Self-Care, Period: 20 Non-Toxic PMS Essentials
I just love self-care. The ability to tune in with yourself is tied to your wellness, and many of our beauty rituals connect us to both. As women, one area of our wellness that is decidedly less glam: periods.
Even when I get all mystical and imagine that my cycle is synced with the phases of the moon, my period essentials are all mostly practical. PMS makes me cranky, tired, cramp-y, and mean — especially when confronted with hormonal breakouts. I go crazy for sugar and salt and sometimes skip out on yoga, argue with T, or cry. It's not cute.
There are plenty of components to holistic health that are far from fun, but that doesn't mean we should ignore them. If you've ever gotten a colonic, gotten a Brazilian wax, or received an extraction during a facial, you definitely get the need for making our lives more comfortable. Blume is a line of self-care and period products that are non-toxic ones, at that.
Read on to find out what came inside my Blume subscription box of self-care and period-care products. They're vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic — and will help make your period way more bearable.
What Blume Is About
Blume is a monthly subscription box for women starting at $11/month. It's cool because you can customize your box, selecting the clean, non-toxic self-care and period-related products you want and the frequency at which they're delivered. In their own words, they go with your flow.
When I received my Blume box in the mail, I began investigating. I, of course, got the works:
(1) Period Stuff
8 organic cotton, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan tampons (regular and super) and 8 pads.
Organic Tampons ($11 for 16)
Organic Pads ($11 for 16)
(2) Skincare Stuff
The vegan face wash has natural oils (including coconut), clay, and calming Arnica, without oil-stripping sulphates. I was very curious about the topical treatment, Meltdown, which contains anti-inflammatory black cumin seed oil, rosehip oil, tamanu oil, rosemary leaf extract, comfrey extract, olive leaf extract, helichrysum oil, and lavender oil. It's a little stinky but unique, designed to "give your zit a meltdown so that you don't have one." I applied it to a spot, covered it with Sunday Riley Saturn mask overnight, a woke up to a decrease in inflammation.
- Meltdown Acne Treatment ($26)
(3) Body Solutions
Cloud 9 is the essential oil solution for PMS. It is designed to balance hormones, soothe cramps, and calm PMS. It contains clary sage, peppermint oil, geranium oil, bergamot oil, lemon oil, and vitamin E in a jojoba base.
I like their unscented deodorant a lot for three reasons. First, it actually works — I'm wearing it today. Secondly, I am a fan of unfragranced RN because Tom recently had a skin reaction on his armpit to one of the natural deodorants I made him try from an event... Whoops! And finally, It's paraben- and aluminum-free. (I am all about keeping my arm pits toxin-free because of all the lymph nodes in the area.)
- Cloud 9 ($16)
- Hug Me ($12)
Along with these on-demand goodies from Blume, I have a few other PMS-saviors to share.
(4) Kush Queen Relieve CBD Bath Bomb ($13): (Their love bomb is pictured.)
(5) Sunday Riley Saturn ($55): Sulfur, Zinc, and Niacinamide reduce inflammation and fight acne. You can leave it on overnight but beware, it's a little bit stinky and green. I've even worn it to yoga as a spot treatment .
(6) Renée Rouleau Rapid Response Detox Mask ($64): Many consider this salicylic acid mask to be a holy grail product for resolving and preventing acne, including hormonal. Back in the days before I had so many products, I used to keep this stocked at all times.
(7) Renée Rouleau Zit Care Kit ($160): The most important item in this kit is her Anti Bump Serum (formerly the Ant Cyst Serum) which is the best topical treatment for cystic acne around. You can buy it individually, but unless you suffer exclusively from cystic acne, the whole thing is worth purchasing.
(8) Thinx Hi-Waist Hiphuggers ($38): The period-proof, anti-microbial panties I received in my Sunday Riley box come in a hi-waisted variety that is perfect for PMS bloat. You can also check out Lunapads for other styles.
