49% of panty liners and 33% of period pads on supermarket shelves contain perfumes (Supermarket observation has found). Natracare period products are free of fragrances, but sadly not all pads and tampons are created equal. In fact, there’s no regulation around what goes in period products, nor any obligation to list their ingredients – so you might not even know whether they’re packed with perfumes.
We wanted to know more about the effects of artificial fragrances in period products and what people REALLY thought of them, so teamed up with Wen to conduct a survey. Here’s what we discovered:
Scented period products might cause skin reactions
Our new survey of 759 people with periods found that just under 1 in 4 people who have used fragranced period products have experienced itching, irritation, or soreness. Not only this, but 28% of them said the irritation was “very” or “fairly severe”. (Bear in mind some people aren’t sure what causes their skin reactions, meaning the number could be even higher!)
We don’t want perfumes in period products!
In fact, only 1 in 10 people actually like the smell of fragranced pads and liners. Nearly a quarter of people buying fragranced products only did so because there was nothing else on offer where they were shopping.
In-store research of four UK mass retailers shows that:
- A third of period pads on supermarket shelves contain perfumes
- 49% of panty liners on supermarket shelves contain perfumes
- Asda and Morrisons offered the least in terms of perfume free and plastic free alternatives
More needs to be done to offer skin-friendly alternatives. People shouldn’t have to suffer with unnecessary itching and irritation.
Perfumes in period products do nothing but add to the damaging stigma surrounding periods and our bodies. Vaginas are self-cleaning, and there is no need for people to mask their periods or the supposed smell of them.
Brands, listen up! 📢
People want period transparency. In our survey, 85% of people said it was important to them to have full transparency of period product ingredients. The current lack of legislation regulating the ingredients in menstrual products, and mainstream brands taking advantage of this and not disclosing the materials that they use is keeping people in the dark about their own body. This isn’t good enough. It’s time we put a stop to it.
Sign our petition demanding full disclosure of ingredients in period products. If you’ve had a negative experience with perfumed period products, tell us in the comments below.