Intimate hygiene is so much more than just showering regularly (which – of course – is a must!).
Try these feminine hygiene tips for a fresh, clean, and (most importantly) healthy vagina.
Keeping yourself clean is perhaps one of the most important feminine hygiene tips there is. Especially as you move through puberty, the changes in your body make good personal hygiene all the more critical. Things like getting your period, daily vaginal discharge and increased sweat from your sweat glands make keeping clean increasingly important for teenage girls. Washing your intimate area daily is just the first step.
The inside of your vagina has its very own self-cleaning mechanism. It doesn’t need to be washed, scrubbed, or cleaned – this also means no douching. Stick to washing just the outside of your vagina, which is actually called the vulva. The vulva includes the inner and outer vaginal lips and the clitoris.
Regular soaps and shower gels aren’t designed to be used on your vaginal area, because they have a pH level designed for the surface of your skin. Your skin has a pH of 5.5, whereas a healthy vaginal pH level ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Using regular soap can alter the pH of your vagina and upset its delicate bacterial balance, which is what keeps it healthy and free of infection. Instead, try using a special wash intended for use on your intimate area. You can find feminine hygiene washes that are pH-balanced for your vagina in the feminine care section of the supermarket or pharmacy. In case of doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your GP or gynaecologist for advice.
Female hygiene doesn’t require any special equipment – just some feminine wash and water. The skin of your intimate area is very sensitive and can be irritated by abrasive materials like gloves, sponges and loofahs. Plus, bacteria tend to build up and grow on things like sponges and gloves, and you don’t want to introduce them into your vagina. Your hands are enough to achieve good personal hygiene.
To dry off after a shower or bath, use a towel that is soft and completely dry. An important hygiene tip for girls especially is to change your towel every two to three days – and don’t share your towel with anyone else.
This feminine care tip prevents outside bacteria from entering your vagina. When washing your intimate area, don’t aim the stream of water directly into your vagina. Instead, let the water run down from the top of your pubic area over your vagina.
You may have heard this personal hygiene tip before, but it’s worth a reminder. When you go to the loo, be sure to wipe front to back – and never back to front! This ensures that no harmful bacteria from your anus get into your vagina. If they do, these bacteria can create an uncomfortable (and smelly!) infection – like a urinary tract infection – that would require antibiotics in order to clear it up.
Wearing cotton underwear is important for good personal hygiene. Cotton is a very breathable fabric, so it allows any excess moisture from sweat or discharge to evaporate, instead of becoming a breeding ground for bacteria (and unpleasant odours!). This doesn’t mean that the pair of knickers must be made entirely of cotton, just the crotch insert.
Wear a pantyliner daily to help absorb vaginal discharge. Discharge is healthy – it’s your body’s way of cleansing your vagina from toxins and staying clean and moisturised. But this doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable in a wet pair of knickers. Wearing a pantyliner every day is a great feminine hygiene tip. Panty liners work just like pads, but they’re much thinner and can be used daily to absorb discharge and keep you feeling clean and dry. ALWAYS Dailies are super thin and flexible for a barely-there feeling that will keep you feeling fresh all day long – like you just put on a new pair of knickers.
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat”. Well, in your vagina’s case, “you are what you drink”. Sugary drinks can affect the bacterial balance of your vagina, and so can being dehydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water to give your body a boost when it comes to flushing out toxins and keeping your vagina clean and healthy.
Incorporate these intimate hygiene tips into your life in order to keep your vagina clean and healthy, and to keep you smiling and confident.