Summer is arguably the best time of the year. Anticipated vacations, backyard BBQs with family and friends, long weekends, and simply enjoying the sunshine. We can feel your face smiling through the screen as you read this because WHO DOESN’T LOVE SUMMERTIME?!
OK, we’ll calm down because we know with enjoying activities in the sun also comes preventive adjustments to our skincare product lineup … and today’s topic, our feminine care routine.
We’ll cut to the important point. The risk of vaginal irritations rises with warmer weather, and the main culprit is moisture. While some women are more prone to feminine health issues due to the season’s climate than others, it comes down to a surplus of sweat causing things to get extra wet (and not in the way we desire in the bedroom).
Summertime discomfort happens. Don’t be embarrassed if you experience it, just be sure to take action and book an appointment with your gyno to ease your mind and make sure everything is all good.
To prepare for the heat and enter the next few months with the right essentials for your intimate area, we’re highlighting three categories of feminine hygiene to keep top of mind. The breakdown? Cleansing, grooming, and prevention with tips for each to safely update your personal care routine for the summer.
• Cleanse with safe products
We’ll let Autumn Morris, CEO and founder of Speaking of Autumn, get us off (no pun intended) to an essential start with proper vaginal care (whether you’re currently sexually active or not). Do not, and Morris can’t stress this enough, use regular soap. “Your vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Some products are great for the vulva and vagina to cleanse and help them recover from an infection, but overusing a product can cause the vagina to stop cleaning and maintaining itself, leaving you with an unnecessary hot mess!” And by hot mess, we mean prone to infection, harboring bad bacteria, etc. So use something mild or intended for the region.
Fragrance-free, pH-balancing, female-founded, and gentle enough to use every time you shower.
This product is not suitable for use on broken skin and is intended for external, topical use only.
• Cleanse post-workout
If you’re running errands after a workout, keep a mist or wipes in your purse to refresh on the go after your fitness session. We also recommend packing a fresh pair of underwear to change into to avoid trapping sweat that could cause irritation. To get specific, opt for breathable cotton undies and save your pretty lace items for sexy time under the sheets. This is especially important when you’re traveling and sitting for a long period of time.
For an instant cleanse in between showers, keep this in your workout bag or purse.
• Cleanse your diet
Vaginal health is no different than any other system—heart, brain, gut, skin—in our body. Our body naturally works to maintain a normal pH balance between 6.2 and 7.6, but here’s the kicker: our vagina, as well as some other areas in the body, needs a lower pH in order to fend off harmful bacteria, fungus, and other pathogens that leave their mark. This area thrives at a much more acidic pH level, between 3.8 and 4.5. Read this list for the foods to keep your vagina healthy.
• Groom the day before
If you shave or wax, wait 24 hours until exposing your bikini line to the sun and/or pool or beach water. Let the delicate area properly calm down to avoid unwanted irritations.
• Groom with care
First, ditch the dullness. Sharper blades remove hair with ease, whereas dull blades tug at the skin. Make sure you’re changing your razor blade every five to seven shaves to prevent irritation and the spread of bacteria.
Next, gently scrub. Exfoliating your skin helps remove dead skin cells, which prevents hairs from getting trapped and turning into razor bumps. Once you’re in the shower, try our DIY lip scrub, but make enough to slather onto your entire body, or a scrub that doesn’t overdo it. Using too many actives, like acids, can irritate the skin. Our favorite is C & The Moon’s Malibu Made Body Scrub. You can also opt for exfoliating tools, like these mittens or this brush. Apply a pH-balancing wash and scrub away.
• Groom prior to … grooming
Or incorporate a pre-shave routine if you don’t want to exfoliate during your rinse. Instead, try a soft dry-brushing session over your bikini line before your shower. Focusing on the areas you shave (before you shave) can do wonders. Alternatively, you can start by washing your skin with warm water or by applying a hot compress to the area. Heating up the hair-removal zone is great as it allows pores to open more fully.
• Prevent with probiotics
Your vagina has a microbiome of its own, and it’s a major component of the aforementioned “self-cleaning” part. Similar to your gut health, your vagina stores different strains of bacteria, and it’s important to keep them balanced to avoid infections. Invite the good bacteria by popping probiotics or increasing your diet with fermented foods like kimchi and pickled vegetables.
Each little heart contains 15 billion probiotics and natural prebiotics. No refrigeration needed; simply enjoy the USDA organic treat daily to reap the benefits.
It’s recommended to take two capsules every day, preferably with a meal, to promote balanced vaginal bacteria.
Up next, discover more from the Poosh Shop here.