For the past several years, self-care has become a buzz word of sorts. Self-care regimens can look dramatically different from one woman to the next. However, one area in which we could all probably do a better job of caring for is the vaginal area. While we have always been advised not to wash our vaginas with anything other than water, which as Healthline points out is “the muscular canal inside the body that the menstrual flow — and babies, during childbirth — passes through,” the vulva is a completely different story. The vulva is “the outer portions around the vagina which includes the inner and outer vaginal lips (labia), the clitoral hood, the clitoris, pubic mound, and the urethra” and it should be washed daily with a gentle cleanser.
“Cleaning the vulva should be a part of your daily hygiene routine,” Sherry Ross, MD, OB-GYN and women’s health expert in Santa Monica, California, told Healthline.
And while warm water can help with basic cleaning, if you want to truly care for your skin down there, you may want to consider investing in feminine care products.
“I think it’s important that we continue to educate ourselves that that area is supposed to have its own thing,” Alikay Naturals founder Rochelle Graham-Campbell told MadameNoire. “You have your body wash for your body, then you also have to separate cleanser that you’re supposed to be using on your face, but growing up so many of us just used one on all three.”
To change that, Graham-Campbell and her husband and business partner, Demond Campbell, added a feminine care line to their beauty brand. “HER by Alikay is our new Alikay Naturals feminine care collection. Our reason for going into feminine care primarily is to make sure that we’re serving our Alikay customer who we’ve already spent the past 11 years focusing on. So we’ve — my husband and I — made sure she has amazing and quality hair care products that are natural and that work — including on kinkier textures. We’ve done bath and body, we’ve done home and so, it was almost like an AHA moment that the next thing that we needed to do for our customer is to serve the most sensitive area on her body.”
When choosing feminine hygiene products, you’ll want to be choosy as some products marketed towards women contain harsh chemicals that can throw off the vagina’s pH, resulting in itching, dryness, odor, and discomfort.