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5 Skin Care Tips For Your Vulva and Vagina.

Posted by Jodie West on

The majority of us have a daily skin care routine. We know how great our skin feels when we use a good moisturiser on it. We know how what we eat can affect our how skin feels. Did you know all this applies to the skin of your vulva and vagina?

When I have said that it is important to moisturise your vulva and vagina to people of all ages I get the oddest looks, some surprised, some seem almost horrified, others it seems to spark an interest. When I start discussing ingredients and types of products used on the vulva and vagina the looks pretty much stay the same. Many of us are very particular about the ingredients list in products we put on our skin which is understandable because it is the largest organ in the body, and it absorbs what we put on it. So, I don’t really understand why people why I get those looks when I encourage people to look at the products they use for their intimate health. The skin on our vulva and vagina are incredibly delicate and sensitive part of your body.

Not only is the skin on our vulva and vagina very sensitive they are pretty amazing. Our vagina is self-cleaning (it is also very elastic and can double in size when we are aroused). We do not need to wash them, scrub, scour, bleach or perfume them. These things will upset the pH of the vagina which can equal irritation and infection.

There are still things we need to give them some TLC, no matter your age;

  • Just wash with water – Many people experience irritation from the products they buy to care for their vulva and vagina. You do not need to perfume, steam, douche, scrub or use any other potion on your vagina. Please reconsider the use of common household products from your kitchen or bathroom cupboard - A 2 year study at UCLAin 2013 which included 141 sexually active women aged between 18 and 65yrs found that women who used petroleum jelly intravaginally increased their risk for bacterial vaginosis by 22%; women who used common kitchen oils had a 32% increased risk of getting a yeast infection – they were not designed for intimate use and they will also break down latex condoms causing them to break.
  • Use quality moisturisers and lubricants – The word quality is important here. It is not recommended to pick the cheapest product off the shelf at your supermarket or chemist, it is far more important to consider the ingredients. Avoid irritating ingredients widely used in some very well-known brands, which include glycerine, glycols, parabens, perfumes, dyes, alcohol and petroleum jelly. Check the label and moisturise your vulva and vagina for good intimate health and pleasurable sex.
  • Start using quality skin care products - Getting into a routine and finding the right products early can contribute to vulva and vaginal health as we age. Using a quality lubricant does not mean something is wrong and there is NO SHAME in using them at any age. Don’t put off using a vaginal moisturiser when you start to feel symptoms. There is NO SHAME in taking care of your vulva and vaginal skin, it is no different from taking care of the skin on your face. It will make sex feel even more pleasurable.
  • Do your research on HRT when you need it – Do not believe the scar mongering around the use of HRT? Do not let your symptoms of be dismissed or downplayed, find a doctor that is knowledgeable and can help? Find the right HRT for you based on solid research. Even if you choose not to take HRT a more localised version, oestrogen vaginal pessaries can help with menopause related symptoms and transform your sex life. This localised style of HRT is absorbed by the vagina, vulva and bladder to keep tissues flexible, promote lubrication, help make sex more pleasurable and reduce irritation and infection. Your doctor or menopause expert can advise you if these are suitable for you.
  • How much do you spend on skin care products for your face and body? Consider applying the same diligence and care to choosing the products that you use to care for the skin of your vulva and vagina. Pay as much attention to how your skin responds as you do when you put a moisturiser on your face. If the skin on your face is irritated by a new product you stop using it, pay as much attention to how your vulva and your vagina respond to a new product.

We need to change the way we think about the use of lubricants for all ages. We need to open conversations around vulva and vagina care. Caring for the skin of our vulva and vagina needs to be as normal as caring for the skin on our face.

Need more?

Try talking to your GP, gynaecologist, pelvic physiotherapist, sleep specialist, sex therapist, counsellor or coach can help.

Jodie West - sexologist 

If you have a question that you would like to get Jodie to answer you can email hello@blissforwomen.com.au 

 

Jodie West is our CEO and Resident Sexologist at Bliss. Jodie is known for initiating Taboo conversations about women's health & sexuality. Her own health challenges & the changes they brought about in general life & sex life were the catalysts for taboo smashing projects that have made & continue to make changes in the landscape of women's health in Australia.

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual

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