Blog Archives

Sasa Hong Kong – Sanitary Napkins From Asia

Feminine Hygiene treasures from Hong Kong to Canada!

Feminine Hygiene treasures from Hong Kong to Canada!

So here it is everyone, after a very long wait for a delivery promotion to be offered through Sasa (Hong Kong) I finally bit the bullet and bought from sanitary napkins that are usually only offered in Asia!

For those who are also interested, it just so happens that they extended the offer and only for 2 more days (expires Jun 13) – Sasa is offering worldwide shipping for free on all purchases over $19USD. My order came to 20.50 which is pretty damn good :lol: For those who don’t want to navigate through the site, you can directly make your way to the feminine hygiene category. Of course the site company doesn’t ONLY sell feminine hygiene products so I  would recommend you browse the rest of the site to see if there are things that suits your needs. After all, normally with shipping nearing $20 on a single order (unless you break the $100 free shipping mark), it’s really a good promotion whether or not you decide to buy some feminine hygiene products through them! This will particularly appeal to Canadians as we seem to have a tough time getting a hold of international products whereas in the US they have some really nice import-product sites which only ship to the continental US.

In this order, I made the following purchases:

2x Laurier Safety Guard Slim Night 30cm (8 piece)

1x Laurier Super Guard Heavy Night 34cm (8 piece)

1x CENTER-IN FUWA FUWA TYPE Napkins with Wings (Night) (11 piece)

1x Laurier Safety Guard Slim Wing 22.5cm (20 piece)

I have already done some preliminary testing on the products, but I definitely waiting for some of my girl’s periods to come around, that way they can do further and more detailed menstrual testing! The first one I tested definitely didn’t make it onto my “love it” scale unfortunately. However, I won’t spoil the fun of saying which one it was that didn’t make the cut, but rather, release reviews slowly and as time permits.

You may notice my lack of updates, but seriously, I don’t like it either. Adult life is not really fun :) Luckily, my girls will be more available as summer as arrived and they will be on break or at least on a lighter (haha) course load… or well, at least for the ones who are still attending school… for the ones who are like me and working, it makes no difference!

The great thing about products from Asia is they tend to fall under 4 categories instead of 3 that are offered regularly in Canada.

Canada:

- Pantiliner
– Ultra thin
– Maxi

Asia:

- Pantiliner
– Ultra thin (Day-Use)
– Slim (Day/Night-Use)
– Maxi (Day/Night-Use)

Most of the ones I have ordered in this shipment fall under the “slim” category… where it’s not paper-like thinness, nor is it the full bulk of what we consider to be ‘maxi’ here.

So this post is just a nice little teaser… how long I’ll be teasing for :P I don’t really know… but at least for anyone else who’s interesting in putting in their own order will be happy to know they have a few more days to take advantage of this fabulous shipping offer. Otherwise, you can sit (really) tight and await my next review for one of these lucky products! I have to admit, the shipping speed was pretty good (I just went with the regular service, not the expedited) and I luckily didn’t get nailed at customs for any additional fees (since they would only be allowed to charge PST portion of the HST duty due to all my items being classified as feminine hygiene products) since they probably would only get a few dollars for all the paperwork involved. It only took about a full business week to get to me, from Hong Kong to Canada, ON.

Always Radiant Infinity Overnight Pads – Mini Review

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Front

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Front

Hi Everyone,

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on the new Always Radiant series of pads at Walmart (they were only $2.97!!!). I haven’t had time to write much, but today I do, so I’m making a mini review. You may think, “Why a mini review? Is it in relation to the size of the pad?” … well no, it’s not, hah, but it’s mini because I’ve written an Always Infinity review here before and the pad itself has not changed considerably, therefore it’d be rather repetitive to write on things that haven’t changed… but rather, I’m going to concentrate on some of the stuff that has changed. I will of course have detailed pictures which may overlap with the previous review for your viewing pleasure. On the 3 insides of the box, they even included $5 worth of coupons for future purchase of Radiant-series products!

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Top

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Top (Damn those fingerprint smudges!)

Always Infinity has always been a “premium line” of their Always series products. Unless you catch them on a really good deal, they’re pretty hard to match in price when it comes to the number per box versus the traditional bag of Always pads. They haven’t really made the Radiant series anymore “premium” than their original Infinity line so it hasn’t added any additional excitement to the pad…. unless you’re particularly picky with decorations of the pad and box. What I’m happy about is they didn’t do pull a “downsizing” trick like Stayfree did when they went from the normal Stayfree line to the Thermocontrol line. The original Infinity line had 12 overnight sized pads and luckily, the radiant line still continues to have 12.

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Rear

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Rear

Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the Infinity Overnight:

Sleep easy with the absorbency of a pad like no other. Always Infinity is made with an incredibly absorbent material called Infinicel, which can hold 10x its weight. Which means it’s absorbent enough for your heavy nights and so thin, you might even forget you’re wearing a pad. Its revolutionary new wings are designed for secure protection and less mess on the sides. The microdots help channel fluid deep into the pad and away from you, helping you feel dry. And the form-fitting channels and soft cover sheet provide comfort and great leakage protection. Rest assured, this pad’s got you covered.

When I first heard the sudden announcement of the Radiant line, menstrual community members as well as myself were really trying to figure out what changes they have/will make to the pad. It seems like there were very few answers and when we did get an “official” answer, it was very lackluster as the changes were all non-performance related changes. For instance, making a prettier box or wrapper doesn’t make the pad any better. The only thing that made it ‘better’ (and not for everyone) was that they have added a light scent to the pad.

Here is the description of the pad from Always site for the new Radiant Infinity Overnight:

Longer than our Radiant Regular pads, NEW – Radiant Overnight Pads help keep your period invisible even while you sleep. Our unique technology allows Radiant Pads to conform to each individual and unique shape and with the premium protection and performance you expect from Always Infinity. With NEW fun,designer packaging and wrapper, Radiant is worthy of your unique stye. Radiant Pads also feature a new backsheet design for an extra feminine touch. And we’ve added a light, clean scent, to help you feel fresh.

