Tips for affordably transitioning to clean intimate care

If you’re like most people, you might be on a budget. Maybe you have a family to raise or maybe you’re just paying back an extraordinary student loan. But being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t access clean products. We want everyone to have the same opportunities to use non-toxic, healthier options.

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

As people have become more aware about what’s in the products they use, there has been a greater push towards “going clean” from our eating habits, to cosmetics, and now to our intimate care products. While this is an important step forward for our health, it does mean that there is heavy marketing to remind you that everything you own is going to make you sick. It would also have you believe that it’s completely normal and even expected that if you want to live a healthy life, you MUST have non-toxic products in your entire home. This marketing promotes an extreme transition that might actually be counterintuitive; it can be easy to become overwhelmed and sets most people up for failure.

In fact, just limiting SOME of your exposure to products with toxic ingredients can still significantly reduce their negative impact on your health. Making the switch to clean intimate care products specifically, can be a great way to start your clean living journey since period, hygiene and sex products touch the most sensitive parts of our bodies, vulvas and vaginas. But instead of thinking you need to drop an entire paycheck on revamping your whole routine, consider staring with 1 or 2 products you use regularly that you’d like to switch over and begin your research there. When you make slow transitions like this, it makes the process easier to stick with and more budget-friendly.

2. Begin your transition with the items you use most often

Naturally, you probably use multiple intimate care items every day, but which ones are you reaching for the most often? Are there certain products that you’re more concerned about than others? Are there some products that have more natural alternatives than other products? For example, using natural and clean lubricant is awesome for sex, but if you’re someone who rarely uses lube, it might be better to transition another product you use more often first (perhaps a vaginal wash or menstrual items, for example.) Ultimately, picking things that you use regularly is going to have the greatest impact on your health and reducing what you put on (and therefore, into) your body.

3. Consider the long term savings

Reusable items are a great space to begin making your switch to clean as they’re usually healthier for you, better for the environment, and are typically more affordable.  While they may appear costly upfront, reusables will often save you greater money over time. For example, reusable menstrual products may run you somewhere between $15-$60 at first purchase, but they can last you several years. When compared to the average $8 to $10 a month women spend on disposable tampons and pads alone, your reusables will pay for themselves relatively quickly.  If you’re a DIY person, there are also a ton of websites out there that will teach you how to sew your own reusable pads.

4. Buy in bulk, on sale, and know their refund policy

Once you find some companies or products that you’re interested in, make sure to get on their email lists. These lists usually have regular discount codes and they will also tip you off to upcoming sales. Some companies also have membership rewards if you are a regular customer. Here at The Bloomi, we offer a points system so you can earn some savings with every purchase.  Alternatively, if you have some friends or relatives that are interested in transitioning over, team up with them and buy in bulk direct from the manufacturer for a cheaper, per unit price.

Buying online is usually your best option for cheaper prices on clean intimate care products. However, if you find a brick and mortar store that sells items you’re interested, try to pair those purchases with in-store coupons or ask if they can match an online retailer price.

You should also become familiar with return policies. Using clean products is important, but it’s ultimately a waste of money and energy if you end up hating the way an item works or smells. Most companies that believe in their products will offer you a full refund or replacement item if you’re unsatisfied so be sure to reach out if something doesn’t quite meet your expectations. Just FYI, The Bloomi offers product refunds and exchanges for all items on their marketplace. You can read more details here.

5. Don’t trust marketing language like “natural” or “pH balanced”

The FDA doesn’t regulate most cosmetics or intimate care items, meaning that words like “natural” don’t necessarily mean that a product is a safe option. Additionally, some manufacturers like to say their products are “pH balanced”, however, if they don’t list the range (which should be between 4.5 and 5.5. for items that touch your vulva skin), it may be a false claim. At The Bloomi we verify all pH levels via an independent lab and only approve products for the marketplace that are pH balanced correctly. Learn more with our guide based off of peer-reviewed research to help you know what to keep an eye out for when reviewing ingredients.

6. Wait until you run out and use the right amount

There is no need to go throw away everything you currently own. Go ahead and use up what you have and make a plan to replace them with alternatives once you’re done. It’s less wasteful and better for your budget. Also, many non-toxic products are higher quality, meaning that you aren’t going to have to use as much of a product to get the same effect. Experiment with the amount you use as you can often use 1/2 the suggested amount of liquids or powders and still get the intended results.

About the author

Vanessa Torres, MA

Vanessa Torres M.A. is a sexual health expert whose passions include harm-reduction and individual agency. Her work has been featured in Critical Public Health and the Journal of Homosexuality.

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