What are tampons really made of? This is a common question about tampons and despite how much we love the internet, there are several myths out there about tampon ingredients. Thanks internet, but we got this one.
Tampax tampons have an important job - absorb your monthly bleed to help avoid leaks, so they are primarily made from absorbent ingredients like purified cotton, rayon, or a blend of both. Since tampons are considered a medical device by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) our products and ingredients must meet strict safety standards. Our purified cotton is a plant-based ingredient treated for usage and rayon is a synthetic material derived from purified wood pulp and is processed into an absorbent cellulose fiber. Fear not, our process ensures Tampax tampons are free of elemental chlorine bleaching and perfume (on products labelled as Unscented.) Cotton and Rayon used in Tampax tampons are both proven and widely accepted as safe for use by super smart people like scientists, health authorities, and physicians - Tampax is even the #1 US Gynecologist Recommended Tampon Brand.
So, if you’re wanting to learn even more about our tampons and their ingredients, you’ve come to the right place!
You’re striving to be better in all you do and we’re here to help give you protection you can feel good about. Tampax PURE tampons are made with a 100% Organic Cotton Core, Organic Cotton cover, and give you up to 100% leak-free protection. Oh, and did someone say free?! Tampax PURE tampons are free of chlorine bleaching, dyes, and fragrances. They have a smooth 90% plant based plastic applicator with an anti-slip grip for easy insertion, not to mention the tampon comes with a LeakGuard Braid to help stop leaks before they happen. Now, that’s protection you can feel good about!
90% Plant Based Plastic Applicator
100% Organic Cotton
100% Organic Cotton
Cotton with Polypropylene Braid
Tampax Pearl and Tampax Radiant Tampons are made with purified cotton, rayon, or a blend of both ingredients to give you All Day Comfort and Protection for up to 8 hours. Free of elemental chlorine bleaching? Totally. Free of Perfume? Yep, all unscented products are totally free of perfume. Tampax Pearl and Tampax Radiant plastic applicators are BPA-free and designed to make insertion easy and smooth and the LeakGuard Braid helps stop leaks before they happen.
Plastic with pigments for color
Cotton and/or Rayon of varying levels optimized for performance
Polyethylene and Polypropylene
Cotton with Polypropylene Braid
Fragrance ingredients like those found in other women's products.
Tampax Cardboard Applicator Tampons are made with purified cotton, rayon, or a blend of both ingredients to give you up to 8 hours of protection. Free of elemental chlorine bleaching, perfume, and dyes. Tampax Cardboard Applicator tampons are clinically tested gentle on skin, so you can feel confident about using tampons.
Cardboard made of tightly wound paper
Purified Cotton and/or Rayon of varying levels optimized for performance
Absolutely! Safety is at the heart of everything we do. Before we market a new product, we go beyond regulatory compliance to ensure every ingredient’s safety through a four-step, science-based process. We use the same process as regulatory agencies around the world, like US Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, the European Union, the World Health Organization, and others.
“Doubt is the beginning, not the end of wisdom.” We start with a healthy dose of skepticism about the safety of a new ingredient used in tampons. If we cannot establish its safety to consumers, we will not use it.
We define the safe range for every ingredient we use with the same scientific process used by regulatory agencies around the world (FDA, EPA, WHO, EU, etc). We avoid unsafe ranges. If there is not enough information to establish a safe range we will be cautious and remove the ingredient from consideration, or investigate it further with additional data.
We evaluate all tampon ingredients in the final product to confirm their use is within the safe range for both consumers and the environment. If we cannot conclude that the final product formula is safe, we will reformulate, or decide not to market the product. Procter and Gamble has over 700 scientists and professionals who ensure our products meet all safety and regulatory requirements around the world.
Once the product is marketed we monitor consumer use and investigate all new scientific information. We also collaborate with external scientists and regulatory agencies on new safety methods.
Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare but serious illness and the most up-to-date scientific information assures us that Toxic Shock Syndrome is not affected by the ingredients in tampons – this means that tampons made with cotton, rayon, or organic cotton ingredients all have similar risks of TSS. Regardless of what the tampon ingredients are, it is really important for you to know the signs and symptoms of TSS and what you can do to reduce your risk. Learn more about Toxic Shock Syndrome, symptoms, and how to reduce your risk.
Your safety is at the foundation of everything we do, so like our unscented tampons, our scented tampons can be used safely. We make sure the materials and ingredients that are used in our tampons, including the fragrance in our scented products, should not be irritating, cause itching, or cause an allergic reaction. Additionally, the fragrance used in our tampons meets the strict safety standards set by the International Fragrance Association, the world’s leading authority on fragrance safety. We recommend our unscented tampons for those who prefer fragrance-free products or who may already have allergies or sensitivity to fragrances. In case you’re wondering, it’s completely normal and healthy to have vaginal odor and a faint scent of tang or sweat is totally fine and healthy. Learn more about vaginal odor - what’s good, bad, and when you should definitely consult a doctor with this Vaginal Odor Guide.
Now that you know the ingredients used in Tampax tampons, let’s explore how we make tampons. Tampax Tampons are made at our own manufacturing facilities, 1 in the US and 1 in Europe. We know exactly what ingredients go into each tampon and how they are put together every step of the way, to ensure quality.
Watch this video to learn more about how our tampons are made and Tampax ingredients.