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Left

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Left

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Box Right

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Box Right

What is a really awkward thing about the release of the Radiant series is that (SIGH ONCE AGAIN) the US seems to have more products available than Canada. I’m actually not sure who’s “fault” this is, whether it is Health Canada that prevents them from releasing certain products for sale or whether P&G decides not to make a particular product available here in Canada. In the US, there are 3 Radiant pad absorbency available in-line with the original Infinity series, Regular, Heavy, and Overnight. In Canada, for some reason they only offer the Regular and Overnight absorbency. What kind of crap is this? What now, the Canadian population for some reason only floats between either having a light flow or a super heavy flow?

Though I do lament about the fact there hasn’t been any major performance changes to the pad, one of the change is quite inviting (to the nose at least). I always doubt the “necessity” of scenting pads/tampons because of the chemicals used and being in such close contact with sensitive body parts. However, I loved opening the box and the pad to get a very nice orange-like smell. It’s quite pleasing and it does help reduce odour during/after use. Furthermore, when you store it with other things (pads, tampons or otherwise), it makes everything else smell good! I actually happen to store my stash in a musky old cabinet and it has greatly improved the smell of the cabinet :lol: I thought about in the future when I buy these for my girls, I’m going to have to take a “levy” and use it as air freshener!

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight - Pad Length

Always Infinity Radiant Overnight – Pad Length

It does not appear the pad dimensions or overall build has changed. The pad is still incredibly light, giving foreign pads like “Laurier F” a run for its money to build a pad that is even lighter than your typical ultra thins. Since the pad is not symmetrical and has a very unique design, it’s necessary to clearly differentiate the front and rear of the pad via the wings sticker.  The box design does have a shiny, attractive look. Instead of having a “fact and myth” section like the Kotex packaging does, Always has a “Let Your Style Shine” section which has recommendations on using crafts to make a fashion statement.

The back of the box has a new layout with an image of a pair of cute panties and the pad itself. Listed are also the “selling features” of the pad:

+ Made differently so it protects differently.
+ Absorbs 4x more than you may need.
+ Soft, seamless and flexible design to move with you
+ Light, clean scent so you feel fresh

Though I really do like the new scent they added and the pretty design of the box, it’s not enough to “win me over” per se for making it sound like this great new product. So far I haven’t quite seen whether they’re completely transitioning away from the original Infinity line, so we’ll find out in time. I still see both stocked on the shelf, but that may be short-lived if they’re actually phasing it out. Lucky for people who buy it, you’re not being short-changed by any reductions in the equivalent packages by downsizing the number of units per box. The “Radiant” series also extends to the Tampax Pearl line, Pantiliner and Wipes.

I hope you enjoy the scent as much as I did :P Unlike when Infinity first unveiled, there’s no need to scramble to your nearest store to buy it, there’s nothing amazingly special unfortunately.

Man Wearing a Maxi Pad for a Week: The Max-Pax Experiment by Sam Jordan

So through some random internet searching, I bumped into a funny article posted up by a guy who was “challenged” to know what it feels like to wear a pad. This person wasn’t approaching this from a fetish point of view, but rather, a lady had made a statement to him about, “there needs to be a rule that says you can’t make a maxi pad or tampon joke unless you’ve actually had to wear them.” The author of the comedy article was written by Sam Jordan. He took up this unsaid challenge, to wear a pad for a week so that he could talk the talk and walk the walk.

Since I don’t know about the re-posting/copyright surrounding the article, I chose not to copy & paste it here (even with due credit of course). Feel free to read the article located at this link: http://www.zug.com/live/89365/The-ManPax-Experiment.html

There is nothing terribly graphic in the whole article and it was done in a humourous tone rather than a true “research” standpoint. Even I found it pretty amusing, without casting judgement of course (oh shit, who am I to cast judgment of all people right?!)

I did get a kick at how he “took me a good 10 minutes to figure out how to install a maxi pad” because it doesn’t seem like a very difficult contraption. Ya sure, I know I probably have some extended experience with feminine hygiene products, but I must say it isn’t all that complex given the lack of opportunity to go wrong… unpack, peel stickies, attach to garment and at most – lock down the wings. Onto page two of his article, it was interesting to note that he used boxer-briefs for his pad-wearing week… I suppose that’d work if using the wings weren’t required. Then he mentioned that, “within seconds of wearing feminine protection, I was thinking like a woman and worrying about how my butt looked.” and I always wonder how true that is because most of my girls don’t seem to worry about that. Even for my girls who wear thick pads, unless you’re wearing skin-tight pants, the likelihood of a pad showing through is low. However, the brave soul he is I suppose he’d have a right to question that and worry.

Finally, onto the last page, he describes some of the activities he goes through during the week with a pad on (I hope he changed regularly… if he didn’t – that would be REALLY uncomfortable…) and the restrictive feeling he had. He closed off with on the final night wearing the pad over his eyes for a good night’s rest! I’d be interested in knowing whether he only wore the pad actively during the day, or whether he even wore it at night. All in all, I have to admit this guy sure as hell is brave for daring to wear a pad for a week AND also talk about it online.

I’d recommend reading the article for more details and to view his funny pictures. I got a kick out of an article comment which dared him to try tampons for a week. That made my jaw drop, haha! :lol:

Stayfree Coupon – Save $2 on Regular Priced Stayfree Product

I know for a while, Stayfree stopped offering a $2 off coupon on their products since December 31, 2011…. however, I’m happy to report that they’re offering it again until May 31, 2012!

For those who use Stayfree products regularly, this will help keep your loyalty (unless you’ve stocked up at Shoppers Drug Mart whenever they’re on for $1.99) and for those who don’t use or haven’t used Stayfree products before, here is your chance! Here’s a snippet of the information provided on their COUPON OFFER main page:

Whether you’re busy raising your new family, working out at the gym, rushing around the office, or just out for a night on the town with friends, the wide range of STAYFREE® products are designed to protect you no matter where the day may lead.

STAYFREE® Cottony Dry Cover Ultra Thin Pads help you stay free from:

• Leakage – STAYFREE® has a Leak Protection Ring to help block leaks in all directions providing maximum protection against embarrassing leakage.

