Thoughts on Thinx: A Period Panty Review

If you’re not into a TMI post, 

Final warning.


Periods.

Dictionary.com defines “period” as “a rather large interval of time that is meaningful in the life of a person,in history, etc., because of its particular characteristics,” WHICH I SUPPOSE IS TRUE. Unfortunately I’m talking about the menstrual kind.

While I may be a feminist (the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities), I’ve never been the type to celebrate periods. I hate ’em. Though, I suppose when I read stories like the one of the women in Mark 5 of the Bible, I SHOULD be thankful for my period. So, with the “I hate my period” mentality, paired with my “I hate spending money” attitude, I have searched for a way to make that time of month less annoying, more cost-effective, and less wasteful.

I am generally a tampon-user. I don’t like them, but who does? A few years ago I tried to get on the menstrual cup bandwagon, with the idea that I could just buy one once and then not have to empty it out multiple times a day. Here’s the thing about menstrual cups and me: INSERTING THEM IS THE WORST. Like, seriously. If your vaginal introitus is fine with you stuffing things in it, then cups would probably be great. Mine is not. Tampons are barely on its clearance list. ANYWAY. They say you just have to get used to it, but for me it’s like trying to wrestle an obstinate octopus up in there. Or, more accurately, a suction cup. Cause that’s really what it is. When I have managed to insert it properly, it’s fabulous (until trying to remove it), but yeah. Diva cup down.

So, I continued with tampons. Except the problem is, they’re still ridiculously expensive in my opinion. Plus, I can’t help but be paranoid about TSS. I often forget about them or just get too busy and it’s all mayhem. I want to live my life, not have to schedule around tampon nonsense. At work I would wait till I could somehow sneak a tampon into my pocket unnoticed because I have (a lot of) real problems. Then, just as a zinger, there is the discovery that tampons contain glyphosate, a suspected carcinogen. UGHHHH.

thinx

Cue Thinx. I saw Thinx on a Buzzfeed video, because I’m trash. Thinx are essentially period panties, a nod to the olden days of reusable fabric pads, but with a little more ingenuity and a lot of marketing. If you’re fine with pads, you’ll probably love these. I’m not a huge fan of pads (they are really uncomfortable and bulky??), but I’m also fine with bleeding on underwear. Mega TMI, I usually would use tampons on the first couple days when it was heavy and then just use some boy short thick-ish underwear because…well I don’t know why exactly. Dry tampons are really gross-feeling (more so to me than slightly damp underwear), and seemed like TSS-inviting overkill. So the idea of catching period blood with underwear and washing it out later is totally sane in my world. However, I imagine with many people it isn’t. If that’s you, Thinx probably wouldn’t be a good fit.

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You can use them either in conjunction with a tampon (for extra leak protection), or as a back-up, or solely during your period. What makes them different from using just normal underwear is their layer system, which, honestly (and I’ll get to this in my review) is impressively thin and seems to work quite well.

Another cool thing is that with every purchase, Thinx supports AFRIpads, which helps women in Uganda learn how to sew and sell washable pads. While companies supporting charitable causes isn’t a reason in itself to buy, it is really cool that they’re helping girls in developing companies with an issue (not having menstrual pads) that causes girls to drop out of school because of shame.

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I ended up springing for three Thinx undies (one hiphugger and two sport styles) and used them solely on my last period for this review. What follows are my thoughts.

