I believe I grew up in a rather conservative Chinese family. They’re the type of parents who’s not going to go over the birds and the bees with you or even go near that topic. It’s rather typical for my Chinese parents. I remember I getting my period so clearly. I was kind of looking forward to it because you hear about it in middle school (especially during gym class!). There was somewhat of a “welcoming to womanhood” party because my mother cooked a bowl of longevity noodles with an egg. Now that I think about it, I think the egg was symbolic. I’ll be blasting out eggs from now on as well. lol.
I don’t know how I learned to use pads but the only type we had was the brand always. I’ve never given it much thought and just used it up until after college. Period is already annoying and messy but the worse part was the pads. I’m not a fan of always.
I’ll compare the three brands that I’ve tried on comfort, packaging and absorption. I wish I knew of all the options out there before! Now that I buy my own, I’ve been experimenting.
1) always – regular:
yellow packing. Way too obvious, I guess they don’t understand how we want to be discreet.
Plastic-y feeling when you wear it. It cuts into the side of your legs. Long term wear is very uncomfortable. I can’t believe I used it for so long. I didn’t get to buy it so I had no choice.
Absorption is okay. It does its job and sometimes there’s a film of stuff that just…stays on top. Not pleasant.
Oh, its wings don’t work very well because they’re short and the stickiness come undone over time. They become scrunched up and don’t stick.
2) Stayfree – regular:
blue packaging. I still don’t know why they pick such color…I think that’s still too bright.
It’s so much softer than always and feels like cotton. No plastic itchiness from this product. Kind of bulky.
Absorption is also okay. I don’t recall having much trouble with it.
The wings are decent. They’re wider than they are long. Wish it was longer.
3) Kotex – athletic:
I don’t know why they have a particular product for athletic activities because I feel like you don’t need to be doing exercises to require one such as this. I believe regular movements need something like this too.
Big thumbs up on its shape. The one and only one that I’ve seen so far that has a smaller shape in the front than the back. This fits on the underwear so much better.
Black and small patches of color on packaging. More discreet.
The pad doesn’t feel like cotton or plastic. You really don’t feel much of it. This was a pleasant surprise. It is rather comfortable. The length of the pad is nice as well. It’s long enough that you won’t stain the back of your underwear but not too long where you feel like you’re wearing a diaper.
The pad did a very good job in absorpting the fluid. The fluid was completely absorbed without leaving behind wet and sticky stuff.
The wings are very decent. They are of good length and width that they did not come undone part way through the day.
I must say so far Kotex athletic is my favorite pad. There may be even better ones out there but right now, I’m really digging this one. I think the price of the product is usually the reason we opt for one over the other. I think the brand always is slightly cheaper than Kotex and Stayfree. Kotex is slightly cheaper than Stayfree.
I decided to try out Kotex this time because I had a 40% off coupon from CVS and the Kotex package had an extra $1.00 off as well. I also just earned $1.00 reward from CVS too. So, I had $7.00 off the product. I got it at 1/2 the price. It was a really good buy. I’ve been using the CVS app very often. They like to offer me lots of 30-40% off coupon on one item. Their products are likely a little pricier than Walgreens/Duane Reade. The coupon helps.
I’ve tried tampons once. Maybe due to personal reasons that I find it really uncomfortable to the point that it hurts. I prefer to stay with my pads.
I also really like Carefree liners. They’re the right amount of thinness and curved shape in the front and back. The store brand liners are just straight and thick. The surface area of these liners don’t match my underwear. Too small! I wish liners had wings too because I like to use them towards the end of my period. Won’t Carefree please make the liners with wings? 🙂
I hope this post is helpful for someone who’s also experimenting or just starting their period journey.