• Wetness – An Anti-leak core effectively uses fast-absorbing technology to help lock wetness in quickly for added protection against leaks. Helping to keep you feeling drier all day long.

• Discomfort –STAYFREE® has a new ultra-soft Cottony Dry Cover to provide maximum comfort.

• Odour – Double-odour protection not only actively prevents embarrassing odours but neutralizes them as well so you can stay confident no matter where your day takes you.

With so much research and engineering behind STAYFREE® products, it’s the ideal solution for all your feminine hygiene product needs at a price that fits your budget.

In fact, we’re so sure you’ll love STAYFREE® products that we’re going to give you $2.00 off on any STAYFREE® Product so you can experience for yourself just how great STAYFREE® is.

Since it may be against their marketing rules to take a snapshot of their coupon, I will link you there instead. Please find the following “Save $2 on any Regular Priced Stayfree Product” coupon! I have to reiterate once more about the following conditions as stipulated: “Limit one coupon per purchase and per person, and may not be combined with any other offer. Offer only valid on regular-priced STAYFREE® products.” I would consider buying Stayfree products using this coupon if their regular price is upward of $4.50 or so. When you use the coupon, that would bring it down to about $2.50 per pack which is pretty good for standard pricing. I might be inclined to pay $3 ($5 with $2 coupon off) if you’re greatly in need of the product as well. This particular coupon is only applicable in Canada at retailers which accept printable coupons. So far, I’ve found most large chains to be fairly accepting of them, though I have heard about some stores giving hassles (guess I’m lucky I live in a smaller city where there is less fraud/abuse) in more populated urban centres.

Now print out this coupon and get to a Stayfree-selling store near you!!

Locating Sanitary Napkins from Asia for Newcomers

Just this recent summer, I met up with a childhood friend who has returned to Canada. With her mom, she came and settled in the GTA to complete her high school education and hopefully pursue higher-education upon graduation. I spent several weekends with her, helping her get acquainted with her surroundings and to my surprize, she’s doing quite well. Her aptitude in English is superb, so communication here is not an issue for her. Plus, let’s face it – if you live in the GTA, you could probably get by without knowing English, Cantonese or Mandarin would do fine. She even told me that based on school statistics, 95% of her school is Asian and 80% of those are Chinese, accounting for very little language-barrier while at school, other than the need to listen and communicate in English for lessons and class.

But anyways, onto the main point of the story is that for newcomers from Hong Kong or other parts of Asia, it’s a shocker to have to deal with completely different feminine hygiene options. You may think, “Holy, such a big deal over having to buy local pads and tampons?” – but it really is, because feminine hygiene options are integral to peace-of-mind and well-being for most women on a monthly basis. Although I have known this friend for a long time, she had moved back to Hong Kong for many years, therefore, we have not had the close-contact that most of my girls do. With that in mind, she also was unaware of my openness towards menstruation and shopping for feminine hygiene. After breaking the ice a few times of hanging out, we went shopping and I could tell she was keenly checking out the pad/tampon aisle out the corner of her eyes while we were picking up shampoo. It was a whole new world for her – with brands unknown to her or even for recognizable brands, the types, lengths, terminology – and how they work was all different. However, with a male presence, she dare not wander into the aisle. I casually mentioned, “Hey, let’s go down each aisle and we buy what you need” as I tried to encourage her to get products that were useful, regardless of what they were. She eyed the aisle at the end so I took charge and led the way, showing that I was totally ok with her shopping for pads and tampons. I casually wandered off to the side, as I think for a girl who doesn’t know me very well didn’t want me to look over her shoulder as she browsed. I didn’t want to express discomfort though, as I’m sure we all know I lack discomfort towards menstruation (lol) – but more out of respect for her comfort instead.

After a while, she wandered over to me and shyly said, “thank you” – it was cute and she’s a really nice girl. We’ve known each other for so long, but we rarely get to connect because of distance and because the age gap is rather large – 10 years to be exact. However, her hands and basket were empty because she didn’t know what the right things were to use. She asked me if there was anywhere she could buy pads found in Hong Kong and other than T&T (which has limited of choices available at outrageous prices like $10+) and a place in Mississauga, I didn’t have that many other options for her (and we were all the way out in Markham). I do know with the Asian population in the GTA and with so many Asian marts, there are bound to be places that sell them, but where can we find a place where stocking up won’t break the bank? She’s here as a student, so in the form of income, there’s no much… so she’s very good when it comes to spending wisely. We shopped around the area, looking for places that had pads from Asia to begin with, let alone good prices.

Finally, we fell upon a place called “Foody” – a well known (apparently) Chinese supermarket with an assortment of foods and household items, but also, sanitary pads from Asia! I’m not affiliated with Foody in any way, other than a happy customer for providing us with what we wanted at reasonable prices. The supermarket is located at:

豐泰超市Hwy 7 分店 (Foodymart Hwy 7 Branch)

5221 Hwy 7, Markham ON
Hwy 7 夾 McCowan 西南角 (Intersection of Hwy 7 and McCowan Southwest corner)
電話:905-305-9866 (Telephone Number)


I suppose when this “street view” shot was taken, that it wasn’t even built yet. However, it’s in the plaza across from Marksville Mall. Speaking of being in Markham lately, I really miss my ex… after a bit of a scheduling mishap, she’s gotten really pissed off at me (pissed off enough where she didn’t even reply to my birthday wishes to her) and it’s sad. I didn’t hold on to her in hopes I’d be able to win her back one day, but she was a really nice friend to have. I guess perhaps with some time and fate, we may cross-paths again later on in life – because we all know, the world is small. From what I heard, there’s never a “low-traffic” time at Foody, it’s ALWAYS busy… day or night, weekday or weekend. When I was at the parking lot there, it took me 10 minutes to find a spot and it was at like the farthest corner of the parking lot ever.

If you’re new to Canada, live in the GTA area and want to find napkins that you use “back at home” – you can probably find them here. I have to remind you that with any imported item, you can expect a higher cost (especially as compared to buying them local back at home), but it is at least within REASON.

