***Disclaimer: This post will have 3 disclaimers, please pay attention to them, ok? This post is going to be long. Feel free to skim for content.
**Disclaimer: This post is about FEMININE HYGIENE. If you are not female and you do not want to read about feminine hygiene (aka: menstruation/periods) then stop reading. Thanks, bye!
*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I am not trying to sell you THINX. I am simply a woman who has been using THINX for several months now and felt like I should write an honest and blunt review. I want to give you the raw, real picture of what it is like to use this product for period care. If you want to know more, keep reading!
If you don’t know what I am talking about, I am talking about the underwear called THINX (www.shethinx.com). It is designed for women to bleed into while on their period. They are washable and reusable and eliminate the need for tampons or pads.
So! Let’s dive in. I bought my first pair of THINX for my sister as a gift. There was some promotion going on and I took advantage of it and bought them for her. She told me she was wanting to try them and was currently van-dwelling and minimizing her life. This product seemed to fit her lifestyle needs well. This was in July of 2017. When I first heard about the company they were preaching about how some of the proceeds went towards providing washable and reusable pads to women around the globe, especially in impoverished countries where girls miss weeks of school a year just because they have no hygienic way to manage their period while in school. Can you imagine the educational and social costs to missing a week of school every single month throughout the year because of your period? Obviously this is putting these women at a big disadvantage for furthering their education and it inevitably has negative impacts on society and how the women in it can function. SHETHINX wanted to change that. I got excited about the idea that if I purchased this underwear I was not only reducing my own waste but also helping other women around the world manage their periods better. Shortly after I bought a pair this information disappeared from the site. However, here is what they have to say on that matter now. If you don’t want to click on this link it is thinx.org and it just says that they are basically working on this page and how they are going to give back to the world… but there’s no other information for us yet.
This is puzzling to me. I keep wondering why I once saw information about this on their site and now it isn’t there anymore. Were their good intentions not actually helpful to those women in these societies? After all, if they are giving away free washable pads to women in a community where they struggle to find enough clean water for washing their clothes, the answer to their problem is not washable pads, it’s that they need clean water or a way to boil the water. Is it that? Was it a foreign aid effort that didn’t have as big of an impact as they wanted it to have? Is it that the company wasn’t profiting enough or had enough to give? Did it just end up not being worth the time or money? Obviously they want to do something we just don’t know what it is yet. So… this is disappointing. I am going to be more eager to support a company whose mission, reach and affect is global than I am for a company who just wants to cater to a higher class of woman wanting a better way to cope with her period. So I hope that they can give me more information about this soon because it’s been about 8 months now since I realized this part of their page more or less disappeared and turned into mystery.
But let’s move on and talk about the first pairs I bought for myself. I decided to go for it because I just got sick and tired of pads and tampons. Pads get smelly and make me itch and hot. Tampons aren’t my favorite because of the ingredients found in some of them. I’ve had three kids and breastfed all of them so I got used to a nice long break from periods for a while! Going back to my period care ways was harder than I thought after living life with no period for such a long time (my pregnancies were just a little bit close together haha).
I actually got my first Diva Cup about three years ago and really loved the freedom that product gave me. After a while though it started to make me itch and after I had my third baby I knew I might need a new one anyway (you’re supposed to replace every 2 years or after having a baby). The last menstrual cup I ordered was the *Lena* for sensitive skin. I’ve been, for the most part, happy with this purchase. But I’m not here to talk about menstrual cups. I’ll save that for another post! I wanted the Thinx underwear because no matter how experienced I got at using menstrual cups I just could not avoid a little leaking 100%. What’s the point of a menstrual cup if I still have to wear a pad because I’m afraid of leaking? Seriously! I did not want to keep buying and wearing pads for this reason. It made the cup seem rather pointless. Plus, on my lighter days the cup is a bit overkill and can actually feel uncomfortable to wear for longer than 4-5 days in my opinion. So this underwear seemed like a fitting solution for me.
I splurged and ordered a set of 3 which gave me 10% off my order. I got the Hiphugger, the Cotton Brief, and the High Waisted. My initial reactions were amazing. They are comfortable! The Hiphugger is by far my favorite pair. They are soft and feel like normal underwear. It actually might feel a little bit like wearing swimsuit bottoms but definitely more sleek and discreet. The waistband is pliable and delicate which I appreciate and the fit was perfect. The Cotton Brief and the High Waisted I have been less happy with. I really wish I had ordered all 3 Hiphuggers. The Cotton Brief and the High Waist both ride up my butt cheeks a little bit which I do not enjoy when I am perioding. I think I did order the correct size, this is just how they fit I guess. Every booty is a little different though so maybe other ladies don’t have this problem. The Hiphugger fits me perfectly and gives me full coverage but the other two don’t and I’m just not a fan of the way that feels.
