Water alone is not enough for a good personal hygiene. “Water is drying and it does not eliminate residues of perspiration, urine or stool that can carry potentially pathogenic microorganisms,” says Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist. A minimalist toilet of her intimate area from time to time, why not, but not systematically.
One personal wash a day is the right tempo, possibly two in case of sport or during menstruation. Whatever the hygiene product, dermatological bar or washing gel, it is emulsified with water before applying it to the private parts with the hands. “We spread the folds well at the level of the labia majora and labia minora then rinse carefully,” says Dr. Phryné Foulc.
The washing base intimate hygiene products is most often composed of mild surfactants which respect the hydrolipidic film of the skin and vulva as well as the microbial flora protective microbiota (or microbiota) found there. “Look in the formula for names such as betaine or sugar derivatives such as lauryl glucoside which are very gentle cleansing bases”, notes Céline Couteau, pharmacist.
These products also have a pH called “physiological”, that is to say close to that of the intimate zone: neutral (around 7) on the periphery of the vulva, more acidic (around 5) at the vulvar level. Even if the product is rinsed out and intended for external use, it is better to use it according to our experts to limit the risk of irritation.
To avoid :
Iare shower gels for sensitive or atopic skin are lightly scented and have a gentle cleansing base (A-Derma shower gels or bars, Eucerin pH5, Jonzac High Tolerance shower gel, etc.). But most shower gels are very scented, therefore potentially irritating, and may contain aggressive surfactants. “These are sulphate derivatives, lauryl sulphate and, to a lesser degree, laureth sulphate”, explains Céline Couteau. Without major consequences on healthy skin, they weaken the particularly fine vulvar mucosa.
The cleansing bases of organic products are not necessarily the softest. Moreover, conservatives potentially endocrine disruptors or very allergenic are banned, but others sometimes replace them “of which we do not know much about their toxicity or tolerance, unlike conventional preservatives regulated to minimize the risks”, slice the cosmetologist pharmacist.
The presence of a prebiotic – frequent in references dedicated to intimate hygiene – is not probably not essential. Unlike superfatting agents, part of which remains on the skin, the prebiotic is probably largely eliminated by rinsing.
” THE intimate wipes can help out occasionally when travelling, hiking, but not daily “, recommends dermatologist Phryné Foulc. Any fragrances, preservatives or cleaning agents present are potentially irritating. Same problem with wet toilet paper : “Convenient for toilet training in little girls or in case of diarrhea, but not at all suitable for the vulvar area, even less for daily use”, adds Dr. Foulc.
An intimate hygiene product enriched with humectants and fats (glycerine, fatty acids, etc.) brings a real comfort in case of vulvar dryness. “Cleansing oils intended for atopic skin are also suitable”, specifies Dr. Foulc (shower oils Topicrem, La Rosée, etc.).
If a mycosis is diagnosed, a alkaline pH product (8 to 8.5) is a plus (Mycolea +, Hydralin Gyn…). “The fungus releases a very acidic substance that causes burning, and at least temporarily increasing the pH of the vulvar area soothes,” explains Dr. Bagot.
To read : My Gynecologist Survival Guide, Dr. Odile Bagot, ed. Marabou, €6.90.
A cleansing gel containing mild surfactants with a pH of approximately 5.5 (laboratory data).
Lightly scentedit is enriched with prebiotics (oligosaccharides promoting the growth of lactobacilli in the vaginal flora) and contains a calendula extract recognized for its soothing properties.
To be used for daily intimate hygiene, if you are looking for a cleansing product with a light fragrance Free from known allergens (citronellol, limonene…).
Around €7.50 for 250 ml (available in 100 and 500 ml). Cavaillès laboratory.
A washing solution based on mild surfactants, a prebiotic in the form of an oligosaccharide and two organic plant extracts with soothing and moisturizing properties : mallow and aloe vera. Its pH is between 5 and 5.5 (laboratory data).
For daily use, if you are looking for a certified organic formula.
The opinion of the pharmacist: a very light texture making it pleasant and soft to apply the product. This relatively simple organic formula includes plant extracts whose tolerance is safe and well documented, which is not always the case.
Between €5.50 and €6.50 for 150 ml. Lea Nature Laboratory.
Without perfumethis cleansing gel with physiological pH has a refined formula composed of particularly mild surfactants (sugar esters such as coco-glucoside). It contains a prebiotic.
Recommended for daily personal hygiene, especially if you have a reactive skin or if other intimate cleansing gels are not suitable. This formula will suit those who do not tolerate perfumes or whose intimate mucosa is weakened by drying treatments (some anti-cancer drugs).
About €5.60 for 200 ml. Reckitt Benckiser Laboratory.
Its particularities: a gentle cleansing base enriched with glycerin, oat milk and maltodextrins – sugar derivatives – with moisturizing and emollient properties. Extracts of sage and calendula, soothing and restorative are also present in this product at physiological pH (5 to 6 depending on the laboratory). The film-forming and nourishing agents remain partly on the skin and soften it, which provides real comfort. Allergic reactions to oat extracts are sometimes reported but they remain rare and mainly encountered in children with eczema.
For daily use in case of vulvar tightness or dryness whatever the origin: menopause, postpartum, or after a hair removal of the intimate area.
7 to 8 € for 200 ml. Biocodex laboratory.
Containing copper and zinc salts which limit bacterial proliferation, this washing gel is composed of mild surfactants. It is suitable for irritated skin of the whole family… including intimate hygiene. It also contains a patented active ingredient that promotes healing fabrics. Its pH is around 5.5.
To be used occasionally, in case of post-depilation inconvenience (small pimples, etc.), linked to tight clothing or sand. Its gentle formula is suitable for all ages in case of intimate irritations. This is often the case with little girls who do not always remember to wipe from front to back, which promotes vulvovaginitis or urinary tract infections.
10 to 11 € for 200 ml. Avene laboratory.
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