A while ago, I was contacted to review some samples of o.b. tampons. These are not your usual tampons that come with a plastic applicator. They're as basic as you can get - just the cotton part and string.
I received the samples to try a while now, but didn't have many *ahem* opportunities to test them out, haha After all it comes only once a month...lol...and I feel bad if I post a review of something I've tried only once.
First thing I noticed is how conveniently small they are. The size is smaller than a MAC lipstick or a tube of lipbalm. Definitely very discreet to slip into your pocket or purse. They are also sold in two formats: in bulk, or packed in sets of 3 in a nondescript plastic case that can be tucked into your purse. These are the cases I got - aren't they cute?
The case itself is quite compact:
And the product even smaller:
The main difference between o.b. and other brands is the fact that o.b. doesn't use applicators. That can be both a good and bad thing. Good because it reduces the waste generated by applicators. The idea behind it is that eliminating the applicator helps reduce waste. After all plastic and even cardboard, when tossed into a landfill still takes up space. According to the company, these tampons have 58% less waste than regular tampons.
It also helps reduce the size of the product, making it extremely convenient to carry around (and hide, lol). Thats one thing that used to always bother me with pads back in school - I always worried that someone will see me sneak one from my bag into my pocket :D These are less than half the size of regular tampons so no trouble there.
My main complaint would be that the lack of an applicator makes it tricky to use for beginners. If I had never used a tampon before, I wouldn't have a clue how to use this. If you already use tampons though then these will be a breeze.
Having to use your fingers means you better wash your hands well before using this! Though you really should be washing your hands no matter what you're using...lol.
You might wonder if it works just as well as other brands since its so tiny. Well I found it does it just as well as other brands. I know tampons don't suit some people especially if they have heavier flow. However when I tried them, they worked just as well as as the other brand I normally use (Playtex).
Overall, I think if you already know how to use tampons, these will do the job just as effectively AND reduce waste at the same time :) And if you are interested in trying these for free, there are free samples being offered on their website for Canadians and US residents.