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The Ultimate Guide To Having A Cruelty-Free Period

by Aly Laughlin

Jan 11, 2023

I always thought it would be impossible to find good cruelty-free products for that time of the month. Maybe that's because many of the most prevalent menstrual care brands (like Always, Carefree, Femfresh, o.b., Stayfree and U by Kotex) are owned by companies that are NOT cruelty-free like Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

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And as crazy as it may sound, yes, menstrual care products can be, and sometimes are, tested on animals in the United States. This applies to both tampons and pads, which are considered "medical devices" according to the FDA. That being said, brands can also provide alternative data if they choose to. Here's what I found from the FDA's site:

"In accordance with the least burdensome provisions of the Act, FDA will rely upon well-designed bench and/or animal testing rather than requiring clinical studies for new devices unless there is a specific justification for asking for clinical information to support a determination of substantial equivalence. While, in general, clinical studies will not be needed for most menstrual tampons and pads, FDA may recommend that you collect clinical data for menstrual tampons (including applicators, if present) or pads (...) FDA will always consider alternatives to clinical testing when the proposed alternatives are supported by an adequate scientific rationale."

After reaching out to all the tampon, pad, and menstrual health companies I could find, I was so pleasantly surprised to find a plethora of wonderful cruelty-free options! The companies listed below all confirmed that no animal testing is involved at any point during the production, and they don't deal with suppliers who test on animals.

If you don't want to support companies like Procter & Gamble or Unilever, these alternatives are better for you, the planet and the animals! In this guide, you'll find:

  • Tampons and Pads
  • Reusable Pads and Period Underwear
  • Menstrual Cups
  • Hygiene Products
  • Misc. Creature Comforts (to make periods more tolerable!)

Toxicity in Menstrual Care

The topic of toxicity in menstrual care has been coming into focus recently as women are finding out more about the ingredients used in the products they use. Since tampons and pads are considered medical devices according to the FDA, companies are not required to disclose their ingredients, so there's no easy of knowing exactly what these products contain. Things like chlorine bleach and plastic chemicals don't belong anywhere near the most sensitive part of a woman's body, and yet they are present in so many of the most popular brands!

A great thing I've noticed is that most of the cruelty-free and vegan-friendly menstrual care brands are also striving toward natural and non-toxic products! The reverse isn't always true though, in that just like with beauty products, "natural" doesn't always mean cruelty-free.

Tampons and Pads

The companies below all make tampons and/or pads and you can either find them online or purchase them from some stores. There's also the option of a cruelty-free subscription box, , at the end.

Seventh Generation

While Seventh Generation is primarily known for their cruelty-free cleaning products, they also offer a wide selection of menstrual care products including tampons, pads and pantyliners. They are available in grocery stores like Whole Foods and Target (shop here) as well as on Amazon (shop here).

The Honey Pot

In addition to their natural washes, The Honey Pot also makes their own chlorine-free pads and pantyliners, which are designed with plant essence oil to prevent itchiness. They are available individually, as well as with a monthly subscription service through their website.

Whole Foods 365

In addition to carrying other cruelty-free brands, Whole Foods actually has their own affordable cruelty-free line of menstrual care products within their 365 "Everyday Value" store brand. They offer a variety of tampons and pads, which can be found in Whole Foods stores (obviously), as well as on Amazon (shop here).

This is L.

This is L. makes vegan-friendly organic Cotton tampons, pads and liners as well as condoms. L. matches each sale of a tampon, pad or liner with a donation of an organic cotton pad to a girl in a developing country. The packaging is very trendy-looking, making them ideal if you want your period products to be more "incognito" in your handbag. They are available online individually or with a subscription, and can also be found in stores like Target and Whole Foods.

Cora is a tampon subscription box service, which makes things super convenient since it is a literal monthly necessity. For every month's supply of Cora you receive, Cora gives a month’s supply of sustainable pads to a girl in a developing country. You can .

Reusable Pads and Period Underwear

Another option is using reusabe pads, which many independent companies offer and are often handmade. It's a great option because you get to cut down on waste and use of plastic. A similar yet newer option is period underwear such as .

Luna Pads

Lunapads are reusable cotton pads which come in a variety of colors and patterns, as well as undyed. All reusable cotton pads are a great eco-friendly option if you want to cut down on using so many products and reduce your environmental footprint.

