HACK YOUR PERIOD: Thinx
As I’ve been running NatalieSaidSo.com for almost a year now (JVN voice: “can you believe?!”), I figured it was time we take things to the next level. That’s right — we’re talking PERIODS. This series will explore ways to make your cycle less miserable. I know this might seem like a stretch coming from the person who almost failed sex ed because she was so awkward and uncomfortable, BUT LOOK AT ME NOW MRS. TRIPLETT.
If you have 99 problems and don’t want your period to be one, keep reading!
I’m always looking for ways to be more sustainable in all areas of my life, and when I initially saw the ads for Thinx, I was kinda like “COOL! Wait…Huh?” and read all about them (I am a die-hard researcher, especially before making an initial purchase). And then my dogs probably distracted me and I forgot what I was even looking at. Anyways, I kept getting ads for them, and you all know I’m a sucker for Instagram ads, SO! I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about. And because periods are taboo to talk about (which is odd considering half the population has, will have, or has had them), I figured WE SHOULD JUST GET INTO IT RIGHT HERE.
I paid for these out of my own pocket, and this is my experience so far.
All photos are property of Thinx except for one (you’ll know it when you see it LOL).
What are Thinx?
Thinx are washable, reusable undies that absorb your period and are a more sustainable solution than single-use, disposable products. Their technology is moisture-wicking, odor-controlling, super-absorbent, and leak-resistant. They come in a variety of fits and colors to hack your period in comfort and style (two words I never thought I’d associate with my period 😂)
How you can use them:
You can wear them:
on their own
to supplement a tampon/cup
when you think you’re about to start your period so you don’t destroy your normal underwear/clothes (WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE)
in the weeks post-childbirth
How I use them:
This cut doesn’t fit my body as well, but then again, no one ever accused me of being sporty LOLLLLL. I contacted them about exchanging for another style (bc they have a 60 day money-back guarantee!). They actually let me keep them, so I decided to give them another shot.
The first time I wore them was on a 6.5 mile hike. They were okay for what I was doing. I definitely couldn’t run in this style because I can’t run but ALSO they wouldn’t have stayed in place; however, the reviews on them are generally very positive! I think I’m just between sizes. I had to adjust them a few times throughout the duration, which is cool to do when you’re with a friend you haven’t seen since college and you’re just like “hi i’m trying this thing and having a strange time so don’t look at me for a few seconds thanks” but then we saw a really pretty owl and both forgot about what a weirdo I am thank GOD.
Okay, so you know that episode of “The Office” where Dwight steals Jan’s baby stroller and puts it through all of these impossible durability tests? I feel like that’s what I did next. Side note: If you’re a dude that’s casually reading this post, you should probably find the exit ASAP LOL.
During a different cycle, I REALLY pushed them past the limit. Holds 1.5 tampons? Is that a joke? It’s like the red wedding up in here! That wouldn’t last 5 minutes (TMI??)! So I wore them for 24 hours on day 1 of my period, which was pretty uncomfortable towards the end because I definitely needed to change them, but I wanted to see if they would leak. In that period (the use of that word was unintended) of time I roamed Home Depot, did some work in the yard, cleaned, hosted a dinner party, and slept a full 8 hours. They NEVER ONCE leaked. Honestly, I was shocked and impressed, especially after I found out you're apparently supposed to change them after 12 hours. Whoops! I could definitely tell I needed to change them, but I was committed to the cause. And yes, you’re welcome for my efforts in this journalistic endeavor.
First of all, this style is darling and dare I say…kinda sexy — which I realize seems like a bit of a stretch for PERIOD PANTIES, but they are! This style may be too much for the summer months, but I think that’s a personal preference.The mesh side panels have elastane, which makes them fit my curves really well. I wore these at the start of my period in addition to a cup (future post alert!) because I hadn’t quite figured out how to get it oriented correctly. I’m all set now, but it’s nice to have a little extra backup. I haven’t been as concerned about that lately since I’m home most of the time working on the house, but if I were out in the real world, I would absolutely want that protection. Whether you wear them on their own or with a cup, tampon, etc, it’s nice to have a surefire barrier between your period and the outside world!
Literally right after I purchased the 2 previous pair, Thinx launched the Air style. I purchased a pair and received them right before the end of my cycle. Full disclosure: I don’t feel like I’ve tested these thoroughly enough, but for what it’s worth, I really like them so far. The Air are probably closest to what I wear on a daily basis. If they made a non-period version, I would wear them. They’re awesome. Super lightweight and comfortable. Like the other styles, the gusset is reinforced. If you aren’t up on your underwear anatomy, the gusset is the crotch part (in my mind, I just screamed “crotch part" like the 60 year old lady that taught us Sex Ed in high school #PTSD). The gusset is more noticeable in this version because the underwear are so light and, well, airy. I purchased the hiphugger in black because I’m boring *cough* practical *cough* but they also come in the pretty blue shade above.
What do I really think?
