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Photo courtesy of stormgrounds.com

Today’s society is very contradictory when it comes to women and their health. On one hand, you are constantly told to go to the doctor, get your breasts checked, and take your vitamins. On the other hand, you are expected to be able to juggle work, family and friends all at the same time, virtually leaving you with only a few hours of sleep and perhaps one or two hours to yourself in the day, if you’re lucky.

Due to this constant imbalance, it is only normal that you lose touch with your inner goddess and understanding of your connection to Mother Nature. In the past women were in sync with nature, and especially with their periods. When women menstruated in the past it was known as “Moon Time” which was a very fitting name, seeing as moon cycles last 29.5 days, and women’s menstrual cycles generally last around 28 to 29.5 days.

Before the industrial revolution women often ovulated around the full moon, and menstruated around the new moon. Most women in today’s society unfortunately do not follow this same cycle naturally, and often ovulate during the new moon and even menstruate during the full moon, throwing the body out of balance. For a better understanding of the cycles of the moon, see the picture below.

Photo courtesy of flickr.com

This connection between the moon and the menstrual cycle is not as widely discussed as it could be, because people often see it as taboo or silly. We have been wired as a society to believe that we should control our bodies with man-made medicines like the pill. At Maxim Hygiene we believe that women should not only use natural feminine products, but natural methods to get in sync with their bodies, so syncing your period up with the moon is a great way to start.

The first step to getting your period back on track with the cycle of the moon is to figure out when you ovulate. These easy to use period tracking apps can help you with this. The second step is paying close attention to your lifestyle habits, like what time you generally go to bed and wake up, what you eat, and even how much light filters into your bedroom. Ideally you want as little artificial light in your room as possible (computer screens, cell phones and alarm clocks are all culprits of this artificial light!), so try to shut down your devices or cover them up with something while you sleep.

As for your diet, there are different kinds of foods that are recommended to be eaten at different stages of your menstrual cycle. Check out this article for advice on what those foods are and if you want your menstrual cycle to be synced up with the moon.

Syncing your menstrual cycle to the cycles of the moon will not be easy, but after a few months you should start to feel more in tune with nature as well as alleviate any uncomfortable symptoms you may currently experience during your period. This in turn, will help you stay on your “A-game” and help you keep being the fierce woman you are!

Halloween is a very fun and festive time for children and adults alike, with pumpkin picking, costumes, and candy. We here at Maxim Hygiene know that dressing up is one of the most enjoyable and important parts of the holiday. We’ve compiled five Halloween makeup ideas to give you some inspiration and bring out the fierce woman in you!

Some of the makeup that is used in the tutorials below can be quite expensive, so feel free to experiment and substitute with cheaper alternatives that you can find in most drugstores and craft stores. Also keep in mind that if you ever decide to use face paint to recreate one of these looks you should look into using natural face paint, as it is better for your skin and for the environment!

#1: Cat Makeup

Photo courtesy of naturallybellexo Instagram

Photo courtesy of naturallybellexo Instagram

Meow! Who doesn’t love to dress up as a cat on Halloween? Take your look to the next level by following this cat makeup tutorial from naturallybellexo. Her eyes are absolutely stunning with the gold glitter, and she has added some colored contact lenses to give her an additional feline touch.

#2 American Horror Story – Moira O’Hara

Photo courtesy of melaniiemurphy Instagram

Photo courtesy of melaniiemurphy Instagram

This show has had great success ever since it first came out, and everyone seems to be talking about it. One blogger, Melanie Murphy has created a tutorial to help you transform into one of the main characters, Moira O’Hara for Halloween. She has recreated both the young and old versions of Moira, so it’s up to you to decide which version you prefer and like the best! 

#3 Zombie Bride Makeup 

Photo courtesy of marieclaire.com

Photo courtesy of marieclaire.com

For you girls that prefer to stay true to more traditional Halloween costumes, this Zombie Bride makeup tutorial from Marie Claire is perfect for you. The makeup artists that put this look together have struck the perfect balance between scary and sultry.

#4 Spiderweb Makeup

Photo courtesy of popsugar.com

Don’t have a costume but still want to look festive for the holiday? Try out this Spiderweb Makeup from Popsugar Beauty. You only need to complete the look with a little black dress and some nice shoes and you’re ready to go!

