Panty liners: everything you need to know to use them properly!

Everyone knows about sanitary protection, such as disposable pads and tampons. But what is the purpose of a panty liner? When and why use them? We explain in this article.

What are panty liners?

A panty liner is a type of menstrual protection similar to a sanitary towel, but in a thinner version and therefore with lighter absorption. They can be used to prevent the onset of menstruation, when you don't know when it's going to start, for example, or during spotting. Some women also use them as a complement to internal sanitary protection such as tampons. And on the same principle, panty liners can be used at the end of the period, when discharge is less abundant. However, they are not designed to be worn on their own during your heavier periods.

Although not recommended, some women also wear them for everyday use, i.e. for white discharge, perspiration etc., or even in the event of slight incontinence or lack of perineal tone on exertion (sport, laughing, sneezing...).

How do I choose the right panty liner?

As with all intimate protection products, it's important to choose one you feel comfortable in.

Adapting panty liners to your menstrual flow

As with pads and tampons, there are several types of panty liner, thicker or thinner depending on your menstrual flow. You can also find different sizes to fit all your types of lingerie: panties, but also thongs and thongs.

Certified organic and chemical-free

Unfortunately, as with many disposable sanitary products, panty liners contain chemicals that can upset vaginal flora and pH. This in turn can lead to itching, irritation, allergies and fungal infections.

When choosing a panty liner, pay close attention to its composition and check that it contains no perfumes, plastics, traces of herbicides such as glyphosate, or chemicals such as endocrine disruptors.

To avoid these chemical substances, choose liners that are certified organic and chemical-free. This is very important for your vaginal flora, even more so if you wear this type of protection on a daily basis. An estimated 10% of women wear a panty liner every day, and some are bothered by heavy discharge, perspiration or unpleasant odours. But it's not advisable to wear them every day. In fact, it prevents your intimate area from breathing, which is precisely where bad odors, recurrent mycosis, cystitis and irritation occur. You need to let this area breathe as much as possible, by limiting the use of synthetic, non-breathable panty liners. Especially if their composition is harmful! That would be even worse.

Of course, you can use a panty liner at the beginning or end of your period, in addition to an internal sanitary protection if you have your period, or occasionally during your cycle if you have heavier discharge.

How do I use a panty liner?

Panty liners are very simple to use.

Putting on the liner

All you have to do is place the liner at the bottom of your underwear, with the adhesive part on your panties, and the absorbent part against your vulva. It's the same principle as a disposable sanitary towel, except there are no wings on most.
Before and after putting on a panty liner, it's important to wash your hands.

Removing it after use

To remove it, once again wash your hands. Then peel it from the bottom of your underwear, wrap it in its original packaging or in toilet paper (be careful not to flush it down the toilet, but in a garbage can). It's advisable not to keep any kind of sanitary protection (pads, tampons or panty liners) on for more than 4 hours at a time, to avoid the growth of bacteria.

What about washable, reusable panty liners?

With all the ecological awareness we've been witnessing for several years now, washable and reusable alternatives are flourishing. Washable pads, menstrual pants, cups, and among them: washable panty liners. They're sustainable because they're reusable and washable.

They're often made from bamboo or eucalyptus fibers and organic cotton. Be careful to choose a composition that's as healthy as possible. You can keep them for years, which goes a long way to reducing your waste.

How do I clean my reusable panty liner?

Cleaning your washable panty liner couldn't be easier! Just pre-wash or rinse them in cold water. Then machine-wash them with your other underwear at 30 degrees and air-dry. Don't forget to wash them once before using them: even for those with a healthy composition, this eliminates all risks for your intimate area.

What are the alternatives to panty liners?

Of course, there are alternatives. First of all, it's important to remember that it's not recommended to use panty liners on a daily basis. Your intimate zone needs to be able to breathe, and wearing a panty liner every day prevents it from doing so. We often mistakenly think that panty liners will bring freshness to our intimate area, but (this is even truer of the classic disposable versions) the perfumes they contain and the chemical substances they contain will tend to upset the flora, leading to heavier discharge, mycosis and other infections.
We therefore recommend that you opt for organic cotton panties, which are better for your vulva, without using sanitary protection on a daily basis.

If you still prefer daily protection, or to prevent the onset or cessation of your period, the best alternative is organic cotton menstrual panties. You can wear this protection for up to 12 hours at a time. Several models are available from Elia to suit your flow and different needs. For daily white discharge, the beginning or end of your period, we recommend our thongs and panties for light flows.

Panty liner FAQ

Why wear panty liners?

They can be used for a variety of purposes:

  • when you have more or less heavy white discharge
  • at the start of your period, when you're not sure when it's coming
  • at the end of your period, when your flow is no longer abundant enough to wear tampons or pads
  • as a complement to internal protection such as tampons or a cup.
  • They work on the same principle as a sanitary towel, except that they are thinner.

When should I wear a panty liner?

You can wear a panty liner at any time of the cycle, at any age. But it's best to let your intimate area breathe.

Are panty liners dangerous?

Panty liners are not inherently dangerous, you just need to regulate their use. Likewise, as with disposable sanitary protection such as pads and tampons, you need to be careful about the composition of the pads you choose. Choose organic cotton and pads that contain no chemicals, endocrine disruptors or other substances.

What's the difference between a panty liner and a sanitary napkin?

A panty liner is much thinner than a sanitary towel. You won't be able to use one on your heaviest period days, except at the beginning or end. Panty liners are designed for light to very light flows. A sanitary pad, on the other hand, can protect you even during your heaviest flows, as its absorption capacity is higher.

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