The history of sanitary protection
Sanitary napkins, tampons, menstrual cups, reusable period protection… In the menstruation section, women today have different alternatives that are increasingly moving towards an eco-responsible trend.
Have you ever wondered how women protected themselves during periods before the invention of the sanitary napkin? We do...and in this article we tell you the whole story of menstrual protection from Antiquity to today and we can tell you that we have come a long way...!
During the period of antiquity
The very first known hygienic protections date back to 1550 BC among Egyptian women. During menstruation, they make tampons from softened papyrus. Rather clever! On the side of Ancient Greece, they were less delicate, by designing tampons with sorts of compresses wrapped around pieces of wood...beware of splinters!
With the rise of monotheistic religions, women no longer have the right to insert objects into the vagina, this act being considered "impure". So women say bye bye to tampons.
During the period of the Middle Ages
It's a “free” period, women don't wear underwear. Who says no panties, says no towel. The layers of petticoats they wore then fulfill this double role. We agree, not very practical but ecological!
At that time, indisposed women are frightening, they are given evil powers with the ability to harm. Such beliefs come from not knowing the menstrual cycle. It was “in the middle of the 19th century that we discovered the phenomenon of ovulation and that we began to assign it a role in the onset of menstruation”.
In 1800, it appears the ancestor of sanitary napkins, which were called "rag bags". Then the work of Pasteur made people aware of the importance of hygiene.
Early 20th century
The very first disposable towel dates from 1888. It was a kind of linen fabric that the woman hung with a safety pin on a so-called sanitary belt. But the rules remained a taboo subject and there was no marketing of today… so this invention quickly fell into oblivion. Amen.
In 1920, we start again with the same product but this time in cotton fibres.
We owe the first model of industrially produced cotton sanitary napkins to the Kimberly Clark company. This towel is inspired by the bandages used by nurses during the First World War.
It was a piece of washable fabric that was attached with pins or belts attached to the waist. For you to visualize, it's the same principle as garter belts but... less sexy.
The Tampax company invented the first disposable tampon in 1934. At the time, they had a cardboard applicator and were reserved for married women. For good reason: we thought he could lose his virginity.
Note that the tube was 5 cm wide and 15 cm long. We let you imagine the comfort all day long…
During the war, women are mobilized and take part in the work, the sale of tampons then increases sharply. Then the end of the war marks the return of their status as "housewives" and the stamp falls into oblivion again.
Late 20th century
1960 marks the birth of the Flower Power hippie movement and the appearance of the washable towel.
From 1963, French women can finally buy disposable sanitary napkins in stores. In the 70s, an effort was made on the practical side, by adding an adhesive strip. The 80s and 90s marked the improvement of sanitary napkins: in 1991, the Nana brand invented flexible flaps that were attached under lingerie and offered sanitary napkins specially designed for the night. In the 2000s, the first panty liner for thongs appeared and yes remember, it was So In!
In recent years, new generations have become more sensitive to ecological issues, particularly that of waste.
In France, 5 billion tampons or pads are used each year. Faced with this observation, new forms of hygienic protection have emerged, such as the menstrual cup – its invention actually dates from the 1930s – or period panties. The latter absorbs the flows and is worn alone without any other protection. Commonly called the menstrual panties, we rather call it “the magic panties”. It can be washed and reused as many times as desired and above all it does not pollute.
And then in 2018, there is SMOON a new generation of menstrual panties with enhanced efficiency: no feeling of humidity, no leakage and no seams for unequaled comfort and invisibility under clothing.
SMOON is THE protection without compromise: performance, comfort and freedom of movement.
We guarantee it, to try it is to adopt it!