Is Going Knickerless the Key to Good Vaginal Health?

Getty / Kevin Mazur

One thing that is undoubtedly true for 2024 is that skin is in. From cutout detailing to eye-watering slits, and the infamous naked dress, the red carpet vibe for the last few months is the less fabric, the better. While we applaud the risqué styles choices, we can’t help but wonder – where are their knickers?!

A question Grammy award winner Miley Cyrus, who won Best Song for “Flowers” at this year’s ceremony, cleared up for us. She simply wasn’t wearing any. The singer, who wore not one, not two, but three nearly-naked dresses at the Grammys, said during her award acceptance speech: “I don’t think I’ve forgotten anyone. But, I might have forgotten underwear.”

And it appears Cyrus isn’t the only one. We’ve seen celebs hit red carpets seemingly sans knickers at the Golden Globes, like “Doctor Who”‘s Karen Gillan and “Poor Things” actor, Emma Stone. Rita Ora, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Kendall Jenner are just some of the other stars who are fans of the daring knickerless look. And it’s not just a trend reserved for the red carpet. Every night, the “Love Island: All Stars” villa is filled with an array of skimpy outfits that cause us to take a sharp intake of breath every time one of them sits down. We can only presume the girls go through a lot of fashion tape each day.

But is there more to going commando than the fear of a VPL? According to some experts, ditching your drawers could actually be good for your vaginal health.

Dr Shireen Emad, a GP who specialises in women’s health and FemFresh ambassador, suggests it could well be. “A lot of people find going commando more comfortable than wearing underwear – especially if the alternative is wearing tight underwear made of unbreathable fabric then it can reduce the risk of bacterial and fungal infections,” she tells POPSUGAR.

We have a feeling none of these red carpets looks would work with a pair of your comfiest, oversized, cotton pants, so maybe Cyrus is onto something. “Synthetic materials like nylon and spandex trap heat and moisture, creating a perfect breeding ground for yeast infections so are best to be avoided,” explains Dr Emad.

It can also be a breath of fresh air – quite literally – for those with sensitive skin, according to Kellie Leonard, a specialist biomedical scientist and women’s health journalist. “Those who have sensitive skin may have fewer rashes, bumps, and blisters by forgetting their knickers,” she tells us. “Many clothes contain artificial chemicals that can cause known reactions, such as contact dermatitis. Going commando means you have one less piece of clothing to worry about.”

“When we sweat, some underwear traps moisture or odour-causing organisms around the vulva and so, some find that going commando reduces their vaginal odour.”

There’s also a ‘scent-sational’ benefit, according to Nurse Carmel, a General Practice Nurse and FemFresh ambassador. “Another pro of going commando may be that vaginal odour is reduced,” she says. “When we sweat, some underwear traps moisture or odour-causing organisms around the vulva and so, some find that going commando reduces their vaginal odour.”

But before you bin your underwear collection, the blush-baring move comes with a warning. “Underwear is important for protecting the genital area and keeping it clean,” says Carmel. “Wearing clean underwear daily helps reduce the risk of some infections, reduces genital irritation from outer clothing, protects against ‘chub-rub’, and reduces the likeliness of genital breakouts. Underwear also protects our outer clothing from bodily fluids such as vaginal discharge and urinary incontinence.”

And of the huge amount of underwear choices out there, are there certain styles that are more hygenic? “Underwear made from natural fibres, such as cotton, are highly recommended as the go-to underwear as the fabric allows the genitals to breathe and are more comfortable,” Carmel continues. “Cotton also has great absorbent properties.”

It’s important your knickers are not too tight – comfort is key – so a nicely fitting pair of knickers reduces moisture and heat, irritation, and helps reduce the risk of infections.

Going commando may not be for everyone an,d if you’re not ready to hit your local high street sans pants, there is one place all the experts agree you should lose your knickers, and that’s in bed. According to a 2021 study by the Sleep Foundation, sleeping naked may help keep candida yeast, which causes fungal infections, from growing in the vagina. So get yourself some loose pyjamas and let it all hang out, literally, as a first step before you reach for that cutout dress.

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