Sustain’s wipes are alcohol free, fragrance free, bleach free, 100% organic cotton, rayon free, paraben free, formaldehyde free, and pH compatible with your vagina. It features ingredients like soy protein, rice extract, shea butter, aloe, vitamin e, and even organic honey.
Seriously, I can’t recommend these products enough. And I know what you’re thinking – is this post sponsored? Is she getting free stuff for this? NO. I paid for all of the Sustain products I use and am writing this review simply because I love their product – they don’t even know I’m writing this.
The best news is I’ve got one last coupon code to send to a friend for your first month of period supplies free. If you’re interested in giving this stuff a try, email me at email@example.com and I can send along the code (if it’s still available).
Until next time,
Until next time,