Foodymart - Sanitary Napkins Shelf (Left)

You can get a variety of Laurier Night-Use pads for $7.99, ranging from 12-20 pieces each.

Sofy Body Fit for $4.99 which were completely sold out.

Whisper Day-Use pads for $5.99 for 22 + 2 (24 total) pieces.

Center-IN 25cm Day-Use pads for $7.99 double-packs of 20ea (40 total).

And of course local pads ranging from $3.99 to $5.99 by Always.

Foodymart - Sanitary Napkins Shelf (Right)

You can also get imported Stayfree and Kotex, as you can see, they’re very different than Canadian packaging for these pads but unfortunately the bright lighting caused the price tag to be unreadable and I couldn’t remember how much they were (and consequently, everything along the top shelf). There is also a 400-size (40cm) Elis Night-Use pad which sounds like it can absorb an entire period worth of flow!

Center-IN 21cm Day-Use pads for $7.99 double-packs of 28ea (56 total).

Center-IN 30cm Night-Use pads for $4.99 double-packs of 11ea (22 total).

Laurier Day-Use maxi pads for $4.99 for 32 (64 total) pieces.

 

You can click on the pictures for a larger view, but as it was taken with phone camera the resolution is not the best. Anyways, if you’ve been searching for a reasonably priced and assortment of Asian and non-Asian sanitary napkins, you can find them here! I’m sure once one of my girls come back from her trip, we’ll be hitting this place up to run some tests on them. For sure I already eyed a few that I know won’t let us down. Maybe if this recently-arrived friend of mine ever shows enough comfort, I’ll see how open she is about this! If you know of any more places, feel free to let me know! Better yet, if you have an online resource willing to sell to Canada and ship here at reasonable prices, DEFINITELY let me know! :)

Of course if this friend was close enough to me, I’d probably tease her that this would’ve never been a problem if she used a menstrual cup or cloth-pads, but I doubt I could pull saying that without making her feel all weird, lol… in time, in time :lol:

Kotex Natural Balance – Replacing Original Lineup LIVE!

So as we expected based on the packaging wording, Kotex has now replaced the entire “original” line with the Kotex Natural Balance pads. As I indicated in a previous blog entry, Kotex’s change actually hit the shelves before the changes were fully made to their site. I suppose this was to incite hype and posts-of-speculation, akin to what they did with the U by Kotex series by “leaking” some information out. Certainly it caused confusion amongst many women when they reached the shelves to find their “usual” product missing. Their site now shows that they’re confirming the disappearance of their original line (other than what’s left in store stocks) which actually affects even their Kotex Security (Tampon) line. So now Kotex has two lines of products here in Canada, their “regular” Natural Balance series and their “premium” U by Kotex series. The changes are shown prominently on their site now, with changes to their “drops” rating using GREEN absorbency symbols and changes to their “features” which include: Soft on your skin, Keeps you comfy and pH aligned

 

Kotex Natural Balance - Site Changes

Kotex Natural Balance - Site Changes

Because the above picture needed to be shrunk to fit to this column, you will need to click on the picture thumbnail to get a better view. The good thing is that unlike when Stayfree moved from their original line to their Thermocontrol line is that Kotex decided that the Natural Balance pads are a full replacement of their original line and thus, it didn’t affect their offerings of wing, no wing and tampon choices. The LONG maxi still retains a non-winged version only for some odd reason – who knows why. Also, the replacement of the original line of pads and tampons ALSO include pantiliners.

Kotex Natural Balance - Tampons!

I think the “made in cotton” feature will be particularly nice for their tampons and I’m glad they thought about NOT including aloe in the tampon (as far as I know based on the marketing information) as that gets put up the vagina and would be introducing something foreign up there (besides the tampon itself). It’s also nice to know that they’re not adding artificial fragrances to the tampon, as I still can’t wrap my head about why someone would want a SCENTED tampon when it doesn’t really get smelly since it won’t contact with air until removal and disposal. Vaginas smell like vagina – not pretty roses.

I suppose I am really happy they decided to change their normal line and without hindrance to consumers in terms of not raising the cost or making “comfort” and “security” a PREMIUM thing. These changes are indeed body-positive with the inclusion of Aloe, vitamin-infusion and pH alignment (being very important for the prevention of vaginal infections or irritation). The aloe makes a great difference for prolonged pad-wear, even after saturation. Now with “prettying up” pads and tampons in mind, I see now they’re concentrating on making a better product without an increased cost to us!

*NEW* Kotex Natural Balance @ Walmart $2.47/ea

So…. one of my great readers, Andie, told me that she found the Kotex Natural Balance pads (ultra thins, maxis and pantiliners!!!!!) on sale at Walmart this week. Of course I’m not sure whether this is Canada-wide or Province-wide, so please check your local flyers online or at the store. For those who I know didn’t buy into the U by Kotex line will be happy to know that the Kotex Natural Balance line follows suit with the traditional line-up of available sizing, including the thick pad form. I know a lot of my fellow menstrual enthusiasts weren’t too happy that UbK forwent having a maxi-lineup in their product and was a disappointment.

The picture shown in the flyer is still of the “traditional” Kotex pads and doesn’t make it clear that they’re also offering Natural Balance pads. Well good news, THEY ARE! They’re also available at the same price as the regular line of Kotex products (so perhaps they might cease to offer the regular line at some point – I don’t know, I don’t work for Kotex, just speculation) at $2.47 per pack at Walmart! I have to admit there appears to be quite the “confusion” in the sense that the women who are doing pad-shopping seem to really be caught up on this new pad line. I can tell that as I was picking out products, they too, were taking the time to check out the Natural Balance pads. The crazy thing is I saw some lady who seemed totally flustered at it – as if a new addition on the shelf has unearthed the equilibrium in her world. I know having new pads on the shelf gives people something extra to look at, but that lady seemed on the brink of implosion, hehe.

Kotex Natural Balance (Regular Maxi w/o Wings)

   

Kotex Natural Balance (Overnight Maxi w/o Wings)

The new packaging is quite appealing, but the package material is the same – plastic. The package lists all the features of the new pads. Oddly enough, the entire line actually has some minor differences in what they offer.

