Caught off guard by that time of the month again? Been there, done that. This past month though was different because the TikTok-viral period brand August and its unique subscription option had my back — and it can have yours too at an exclusive discount.
August offers "period care for everyone who menstruates," according to its site. It's best known not only for its sustainable, 100% organic cotton pads, tampons, and liners but also its ability to trace that sustainability as well as its Gen-Z-friendly, gender-neutral design. If you're like me and have stuck with the same store brand for years of menstruating, August is offering an incentive: R29 readers get 15% off all products with the promo code REFINERY15 at checkout. Because our deal excludes subscriptions, we suggest using the promo code for a one-time purchase and then get on that subscription plan — the convenience of getting your pads, tampons, and liners delivered straight to your door without having to do a thing is a godsend.
I've decided to take the August Long Night pads for a test drive so I can give you all of my honest thoughts. Spoiler alert: There will be blood.
This customizable box by August can be filled with at least 20 products and up to 96. Take your pick from a combination of tampons with three levels of absorbency (light, regular, and super), pads (day, night, and long night), and liners. You can really make it your own. That means if you're someone who likes panty liners at the beginning of your period or sticks to tampons except for heavy nights, you can curate exactly what you need in one aesthetically pleasing package.
When it comes to my periods, I like to stick with the familiar. My usual order of business is the maxi overnight or the heavy night pads by Always (or whatever generic brand is comparable to Always that I find on Amazon Fresh or the store). I don't like to stray from this path; it's worked for me, so there's no need to change it. However, August's reviews intrigued me. With a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and 441 reviews, period sufferers say they "absolutely love everything August has to offer" and that the box is "totally convenient to curate everything [I] need for the following months." If you're worried about what enters or is close to your most private body part — whether it's the harmful materials it's made of or the sensory hell that is fragranced pads — we have great news: August's products are made out of 100% organic cotton that's hypoallergenic and free of toxins, chlorine, harmful chemicals, and fragrances.
While pads aren't the most innovative period product, they're the ones meant for me. I find tampons and Diva Cups terrifying, and I like sticking to what I know. While I was excited to try the August Long Night pads, I was apprehensive about leaks and stains. My flow is pretty heavy in the beginning, and I get paranoid about staining my sheets. While Always' pads are non-degradable, plastic-wrapped, and definitely not made with organic cotton pads, they're pretty darn absorbent. All in all, August had a lot to live up to.
I absolutely love everything August has to offer!
The first thing I noticed about the August Long Night pads — the only ones I decided to try since they're the ones most comparable with my usual — was how thin they were. If your flow has never been heavy enough to need the maxi pads, those things are typically chunky. The difference in girth made me nervous, but maybe the tech has advanced enough that you need the weight for it to be absorbent....I was wrong. Let's be clear: They're absorbent — they're just not as absorbent as my familiar Always pads. When I used the Long Night pads at the beginning of my period, I had to change them more often than I normally have to. When I woke up after a night of wearing them as I slept — and I doubled up to cover my entire panty line like I usually do to avoid all possibilities of leaks — the pad was soaked. It was a massacre in there. I'm glad I changed it when I did.
For us heavy, heavy-flow folks, I probably wouldn't suggest the Long Night pads — which is unfortunate since they're the ones meant for heavy flows. I used them for the back end of my period, and they were wonderful for that since they're absorbent enough while being unbelievably thin. Plus, they're also pretty darn soft and comfortable to wear — it truly felt like I wasn't wearing a pad. And while that may sound perfect, it's actually a huge problem for me since I literally did forget I was wearing a pad and left it on for way longer than I should have.
The brand also keeps it gender-neutral (no talk of women or ladies there), which I really appreciated. I would recommend it for people whose periods are light to medium flow. The entire system is pretty convenient, considering you can opt to subscribe (although our code only works for one-time purchases) and receive in the mail on a consistent basis — that way you'll never have that moment when you get your period without having any supplies (been there). Plus, the merch is really cute. I'm actually obsessed with the zipper pouch for stuff that isn't period-related, though you could stash your supply in there for trips or to keep at your work desk. That's all to say that while August can't solve all the pains of having a period, it certainly can make it way cuter — and more convenient.
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