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Growing up in a predominantly female household (love you, dad), vagina talk—a.k.a periods, yeast infections, BV and UTIs—were often discussed. To really be specific, yeast infections in particular were something I struggled with for years. Because of this, I developed a less-is-more approach when it comes to my “down there” routine. When looking at washes and wipes available in stores, I would cringe at the thought of the stinging, burning and consequent recurring yeast infections these products would surely result in.
The truth is, most mainstream feminine products like tampons and pads are largely unregulated and can contain chemicals, bleaching agents, toxins and artificial fragrances. Considering that your vagina is a mucous membrane and directly absorbs what it comes into contact with, a lot of these products inevitably do more harm than good.
Enter: The Honey Pot Company, a toxin-free, gynecologist-approved and plant-based feminine care brand. Since using their products, my pH has been so perfectly balanced that I am happy to report I have almost forgotten what a yeast infection feels like.
In fact, I’ve become somewhat of a Honey Pot evangelist, singing its praises at every chance. I handed a friend one of their herbal menstrual pads to use instead of a tampon and noticed that she was slightly taken aback. I assured her: these are nothing like the bulky pads you may remember from middle school. She emerged from the bathroom in awe—within minutes of using this herbal mint, lavender and aloe-infused pad, her cramps had disappeared.
Founded by: Beatrice Dixon in 2014
Based In: Atlanta
Best Known For: Being the first plant-based feminine care brand
Holy Grail Product: Feminine Wash, Herbal Pads
Fun Fact: Founder Bea Dixon is one of the first 40 women of color to raise $1M in venture capital, and was at the center of a viral Target ad.
The mission behind the Honey Pot Company is personal. After struggling with recurring bacterial vaginosis, founder Bea Dixon tried every prescription and remedy to no avail. One night, an ancestor gave her a list of ingredients in her dream to cure her BV. She woke up, wrote it down and that became what is now the Honey Pot’s feminine wash (yes, she is just as cool, if not cooler than she sounds). After healing herself, she realized that she had the opportunity to do the same for other women and found herself breaking into the feminine care industry that had been stagnant for far too long.
“After launching the wash, I thought about how there are so many other products that make up my feminine care regimen—from wipes to menstrual products to treatment products. We want to offer solutions for a wide range of needs and wants,” says Dixon, who has now expanded her brand from one product into a full-scale line available nationwide in major retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, and Free People. The Honey Pot’s offerings include everything from washes, wipes, tampons, and pads, to vulva cream. Not only is it a one-stop-shop for feminine hygiene, but every single product is formulated with high-quality botanicals and herbs that have powerful benefits. With no plans to slow down, new and innovative plant-based products are set to hit the shelves at even more retailers in 2021.
Most feminine care products have traditionally marketed themselves with all things pretty, pink, and floral. Minimalist aesthetic aside, the Honey Pot isn't just "pretty" or preaching that your vagina shouldn’t smell like a flower. Instead, it’s their mission to normalize women’s health and bodily functions while further breaking the mold by pushing for inclusivity in the feminine care industry. Their tagline says it all: made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas.
“Our target customer is any human with a vagina that wants to use clean products for their health and wellness," says Dixon. "Our world is so diverse, and we wanted to make it clear that we are here for everyone—no matter how they identify. With gender fluidity becoming a larger conversation, many brands are going to have to figure out a more inclusive way to market their products." Many of us have heard for years that the vagina is self-cleaning, and you don’t really need to do anything to maintain it. That is true—your vagina self-cleanses through discharge—but your vulva, which includes the clitoris, external lips, and the area surrounding the vaginal opening, does not. For this reason, all of the Honey Pot cleansing and soothing products are created to be used externally, never internally.
Trust me, you want these plants in your bathroom. The best part is, they require even less care than a succulent. Keep reading for reviews on our favorite Honey Pot products.
The first product in the Honey Pot lineup and always in my bathroom is the feminine wash. I prefer the sensitive formulation but it’s also available in normal, and mommy-to-be formulas. This foaming cleanser is gentle and moisturizing, with a fresh subtle scent thanks to the lavender, aloe and calendula. I use it daily and never skip it. Especially post-swim, sex, workout or period, it’s a real gamechanger.
Ah, the herbal menstrual pads, once you start using them, you’ll forget what it’s like to use a regular pad. The cooling, slightly tingly (thank you, mint) sensation that occurs when you first put it on is a UNIQUE but very welcome feeling. These herbs create an environment that also keeps your pH in check and instead of existing as a breeding ground for bacteria, actually prevent it from occurring. None of that bulky "diaper feeling" here.
I’m not typically a big advocate for wipes. I’ll never use one to remove my makeup, but these would be the exception. These wipes are gentle enough to use everywhere and are a large size, so it doesn’t feel like you’re constantly pulling out more wipes. One and done! They freshen and cleanse without any noticeable scent and are compostable. I love it for those moments in-between day and night, when there’s no time for a shower.
If you aren’t sold on the herbal pads yet, these 100% organic and unscented cotton tampons are just as comfortable and absorbent. I’ve yet to experience any leakage, despite there being only two absorbency sizes. Everything down to the bioplastic BPA-free applicator is designed with your comfort and health in mind.
If tampons or pads aren’t your thing, you’re covered too. Honey Pot menstrual cups are available in two different sizes to fit your body and flow. In true HP form, they are also hypoallergenic, chemical and latex-free, and made with medical grade silicone to prevent the buildup of bacteria.
If you’re thinking you don’t really need a vulva cream, then maybe you haven’t been engaging in any at-home waxing or down there grooming during quarantine? I can attest this cream is a magical mixture of lavender, coconut oil and mint that soothes even the itchiest ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and any general irritation and soreness.