Breast health: What happens when you don’t wash your bra enough?

If you’re caught in a bad habit of wearing the same bra for weeks on end, there’s some nasty truths to be told 

“Bacteria, oil, dirt, lotions, yeast and fungi can accumulate in your bras if you don’t wash them regularly,” says Beth Kates, founder of Liberty & Love lingerie.

“As bras are so close to the skin, all the grimy bacteria that has built up over time can cause friction.

“So follow your instinct  – if you haven’t been that active, then every couple of wears will be fine, but if your bra gets sweaty or dirty, then change it daily.” 

Beth Kates, Liberty & Love

Beth says finding a comfortable and supportive bra can be difficult, so it’s no surprise that many women get into the habit of wearing one ‘trusty’ bra over and over again – until it falls apart. 

“Wash after sport always, any time you sweat it should be washed, otherwise after every two or three times of wearing,” she explains.

“It seems people don’t always stick to this because maybe they don’t have enough bras!” 

Another common pitfall, says Beth, is wearing the wrong size bra.

From breast and back pain to premature sagging, it’s surprising so many women are wearing the wrong size bra – but it’s often due to fear of getting measured. 

“There are many ways in which the wrong size bra can contribute to breast pain,” says Beth.

“If your bra is too small, it can dig into your breasts and contract vessels in the breast tissue.

 “Or if it’s too big, your breasts can bounce, which could lead to tenderness.

“You won’t have the required support and the breast tissue can stretch leading to lack of shape.”

When you start noticing a significant gap between the bra cups and your breast, it means that either the cups are stretched out or you need a different cup size. 

“If you notice any changes such as this, it’s definitely time to get a new bra,” advises Beth. 

“The back of a bra naturally stretches out over time so if you start to notice a ripple effect, it means the elastic has stretched out and your breasts aren’t getting the required support. 

“When the back band is loose and not supporting your back or chest properly, it’s a tell tale sign to replace your bra.”

We all know there’s nothing quite like the pain of your bra’s underwire poking out and digging into your skin. 

Beth says that while you may be tempted to poke the wire back in, it’s a huge sign of wear and tear.

If you’re wondering when to buy a new bra, this is definitely the time to do so! 

“While there are many tell-tale signs that may signal that you need a new bra, sometimes you might want something a bit more luxurious. 

“Every bra has its day but it’s important to invest in a bra that makes you feel happy and confident.” 

Beth wants women to buy underwear for themselves as she advocates ‘your body, your choice, your you.’ 

Therefore, she is on a mission to change marketing of lingerie to women across the board and aims that through Liberty & Love this will happen. 

“At Liberty & Love we are passionate about women feeling good every day.

“We want you to buy underwear for you, your body, your life, your choice.

“You can have beautiful nightwear for movie nights with the kids and still feel glamorous.

“You can have beautiful underwear when you are just being you, every day.

“Love the skin you’re in.”

April 25 marks National Lingerie Day.

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