#5 Jeweled Eyes

Photo courtesy of Heymishka.com

Photo courtesy of Heymishka.com

Similar to the Spiderweb makeup tutorial, this look is last minute and does not require a real costume. For those of you that don’t like to dress up on Halloween but still want glam up for the holiday, these Jeweled Eye Looks that have been complied by blogger Hey Mishka are perfect.

Let us know if you try out any of these looks, and feel free to send us some pictures or your own Halloween makeup tutorials! We would love to hear from you!

Photo courtesy of Eastwestdaily.com

Seeing as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we here at Maxim Hygiene felt it was a good idea to tackle one breast cancer myth that you have probably questioned and debated many times before: Is there a link between wearing deodorant and breast cancer?

This myth has been studied many times before but has not produced any conclusive evidence that there is a link between the two, and even The National Cancer Institute has deducted that at the present moment there is no connection. The main reason this myth came about is due to the aluminum-based compounds and parabens (otherwise known as preservatives) that can be found in some deodorants. Both of these elements are thought to have estrogen-like effects on the body, which may promote the growth of breast cancer cells. These ingredients are thought by some to be absorbed into the body through shaving nicks and repeated use in the same area, as aluminum-based compounds are meant to block the sweat ducts to keep you from sweating.

pit pasteA great idea to bypass all harmful ingredients is to try to go the all-natural route. Many of these natural deodorants work just as well as the other commercial deodorants you can find in your local drugstore. Primal pit paste is a new natural brand we fell in love with and came across at last month’s Natural Products Expo East show. Their product has been tested and approved by our team and it’s founder is a Fierce Woman, which we always love to see!

Although there is no current proven link between deodorant and breast cancer you should still be cautious when choosing your deodorant or any other personal care item. Check out what chemicals you should avoid to stay informed and to avoid any possible risks.

Science is constantly changing and coming out with new studies and evidence so although there is no current connection between wearing deodorant and breast cancer, you should still go and get yourself regularly tested. Also pay attention if you suddenly see any changes in your breasts, as this could be a symptom of breast cancer. And if you are really interested in keeping your goddess-self in tip-top shape, check out these applications for breast health to help you stay your healthiest.

Clare Breast Cancer“It takes a village to raise a child.” Many of us have heard this popular African proverb made infamous by Hillary Clinton’s partial use of it in her 1996 book title. All too many of us have also experienced that it takes a village to support a woman affected by breast cancer. That’s why this month, in light of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we elected Clare Bongiovanni, Breast Cancer Survivor & Darien Chamber of Commerce CEO, as our Fierce Woman of the Month. Clare has found a way to weave her personal experience of surviving breast cancer with her hard earned career position to help other members of the Darien, IL community affected by this second leading cause of death amongst women.

Darrien FEst

We first heard about Clare through the great store managers at the Fruitful Yield in Darien, IL, one of our favorite health food retail chains in the Chicagoland suburbs carrying Maxim Hygiene Products. Clare had reached out to Fruitful Yield to help arrange healthy product donations from vendors like us for gift bag goodies giveaways at their most popular local town festival called the DarienFest. Naturally, we donated cases of our 3-in-1 Cosmetic Accessory Travel Packs, but more interesting for us was the story the inspired ladies at Fruitful Yield shared with us about the fierce woman behind the cause and the reason for her efforts.

ChairsClare is a seven year breast cancer survivor. Earlier this year she came up with the idea to invite local Darien artists to create and design Adirondack Chairs to auction off at DarienFest to help raise money to provide meals to women in Darien going through breast cancer treatment. The meals will be provided by local Chamber member restaurants, helping both the business and women affected by breast cancer. The success of this charity at last month’s event led to the City of Darien is celebrating “Paint the Town Pink” which is in conjunction with providing meals to the affected women. This will become an annual event and the awareness will continue to grow.

Below is a little Q&A session we had with Clare to help further inspire you to be fierce in your efforts this month for raising awareness for breast cancer awareness. Every little bit counts and we want to hear about it so make sure to comment below with what you’re doing in your local community to raise awareness. All who comment will receive a $1.00 off coupon for their next Maxim Hygiene product purchase.

At Maxim Hygiene, we define a Fierce Woman as a “glorious female creature whose idea of beauty is hinged upon the idea that she can change the world with each choice, each moment and each breath of her life.” Who in your life is a Fierce Woman and why? 

