Vaginal douches, feminine washes, intimate wet wipes and scented tissues. Have we forgotten that a healthy vagina is self-cleaning?
Yes, it’s hygienic to wash your body, including your vagina, every day. But just rinsing with clean water is enough and there’s no need to wash the inside of your vagina, as that part takes care of itself.
Nevertheless a lot of women use vaginal douches, feminine washes, intimate wet wipes and scented tissues, in order to feel fresh ‘down there’. This isn’t only unnecessary in most cases, but could even be harmful. The report ‘Chem Fatale, potential health effects of toxic chemicals in feminine care products’ by Alexandra Scranton of Women’s Voices For The Earth shows that a lot of these feminine products aren’t suitable for the vagina at all.
No normal skin
Most intimate products are classified as cosmetics; they have to meet the same standards and requirements as for example nail polish or eye shadow. But your vagina isn’t your face: the tissue there isn’t only very sensitive, but also extremely permeable (numerous blood and lymphatic vessels allow for a direct transfer into the circulation). Research shows that, compared with oral administration, levels of estrogenic drugs in the body are 10 to 80 times higher when the same dose is administered vaginally. Naturally, the same goes for toxic chemicals: when in your vagina, they can be rapidly absorbed and circulated through the rest of your body.
According to the Chem Fatale report special care should be taken with scented products. Companies only have to disclose the term ‘fragrance’ on the packaging. Although this fragrance can be a mixture of up to 3,000 different chemicals, some of them harmful or even toxic, there’s no need to list any specific ingredients. Also wet wipes aren’t a safe choice. They almost always contain preservative chemicals such as parabens (which are suspected of increasing the development of tumours) to ensure moistness and prevent bacterial growth. Maybe just stick with water instead?
For more info, read the whole report