The overnight absorbency only lists that it has “Aloe” and is “pH Balanced” BUT the regular absorbency has “Touch of Cotton“, “Aloe” and is “pH Balanced” … I haven’t quite looked into the composition of the pad to see what the difference is as a result of having a “touch of cotton” for the regular absorbency. I’ve already opened the package and began testing it, but I’m not going to include the review for this post until I’ve done some thorough testing and get some opinions from my girls! One thing I have to say is that the feeling of the Natural Balance pad is very very comfortable, a very soft top layer and while it worried me initially from the flimsiness, it’s good fitting. The aloe on the pad top helps skin stay smooth and in a way, helps keep the sticky/wet feeling away from the skin. I’m sure this pad is great to use long-term, because it has infused vitamin E and a light scent from the Aloe which helps maintain odour control without being too pungent. I will say however, in order for you to smell the Aloe, you literally have to put you nose to the pad as it’s not a very prevailing smell.

For the time being, I’m going to gather my research for this pad so I can write a good review. Will do some testing myself as well as get opinions from my girls as to what they think of the pad. Luckily, a few of my girls will be starting their period in the coming week, so it won’t be long! I realize I could probably write a review right now and that other menstrual-site owners will try to beat me to it – but I don’t really care, I don’t write this blog to race people :lol:

If you’ve already used these pads and would like to speak up about them, feel free!

If you’re looking at giving the Natural Balance pads a shot, this week is THE week to get your hands on them, on sale, for $2.47 from Walmart!

Stayfree, Carefree & O.B – Save.ca (Mailed) Coupon & Stayfree Printable

Do You Love Stayfree Like I Do?

Buy 2 Save $5.00 Checkbox

Buy 2 Save $5.00 Checkbox

If so, you’ll be happy to know that Stayfree not only has a printable coupon located @ http://stayfree.ca/sampling/en/coupon-print.asp — but also a “Save $5 when you buy two Stayfree, Carefree or O.B. Feminine Hygiene” and you can request it @ http://www.save.ca/livewellsavewell/choose_province (This offer available to Canadian provinces only). In the middle of the page you should see the box similar to the image as shown to the right of this text (hopefully they don’t randomly place the coupon on the site). I don’t know whether there are limits that SAVE.CA is offering before it closes off the offering, so get it while it lasts! Don’t forget though however, SAVE.CA coupons often have a much shorter expiry date than the printable version. Don’t waste a great coupon by having it sit in your drawer and if you’re not going to use the coupon, don’t order it so that someone else who NEEDS it can!

The great thing about Stayfree over the other 2 major pad/tampon company is that their coupon has been around for a long time and they continue to have a good standing reputation with retailers honouring the coupon. I’ve used the printable coupon many times off of the Stayfree site and not once have I been rejected by retailers. Mind you, I don’t go crazy like some abusers I hear about who bring in 20 coupons and hoard every package or box on the shelf, so it’s used responsibly. The other two companies only offer coupons sparingly and you tend not to get as deep of a discount from their coupons or offers. Although the printable coupon has restrictions on when you can use it, I think the restrictions are quite understandable and that the discount of $2 on any Regular-Priced Stayfree Product is a very generous offer! The printable coupon also lasts quite long and is extended by J&J each time the 6-month period (hehe) elaspses, the current coupon expiry date is: December 31, 2011.

According to Stayfree’s Coupon Offer

Whether you’re busy raising your new family, working out at the gym, rushing around the office, or just out for a night on the town with friends, the wide range of STAYFREE® products are designed to protect you no matter where the day may lead.

STAYFREE® Cottony Dry Cover Ultra Thin Pads help you stay free from:

• Leakage – STAYFREE® has a Leak Protection Ring to help block leaks in all directions providing maximum protection against embarrassing leakage.

• Wetness – An Anti-leak core effectively uses fast-absorbing technology to help lock wetness in quickly for added protection against leaks. Helping to keep you feeling drier all day long.

• Discomfort –STAYFREE® has a new ultra-soft Cottony Dry Cover to provide maximum comfort.

• Odour – Double-odour protection not only actively prevents embarrassing odours but neutralizes them as well so you can stay confident no matter where your day takes you.

With so much research and engineering behind STAYFREE® products, it’s the ideal solution for all your feminine hygiene product needs at a price that fits your budget.

In fact, we’re so sure you’ll love STAYFREE® products that we’re going to give you $2.00 off on any STAYFREE® Product so you can experience for yourself just how great STAYFREE® is.

If you’ve never tried Stayfree products, the coupon is quite enticing! Heck, even the mailed-coupon by SAVE.CA might be a good way to test some new pads at minimal cost. If you’re interested in knowing more about the Stayfree products available in Canada, check out http://stayfree.ca/sampling/en/products.asp – although their site still hasn’t been updated to reflect the new Thermocontrol pads that have already replaced much of the “ultra thin” line of Stayfree pads. The other thing that makes Stayfree great other than the fact that they have enticing coupons is that their products are simply amazing! I’ve seen Stayfree grow a lot, from the days they had huge “Stayfree Prima” pads, all the way to today’s ultra thin Thermocontrol! While I have some small gripes about the fact they stopped offering separate “scented” and “unscented” products, I can’t deny that they still provide great comfort, absorbency and have a great reputation in my books.

Kotex Natural Balance – A Disguised Entry?

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to provide a small update on a new pad that seems to be sliding its’ way onto Canadian (select stores) Walmart shelves. I just got note from one of my girls who mentioned she picked up a new Kotex line of pad and liners while visiting her local store in Ontario. The new line is supposedly deemed “Kotex Natural Balance” and while she didn’t have any detailed pictures to show me, she did manage to give me a sneak peek via webcam. I was excited to see that Kotex is planning to introduce (hopefully) a new series to North America. As I keep up-to-tabs on new products from the “big 3″ pad companies, I didn’t see any notes on the Kotex site about them introducing this new series over, so this almost feels like they’re not ready to push the marketing yet, but decided to put some on the shelves, perhaps to see the reaction of buyers. My friend not only showed me the packaging, but even took one of the pads apart to show me what it looked like and really, I think Kotex is just trying to introduce a new product here, not that it is necessarily “new” worldwide. For instance, Kotex Natural has been around for sale for quite a few years in Hong Kong already and these two lines look very similar, so I have a feeling their pad design and technology is already present and just mimicking what’s available overseas.