My Mother is the Fierce Woman in my life. My Mother came to the USA from Sicily at the age of 16 on a boat with only the clothes she wore on her back. She first settled in New York without knowing anyone or able to speak the language. She was Fierce and determined to make a new life in this country. Her struggles were unspeakable but she was a fighter and had dreams.  She went to school, learned the language and worked to help support her Mom and siblings.  She married at the age of 19 and continued to work hard to fulfill her dreams to someday having children and owning a home.  There was never a job she couldn’t perform, she would always figure it out and give 150% and determined to succeed, whether it was working the night shift to care for her children during the day or working the school year so she could be home with them in the summer she found a way to make it work, her children are her life and will continue to be till she takes her last breath.  Multi-tasking was part of her daily agenda and continues to be at the age of 82. My Mom…. the best role model I could have ever been blessed with.  She made me the woman I am today.

What inspired the theme of your latest “Adirondack Chairs” auction event to raise money for those affected by breast cancer?

Earlier this year I presented my idea of the Adirondack Chair auction to Darien Chamber Women in business, they loved the idea. With the help of local Chamber businesses and local artists the plan stayed on schedule and the auction was a big success.  I remember what it was like and how I felt during my breast cancer treatment, I was a single Mom with young boys and all I could think of was how I was going to cook for them when I didn’t feel well, I was fortunate to have friends to help me out at times sending meals to my family. When I hear of a woman who has been diagnosed with cancer the first thing I think of is how will she cook and feed her children while she’s going through treatment?  It saddens me to hear another woman having to go through treatment but gives me joy to be able to give back to them by providing the family a meal.

What advice do you have for other breast cancer survivors looking to initiate their own efforts and charities to raise awareness and funds for the cause?

I would recommend following your heart from your own personal experience. Each individual goes through their own personal struggle and can give back to others from their heart.

Of all the many wonderful breast cancer awareness groups out there, why is the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization your favorite?

I never thought I would hear the words “you have breast cancer” upon being diagnosed in 2007 I started doing my own breast cancer research and came across the Susan G. Komen website, part of their mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever, immediately I knew I needed to learn more and support the organization.

What was the best help you received from others during the time you were battling breast cancer?

The best help I received from others were all the prayers, emotional support and help with my two boys. The nurses, and complete strangers at the hospital were my daily support; each morning as I raised my left arm up the Radiologist nurses would  embraced me with their smile and strength.  My fondest memory was on my last day of treatment my co-workers had a celebration for me which was my celebration of life.

 

Men have been getting a lot of heat lately for being the main perpetrators behind the astonishing high stats we shared with you last week about the occurrence of sexual assault on college campuses -

1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college.

When we read the all too common news stories about frat parties that serve date rape laced drinks, it’s hard not to breed a growing hatred and fear against men. It’s especially hard when these men are being let off the hook way too easy and an astounding 95% of rape cases are not even being reported by their female victims.

At Maxim Hygiene Products, we’re all about women’s empowerment and progress, which is why we run our #FierceWomen blog series, designed to inspire women to make change and improve our rights. Last week, we featured Wagatwe Wanjuki’s fierce efforts in raising awareness for the unacceptable level of sexual assaults occurring on campuses everywhere.

This week we wanted to take the opportunity to also acknowledge recent efforts by men who are committed preventing rape on college campuses. Although we still have much to do to end the violence against women, we are making progress thanks to these brave men committed to improving women’s rights -

Photo Courtesy of www.ItsOnUs.org

Photo Courtesy of http://www.ItsOnUs.org

President Obama – Earlier in the year, after a report by The White House Council on Women and Girls stated that “women at our nation’s colleges and universities are at particular risk of being sexually assaulted,” President Obama requested a more detailed investigation and plan be compiled to deal with sexual assault on college campuses. Ninety days later, we received a The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. Just last week, we saw the release of the #ItsOnUs campaign, hopefully one of the first of many by the government that will target this issue.

