In case you've been disconnected from the internet for several years, the vagina has been deemed a magical elusive unicorn of an orifice, which means there's a whole lot of misinformation out there. It's time to brush up on your
vaginal care tips that no one ever taught you in order to ensure the proper care and keeping of this body part. In order to keep your vagina happy and healthy, there are a few things we need to get straight.
That's why I got in touch with two different types of specialists:
Dr. Sherry A. Ross, an OBGYN and women’s health expert, and Dr. Sejal Shah, a New York dermatologist and RealSelf contributor. Both Dr. Sherry and Dr. Shah were more than willing to separate fact from fiction with their lovely insights, and all of their tips seemed to point in one particular direction.
While the vagina is definitely tough and resilient, it's still a very sensitive area, so less is often more when it comes to taking care of it. That's why it's always important to check your labels (both on your underwear and your personal care products) for healthy ingredients that won't upset the natural pH or balance. If you're looking to dispel some myths about down-there care, check out these specialists' top tips.
It's Very Easy To Over-Exfoliate Down There
Bikini Soft Coconut Oil & Sugar Perfect Shave Set, $20, Amazon
According to Dr. Shah, exfoliating can be helpful when it comes to preventing hair removal-related problems, but since the bikini area is so sensitive, you should be picky with your exfoliant. "Sugar scrubs tend to be less abrasive than many other scrubs because the granules are round and smaller. They are also less drying than other exfoliants and dissolve easily in hot water, which makes them less abrasive."
Bikini Soft coconut oil & sugar perfect shave set uses gentle sugar granules alongside healthy oils (like neem and rosemary extract) to reduce bumps and ingrown hairs, and it comes with a shave oil that's loaded with vitamin E to keep delicate areas healthy and knick-free. Best of all, they're all natural, so it's fit for the most sensitive skin.
Waxing Typically Leads To Fewer Skin Problems Than Shaving
Cocojojo Sugar Wax, $37, Amazon
According to Dr. Sherry, waxing is often a better option than shaving. "Waxing hair in the pubic area can have kinder and gentler effects on the pubic hair and skin of the vagina, and can be done every 4 to 6 weeks, causing less skin problems. Make sure you keep the skin in this sensitive area clean prior to getting any hair removal." People are flipping over this
Cocojojo sugar wax, which uses 100 percent natural ingredients like honey and chamomile which soothe skin and fight bacteria. Reviewers say it's the most effective and non-irritating wax they've ever used, and it washes off with water, so there's no sticky residue afterwards.
If You Must Shave, Shave With A Clean, Sharp Razor
Razorpit Teneo Blade Sharpener and Cleaner, $25, Amazon
"It’s most important to use a clean razor when shaving the bikini area," says Dr. Sherry. "Old razor blades carry unwanted bacteria that can cause razor burns, bumps, acne and other irritations to the skin and hair follicles." The
Razorpit Teneo blade sharpener and cleaner features special friction technology that bends the blades back into place (so you get a like-new shave every time), and it removes dirt, hair and residue to stop the spread of bacteria.
When It Comes To Underwear, It's More About The Fabric Than The Style
Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch Logo Bikini (S-XL), $30, Amazon
"In my experience, it’s more about the fabric than the style of underwear," says Dr. Sherry. She recommends looking for one that's comfortable, moisture-wicking, and flexible. "Comfortably fitting cotton underwear that properly covers your female anatomy, including the vagina and rectum, tends to be the best for the vagina in the long run." This five pack of
Calvin Klein cotton stretch bikini underwear is a highly-rated favorite because it's made from 95 percent healthy cotton, has both stretch and shape retention, and stays put all day instead of shifting around.
A Typical Body Moisturizer Isn't Gentle Enough
Babo Botanicals Oatmilk Baby Lotion, $10, Amazon
Dr. Shah also recommends "a moisturizer with soothing and barrier repairing ingredients (such as ceramides, niacinamide, oatmeal, and chamomile)," because one with drying and synthetic ingredients might be too harsh for the bikini area. This
Babo Botanicals oatmilk baby lotion has both chamomile and colloidal oatmeal, and since it's made for babies, it skips all of the synthetic fragrances, colors, and harsh chemicals, so it's great for down there without any irritations.
Sometimes Your Vagina Needs A Little Extra Moisture
Vagisil Prohydrate, $12, Amazon
"Vagisil has vagina friendly products including an intimate wash," says Dr. Sherry. "I especially like the
Vagisil Prohydrate for moisturizing the inside of the vagina." It doesn't have any added perfumes or estrogen and it works alongside your body's natural lubrication, and it can be used at any time to relieve dryness, even to make intimacy more comfortable. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.