The pad hosts a “green tinted” center and a very soft, cottony cover (based on my experiences with Kotex Natural in Hong Kong – not the new Kotex Natural Balance in Canada)

There honestly appears to be very little public information available other than this snapshot of a Trademark Issuance which looks pretty recent:

KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE

By: KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. tweet it Tweet Logo Share on Facebook
Feminine care products, namely, sanitary napkins, pantiliners and tampons

Perfect for these industries

Words that describe this logo

feminine   care   products       sanitary   napkins     pantiliners   tampons
This is a brand page for the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark by KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. in Neenah, WI, 54956. Write a review about a product or service associated with this KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark. Or, contact the owner KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. of the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark by filing a request to communicate with the Legal Correspondent for licensing, use, and/or questions related to the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE by KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC., Neenah, WI 54956. The USPTO has given the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark serial number of 85273181. The current federal status of this trademark filing is NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE – ISSUED. The correspondent listed for KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE is AIMEE A. ZALESKI of KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC., 2300 WINCHESTER RD, NEENAH, WI 54956-9321 . The KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark is filed in the category of Pharmaceutical Products . The description provided to the USPTO for KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE is Feminine care products, namely, sanitary napkins, pantiliners and tampons.

Word Mark:

KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE

Status/Status Date:

NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE – ISSUED

8/2/2011

Serial Number:

85273181

Filing Date:

3/22/2011

Registration Number:

NOT AVAILABLE

Registration Date:

NOT AVAILABLE

Goods and Services:

Feminine care products, namely, sanitary napkins, pantiliners and tampons

Mark Description:

NOT AVAILABLE

Type Of Mark:

TradeMark

Published For Opposition Date:

6/7/2011

Last Applicant/Owner:

KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC.Neenah, WI 54956

Mark Drawing Code:

Standard Character Mark

Design Search:

(NO DATA)

Register Type:

Principal

Disclaimer:

(NOT AVAILABLE)

Correspondent:

KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC.
2300 WINCHESTER RD
NEENAH, WI 54956-9321
Classification Information
International Class Code(s): 005
US Class Code(s): 006, 018, 044, 046, 051, 052
Primary Class: Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
Class(es) Status: Active
First Use Anywhere: NOT PROVIDED
First Use In Commerce: NOT PROVIDED

The above information is quoted from: http://www.trademarkia.com/kotex-natural-balance-85273181.html -- I do not own it.

Since I can’t find any information on the Kotex Natural Balance, if it’s anything like the ones in HK, the whole basis of this line is to create an organic line of Kotex pads, usually with comfortable top-sheet, pH balanced lotion/herbal mask and an organically created fresh, non-pungent scent. This is not verified information so don’t go quoting me on it, nevertheless, I’m very excited at the opportunity to see a new line of pads (especially one brought over “from home”) in Canada! They may be introducing this just like they did with the U by Kotex… very silent, “leaked” (haha, what a great pun) a bit of information out on the internet and then waited for the hype to being before going on an explosive marketing campaign. Either that, or Walmart might just have some left-over stock somewhere that they decided to sell and discontinue. Certainly, that would make me sad :P The Kotex Natural’s which I tested were lovely, so if they do “go big” here, it might even put up some competition of organic-pad market and might also affect sales of their UbK line (but doesn’t really matter, the money from ANY of their products all fall into the same coffers anyways).

Do you have any big information on this product that you’d like to bring into the light? If so, feel free to post or comment or contact me!

What Pad or Tampon is Right For Me? Thick, thin, wings, no wings – I’m confused!

I remember getting these questions regularly when I started my blog, from younger girls who hadn’t started their periods yet and from ones who recently began menstruating. Suffice to say, I’m deeply touched that girls would reach out to me, as a male, to seek such advice. I hope they always get answers from me which are helpful and act as a guide, directing them to good sources of information such as sisters, parents, guardians, relatives or close female friends who can provide more anecdotal guidance than I would be able. I haven’t gotten a question like this for a while in my daily life, because almost all of my god-sis’ or close female friends are already well into becoming experts on their own periods. The “what pad or tampon is right for me?” question probably was last asked by my youngest god-sis about 4 years ago already! The reason why I decided to write about this topic, isn’t necessarily to answer inquiries from females about how to pick their products (as I believe my reviews and highlighted articles have achieved much of that already), but rather, because a male friend of mine has opened up to the idea of wanting to learn. The other day, he approached me, asking about my knowledge on menstruation. While he does not know the extent of my “enjoyment” of menstruation, he came to me because he’s known I’ve been involved in a few serious relationships before and no doubt, has had to deal with period issues at one point or another. So for the guys, this article may be right for you!

So my friend, being the geek he is (like me, heh) – it was very hard for him to wrap his head around how girls pick their feminine hygiene products. To him, how can different products be so unique that it makes you want one over another? He knew that different classes and models of cars offer a variety of features, performance and such, but how can he apply this to pads and tampons – it’s confusing for him! I must’ve spent a good hour just educating him about the basics of periods, why it exists, what the function is, how often it happens, etc. let alone go into details about pads and tampons yet. After he got grounded on what menstruation is all about (and probably puked a bit in his mouth as I noticed changes of expressions whenever I went into details), I began to explain to him the two common types of menstrual protection, pads and tampons. For the sake of not exploding his brain or turning him off the conversation, I started to go over the differences between disposal tampons and pads. Pads were either affixed to a sanitary belt or put onto panties to absorb menstrual flow as it exits the body, versus a tampon which is inserted into the vagina where menstrual flow is absorbed before it exits the body. Pads when filled, are removed from the panties, rolled/folded up and then disposed in the garbage. Tampons are withdrawn from the vagina and then thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. In his words, “I didn’t even know pads existed – I only hear about tampons.” and as you can see, his innocence when it came to the existence of various options and their most basic method of functionality. Unfortunately, these menstrual protection terms are sometimes even used interchangeably.