(10) Foria Relief Vaginal Suppositories: These use THC specifically to ease cramps, since dysmenorrhea is an approved condition for medical marijuana. I want these.
(11) Papa & Barkley ReLeaf Balm ($60): CBD and THC.
(12) Crafty Cake Holy Cramp Antispasmodic Balm ($15): No CBD or THC.
(13) Huggable Llama Heating and Cooling Pad ($26)
(14) Splendid Waffle Knit Legging ($50): I live in a pair of Splendid waffle knit leggings when PMS-ing.
(15) Run Janji W's Uganda Deviation Crop in Olive ($80): I received these as a sample and I have to admit, they are so comfortable. I have slept in them before!
(16) Earth Therapeutics Aloe Socks ($8): They're fuzzy, soothing, and they infuse your feet with ultra-hydrating aloe while you wear them. I haven't noticed a difference yet (but my feet are insanely dry).
(17) Knours pH 5.6 Body + V Zone Soap ($18): pH matters when it comes to V-zone care!
(18) Seventh Generation Free & Clear Tampons ($13 for 36)
(19) Alexander Wang Fumo Small Cosmetics Case ($295): Store your tampons in this.
(20) Wishgarden Herbs PMS Emotional Radical Rescue ($11-$30): I read about this emotional balancer on Mind Body Green. A reader also let me know that taking vitamin C helps her with hormonal breakouts. (Thanks, Maite!!)
Making Wellness Matter
This generation values social justice — even menstrual equity has its place. Wellness, inclusivity, and empowerment are all very relevant to the contemporary social dialogue. Even if you don't think there is a connection between a subscription box for periods and social justice, there totally is.
There is a long, historical process of inter-generational social progress. By the time the younger generation grows up, the social norms of their parents' era have become old-fashioned, and some old folks begin to embrace contemporary social values. We break them in and once the shock-value wears off, the rebellious feel of activism fades. This happens generation after generation thanks to how free-thinkers and community organizers attempt to make formerly taboo or stigmatized topics a part of the modern dialogue. The topic of bras, periods, and vaginal health were all once that way.
The fact that we have multiple companies devoted specifically to our periods tells me a few things.
Women are valued. Not only do these products make menstruation more comfortable, but they make the topic of women's health more comfortable to talk about.
Convenience is everything. HBIC's abound and period supplies on delivery are necessary. I once had to order a box of tampons on DoorDash before, so this really resonates with me.
Clean beauty is broadening to take on clean toiletries and home brands galore. I am so focused on avoiding toxins in my skincare, but self-care means swapping to clean lifestyle products, too.
Broaching taboo topics in the name of truth-seeking can be uncomfortable, a little bit badass, but is completely normal for many of us. I once asked my gynecologist in the middle of an appointment to confirm whether women often poop during childbirth. (It's true!) It wasn't my most graceful moment, but I had an expert available and wanted to fact-check before I forgot.
This is also why I support talking about quasi-controversial topics like cannabis use and CBD. Encouraging constructive social dialogue drives social progress towards open-minded thinking and mutual understanding. Belief systems that bring us together and promote common ground are so much healthier than polarizing divisiveness.
For instance, how's this as food for thought: There is a strain of cannabis, Charlotte's Web, named for the little girl with epilepsy whose seizures it stopped. Even if you're a lifelong weed-hater, little tidbits like this demonstrate how the debate is not purely black-and-white. This is how weed-haters and weed-lovers can transcend the debate and focus on what matters (i.e. health first). And we all know that the argumentative ones would benefit from a dose of CBD...
So go ahead and score some loot to make your next period much more comfortable — do so in the name of social justice, women's empowerment, and a health-first approach to living. If you're feeling timid, just channel Rihanna.
Photo via Pinterest
*These are my personal photos in this post (except for the one of Rihanna). Please cite or request permission before using them!
What products do you rely on for your period? Tell me on Instagram!
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