A panty liner is the answer to any woman's prayer if she's lightly menstruating, struggling with discharge, or trying to prevent any other unwanted stain on her underwear. It's understandable that many women think it's a good idea to wear panty liners often to be on the "safe" side. But should you wear panty liners every day? Unfortunately, the well-intentioned women who try this might be doing themselves — and their bodies — more harm than good.
We've all been guilty of making some common mistakes with panty liners, so don't beat yourself up if you've been wearing panty liners excessively. But you might want to stop this practice before it becomes a habit — for the sake of your health and comfort.
First of all, experts say panty liners can irritate the sensitive skin of the vulva — the external part of a woman's genitalia. This is especially true if the panty liners are scented. Much like pads, panty liners can create a moist environment down there and hold irritants — like perfumes — on the delicate skin if they sit there all day, every day. This is the perfect storm for getting a nasty rash on your private parts, bringing redness, itchiness, and pain to one of your most vulnerable areas. But it could get even worse than that.
Can panty liners cause infection?
Wearing panty liners every day might increase your chances of getting a vaginal yeast infection — especially if you've had this unpleasant health condition of burning, itching, and thick discharge before. Health experts recommend changing panty liners (and other feminine products) often when menstruating as one of the top ways to avoid a future yeast infection. They also encourage women to only wear panty liners while menstruating as another means of preventing infection. If at this point you find yourself thinking you couldn't possibly go a day without panty liners because your discharge is so heavy, you may already have an infection, so talk to your doctor right away.
This information might be a bit daunting, but it doesn't mean you need to throw out all your panty liners now. Just keep in mind that these feminine products are usually only potentially harmful when used excessively or for extensive periods of time (so moderation is key, as with most things in life!). To use panty liners safely, remember that experts recommend changing them whenever they start to feel moist. We know that "moist" might mean different things to different people, but a good rule of thumb is that panty liners definitely shouldn't be worn for longer than a day. Experts also suggest switching them at nighttime if you plan on sleeping in one.
What are the best panty liners to wear?
If you are concerned about the health of your… lady parts, but don’t want to have to forgo your trusty and beloved panty liners, we have the optimal solution for you: organic cotton panty liners. Organic panty liners are safer, less harmful versions of the standard supermarket panty liners you’ve been using up until now. We’ve rounded up a list of the 11 best natural and organic, non-chemical, non-toxic panty liners to suit every need. Some are even reusable — just make sure to wash them after every use!
1. Best Ultra-Thin Organic Cotton Panty Liners
Natracare has a fantastic array of organic cotton panty liners that are totally chlorine free (TCF), and made without plastic, perfume, or dyes. They are breathable, biodegradable, and compostable, so you don’t have to worry so much about adding to the massive problem that disposable sanitary problems are causing to the environment. Even their packaging is made from recycled cardboard. Their ultra-thin panty liner is an extra slim, barely-there, liner for daily protection and freshness, but they also come in tanga style, curved, mini, or long.
Where to buy: from $6.72, The Green Life
2. Best Organic Panty Liners: Classic Contour
Maxim has made a super comfy panty liner, which is fully breathable and acts like a ventilation system to soothe any irritation and prevent a warm and damp environment, which is known to cause infection. Although breathable, they are still leak-proof, so you can even wear them on the lighter days of your period. They’re made from 100 percent certified organic (by ICEA - the Italian Organic Farming Association), chlorine-free cotton, cultivated without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals, which is great for you and the environment. They come in a recycled cardboard box of 30.
Where to buy: $6.76, The Green Life
3. Organyc Cotton Flat Panty Liners
If you don’t like the idea of any synthetic materials touching your delicate parts — or any part of you, for that matter — then the Organyc flat panty liner is for you. Made from 100 percent organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, this panty liner is chlorine-free, biodegradable, and feels fresh and clean without any negative effects on o the environment. They are also hypoallergenic, superabsorbent, and breathable. The product is not tested on animals and is free from perfume, latex, and plastic.
Where to buy: $7.35, The Green Life
4. Best Panty Liners With Plant-Based Waterproof Backing
The Honest Company, famously founded by Jessica Alba, is known for its huge array of safe and effective daily consumable products, so it’s not surprising that they have an awesome panty liner that is good for you and the environment. They have a naturally soft and absorbent organic cotton topsheet, and their core provides premium absorbency, dryness, and pH compatibility. They are hypoallergenic, ultra-thin, lightweight, and breathable, and they have a plant-based waterproof backing for leak protection.