Pink Daisy

Pink Daisy makes reusable organic cotton and natural fabric pads, as well as nursing pads. As an added bonus, all fabrics and dyes used are vegan-friendly.


Sckoon is yet another brand with a good selection of reusable cotton pads in a variety of colors and patterns. They also make a menstrual cup, which is listed below.

There are a few brands that make period underwear, but in my opinion, Thinx is the most stylish. They come in several different cuts and they are also expanding into activewear options. They are anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant. Like reusable pads, they are a great eco-friendly option to reduce waste.

Menstrual Cups

There's also the option of using a cruelty-free menstrual cup, which is becoming more and more popular. Menstrual cups are a healthy option with no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, and they don't have to be replaced as often as a tampon.


Perhaps the most well known menstrual cup on the market, the DivaCup is also cruelty-free! It is available online as well as at Target and select grocery and drug stores.


In addition to their eco-friendly reusable cotton pads, Sckoon also makes its own line of menstrual cups. They recently debuted a pink cup, from which portion of all sales will be donated to help fund breast cancer awareness.


Lunette is a Finland-based menstrual cup company which also has a non-profit that gives girls in Kenya life skill training and access to menstrual cups.


Mooncup is a UK-based menstural cup brand which also contributes to charitable organizations in places like Kenya and Nepal, where sanitary products are not readily available.

Hygiene Products

Honey Pot

The Honey Pot offers a great line of natural body washes, which are available on their website as well as at Target!

The DivaWash

The same company which makes the DivaCup also makes a cruelty-free "DivaWash", which is a gentle pH balanced cleanser intended "for face, body and The DivaCup".

SweetSpot Labs

Sweetspot Labs is a part of the Skinfix company, which is also cruelty-free. They have a nice selection of washes and wipes, with fun fragrances like Vanilla Blossom and Grapefruit Verbena. They are available online and in select drug stores.


Swipes "Lovin Wipes" are intended for use "before and after intimate moments", but they also work perfectly for freshening up during that time of the month! They are available online as well as at Whole Foods stores.

Creature Comforts

If you're not feeling your best during that time of the month, here are a few miscellaneous things that might make it more tolerable.

Rescue Chocolate

It's always a good thing to have some vegan dark chocolate handy this time of the month (or anytime really). I LOVE Rescue Chocolate, and they dedicate all profits to animal rescue groups so you can feel doubly good about it!

Green Tea

If you are looking for a little boost of caffeine without added moodiness, I highly recommend green tea! It's loaded with antioxidants and always seems to help me feel better. I love this minty one from Teapigs, and somehow I feel like even the image of the serene green camel on the packaging seems to put me at ease.


Staying hydrated during this oh-so-fun time is SO important! Of course, you don't need a water bottle to do this, but I find it super helpful to have one with me on-the-go as a reminder!

Hot Water Bottle

Last but not least, sometimes there is nothing more comforting than a hot water bottle to soothe cramps and aches. The puppy cover in the image is sold separately from the bottle and is wool-free.

More Cruelty-Free Guides

If you've enjoyed this post, read our other cruelty-free guides to find the best beauty products for you:

Which Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

Download our list of 600+ verified cruelty-free brands straight to your device. Bring it with you everywhere you go, and never worry about supporting animal testing again. Click here to download

+ Show Comments (30) - Hide Comments (30)
  • Jen says:

    This is L is apparently owned by P&G now? They have them on the bag. How disappointing.

  • Candice S says:

    Hi, thank you for this list. It was incredibly helpful! However, this is L is owned by P&G who are most definitely not cruelty free!

  • Jenny says:

    Thank you so much for what you’re doing, you have a big heart ❤️
    I’m so sorry to tell you, seventh generation is owned by Unilever since about 2017????????????

  • Amber johnson says:

    I’ve tried to look it up and can’t find an answer. How are feminine pads tested on animals? Do they wear them?
    I’m trying to be over cruelty free aware and slowly change my buying habits but I like to know the research behind them. Thank u

  • Valerie says:

    What about the company Oi, Organic Initiative? They make pads that I really like. Are they cruelty free?