Then he began to ask me, “How do girls know which pad or tampon is right for her?”

I told him that many girls often are introduced to their first brand and type of pad or tampon by an educator, parent, guardian or sibling. It’s quite common to find in households, that the females within the household share common brands and types of products they use. To be honest, out of my group of girls, I’ve only seen one who has a very different product lines as compared to her sisters and mom. There’s nothing “wrong” with that, however, from my experience, if the mother in a household uses brand X, then the rest of the girls will likely begin and continue to use brand X as well. However, picking a product is all a matter of personal preference and unless you have an over-controlling Asian mother, whether a daughter chooses to use pads, tampons or whatever brand is usually up to them. For some of the more adventurous girls, they may reach out to other types and brands of products through her friends or through her own willingness to experiment with different products. Some girls however, are forced to search for new products if their flow demands that they switch or should they have a particular reaction to the product they’re currently using. I do know a few of my girls suddenly began having allergies to products they’ve been using for years and had to switch products afterward. Allergies may be one or a combination of companies changing the composition of their products or over time, a girl developing sensitivity to one or more of the elements within the product. Just like buying a TV, we often hear from others which one they think is “the best” – then we find out for ourselves whether that’s true or not! Just likes pads and tampons, most people make decisions based on what they hear, see and perceive. It’s almost impossible to learn whether a feminine hygiene option is right until trying it!

Here’s where it gets difficult for him – trying to understand all the different attributes which separate one product from another. So then he asked me, “What is it about those wings I keep on hearing about? If thin pads are so much more comfortable, why do thick pads exists?”

Disclaimer: Not my hand.. or pad...

So for a guy who didn’t know the existence of pads and the difference between pads and tampons, I didn’t find it shocking to hear this question. I knew that the concept of “wings” to him would be beyond his grasp, does it help make a girl fly? I explained to him that wings were meant to help keep the pad in place and conform to the shape/movement of the body and panties and that it also acted as a last ditch effort to prevent menstrual flow from leaving the side of the pad. I happened to have a pad with wings in my car, so I opened it up for him to take a look and of course without panties, I couldn’t demonstrate to him the application of wings underneath the crotch area, but I managed with a bit of visual description to give him an idea that wings extend from the side of the pad is is wrapped around the crotch of the underwear, that way, it secures itself against the panties and allow movements and shifting to synchronize with the pad in place.

He was already furrowing his eyebrows at me because who would’ve thought of something like “wings” on a sanitary product? He asked me if there were more “attributes” of a pad or tampon that makes one competitor’s product different from another… I sighed and told him, “yes, lots” and he rolled his eyes at me. Of course having the mindset of a keep, I actually used a very laughable analogy to explain all the attributes of pads to him in relevance to an RPG game. I told him since he’s so familiar with RPG’s, think about that a character is made of many “attributes”, strength, dexterity, intelligence, constitution, willpower, etc. and compare that to a pad with lengths, thickness, absorbency, width, wings, etc. He nodded in agreement with my very geeky analogy.

Length of a pad, what is it for? Well the length of the pad denotes how long the coverage area between your belly button to your lower back. Essentially, longer pads are usually designed for women who have heavier flows and thus, allows the pad to catch flow more easily and to disbursed it over a larger area. Sometimes, longer pads were designed for larger sized women, such as when the Always Maximum Protection pads were marketed, they were labelled for extra heavy flows and for women who were “size 14+”. Shorter pads are usually designed for lighter days and with longer pads designed for overnight use or heavier flows. In Canada, companies usually use “slender, regular, long, overnight, etc.” terminology to denote the length of the pad. In Asia, it’s common to use metric measurement such as “mm” or “cm” to denote the lengths rather than a generalized label of the length.

Width of a pad is similar to length in the sense that it’s a measurement of how much side-to-side coverage there is and is usually dependent on the flow-purpose of the pad. Some brands keep their widths the same and simply make pads longer to make a “regular” into an “overnight” pad. Some brands such as Stayfree (which I’m a big fan of) will make pads designed for heavier and overnight use with a larger width, as menstrual flow will often go to the edges during the night when one is sleeping, rather than day-use where most people are sitting or standing or at least in a position where the flow will drip right into the center of the pad and stay there. Remember that width can sometimes be compensated for in the event of pads with larger wings.

Absorbency usually defines the capacity of menstrual flow that a pad is capable of absorbing and in Canada, the absorbancy falls in-line with the length and under the description of “slender, regular, long, etc.” depending on the manufacturer. Either way, absorbency is not standardized like tampons are for pads. A “regular” absorbency pad by one company may not absorb the same amount as “regular” from another. Absorbency often varies depending on the technology used in the pad, some of which are proprietary. For instance, the big 3 companies in Canada that sells pads, Stayfree, Kotex and Always have various lines of products with different technologies. Stayfree has a new Thermocontrol line, Kotex has the Micromax core in their U by Kotex line, and Always has the Infincel beads in their Infinity line which different from their standard lines. I usually refer to these as the “premium lines” – a description which I adopted from Asia pads and tampons. Even comparing absorbency of a “regular” sized Always pad in their original line versus a “regular” sized Always Infinity pad, the Infinity one will absorb a lot more! Absorbency is very hard to define for pads because there’s just so many other factors involved.

Wings and No Wings, this is always confusing to explain to guys about why any girl would want to use pads without wings. Let’s face it, us guys drive all different types of cars, some people like spoilers and some do not. Likewise, not every girl needs to like wings on their pads, as much as it might sound contrary to not want something that helps. Wings can sometimes cause irritation and let’s not forget that wings aren’t always helpful. For some women, their body is much more attuned to pads with no wings and they feel that their pad already conforms well to their body without the assistance of wings. These are all legitimate personal choices! Furthermore, let’s not forget there’s a cost-savings here because pads with wings will usually either, a) cost more, or b) come fewer in a equivalent sized pack as compared to ones without wings.