Where to buy: $9.99, The Green Life
5. Best Convertible Panty Liners for Thong Underwear
You don’t have to have different panty liners for different occasions. This convertible panty liner from The Honest Company is suitable for regular panties as well as thongs. When using with a thong, all you have to do is fold the sides back (as you would a sanitary pad with wings, for instance) and you’re good to go. This panty liner has all the eco- and body-friendly benefits of the organic cotton panty liner, including edge-to-edge adhesive to help the liner stay secure, and a plant-based wrapper for easy disposal.
Where to buy: $9.99, The Green Life
6. Best Organic Cotton Panty Liners: Fragrance-Free
Founded in Southern California by three amazing women (a journalist and bestselling author, an international movie distributor at Walt Disney with a Harvard MBA, and an architect-turned-art director), Rael is a company created for women, by women, so you can trust that your panty liners are going to be of the best quality. Free from chlorine, toxins, fragrance, pesticides, and synthetic chemicals, these panty liners are made from 100 percent certified organic cotton from Texas and are fully breathable and hypoallergenic. This three-pack of 20 unscented daily pantyliners works out to about $4 a pack, but if you sign up for Amazon’s "Subscribe & Save" you’ll get up to a 15 percent discount.
Where to buy: $12.86, Amazon
7. Best Ultra-Thin Organic Cotton Women's Panty Liners
Cora’s natural pantyliners have everything you’d expect from a 100 percent certified organic pantyliner. They are both healthy and high-performing, are non-GMO, and contain no fragrances, deodorants, dyes, chlorine bleach, pesticides, insecticides, or dioxin. They accommodate any type of underwear, from thong to full coverage, thanks to their unique easy-fold groove. What’s more, these pantyliners are biodegradable and have soft wrappers, which don’t make any noise for when you’d like to be discreet in a public bathroom. Sign up for Amazon’s "Subscribe & Save" for an extra discount.
Where to buy: $15.19, Amazon
8. Best Reusable Washable Panty Liners
Reusable washable sanitary products are all the rage now, and quite rightly so, as they are kind to both the planet and your pocket. These slim and absorbent pantyliners by GladRags are breathable and all-cotton, and so comfortable, you'll forget you’re even wearing them. You just snap it around your underwear for it to stay in place, and pop it in the washing machine when you’re done. Made from cotton flannel, cotton terrycloth, with an organic cotton care label, and a nickel-free snap, these pantyliners come in a handy pack of three, and you can also get them in white. If you need washable incontinence pads, you can also get those too!
Where to buy: $32.99, The Green Life
9. Best Cotton Liners Kit by Genial Day
Genial Day have created a line of sanitary products which are eco-certified, eco-friendly, skin pH friendly, non-irritating, and contain no harmful chemicals. Their daily panty liners were developed to help alleviate common symptoms associated with PMS and vaginal infections. They have an “anion strip” which provides natural protection against irritation and odor, and contain antibacterial silver ions and Tourmaline gemstone – a scientifically recognized detoxifier. This kit comprises of nine packages, each containing 24 cotton liners, which can last you up to nine months.
Where to buy: $53.91, The Green Life
10. Best Bamboo Charcoal Panty Liners
People are loving these super cheap and cheerful panty liners from Dollar Maxi Pad Club. They are ultra thin, super soft, and don't chafe. The charcoal bamboo and anion strip naturally blocks odor and kills bacteria. The charcoal strip possesses a negative ionic charge to counteract the toxins and pollutants in your body, which have a positive charge. The charcoal works by drawing the toxins to it and eliminating them from the body naturally. Happy customer, Hilary, says, “GUYS. These are SO soft, but they also STICK! They've been awesome, I plan to only use these in the future.” Annette, another satisfied user, says, “I like to use panty liners throughout the month and these are great. The Charcoal keeps them odor free and they are soft and comfortable.”
Where to buy: Starting at $1.00, Dollar Maxi Pad Club
11. Best Panty Liner Subscription Box
All Kali products are made with 100 percent hypoallergenic and certified organic cotton and have no chemicals, synthetics, or dyes. Bonus: They are biodegradable, and their awesome panty liners fold to thong liners by simply folding on the dotted line. With Kali’s subscription box, you’ll get your monthly supply of organic feminine essentials conveniently shipped to your door every month, so you'll never run out of sanitary products ever again.
Where to buy: Starting at $16.00, Kali