  • Lisa says:

    I just want to thank you for the website! I’ve been searching out cruelty free products for years, & you’ve made it easy! The increased number of options are encouraging! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    So the teapigs product has a deer on it, from the looks of it… not a camel, just saying 🙂

    • PanyaV says:

      The photo on this post has a deer, but when you click on the Amazon link the photo has a camel; they’re different flavors. 🙂

  • Victoria says:

    Please remove Seventh Generation. Such a bummer that Unilver owns them now. Great list though, thank you for sharing,

  • nicolette says:

    Could Lola be consider a part of this?

  • Michelle says:

    Hi, Aly Thank you for your post. I have one question and one comment. My question is the new Always/Tampax “Pure and Clean” sub-brand and whether it is for real? But your post was a helpful compilation of alternative brands. Still trying to find the right one.
    In appreciation, Michelle

  • Tina says:

    Is there any company that makes cruelty free panty liners for incontinence like Poise?

  • Amy says:

    Seventh Generation is owned by Unilever now, you might want to add an asterisk

  • Melanie says:

    How about Organyx? They look like they could be cruelty-free.

  • Jen says:

    Hello, thanks for this very informative webpage, great resource for cruelty-free products.
    One query I have is the claim that there is no risk of toxic-shock syndrome (TSS) from the Mooncup. I don’t believe this to be true, and after looking on the Mooncup website they certainly do not claim that to be the case, and instead offer advice on what to do if you experience any of the TTS-related symptoms. Though TSS is very rare condition, maybe worth amending the notes for this? Thanks a lot

    • Panya says:

      I understand and appreciate your concern for others. 🙂 Though it should also be pointed out that there has only been a single confirmed/reported case of TSS linked with menstrual cup usage in the over 80 years that they’ve existed, and that one occurred because the woman scratched herself with her fingernail during insertion. Personally, I’d amend the wording of the relevant sentence in this article to “virtually no risk”.

  • Marusha says:

    You can also add these cruelty free brands:
    – Natracare (tampons & pads) – 100% vegan – The Vegetarian Society certified
    – Fair Squared (intimate wash) – fairtrade, The Vegan Society certified

  • Cassie says:

    This was the best article! I did not know there were so many options! Even more surprising was Target! I walked to the isle, expecting to have to search very hard for the curelty free products! There was seventh generation on the end cap of the main isle! I walked in and they had Three shelves top to bottom of options! Not sure if that’s a regional thing but Target in NJ has almost all of the brands you listed here! Thank you so much, you’re really helping me with my transition!

  • Kay Ada says:

    I was under the impression that Unilever bought seventh generation last year?

  • Nicole Brant says:

    Etsy is a great place for reusable pads. I get mine from Beach Bottoms on Etsy. It feels good to support small business as well as help the environment. Win win.

  • Amber says:

    Fascinating! I’ve thought about feminine products and the environment, but not much about their cruelty-free status. I’ll definitely be testing out some of these brands in the future. Thank you!

  • Joanna says:

    Great post, I feel like most people don’t realise there’s a lot of nasty chemicals in the most pads and tampons! I love that you’re featuring healthier and more economic alternatives without the cruelty!

  • Natalia says:

    I never even considered that feminine products could be tests on animals. A very informative post, thank you!

  • Biba says:

    Can you please explain why you removed Nudestix from the list? Also, I think you should add more brands to your list, which might be lots of work, but also a good thing cause that’ll make cruelty free people happy.

    The brands in question: Dr. Sheffield (oral care), Nizz Cosmetics (Halal; doesn’t use mica, which is good news to those who are also against child labor; UK), Khadija Cosmetics (Halal; France), Be A Bombshell (cosmetics), Rituel De Fille (cosmetics), Woolzies (laundry & soaps, which the latter are all vegan) & Tin Feather Lipsticks (Vegan; owned by The Pure Boutique, an small, indie, cruelty free company, which also owns Pure Anada, another cruelty free brand; Canada).

    • Suzi Scheler says:

      Nudestix started selling in China. They bypassed the pre-market testing laws according to them, but they’re still sold in China and therefore subject to potential post-market animal testing.

      There’s going to be an update at the end of the month and we’ll be adding more brands! I’ll check out your suggestions. Rituel de Fille is already on the list!

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