Thin or thick? Naturally, one would like to assume that thin pads is always more comfortable and such is not the case. Thick pads sometimes can provide a comfort, like a pillow and also provides a closer body fit. Thick pads usually absorb better than their thin equivalency, however, with better technologies offered, sometimes thin pads can even outperform thick ones. Suffice to say, thick pads still offer a peace-of-mind to some women, therefore, thick pads should not be overlooked at being outdated or “not cool”. Feminine hygiene is a personal choice which is meant to provide both menstrual protection AND a feeling of security as psychological wellness matters too, especially during sensitive period times! Thin pads because of how paper-like they are often make more noise when walking, usually squishing and scratching noises. Thicker pads usually don’t have this problem, but then again, this is on a brand-to-brand basis. Thick pads for some can pose an uncomfortable feeling and usually anti-pad users will say they “feel like diapers” and sure enough, thick pads can get in the way of physical activities because the feeling of the pad is “always there.” Thick pads often will show bulging through tight pants and such, so there is a lack of discreteness if that is important. Thick pads usually are used at home and at night though for that reason when you have your own privacy and where “showing” is less of a concern.

By now, his eyes are already rolled back into his skull because as short as it was for you to read this on my blog, the conversation was a lot longer. I had to then tell him that now we’re done talking about pads, let’s move onto tampons!

Tampons in general have fewer attributes per se than pads.

Absorbency for tampons in Canada and the US have standardized amounts of menstrual flow they are designed to absorb in a single tampon and are as follows:

  • Junior absorbency – less than 6 grams (Approximately 5 grams equals one teaspoon.)
  • Regular absorbency – 6 to 9 grams
  • Super absorbency – 9 to 12 grams
  • Super plus absorbency – 12 to 15 grams
  • Ultra absorbency – 15 to 18 grams

Of course even between standardized tampon absorption amounts, girls often find their experiences with various brands to be quite different. Because tampons have the potential to cause TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), absorbency ratings are regulated to protect users. Using the lowest possible absorbency to meet the needs of one’s menstrual flow is the best option. Absorbency doesn’t necessarily define the length or width of the tampon, but does influence it. On the same note, because tampons are worn internally, designers of tampons must create them in such a shape, size and way where it’s comfortable and is easy to insert/withdraw.

Expansion is something that is not usually talked about, but is something that’s integral to how well the tampon performs when inserted into the vagina. Tampons can expand in various “shapes” when inside the vagina, width-wise, length-wise or into “flower” type shapes, which help conform to the inside of the vagina. Think of a tampon as a plug and you will realize that the way tampons expand impact how well the tampon catches menstrual flow and whether “gaps” between the tampon and vaginal wall will occur, thus allowing flow to leak past the tampon. Expansion however, can equally cause discomfort so that’s why finding a tampon that has an expansion method which matches one’s body and still provides expected protection is integral.

Applicator or non-applicator tampons pose an impact to the environment and sometimes to the sanity of the girl. Girls who live by applicators usually have one of two reasons, 1) they don’t want to have their fingers so close to their bloody vagina or 2) feel it’s easier to insert. Because applicators add an extra piece of the overall size of the tampon, applicator tampons need to be sold in larger boxes/packages (yes, even the compact sized ones) and add additional trash to our landfills. However, some just can’t get over the idea that their fingers would need to become very intimate and close to their vagina and is unsanitary/unhygienic, therefore non-applicator tampons scare them. I have had real-life experiences with inserting both non-applicator and applicator tampons and honestly, I have preference towards non-applicator tampons no problem.

Type of applicator usually falls between 2 materials, cardboard and plastic. Both cause an environmental impact, however, cardboard because it’s usually biodegradable, has less environmental impact. Plastic however is often known to “glide in” much smoother. However, plastic applicator tips are often flanged to allow the tampon to be pushed through and thus, pinching is known to happen. Pinching already sucks when it happens on your hands, let alone when it’s in a sensitive area such as the vagina! Applicators can also sometimes have features and designs on it which assist in insertion, easy-to-hold grip/shape or compact form. The purpose of an applicator is to allow a tampon to be “planted” directly into the vagina. The applicator plunge is pushed, the tampon exits into the vagina and settles in, then the applicator is withdrawn from the body. The result is a string sewn into the center of the tampon which allows for withdrawal and the string stays outside the body. Some women like to tuck the string between the legs, labia or even inside their vagina.

I noticed that after all this information, I think that his mind was already at the tip of exploding. It’s a lot of information for a guy to stomach at one time, especially because he was the mild and shy type and to listen to my repeat of “pad”, “tampon” and “vagina” it made his face flush red. There were times I had to repeat myself so he understood concepts surrounding tampons and how applicators worked and such. I was more than happy to show him as I happened to have bought a box of U by Kotex Click tampons in my trunk. Seeing the visual really helped him grasp the idea of tampons and what the differences are between pads and tampons. One last thing I touched-base on because I knew talking about disposal pads and tampons already gave him the shivers at the thought of menstrual fluid (and that when pads and tampons are soaked up, the flow is actually less than it appears) saturating a pad and tampon. An average menstrual flow isn’t all that bad in terms of actual amount, but when we visually see a soaked pad and tampon, it almost looks like a someone’s arm was cut off by a saw! I skimmed through alternative pad and tampon options such as menstrual cups and cloth pads and by then, I could see the air of discomfort rising in him. With that, I stopped but then there’s still much for ME to learn about reusable products which I want to do before writing more about them.

Recently, I’ve been very fascinated with Lunapads and really want to make a donation AND purchase a set for testing and perhaps for my interested girls or bebe! So there you have it guys, if you ever wonder how much that girls have to think about when choosing a product right for them, you realize why the aisles are so damn big and complex! Hopefully though, you will also realize that it’s not a trivial matter at all and that picking the right product really helps a girl get through her day accident-free and with a peace-of-mind! If you’re not afraid of your own menstrual flow, I’d REALLY recommend you switching to reusable products because they’re great for the environment, economical, healthier for your body and comfortable because they use REAL cotton and not synthesized materials!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 364 other followers

%d bloggers like this: