How to choose safe and healthy intimate products. When was the last time you read the list of ingredients for your favourite lubricant, vaginal moisturiser or intimate wash? Did you know that some products contain chemicals that can cause irritation and lead to infections such as Thrush, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?
Unlike the food industry, products sold under the heading of personal care or intimate health are not highly regulated and yet the science behind these products is important for safety and efficacy and should ensure that they enhance, rather than compromise intimate health.
Although we are all becoming more aware of the potential safety issues around food production and many of us choose to purchase organic products, it is yet another step to consider the implications of chemicals and toxic ingredients in our personal care products. Whilst we have some protection from products applied to the skin on the outside of our bodies, the vagina is highly sensitive, and lacking the protective layer (the Stratum Corneum) of our skin it is also highly absorbent. This means that anything we apply internally will be quickly absorbed into our blood stream.
A healthy vaginal environment has a pH of between 3.8pH and 4.5pH which is acidic, in order to prevent the colonisation of bacteria and fungi. Unfortunately, many well-known brands of vaginal moisturisers, lubricants and intimate washes are formulated without due care and attention to the importance of a pH in balance with the vagina.
If your chosen lubricant or vaginal moisturiser (and this includes products available on prescription) does not indicate that it is pH balanced then it is best avoided. You may already have wondered why you seem to get Thrush, UTIs or BV, after sexual activity especially if you have been using standard lubricants that contain glycerine, glycols, mineral oil or other chemicals. Glycerine, being sugar-based can feed Thrush. If your product does not display a full list of ingredients then you may decide not to take the risk.
Although Glycerine is a useful moisturising and conditioning product for external skin, it is known to be an irritant to sensitive vaginal tissue. After water, it is often the ingredient with the highest percentage in lubricants, because it is cheap and provides glideability.
For discerning consumers who care about health issues, Parabens, the preservatives used in the majority of beauty and personal care products, pose a potential threat to health and some stores, such as Holland & Barrett have banned all products containing Parabens from their shelves. Parabens have been found in breast tumours and although a direct cause has not been proven, because they mimic estrogen, women who have had, or are at risk of breast cancer, should avoid all products containing Parabens.
For couples who wish to enjoy the enhanced pleasure of using personal lubricants for sex, and for those women who are experiencing some vaginal dryness for a variety of reasons such as menopause, childbirth and breast-feeding, diabetes or being on the contraceptive pill, help is at hand!
The founders of The Yes Yes Company set out in 2003 to develop a range of certified organic intimacy products which are pH balanced and free of glycerine, glycols, parabens and all known skin irritants. Formulated with plant-based, food-grade gums, award winning YES products are guaranteed to be safe, pure and natural.
Today this range is recommended by Health Care Professionals and Sex Experts worldwide and approved by the NHS. The range includes YES VM, a vaginal moisturiser, YES OB, plant-oil based lubricant, Yes WB, water based lubricant, YES Baby (a lubricant for couples trying to conceive) and YES CLEANSE an intimate wash in two variants.
For more information, or to purchase YES intimacy products, go to www.yesyesyes.org or call 0-800-978-8525