I’m a vaginal expert, and here’s why you should avoid using holiday body wash.
The aisles are smelling like gingerbread and Christmas pudding, and the shelves are already brimming with festive cheer.
Although it may be tempting to pick up a Rudolf shower gel or a Santa soap, one expert advises against it.
Cinnamon, vanilla, and peppermint all conjure up images of Christmas.
When it comes to your vaginal health, keep those smells in the kitchen and keep things simple.
Stephanie Taylor, founder of pelvic healthcare company Kegel8, said there are a slew of ingredients in your body products, including unnecessary fragrances and preservatives that can disrupt your vagina’s natural pH balance and cause more harm than good.
She explained that these products could upset the bacteria’s natural balance in your vaginal area.
“Your vagina has a lot of bacteria, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Stephanie explained.
“Bacteria known as lactobacilli keep the pH balance in your vaginal canal at a normal low level (usually less than pH 4.5), preventing the growth of other organisms.
“A dramatic change in your vaginal pH level can result in infections like bacterial vaginosis or thrush if the balance of bacteria in your vagina is disrupted.”
No one wants to get festive thrush, and Stephanie claims that the delicious scents associated with the holiday season may actually irritate your vagina.
She claims that using heavily perfumed soaps to clean sensitive areas like the labia and vulva can cause skin irritation, such as contact dermatitis, which causes itchy, red, or even inflamed skin due to irritation of the sensitive vaginal mucosa (the mucus membrane inside the vagina).
“Irritatants like soaps and detergents are the most common cause of contact dermatitis,” Stephanie explained.
“There are also some natural fragrances that can irritate the skin, such as essential oils.”
While some of these scents may conjure up warm holiday feelings, your lady parts will not appreciate it.
“Scents associated with the holidays, such as cinnamon, can trigger hypersensitivity and cause skin irritation and burning.”
“Peppermint oil, a popular scent in holiday body washes, can cause skin irritation and rashes.”
When you’re irritated, even small things like friction in your clothing, urine, or sweat can aggravate the problem, so it’s best to avoid them, Stephanie advised.
The vagina is self-cleaning, so no special washes or sprays are required to keep it clean.
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