Women focus more on their skin and hair to maintain their personal hygiene. But when it comes to intimate hygiene, they rarely talk about it. Just like any other part of your body, your intimate areas are important. Understanding proper vaginal hygiene will protect you from infections and the overgrowth of bacteria.
Some women put on feminine wash as part of their vaginal hygiene. These products typically come with vinegar, water, iodine, and baking soda. They help them relieve dryness, itching, and irritation around their intimate areas. Aside from this, the coochie wash helps preserve the vagina’s regular PH. This is important for avoiding bacterial infection.
But is feminine wash safe to use every day? Are there side effects when you overuse these products? Read this article to find out if you can use a feminine wash daily. But before we can answer that, let’s go back to the basics.
Is Your Vulva the Same as Your Vagina?
Unfortunately, not all women can distinguish between the two. Understanding the difference between the vulva and the vagina is an important part of personal hygiene. By doing so, you’ll know how to take care of your reproductive health.
So to start, most of what you can see down there is part of your vulva. This includes:
- The outer labia, where the hair grows.
- The inner labia.
- The clitoris and clitoral hood protects the clitoris.
- The urethral opening.
On the other hand, your vagina is the internal canal that connects to your cervix. This is where you insert tampons and where babies come out.
Which of the Two Should You Use a Feminine Wash On?
This is an easy-to-answer question, but there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. Since the vagina is inside of your body, there’s no need to clean it. It already cleans itself by releasing discharge together with unwanted bacteria, yeast, or sperm. This way, it prevents the build-up of these organisms and keeps you from getting infections.
Because the vagina is self-cleaning, you don’t need to feminine wash inside of it. As long as you maintain a healthy gut, you won’t have a problem. If you do, the product will only disturb the vagina’s natural pH levels, which can cause bacterial and yeast infections. Aside from that, it will also create an imbalance in the levels of healthy bacteria and yeast in your genitalia.
So you can leave your vagina as it is. Your vulva, on the other hand, is where you put on feminine wash. Since the vulva is the outer part of your genitalia, it needs some cleaning. It’s the part most exposed to the outside environment, such as your underwear and when you go to the bathroom. A little extra TLC goes a long way to keeping this area clean.
Is Feminine Wash Safe to Clean Your Vulva?
Not all feminine wash formulations are the same. Some have stronger effects, while some have weaker effects when it comes to killing bacteria. Some feminine washes can even cause a superinfection when you use them for too long. That’s because some fungi and bacteria developed some type of resistance to their effects.
Even though you apply feminine wash on your vulva, a small amount of it can get into your vaginal canal. So you should keep away from using a feminine wash with strong formulations. Doing so can disrupt your vagina’s natural flora. That is, it can kill both good and bad bacteria in your vagina.
This is harmful since the good bacteria help your nether regions to fight infections. When it is acidic, that means it has a sufficient amount of good bacteria. If you use feminine wash with strong formulations regularly, this may alter your genitalia’s pH levels. When the acidity level decreases, there’s a chance that you will get infections.
There are varieties of feminine washes that are milder and contain moisturizers. This makes such products safe to use for longer periods.
But, to answer the question, “is feminine wash safe for everyday use,” the answer is no. You can use feminine wash a few times per week if you don’t have infections.
Pregnant women can also use a feminine wash to keep their genitals clean. But they shouldn’t also use such products regularly. Even though feminine wash for pregnant women doesn’t have strong chemicals, it can still be harmful when used too much.
How to Find the Right Feminine Wash That is Safe to Use
Take note of the ingredients before you look for a feminine wash product to use. Remember that whatever product you use on your vulva can also get into your vaginal canal. So, to find the best feminine wash that is safe to use, here are some factors to consider:
- Opt for Products That Have a pH-Balanced Formula
Have you ever heard of the term “pH-balanced”? This is used to describe certain feminine washes with the right amount of acidic formula in them. Since your vulva prefers to be acidic, these products are a great choice to clean it. “pH-balanced” simply means that they can complement the vulva’s naturally acidic pH levels.
- Avoid Feminine Washes With SLS, Soap, and Parabens
You’ll find a lot of ingredients in general cleaning products that are not safe for feminine washes. Some of these include SLS, soap, and parabens. Keep an eye out for these ingredients when you read the label.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
This ingredient is a surfactant that is often used in detergents to help remove dirt and grime. It is generally safe to use this on your skin. Despite that, it’s not safe to use on your vulva, which is more delicate than other parts of your body.
This ingredient is generally used as a preservative to stop the growth of bacteria. Even when that’s the case, it’s not a good ingredient to use on your skin, let alone your vulva.
Soap has a natural alkaline component in it. That means that its pH level is above 7, which is not recommended for use on your vulva. The right feminine wash pH balance should be lower than 7, which makes it more acidic.
- Keep it Fragrance-Free
Your feminine wash should have natural ingredients. You don’t need artificial and chemically-derived formulas. Those with fragrances can even cause further dryness, which defeats their purpose. So choose one that is fragrance-free to avoid issues with your genitalia.
- Turn Away From Feminine Wash Products with Glycerin
Glycerin is a popular ingredient in personal care products. It is a good ingredient for body wash since it draws and holds moisture to your skin.
But glycerin is a type of sugar. Putting it near your vaginal canal can increase your risk of developing yeast and UTI.
Most women don’t suffer the consequences of using a feminine wash with glycerin. But, if you have sensitive skin, you may be more susceptible to yeast infections. So, just to be safe, it’s best to use a feminine wash without glycerin.
- Consult Your Doctor
You can never go wrong by following your doctor’s advice when looking for health-related products. But it can be challenging to find the right feminine care products for you. Your doctor, however, can help you cut down on your choices and give you some expert advice. They know exactly which ingredients and products are safe to use.
Keep Your Lady Parts Clean and Healthy
Your lady parts are just as important as any other part of your body. Keeping it clean and healthy will help you fight off diseases and infections in the area. One way of taking care of your intimate area is by cleaning it with feminine wash.
While using these personal hygiene products is generally safe, you should not overdo it. Using feminine wash is an effective way of keeping your lady parts clean and moisturized. But stronger formulations can inflict more harm than good on your body. So it’s best to stay on the safe side and use it a few times a week.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.