Now that the holidays are here, festive-scented beauty products are everywhere and while they all look and smell great, they may not be the best thing for your body according to health experts.
Nothing says Christmas like the delicious tastes and scents of cinnamon, vanilla and peppermint. We love it in our foods, our drinks and our favorite products but when it comes to body washes, it's best we keep them clear of our genitals.
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Stephanie Taylor of pelvic healthcare company Kegel8 (opens in new tab) has warned that using body washes with festive scents (or any scents for that matter) on your vagina can be dangerous. Why? Because there is a whole host of ingredients that go into the formulas of your body products, including some unnecessary fragrances and preservatives that can throw off your vagina’s natural pH balance and ultimately do more harm than good—especially in the long run.
"Your vagina has lots of bacteria, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing," says Taylor. "Bacteria called lactobacilli ensure that your vagina’s pH balance stays at a normal low level (usually less than pH 4.5), which prevents the growth of other organisms.
"If the balance of bacteria is disturbed, this can lead to infection and inflammation," she adds. "A dramatic change in your vagina’s pH level can result in infections (opens in new tab) such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush."
Fragrance may tickle the fancy of your senses but it can be super irritating for your vagina, as well as other areas of your skin. "Using heavily perfumed soaps to clean sensitive areas such as the labia and vulva can cause skin irritation such as contact dermatitis which causes the skin to become itchy, red or even inflamed due to an irritation of the sensitive vaginal mucosa (the mucus membrane inside the vagina)," Taylor explains. "Christmas-y scents like cinnamon can cause hypersensitivity and lead to side effects like skin irritation and burning."
Ultimately, the message here is to keep your vagina away from any body products with scents, especially now that it's the season for all things Christmas themed. We for one, have heard it loud and clear!
Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty. She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.
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