If you have allergies, rashes or other issues using synthetic sanitary pads, or are just trying to do better by the environment, My Carmesi is a good alternative. It feels very soft, and packaging makes disposal easy. Keep in mind though, you will be paying a 3-4x premium per pad and might have to alter your period routine a bit.
- My Carmesi is an All natural intimate care company that sells sanitary pads and panty liners
- It was founded in 2017 in New Delhi by 👩🏽👨🏽
- They ship direct-to-consumer (D2C) via their website or via Amazon
How we tested
With a plan to compare store-bought synthetic pads with My Carmesi during the same period cycle, we ordered a box of 10 pads (5 XL + 5 Regular size) directly off the website for ₹299, that is ₹29.9 per pad ( A regular synthetic pad costs ~₹8). We also had one of their panty liners from a Smytten box we’d purchased earlier.
We were two testers. Both women in their 30’s with raging PMS, but fairly regular periods. I have a 5-day cycle with 3 heavy and 2 light flow days. My friend, the other tester, has an enviably short 2 day period with medium and light flow days. We both first used a synthetic pad when we started spotting or knew our periods were impending and switched out to My Carmesi when our menstrual flow increased.
What are Carmesi pads made of?
We could not find this information anywhere clearly listed on the website. The website, instead, uses general terms like “natural”, “no synthetics” and “biodegradable”. We did stumble upon an interview with the founder, Tanvi Johri on YourStory in which she details what go into Carmesi pads.
The top sheet is made of cornstarch while the middle absorbent layer is made of bamboo fiber, and the bottom layer made with corn-based bioplastic
So, what do these ingredients mean? Corn starch fiber and corn-based bioplastics are plastics derived from biological sources like starch, wood, food waste and oils. However, not all bioplastics are biodegradable. The same concerns exist about bamboo fiber. It would be helpful to have a bit more detail on the Carmesi website and literature about what exactly goes into making these sanitary pads, and how biodegradable they are in terms of days, months or years even.
What we like about My Carmesi
- One of the first things we noticed about My Carmesi was the packaging. It felt and looked light, even ethereal. The box arrived with 10 pads neatly stacked. Each pad was compactly wrapped with a layer of an adhesive wrapper and then placed in a neat bag. Having this self-contained biodegradable packaging, made disposal very easy without the need to keep or carry additional bags or newspapers.
- The pads by themselves smell almost woody, and fibrous if a texture could have a smell. It is only then you notice in comparison how synthetic pads have a completely different smell or added fragrance. At least we did. Perhaps the most tangible difference is how soft these pads are. My friend got it right when she said the texture reminded her of how pads were back when were teenagers in the Stayfree era – a thick single layer, but very soft. In comparison, My Carmesi pads are thin but soft.
The synthetic scratchiness that I had become so accustomed to and just learned to deal with, was suddenly gone.
What we don’t enjoy about My Carmesi
- We found one of the downsides, perhaps because of the softer texture, of the pads to be that during the heavier days we felt a wet feeling after an hour or so into use. Here’s where the mind plays tricks, especially if you are changing a set routine after 20 years of menstrual cycles – because of the wet feeling, we were constantly checking if we needed to change pads. The pads themselves never leaked – but that may have been because of the constant checking.
- Now like many others during my periods, I have a separate bag in which I dispose of my pads which I then double bag, mark and take out along with the rest of the garbage – and I do this once every 18-24 hours. Using My Carmesi, I found that I needed to dispose of my bag every 12 hours, else the faintly metallic smell of blood founds it way out of the garbage bag.
- A final note – the packaging says its biodegradable which is great on a superficial level. We would still appreciate more details on what exactly goes into them, but they also say ‘Made in China’ which made me do a double take. Why is this a concern? It is only to the extent that we as consumers would like a bit of reassurance on quality control. The uptick in issues with chinese wholesale manufacturers makes the news frequently and it would be good for brands to know consumers are mindful of these potential wrinkles.
- So could I be convinced to switch to all natural My Carmesi pads? If I had issues with synthetic pads, I probably would. But if not I may just be convinced to use My Carmesi, more often than not – because its better for the environment.