So what does it actually feel like to bleed into underwear? Well…it feels like you’re bleeding into underwear. It doesn’t soak as quickly into a pad, in my opinion, but the differences are SO subtle it’s really a moot point. When I talked with my sister about her reactions she said it felt like “weight” and I think that’s a good way to describe it. The underwear starts to feel a little more weighted, but it doesn’t feel like the blood is going to escape at all and so far it hasn’t. It actually has felt extremely freeing. I can go about my day with my cup in place and my underwear on and not worry about when I need to change my pad or tampon. If I feel a little leaking I don’t sweat it. I don’t feel like I’m wearing a diaper, I feel like I’m wearing a pair of underwear. They’re even a little like shapewear only they are not tight or meant to suck in your love handles, they are comfortable!
I really do love this product. No regrets here (other than the less than perfect fit of the other 2 styles). I’ve definitely gotten good use of them so far. The underwear along with menstrual cups are the perfect combination for a girl who is sick of pads and tampons, wants to reduce waste, save money on monthly hygiene products, and have freedom to go about life like normal without her period getting in the way. You can use the underwear without cups, but for me, I have a pretty heavy flow the first few days. I figured I would need too many pairs of underwear for one week to make it count. The laundry gets really real, ladies…
On that note, the instructions from THINX state to rinse the underwear thoroughly before washing. Wash in cold water with like colors and hang dry. If I’m honest I just don’t get this method!!! I have not enjoyed rinsing my underwear in the sink… the same sink my kids wash their hands and brush their teeth in. The gross factor gets to me on this one. I’ve handled a lot of gross things with cups and periods and babies and birth but this is just too far for me for some reason. So here are my solutions: I either put the underwear in my rinse and spin cycle through my washing machine OR I take them into the shower with me and rinse them while I shower. I don’t know why doing it in my shower seems to be less terrifying and cringe worthy but it does. Throwing them in my rinse and spin cycle is my lazy way out. So far the underwear have been holding up fine with this method.
Now on drying… I have hang dried them but it weirds me out. Part of me really wants to put them in the dryer so that the heat sanitizes them properly. I think I may need to contact customer support on this one to put my mind at ease that hang drying really is the best practice here, but I’m not convinced. I’ve hang dried my underwear and I have put them in my dryer about half the time. So far, they are holding up just fine even though I’m experimenting with the care techniques. My other qualm to hang drying is that it takes a long time. I do not live in a warm climate so drying them in my stuffy bedroom or laundry room when my house is around 68 degrees means it will take a good 18 to 24 hours to dry completely. With only 3 pairs of underwear to use during my cycle that is just going to take too much time. It is way easier to throw them in the dryer for an hour and then I get to start using them again.
The other small issue I’ve had with the underwear is staining. Maybe it’s because I haven’t rinsed them properly or washed them quickly enough but the crotch is staining. I don’t really understand why because it started happening before I experimented with drying them. I did follow the directions verbatim for a while and the staining still happened. Obviously, it’s only bothersome to me, but I still wonder why it happens and if it’s a flaw with the product that the manufacturer didn’t anticipate. The staining has not impacted the functionality of the underwear so I have been overlooking it and moving on with my life.
The other weird tidbit of information I have is about the smell. I think people want to know if there is an odor. After all, we ladies are used to the nasty dry blood smell from tampons and pads so it shouldn’t be surprising that smell is a factor with this product too. That said, I think the smell of the Thinx underwear is an improvement from the smell of pads…but there is still a smell. I don’t know if it’s something in the fabric or what they use but it has a weird odor that reminds me of witch hazel. If you’ve ever given birth you know what I’m talking about: the stuff they give you to help with swelling – witch hazel pads. They kind of smell like that. It’s a little weird but not the end of the world. I am the only one who notices it (I hope!) so again, not a huge deal, just an observation.
I realize this post is really long. I do want to talk about cost and evaluate all the money spent on this product vs traditional feminine hygiene products. Running the numbers will be interesting now that I’ve been using them for several months now and I think it will be good to get an honest look at that. So please stay tuned for another post about SHETHINX and all the money/waste/etc!
I also plan to give you all a thorough review of using menstrual cups and why I believe using alternatives to pads and tampons should be encouraged among young women today. Not everyone is into crunchy alternative period care methods, and that’s okay. I don’t think you have to be ultra crunchy to like these kinds of products. I do believe they are overlooked because women are scared of being grossed out. If we can change our perspective and focus on the positive the gross factor isn’t as bothersome.
Hands down the best part of this underwear for me is the fact that when I am busy taking care of my kids during the day, trying to homeschool, clean up messes, cook 3 meals a day etc… I only have to use the bathroom to take care of my period ONCE or twice a day! With traditional pads and tampons I would be using the bathroom five to six times a day. This really does save me a lot of time and my time is precious. My kids are not wondering what all the foreign looking waste is in the trash bin or stumbling upon oddly packaged things under the sink and that seriously does ease my mind. There are a few kinks to the product which I’ve told you all about now but even so I’m glad I have them and find them worth while.
If you use THINX I want to know, have you had similar issues that I’ve had? What is your take on them? What do you like or dislike? Do you feel like the culture of period care is changing? How does your period impact your daily life? Do you have any more questions for me? I don’t think we talk about these things often enough so please share with me your thoughts in the comments below!