Photo Courtesy of www.nbcnews.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.nbcnews.com

Undercover Colors – Founded by four male students at the University of North Carolina, where between 2010 and 2012 there were 14 incidents of forced sexual assault on campus, this newly launched brand of nail polish is made to detect the presence of date rape drugs in drinks. A simple stir of the drink by a finger nail polished with this uniquely formulated lacquer will change color if drugs are detected. Although this company claims, “empowerment through discreet functional fashion,” many are up in arms about it’s effectiveness in detecting the many chemicals used in date rape drugs and curing the degrading societal perspectives on gender based sex roles and stereotypes.

Photo Courtesy of Joshua L. Jones

Photo Courtesy of Joshua L. Jones

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes – Not only are this sassy organization’s participants primarily male, but so is it’s founder, Frank Baird. This International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence is a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to men’s sexualized violence against women. Like the students at University of Georgia did recently, participants walk a mile in heels to raise awareness for rape on campus and in general.

So, as you can see, not all men are created equally and many are equally willing to make an effort to improve our lives and fight for women’s rights, just like our company’s Founder who created the Maxim line of Organic and Natural Tampons and Pads to provide for a healthier alternative in menstrual care.

We’d love to hear from you and any men you may know of who are working to prevent and protect against sexual assault!

0010

Trigger warning: this article discusses campus rape and sexual assault.

The beginning of a new school year often brings such excitement and anticipation. There’s the wonder of the unknown: new friends, new adventures and new opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. But what happens when the place you think is safe to learn and expand becomes hostile and triggering?

That what happens to thousands of young women each year who are survivors of campus rape. One out of five women will be sexually assaulted during their college years and 90% of perpetrators are repeat offenders. However, colleges and universities have been turning a blind eye, ignoring survivors, stigmatizing them, blaming them and/or keeping them silent. It is not a new issue but one that is finally getting attention thanks to activists like our Fierce Woman of the month, Wagatwe Wanjuki.

Wagatwe Wanjuki is a feminist writer and social media activist who has been using her voice and online presence to speak out against campus rape and the despicable ways that colleges and universities handle these cases. As a survivor herself, she is outspoken in her advocacy and bravely shares her own experience to inspire others to speak their own truths and join the movement to end rape culture and the blame game that rape and sexual assault survivors often face. Wagatwe has spoken in Washington, D.C. working with the White House to take up this issue more seriously, is a sought after speaker at campuses around the country, and has been keeping this cause in the media through her writing and press interviews. We interviewed her about her powerful work educates and inspires survivors around the world.

1) At Maxim Hygiene, we define a Fierce Woman as a “glorious female creature whose idea of beauty is hinged upon the idea that she can change the world with each choice, each moment and each breath of her life.” Who in your life is a Fierce Woman and why?

I am really lucky because I can say without hesitation that my life is full of Fierce Women. When I read your question I immediately thought of the fellow survivors and activists I’ve met over the past few years who have become some of my best friends and fiercest advocates. I am surrounded by individuals who have used their own experiences and knowledge to become activists for safer campuses, and thus a safer world. I am inspired by their commitment to fight rape culture through so many ways – whether it’s from influencing national legislation or telling a survivor what happened to them is not their fault.

2) You have become a fierce activist and spokesperson about sexual assault prevention and rape culture, especially online. How did you get involved in this work?

It all started after I turned to Tufts University to help me in the aftermath of an abusive relationship. They refused to do anything to help me. After I got over the initial shame and hurt of being denied any mode of justice through the school, I connected with another survivor who also had a bad experience with the administration after reporting her own rape. She found and brought the organization SAFER to campus, who trained us on student organizing and what a good sexual assault policy is. A year later I joined their board of directors to work on this issue at a national scale. Since then I’ve worked in a variety of ways – most recently with Know Your IX to advocate for safer campuses.

Wagatwe Wanjuki speaking

Wagatwe speaking at a university about campus rape and online advocacy.

3) What is the Know Your IX campaign? How can people participate?

Know Your IX is an education campaign designed to educate students and their loved ones about their rights under Title IX in relation to sexual violence. It also provides resources to student organizers and survivors about different issues that often arise when organizing for social change, such as working with media, looking for an attorney, or dealing with racism on campus. To get involved, people should check out the website. There are a variety of ways to get involved. Most recently, KYIX launched a campus action network for students organizing about sexual violence on their campuses.

4) You were a blogger before “blogs” existed! How has the Internet shaped your life and specifically your activism?  

