This Is Not Your Grandma's Feminine Care

New companies are filling in Gen-Z demand for natural ingredients and real talk
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2023 2:35 PM CDT
Period Products Get a Gen-Z Makeover
Employee restocks tampons.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,file)

Feminine care products that hearken back to women in flowing dresses wandering meadows aren't cutting it these days. Instead, younger generations respond to "real talk" around periods and vaginal care, a trend that's caused a boom in upstart companies that lean into the frank discussions and natural remedies promoted on social media, the New York Times reports. "All these companies now are trying to be hip and colorful and just really destigmatize these products," says Leslie Schrock, an investor in women's health companies. Along with modern product branding, which some mainstays like Midol have adapted to, newer brands on the block like Honey Pot and August are adopting a "group chat" method to talking to their customers.

August founder Nadya Okamoto likens this branding to "the big sibling that you think is cool and knowledgeable and if you have questions, they will always keep it real with you." To highlight this trend, the Times focuses on the rise of Honey Pot, a feminine care product line that produces vaginal wipes and sprays. Founder Beatrice Dixon formulated her first cleansing wash in her kitchen to remedy a recurring case of bacterial vaginosis in 2014. Now her products are found on the shelves of 30,000 major retailers across the US, including Targets and Krogers. The Times describes Honey Pot's content on TikTok as "Gen Z-chaotic," with irreverent messaging and images that depict period blood as red instead of the traditional blue liquid.

"We've had to kind of be a little edgy," Dixon tells the Times. "When you look at the humans that we want to serve as a whole person, you kind of have to be edgy. You kind of have to go for that." Natural ingredients are also a demand from younger generations, who have shunned companies like Thinx when customers accused them of not disclosing harmful chemicals in their period underwear. Despite how they are talked about on TikTok, doctors have long warned that products like douches can disrupt the body's natural cleaning abilities. Global Newswire reports that menstrual products are seeing growth worldwide, noting that reusable sanitary pads are going gangbusters, along with "natural and organic products." (Have you seen the period emoji?)

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