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Reusable vs cardboard tampon applicator

Reusable vs cardboard tampon applicator

When it comes to choosing between a reusable and cardboard tampon applicator, there's more to consider than you might think. Both options have their merits, but which one is truly best for you and the environment? Let's dive into the details and explore the differences, benefits, and considerations of each to help you make an informed decision about your period care routine.

What's the difference between reusable and cardboard applicators?

The main difference between reusable and cardboard applicators lies in their materials and intended use. Cardboard applicators are single-use items made from - you guessed it - cardboard. They're designed to be disposed of after each use. On the other hand, reusable applicators are typically crafted from durable materials like medical-grade silicone or BPA-free plastic, allowing for repeated use over an extended period.

Reusable tampon applicators are often smoother and more ergonomically designed, providing a comfortable insertion experience. They're built to last, with some high-quality options designed to withstand years of use. Cardboard applicators, while biodegradable, can sometimes feel rough or uncomfortable, especially if they become damp before use.

Benefits of reusable applicators

Opting for a reusable applicator comes with several advantages that make it an appealing choice for many:

1. Comfort

Reusable applicators are often designed with user comfort in mind. Their smooth surface and ergonomic shape can make insertion easier and more comfortable. In fact, a DAME survey found that 80% of users think reusable applicators are more comfortable than cardboard ones.

  1. Cost-effective

While the initial investment might be higher, a reusable applicator can save you money in the long run. Instead of buying new applicators every month, you'll have a durable tool that lasts for years.

  1. Environmental impact

By reducing single-use waste, reusable applicators are a more eco-friendly option. They significantly cut down on the amount of period-related waste that ends up in landfills or oceans.

Are reusable tampon applicators hygienic?

Let's tackle a common misconception head-on: the idea that reusable applicators are somehow less hygienic than disposable ones.

In reality, a reusable applicator can actually be more hygienic than single-use options. How? It's all about control. With a reusable applicator, you're in charge of its cleanliness. You decide when and how it's cleaned, ensuring it meets your personal standards of hygiene.

Think about it: you wouldn't hesitate to reuse a menstrual cup or period underwear after proper cleaning, would you? The same principle applies here. With a simple rinse and regular sanitising, your reusable applicator can be just as clean - if not cleaner - than any single-use option you'd pull out of a box.

It's worth noting that some users express concerns about not knowing what materials are used in reusable applicators. However, reputable brands like DAME are transparent about their materials, using body-safe, medical-grade silicone free from harmful chemicals or plastics.

Benefits of cardboard applicators

While reusable applicators offer numerous advantages, cardboard applicators still hold their ground in the world of period care. 

Cardboard applicators strike a balance between convenience and environmental consciousness. Unlike their plastic counterparts, they're biodegradable, making them a more eco-friendly choice among disposable options. This is particularly appealing for those who want to reduce their plastic waste but aren't quite ready to make the leap to a fully reusable product.

It's worth noting that cardboard applicators are widely available in most stores, making them an easy option to find in a pinch. This accessibility can be reassuring, especially for those who might forget to pack their period products when heading out.

Why use a tampon applicator?

While it's entirely possible (and some would argue, preferable) to insert a tampon using just your finger, applicators offer several advantages that many find appealing. 

Whether reusable or cardboard, tampon applicators serve an important purpose. They help guide the tampon into the correct position, making insertion easier and more hygienic. For many, applicators provide a sense of comfort and control during insertion, especially for those new to using tampons.

How to use an applicator

Using a tampon with an applicator is straightforward once you get the hang of it. Here's a quick guide:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Get into a comfortable position - sitting, squatting, or standing with one leg raised.
  3. Hold the applicator at the grip, with the larger tube pointing towards your body.
  4. Gently insert the applicator into your vagina at a slight upward angle.
  5. Push the smaller tube into the larger one to release the tampon.
  6. Remove the applicator and dispose of it (if cardboard) or clean it (if reusable).

Making your choice

Ultimately, the choice between a reusable and cardboard tampon applicator comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and environmental concerns. If you're looking for a comfortable, cost-effective, and eco-friendly option, a reusable applicator might be the perfect choice for you. 

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to period care. The best choice is the one that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and aligned with your values. Whether you opt for a reusable or cardboard tampon applicator, the most important thing is finding what works best for you and your body.

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