Skin-Care Tips

A Gynecologist Wants You to Keep This Common Shower Product Far Away From Your Vagina

Pin It
Photo: Getty Images/Flashpop
I always aim to listen to my mama when cleaning myself in the shower. As in, "Only clean the parts of your body that you want to smell good and be clean." (Duh.) Which means that unlike a surprisingly large chunk of the population, I wash my legs in the shower... along with everything else, from the tip of my head down to my toes (just not my face, cuz that's a job for the sink).

So whatever body wash I'm currently using is the one tasked with getting all of this washing done... and I've never, ever thought about whether it's okay to use, ahem, down there or not. Welp, that's a mistake on my part, because certain ingredients can throw off your vagina's pH (which is important, BTW), or just lead to some not-so-ideal situations. Think: yeast infections.

One surprising culprit? Glycerin, the ultra-common moisturizing ingredient found in so many personal care products. "Glycerin, which is found in many OTC lubricants and bath products, has been associated with yeast infections for those who are prone," says OB/GYN and Monistat ambassador Alyssa Dweck, MD. That said, a lot of women tolerate glycerin "without any issue," she says. It's just a risk if you tend to get these infections somewhat regularly.

It's also smart to try and avoid shower products with propylene glycol, heavy fragrance, and anything with mineral oil. "The vaginal pH can be altered, and infection can occur," says Dr. Dweck. "Again, this is individually based, and many women tolerate these ingredients without a problem." It's always good to be safe, though—so maybe grab something without these ingredients, like Dove's Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar ($5) or SweetSpot Labs Unscented Gentle Wash ($12). Because you never know.

To keep that area down there fresh as a daisy, here's the deal on whether you should remove your underwear at night (so it can *breathe*).  And here are the best underwear types for your vagina's health (not including thongs!). 

Loading More Posts...