To be completely honest, I feel really good about my purchase. At first, because I didn’t trust them all the way, I was still hesitant about leaks. But I’ve worn all of mine a few cycles, and I can truthfully say they really are leak-proof. I’ve never had a single issue! And I do feel much better that I’m making less of an environmental impact. Yes, the cost is a little steep on the front end, but with the money I was spending on tampons, I will end up saving money after about 4 months. Also, Thinx offers a bundle discount and runs promotions occasionally so keep an eye on their social media for updates!
How do you know which kind to buy?
That depends on your fit preference and your fLoW (why does that word gross me out?). When I mentioned on Instagram that I had a forthcoming post on Thinx, I got a few messages from friends that had also purchased them, and I thought it might be helpful to have them weigh in on what styles they liked best and why.
Why did you decide to try Thinx?
Friend #1: I bought my first pair maybe 3-4 years ago? I remember being super curious about them when they first came out because was looking for alternatives to tampons and had just started using a cup.
Friend #2: Two reasons. I have a HUGE problem with how much waste I generate. I've always used both tampons and liners/pads (leak anxiety) - at a certain point I switched over to using a cup rather than tampons, then switched back to tampons without applicators (sup O.B.) and was feeling some guilt about reintroducing trash into my life, so wanted to cut down where I could (now it's a little cup, a little tampon, and a lotta Thinx). The other reason is that a lot of pads and liners are made primarily out of plastic and it was starting to irritate my skin regularly . Yuck . Freaking diaper rash for adults, which is no good.
What size are you? What size do you wear in Thinx?
Friend #1: Size 0/2. I usually order a size small in Thinx but it’s hit or miss on sizing depending on the style. The shorts and the athletic cut are a smidge loose in the waist but honestly part of the appeal is that they’re comfy so I’d rather that than have them be too tight
Friend #2: 8. Medium.
Editor’s Note: I’m a size 8/10 and purchased all of mine in a Large #thickthighssavelives
How do you use them?
Friend #1: I mostly wear them around the house when I’m on my period, but I just recently got the high waisted ones and like to wear them under dresses on lighter days. I guess I’m pretty daring because I don’t ever use anything for backup if I’m leaving the house wearing them but I haven’t had any issues yet
Friend #2: With a cup/disc or applicator-less tampons, and then by themselves for my spotting days.
What styles do you have and why do you like them?
Friend #1: I have the originals, sport, high waisted and shorts. I think my favorites are the originals and the boy shorts. I recently went on a 12 hour road trip and the shorts were a lifesaver- plus I think they’re the most comfortable. (Fit note about the shorts: they were loose when I first tried them on, but after washing them in cold water and air drying, they now fit perfectly!) I can’t attest to the value of the sport style for doing actual exercise because let’s be honest, I’m not usually doing anything active during my period.
Friend #2: Hiphugger, Sport, Cheeky and Thong. The hiphuggers make me feel most secure while I'm sleeping. Cheeky are definitely the closest to my normal undies - they're super comfy. Thongs are nice towards the end of my cycle or if i have a special occasion and wearing something that solicits a thong (though it'd be so tight if i could just wear sweats my whole period). Sport is the only style that I don't love - something about the fit - right under my belly- makes me feel super self conscious. Overall, I really love my Thinx. They've traveled everywhere with me and have made my period less of a nuisance. I feel like hygiene during my period is much better since Thinx has come into my life - PLUS I also don't have major guilt about how much trash/plastic I'm putting into the environment (because of this very natural thing).
Lastly, I polled Instagram to see what questions my followers had about Thinx!
Do they feel damp? — THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION I GOT. So the answer is no and yes: if you wear them with nothing else and push past their specified capacity — which is different for each pair — they can feel damp. When I wore the Sport pair on the hike they felt pretty dry considering the normal amount one would sweat walking 6.5 miles uphill the entire way. The Hi-Waist felt dry when I wore them as backup to my cup. They have moisture-wicking properties, so if you use them as noted, you should feel pretty fresh! That being said, if you aren’t used to the feeling of bleeding out (and you don’t wear your Thinx as a supplement to a cup or tampon), it is definitely different. Not bad! Just different. On a lighter day, you might not really notice. On a heavier day, you definitely would. And again, that isn’t a bad thing
So how do they feel? I know what you’re thinking, and no, they don’t feel like a diaper! They don’t feel like a regular pair of underwear, but they’re not that far from it. If they didn’t feel a little different, they wouldn’t work! They have a reinforced gusset to absorb…you know…And depending on what style you get, that may or may not be very noticeable.
Do they smell? Thinx have odor-absorbing properties, so while you may not smell exactly as you would on a normal, non-period day, I don’t think you would notice unless you reeeeally got in there. Or if you’re a vampire.
Can you see them (underwear lines) — I think that depends on the style of the underwear and the fit and material of whatever you’re wearing over them. Also, they do have a thong version!
How do you clean them? Cleaning them is actually pretty easy. I either rinse them in the sink after I take them off, or if I’m getting in the shower, I rinse them in there. Then, you just toss them in the laundry in a garment bag and let them air dry. Easy squeezy!
How many do you use during a cycle? That depends on how you’re wearing them (alone or supplementing) and your flow. According to their site, they don’t recommend wearing them over 12 hours. And bonus! They offer discounts if you purchase a bundle!