Does feminine care belong in beauty?

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of Saalt
image courtesy of Saalt
With new categories taking shape like hormonal skin care and whole-body beauty, and with more and more women leading cosmetics and personal care brands, the industry is shifting to reflect and respond differently to consumers’ lived experiences. Cosmetics Design checked in with Amber Fawson and Cherie Hoeger, founders of period care brand Saalt, to better understand how feminine care fits in beauty.

Saalt makes menstrual cups, products that as co-founder Cherie Hoeger explains “collect—rather than absorb—your period. [A cup] stays in place by creating a seal between the cup and your vaginal wall. Once your cup is filled, you simply empty, rinse, and reinsert the cup for another 12 hours of protection.”

Indie beauty and feminine care

“We believe menstrual cups belong in beauty because they encourage people to look at period care in a new light,” ​Saalt co-founder Amber Fawson tells Cosmetics Design.

“The beauty category continues to grow with clean beauty and an educated consumer base wanting to know what is in their beauty products,” ​notes Fawson, who continues to describe her brand’s place in beauty, saying, “Having a 'clean' product to take care of your period is just as beautiful and important as having a 'clean' skincare brand. Through packaging and brand voice, we've been able to elevate menstrual cups to sit on the same shelves as the rest of consumer personal care needs.”

Beauty is a very visible sector of the consumer goods marketplace. And that level of visibility is something brands like Saalt are hoping to bring to feminine care: “We would be missing an important subsector of consumers by not focusing on beauty consumers,” ​emphasizes Fawson. “Fem-care products have been hidden in carts, placed on discreet shelves in stores, and not talked about for years! By opening up the beauty category for menstrual cups and having it talked about and shopped the same way you shop for your beauty, we believe it allows for more open conversations about the best way to care for your period.”

Wellness, safety, and sustainability

“We created Saalt with the vision of making cleaner, simpler period care accessible to everyone,” ​Hoeger tells Cosmetics Design. “We're really passionate,” ​she says, “about supporting individuals to make healthier and more sustainable choices in period care, and believe that through innovation, you can absolutely do so without compromising comfort or convenience.”

Saalt sources its silicone and manufactures its menstrual cups here in the US. “For a medical device that is used in such a sensitive area, we wanted to have ultimate control and visibility of our supply chain,” ​says Fawson. “The cup is a remarkably safe and simple solution for period care. It's made from only two ingredients, medical-grade silicone and FDA tested silicone dye, both of which have been tested for skin sensitization, cytotoxicity and even muscle implantation. Silicone is a remarkable material, naturally safe, inherently bio-compatible and it forms a permanent chemical bond called a thermoset when it is molded. So it cannot ever melt or leach out any dye, and since there are no other chemicals or BPA or latex used in the manufacturing process, it's super safe.”

And Fawson believes a brand like Saalt makes sense in the new wellness movement. “We've seen how self-care and wellness have evolved,” ​she tells Cosmetics Design. “It started with connotations of facemasks and manicures, but we've seen it grow into being a whole-body and whole-planet experience. The lines between beauty and personal health and planet health being blurred.”

Saalt considers environmental sustainability an important piece of its business too: “We elected to use paperboard tubes in our packaging which are 100% recyclable anywhere that you can recycle cardboard or paper,” ​says Hoeger, adding that “The other thing to consider is the useful life of the Saalt Cup, which can last for up to 10 years. When you compare that to any other disposable product (all of which have plastic wrapping and for tampons, single-use plastic applicators) the amount of waste you're saving by switching to a reusable menstrual cup is astounding.”

“We all have a responsibility to consider how our consumer habits are affecting the planet and start making collective decisions about being more responsible with our resources and consumption,” ​believes Hoeger.

The future of Saalt

The brand’s product portfolio currently comprises a few different menstrual cups; there are two materials and two sizes. The brand also sells a cup wash product, a pouch for storing and transporting the cups, as well as a logo hat. But there is more to come from Saalt. “We're working on some audacious and promising projects right now and continue to find loyal partners throughout the world that align with our standard of sustainability,”​ Hoeger tells this publication.

“We believe the future of period care has to be reusable and sustainable and our team is working energetically to make sure that there are better options available to consumers….And this is not just in the United States, but worldwide,” ​says Hoegar. “Our goal is to provide a full line of reusable options that women can choose from or combine to have a much better period experience and not have to compromise quality or the environment.”

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DeannaUtroske_Editor_CosmeticsDesign

Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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