The Good

  • They are surprisingly cute? I’m not an underwear person, so these are DEFINITELY the cutest underwear I have. Which is pretty awkward, really.
  • I was concerned that the Hiphugger lace would drive me crazy. I hate lace. It’s itchy to me. But it hasn’t bothered me at all! Maybe I was just not familiar with good lace prior to this? I don’t know.
  • They don’t feel bulky to me. Again, if you’re used to wearing…I don’t know, super thin underwear, then they’ll probably seem bulky. But for me, I was impressed by how thin they seemed.
  • I didn’t (really) feel like I was wearing a greenhouse. Or a plastic bag. I was concerned that the moisture and waterproofness would cause them to feel, well, awful. If you look at other period panty reviews, that’s the main complaint. It feels like a diaper. This didn’t have that effect, and I was SO PLEASED.
  • No leaks?! So, like I said, for this review I wore them on my heaviest days. Granted, I don’t have super heavy periods so this may not apply to all, but I didn’t have any problems with leaks. I was quite impressed, honestly. There were a couple times when I was convinced it must be leaking (because I wore one pair for the whole day as a stress test and because I would assume it to handle that), but nope! No leaks. No smears, either. Like everything was pretty dang clean down there, unlike a pad.
  • Washing seemed less gross than expected? When you use a cup, it’s like you just slit the throat of some beast when you dump it. Like, legit. It’s pretty hardcore. Also, if you spill a cup everyone will think you murdered someone and are trying to hide the evidence. These are super normal looking and when you wash them out, I was confused because it didn’t seem that terribly bloody? In fact, I was worried I wasn’t doing a good enough job washing them, but yeah.
  • Smell. The other thing I was concerned about was the smell. You know what I mean. Even when I use pads it’s like “oh gosh everyone can smell this nonsense lbr,” but also I hang out with dogs a lot and they actually can so maybe I should have less dog friends. But these did an excellent job of not smelling? On the heaviest days by the end of 16 hours (or whatever) of being soaked with blood, yes, you could tell, but the rest of the days nope. After washing them I would also do a smell test because again, usually there’s a lingering build-up (probably of bacteria lbr), but again, nothing. IMPRESSIVE. A note on washing, you’re supposed to let them soak for a while, then wash them in a gentle cycle, then let them air dry. What I ended up doing (because I wasn’t doing laundry every day) was letting them soak in some hot water (with a sprinkle of salt), then rinsing them by hand and letting them air dry. Worked like a charm!
  • Activity-friendly. Clearly these aren’t great for say, swimming, but for people like me who like to participate in active events (for me it’s horseriding), these might be great. Sometimes when riding with a tampon it’s just the worst. (It goes back to that dry tampons are terrible thing.) So in some cases these might be EXTRA FAB.
  • The sizing was spot on for me (I did take my measurements), which was something I was concerned about.

The Bad

  • You’re still having your period. Oh wait, that doesn’t count. Moving on.
  • The cost. These puppies are NOT CHEAP. Granted, I’m also the person who buys a 6 pack of size 16 girls underwear for $12. So I’m probably not one to comment on this. After briefly looking at Victoria Secret panties right now, they aren’t actually expensive by normal people means. They are $24-$38 each. Granted, I’m not sure how long they’ll last since I just got them, but I’m hopeful that they are high quality.
  • Towards the end of the heavy days it wasn’t super comfortable. Like, there’s only so much blood you can pack around in your panties before things start feeling muggy. The breathability and comfort is superb, but it has its limits.
  • The Sporty version I got two of is weirdly cut in my opinion and can cause wedgies. I’m not a fan of wedgies. This was a bummer. But mostly I got over it. In hindsight, I wish I had gotten a different one has a test instead of two Sporties but yeah.
  • I got three, but if you’re going to use them solely, you really need more. There were definitely times when they weren’t dry fast enough because they need to be air dried, and I was using two a day.
  • The care regime is a thing you have to do, and it’s not glamorous. Granted, I’d prefer to do that then go to the store to buy tampons, but each to their own. You can’t just ignore it, though. It’s more labor intensive than throwing away a tampon or a pad. And if you are easily ickified that could be a deterrent.
  • The smell. I know, I had this on the pros, but it’s definitely more than a tampon. Less than a pad more than a tampon. I don’t know, it just seems like it should be here too.

Overall, I recommend them. ESPECIALLY for girls just starting their period. OH THAT WOULD BE GLORIOUS. Instead of turning whatever (14 for me) and suddenly needing “diapers” (as they seemed to me), you could just get a new set of stylish undies. SO GREAT.
PLEASE, PARENTS OF GIRLS, CHECK THESE OUT. I feel very passionately about that.

For everyone else who has dealt with periods for a while, just assess what you like/dislike about your current product, and I hope this review helps. Personally, I think I’ll probably still use a tampon on the first two days in the future, but the rest will be the Thinx. BUT WE SHALL SEE.

EDIT: Oops, almost forgot, if you’re planning on getting some, here’s a $10 off referral link: 

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