Tampax Pure and Clean: 100% Cotton?

The trusted tampons that I’ve been using for years are Tampax. This was until I started getting ads for tampons that are 100% cotton (like Cora), which had me questioning what is in tampons if they aren’t just made of cotton. The Tampax I had been using don’t have ingredient labels. Why? What are my tampons made of that can’t be disclosed on a label and why is this the only product I use that doesn’t require a list of ingredients? What have they been hiding?

I found myself at Target…. shocker…. and was going to pick up the box of more absorbent Cora tampons until I saw Tampax Pure and Clean tampons that I had never seen before.

I was excited about this because this was the brand I’ve trusted and consistently bought for years and there was a 100% cotton (!!!) option right in front of me. I dropped the box in my cart without hesitation.

This is the packaging:

Tampax Pure and Clean Cotton Tampons.png

The brand makes the following claims:

  • Simple ingredients

  • 100% “Cotton Core”

  • Made with responsibly sourced cotton

  • Free of chlorine bleaching or dyes (do other tampons contain chlorine?)

  • Applicator made with 90% plant-based materials

  • Proven protection

  • Pure and Clean

After taking the box home and turning it around to look at the ingredient label, I was confused. I picked up this box because I remember seeing “100% cotton” and this is what the ingredient label looks like:

Tampax Clean and Pure Cotton Tampons Ingredients

I did a little investigating on the Tampax website and read more of the packaging to find out what this means.

Without speaking for the other tampons that the brand makes, they say the new Pure and Clean tampons are made with the following safe ingredients:

  • Tampon Core and String: Cotton

  • Thread to keep tampon together: Polyester

  • LeakGuard Braid: Polypropylene

So, the only part of the tampon that isn’t made of cotton is the braided string, which is the part of the tampon that has been the reason I’ve continued to buy it all of these years. The “100% cotton” claim on the packaging is really just about the part of the tampon that’s actually going inside of your body. Right? That makes sense…the packing was just marketing to get me to buy it and it worked.

The only ingredient on the label that isn’t explained is “fiber finishes.” What is fiber finishes? Another question I have is if they will release an organic cotton tampon, in hopes of them providing a tampon that is less likely to have pesticides that can be used when growing the cotton plant.

Although I still have questions about the tampons, after using these through a cycle of my period, they work great. They delivered exactly like the trusted Tampax brand I know and love and I would buy them again in a pinch. It is so awesome that there is a new option at the store by a brand that women have trusted for decades that actually has an ingredient label.

The only thing is…is that I know there are other period products on the market that are doing other cool things like how Cora donates menstrual products to girls in need in India. I’ve also recently discovered that LOLA now sells sex health-related products as well; ensuring condoms, lube, and cleansing wipes are made of the best ingredients in addition to their tampons. Both of these brands make tampons that are made of 100% organic cotton AND have customizable monthly subscription boxes. The foundation of these new brands is women’s empowerment, starting with giving women the option of knowing what’s in their feminine products, so I'm definitely looking to switch to one of these options. 

Thanks for reading! ✨🌴🌈
- Ariane
Follow me on Instagram for more fun: @ariane_long