Yes! It is no exaggeration that my life would not be anything close to what it is today without the internet. When I was younger I was really shy and had parents who were strict and did not let me socialize with classmates as much as I’d like. The internet was the place where I found my voice. I felt free to say what I thought and – maybe just as importantly – I felt like I had the freedom to connect with other people that were understanding and caring. I found a great support system through the internet. While I may not have met most of the people I’ve befriended in the early years of my online writing, they have definitely had a significant impact on shaping who I am today.

5) What is the one thing you most want people to know about rape culture and campus sexual assault?

One of the reasons why I advocate for colleges to better handle sexual assault is that academic institutions claim to hold their students to a certain “code of conduct.” If cheating on a test is a violation of that code, sexual assault should be one as well. College is an important time in one’s life. We have to teach young people (and older, “non-traditional” students!) that violating another person’s body is wrong and is unacceptable – on campus or off.

incontinenceMany of us may be embarrassed to talk about it but it’s happened to almost all of us; whether it’s caused by uncontrollable laughter or aging, it’s more common than you may think – Urinal Incontinence (UI), the loss of bladder control.

If you know anything about us at Maxim Hygiene Products, you know we’re happy and ready to take on the discussion of any subject, no matter how uncomfortable, as long as it means we get to help you live a “Soft, Safe and Natural” life. Periods and menstruation may be our “uncomfortable discussion” forte, but after receiving daily calls from some of our most loyal fans in regards to incontinence, we knew we had to take the opportunity to cover it here in detail with you.

So, just how common is it? According to the National Association For Continence, UI affects 200 million people worldwide. And guess what ladies, 75-80% of those sufferers are women, 9-13 million of whom have bothersome, severe, symptoms. Why are we so heavily affected? Our urological systems are taking on more trauma than a man’s with the following associated risk factors:

  • Childbirth
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Menopause
  • Prior pelvic surgeries – hysterectomy
  • Increased weight
  • Neurologic illnesses – multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or stroke
  • Advanced age

Although females may experience UI moreso than men, the condition is equally embarrassing for both sexes. The good news is there are ways to treat incontinence and prevent urinal leakage incidents.

incontinence 2

In addition to discussing some treatment possibilities with your physician, here are a few easy and natural do it yourself exercises to treat incontinence:

  • Bladder retraining – An overactive bladder can have you needing to hit the restroom way more often than you like. With bladder retraining exercises, your bladder will learn over time and through disciplined training to extend the interval between each voiding period.
  • Kegel exercises – strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will not only lower the chances of incontinence leaks, but it could improve your sex life too! Typically known as a recommendation for women, you can check out these different routines for both men and women.
  • Staying hydrated – It may seem contrary to thought, but drinking more water is actually better for your bladder. Not having enough water in your system can lead to constipation and dehydration which can irritate the bladder.
  • Dietary changes – Avoiding certain acidic and caffeinated foods can help with bladder control for some but not all. Here are some foods and drinks to avoid and test – coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, alochol, and artificial sweetners.

These treatments can take up to several weeks to start showing some results, so don’t despair and stick to it before resorting to more invasive treatment options like surgery.

In the meantime and for those who need extra protection for severe cases of incontinence, sanitary or incontinence pads may need to be worn on a daily basis. We hear from people with such needs quite often and although we don’t label any of our Maxim products as incontinence products, there are many women and men who use Maxim sanitary pads for their bladder control sanitary pad needs.

The combination of irritation and incontinence is very common because with age, the lining of the skin thins out and thus becomes more sensitive to certain materials like the synthetics found in conventional pads. Also, synthetics create a heat-damp environment that encourages the growth of bacteria. Maxim is happy to provide a solution with our line of hypoallergenic cotton pads. Cotton is more breathable which helps reduce the risk of irritation and makes the daily use of pads a little bit more comfortable.

We recommend any one of the following products depending on the heaviness of your flow –

classic contour pantly liners organic

Classic Contour Panty Liners for an extra light flow (item #1-2205530-1)

ultra thin winged pads

 

Ultra Thin Winged Pads for a light flow (item #1-230110-1)

classic contour pads

Classic Contour Pads for a heavy flow (item #1-230416-1)

maternity padsMaternity Pads for an extra heavy flow (item#1-230610-1)

We hope this post provides you some comfort regarding this all too often shamed condition. We understand what you’re going through and are happy to be of service.

 

 

 

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