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Are Period Pants Safe? What You Need to Know

Over the course of your reproductive life, periods change - 

  • from tween years trying to last the whole school day without having to go near the stinky toilets
  • to the contraceptive pill keeping periods light and regular or non existent
  • from trying to conceive
  • to pregnancies and postpartum periods
  • followed by the heavy flow of the dreaded perimenopausal flooding

We all know that time of the month can be a bit challenging, and finding the right products is crucial.

With the recent hubbub highlighting potentially toxic substances in period pants - Which? reporting that many leading brands had undisclosed nanosilvers in their antimicrobial fabrics and the Thinx class action lawsuit settling out of court bringing focus to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS or “forever chemicals”. 

So, are period pants safe? 

What's the Deal with Period Pants?

Reusable period underwear are like your regular underwear, but with some extra leak proof layers to handle Aunt Flo - no magic, just absorbent layers. Recently, there's been some noise about their safety.

Investigations have led to discussions on the safety of materials, potential allergens, and the environmental impact of period pants. 

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Let's Talk Materials and Allergens

What are period pants made of?

Most brands including Cheeky Wipes use a combo of fabrics like cotton, bamboo, elastane (spandex / lycra) to keep you feeling dry, and some have hi-tech moisture-wicking materials or antibacterial fabrics. These are the fabrics with suspect toxins that researchers have been targeting.

Cheeky wipes use just oeko tex certified dyes and fabrics with no added odour control or high absorbency particles. Read our blog for more information on safe fabrics in our period pants.

The goal is to keep you comfortable, secure and dry. But hey, we all have that friend with sensitive skin. The good news is that many brands are mindful of potential allergens.

By using just cotton and bamboo for the bulk of the pant, especially the gusset you can be reassured that sensitive skin will not flare up.  Always check the label if you have allergies to make sure you're not inviting an unwelcome rash to the party.

"I suffer from lichen sclerosis and recurrent thrush and Cheeky’s reusable pads are simply life changing! Thank you so much!

The organic cotton reusable pads are so safe, soothing and effective I honestly can’t believe it. No itchiness, LS flares or discomfort, and the absorption is second to none.

I will never use anything else. I’m so happy too that there is nothing going into my bin at any point. Good for the environment and good for me! I love it!

I’d also like to call out the fantastic, knowledgeable and personal customer services who really know what they are talking about! Great company" Fiona trustpilot Dec '23

Eco-Friendly Vibes

Now, here's a win for Mother Earth! Period pants are a sustainable choice. No more heaps of disposable pads and tampons clogging up landfills. 

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Making the switch means you're not only caring for yourself but also giving a little love to our planet. It feels good to never run out, and to just reach into a drawer at the start of your period for your favourite comfy washable pants.

Facing Off Against Disposables

Period pants vs. disposable pads and tampons.

When it comes to safety, the eco-friendly option stands strong against single use tampons and pads. Plus, no more awkward rustling noises in public toilets or touching the sanitary disposal bin.

The risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome) with tampons is far higher than external period protection. Read our blog here.

Busting Myths and Easing Fears

Bacterial growth? Nope, not a big issue if you change them regularly. Hygiene and skin health? Follow the care instructions, and you're golden.

Period pants are not as scary as they might seem. Give them a read to make your washable period knickers last for years. Treat your period pants like the VIPs they are!

If you need protection to last you the full school day or a long shift at work, opt for a reusable sanitary pad inside your menstrual underwear. This can be whipped out during your break then carry on in the pants alone. A mini wetbag makes it easy to just drop into your bag to deal with at home, no smells, no fuss.

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Tips and Tricks for Period Pant Prowess

Okay, so you've made the leap into the world of period pants. Here are some tips to make sure you're getting the most out of them:

Try for size:

When you first get your order, try them on over your own pants as we can exchange if needed.

Wash period pants to increase absorbency:

The absorbency in period pants will increase over the first three to four washes.

Change it Up:

Just like regular undies, change your period pants regularly. Don't let them sit too long – it's all about staying fresh.

Rinse them:

When you first take them off give them a rinse in cold water to remove most of the blood, then they can be washed alongside your everyday washing. If you are out and about, save the rinse til you are home.

Avoid fabric softener:

Fabric softener will build up a waxy coating and stop your pants soaking up blood.

Dry them inside out:

They will dry quickest dangling near but not touching direct heat. Avoid radiators and tumble dryers.

So, are period pants safe? Absolutely! With the right materials, a nod to the environment, and a few good habits, you're on your way to a comfy and safe period experience.

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If you found this blog informative you may like - 

Best period pants / pads for heavy flow

What period pants are right for me?

Common period myths busted

If you have any questions or need further guidance, reach out to us anytime via our live chat or here. We're here to support your journey to a greener, more sustainable period.

About the Author: Kirstin on our customer services team loves spending her days helping customers with their reusable period product needs and advising cloth nappy using families. Nothing is too much information, she is happy talking pee, poo and periods. Kirstin lives with her three teenagers and loves walking and sea swimming year round in our beautiful bay.