Here's what happened.

By Heather Muir Maffei
Updated September 05, 2017
Thinx Hi-Waist Panties

Getting my period isn’t something I look forward to by any means (who does?), but I consider myself lucky: I don’t experience terrible cramps, and I learned how to use a tampon right from the beginning (the last day of sixth grade to be exact). But my sister and some friends have always struggled with the whole tampon thing, so I did this little experiment for them.

As a beauty editor, I’m extremely hands-on when it comes to testing products. I won’t write about something unless I’ve tried it. I like to feel it, smell it, wear it, and see how it holds up to life. So when I received a pair of Thinx Cheeky underwear ($30; in a period supplement mailing, I wanted to put them through the same rigorous testing process that I would a new concealer. I’d heard about the innovative undies, but couldn’t really wrap my mind around how they worked or why someone would choose to wear them over another method of leakage protection.

So I did what any brave beauty editor would do—I waited until I was on day three, layered them under a neon yellow Elizabeth & James dress I had picked out for a huge presentation I was giving, alongside my boss, to a major advertising company. (I told you: I take these things very seriously.)

First, I was pleasantly surprised—and relieved—that the black didn’t show through my bright dress, but the bikini bottom shape was new to me... and kind of gave me a wedgie. Though, after sharing my journey on Instagram story, I quickly learned Thinx comes in all kinds of shapes—briefs, thong, bikini, hiphugger, etc.—and the version I was rocking (the “Cheeky” style) is meant to hold about a tampon’s worth on a light day. Still, I persisted.

It felt weird not putting a tampon in when I knew I had my period, but as the day went on, I realized I didn’t need one—really. I didn’t feel wet. I didn’t smell weird. Every time I went to the bathroom, I expected to see a mess down there, but there was none to be seen. When I got home that evening (after an eight-hour work day and a five-hour commute), I braced myself. But, again, I found nothing gross at all.

Here's how they work: The panties are antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant. The top layer fights bacteria and absorbs liquid into the layer beneath it to keep you dry. And don't you dare toss them at the end of the day—simply rinse after use, wash on cold (this can wait until you do your laundry), and hang to dry.

I’d opt for the thong or brief next time (those styles better match my everyday preferences), but I was shocked at how well Thinx worked. And although I don’t mind wearing tampons, it’s nice to have another option.