Feminine wipes – do you understand the hype?
Whether it’s been a long day of traveling, a heavy period day or a killer day at the gym, sometimes a lady needs a little freshening up on the go.
For any woman who has ventured down the feminine hygiene aisle in the drugstore, it’s clear that there are many solutions marketed towards helping women feel fresh. Using claims of “sexiness” and “odor control,” women are being sold wipes as a means to increase confidence and as a better option for feminine health. Confidence and feminine health are great! But the problem is, not all feminine wipes are created equal and some products may actually do more harm than good. In fact, many conventional feminine wipes contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption and fertility issues.
Just like with soaps, feminine wipes made with parabens, alcohol and fragrances can disrupt the vagina’s natural pH. Parabens are particularly controversial due to their potential as hormone disruptors, so women concerned about breast cancer typically stay away. Alcohol can be over-drying, and “fragrance “is essentially a term representing an unknown bouquet of potentially toxic chemicals – plus they often contain allergens. More natural fragrances derived from essential oils can be caustic unless uber-diluted, so look out for those too! Even further, feminine wipes containing sulfates and glycerine can actually help cause yeast infections and irritation. And last but not least, the list of chemicals used as preservatives and “odor-controllers” in most wipes can be pretty scary, so there is a lot to steer clear from when choosing the right product for you.
It’s also important to remember that feminine wipes are made for the vulva (the external genitalia) not the vagina (internal genitalia) because it’s self-cleaning. So when it comes to wipes, it’s what’s outside that counts. And if an unfamiliar odor is the reason you’re reaching for wipes, make sure you get checked for an infection, like BV, rather than simply trying to mask it.
To keep your body happy and healthy, it’s always best to go with wipes that have been approved by an OB/GYN. Look for ingredients like organic coconut oil, organic aloe and chamomilla extract – they’re natural, safe and non-disruptive to the sensitive vaginal environment. Choose wisely for the natural environment as well, selecting wipes that are bio-dispersible.
The bottom line? Feminine hygiene can be a tricky category to navigate. So do your research, read labels and make choices that are best for your health. There is nothing sexier – and more confidence-building – than that!