A friend of mine recently came to me with a great idea for a post, so I did some research on on the topic and put something together that is hopefully both informative and helpful.
She began with mentioning how she stopped using baby oil after her showers upon discovering that it was unsafe on the Cosmetic Safety Database (with it being a petroleum byproduct and all). While browsing the CSD, she also discovered that the Summer’s Eve Feminine Wash for Sensitive Skin that her friend had been using had all kinds of awful ingredients that you would never want near your nether regions like synthetic dyes, fragrance, and ammonium laureth sulfate (a harsh surfactant). This made my friend wonder, and I’m quoting here, “What the hell can ladies use that won’t cancer up their lady parts?” I found this question to be a very valid (not to mention wonderfully-worded) one, and one that I’ve never heard addressed, so I took it upon myself to find the answer.
I began my quest on the CSD in the feminine care category, but I was soon disappointed when I learned that they had no feminine cleansers in their database with a hazard score lower than a three. No thanks!
One of the first moderately helpful sites that I found listed several easy solutions to vaginal odor and/or discomfort. This site suggested using inexpensive products that most people already have lying around like vinegar, aloe vera gel, hydrogen peroxide, and slippery elm bark (well, maybe most people don’t have this one lying around) to clean down there. I must admit, though, I’d be hesitant to put vinegar and especially hydrogen peroxide around my vagina (the former because it seems like it might cause irritation and the latter because it’s linked to cancer, which is what we’re trying to avoid here).
I checked out the green and natural section of drugstore.com, and I literally found only two natural feminine washes. The first is called DivaWash, and while it’s not specifically sold as a feminine wash (the bottle says that it can be used to wash the face or the body), it was located in the feminine cleansing category.
The positives: It’s free of parabens (preservatives that mimic estrogen), sulfates (harsh surfactants), and petrochemicals (chemical products derived from petroleum).
The negatives: The ingredients still aren’t awesome. The second ingredient listed is Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which is a synthetic surfactant that’s associated with skin irritation.
The second natural feminine wash that I found on drugstore.com is Natracare Organic Cotton Intimate Wipes.
The positives: They’re alcohol, paraben, sulfate, chlorine, and synthetic preservative-free. They’re also biodegradable.
The negatives: They come in the form of wipes, which seems a little unnecessarily wasteful…even if they are biodegradable. Also, very little is known about most of the ingredients (ie: datagaps). One of the ingredients that doesn’t have a huge data gap is Sodium Dehydroacetate, which is a preservative that’s linked to cancer. Bummer!
I also found an entire line of organic feminine care called Pink Kitti. The name makes me cringe a little, but what’s more unnerving is that I cannot find an ingredient list on the entire site. Major ingredients are listed but nothing else. Their site does state that their products are paraben and sulfate-free and that the ingredients are 89% organic. Still, I need a little more information about a product that’s intended to clean my vagina. If you have nothing to hide, then you should list your ingredients on your site. Am I right?
I always feel like I am let down when I try to get to the bottom of something, but maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. Do you guys know of any legitimately natural and safe feminine cleansers? I’ve consistently used whatever soap I’m currently using as a body wash to clean my lady parts, and I’ve never had any problems with it. But what about the people who feel like they need a little something extra down there? Shouldn’t there be a safe and effective product out there for them?