Keeping vaginal skin feeling soft, flexible and pH balanced is crucial for maintaining good vaginal health. Not only does this improve vaginal comfort and health, it also boosts body confidence.
In a recent survey, it was found that over 50% of women have experienced vaginal dryness and discomfort at some point.
Experts say that the reason for this is that along with the rise in more extreme waxing and shaving of the vaginal area, very few women practice a regular skincare routine for their vaginal skin, which results in dryness, micro damage and frequent mild bacterial infections, all of which can lead to vaginal discomfort and painful sex.
Women often take very little care when it comes their intimate skin, even though this area is more delicate and finely balanced than many other areas of skin on the body.
Here are several common mistakes can lead to vaginal discomfort and damage.
Go Gentle on the Cleaning
Although there’s an abundance of feminine hygiene washes on the market, many experts believe we shouldn’t be vigorously washing this area too much.
The general words of advice from the experts is to avoid heavily perfumed soaps, shower gels and antiseptics, as these can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina, and cause irritation and infection.
One product doesn’t fit all
General soaps and shower gels are far too harsh for use on intimate skin. Even soap used for washing normal skin should not be used on intimate skin.
In addition, intimate areas should be washed separately from general washing with specific products for the intimate areas so ensure no other products enter the intimate areas.
Don’t try and mask smell
A healthy vagina is doesn’t produce a bad odour. If a vagina is kept healthy is will smell pleasant.
Overheating of the vaginal area or old sweat in this area can make for a more intense odour, but this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong.
Vaginal odour should be dealt with by washing with appropriate intimate products (which should be un-perfumed), not by using perfumed products to try and mask the smell.
If you practice regular vaginal washing in this way but still have a bad odour, you should go and see your doctor.
Practice some subtle ‘lady gardening’
Although expert frown upon extreme waxing and shaving for maintaining optimum vagina health, some degree off trimming can be beneficial.
It’s important to try and keep the area free from ingrown hairs so some subtle trimming can help.
New hairs can become trapped under the skin, leading to pain and inflammation, so regularly buffing the area with a gentle scrub will prevent this.
Moisturise every day
Just as your skin changes with age, so does your vaginal area – becoming dryer and less plump.
Vaginal dryness can lead to discomfort, itchiness and painful sex, and research has found that nearly half of women are affected by it at some point in their lives.
Using a daily vaginal moisturiser can help keep intimate skin supple and more hydrated. Look for products that contain prebiotics and antioxidants to help rejuvenate and regenerate vaginal skin.
Boost vaginal ‘good bacteria’
Like the skin and the gut, the vagina has good and bad bacteria. Over washing with anti-bacterial products, micro damage from sex, dryness and some medications can all reduce the amounts of good bacteria in the vagina which can lead to weaker skin and make the are more prone to bacterial and yeast infections.
Products that help boost the levels of good bacteria in the vaginal area can help re balance the levels of bacteria and improve the condition of vaginal skin.
Get the right pH balance
Studies have shown that a healthy acidic pH in the vagina can be of significant benefit in preventing recurring, low-grade vaginal infections such as thrush and bacterial infection, both of which tend to thrive in a more alkaline environment.
A healthy pH for the vagina is 4.5 or below. Choose intimate products that help maintain the correct pH balance of the vagina.
Be intimate with your work outs
We often all take regular trips the gym to improve the look of what is on the outside, but research shows that fewer of us work to improve what is going on in the inside.
Pelvic floor muscles give support to your bladder, bowel and vagina and working them out regularly is crucial for optimum vaginal health.
Having children is the biggest risk factor, but younger women who haven’t given birth can have weak pelvic floor muscles, too. Being constipated, carrying too much weight, lifting a lot, doing too may sit-ups or aerobic exercises can weaken these muscles.
Practising daily pelvic floor exercises can help improve tone and circulation in the vaginal area.
In2mate products are one of the first ranges of intimate products to contain antioxidants specifically for the vaginal area to help rejuvenate and improve flexibility and moisture retention in vaginal skin. They also contain prebiotics to increase levels of good bacteria in vaginal skin and have the correct pH balance for intimate skin. In2mate products are made from 99.7% naturally derived ingredients and are free from all perfumes.