Do I need an intimate cleanser?

The vulva and vagina are perfectly evolved to keep our intimate areas protected, healthy and in balance, but they are sensitive. 

And many factors, from lifestyle, to age to stress levels can challenge their ability to look after themselves.  So they deserve dedicated care and attention. 

Keeping our intimate areas clean, fresh and hygienic is obviously a good thing. But over-washing isn’t. Soap products can disrupt the natural, slightly acidic pH balance and lead to discomfort, dryness or infections. And remember: intimate area cleansers are only for use on external areas (the vulva) never internally (the vagina). 5 Body washes with strong fragrances or deodorants can cause irritation too, so choose carefully.  

Lukewarm water is fine, but you may want to try a cleanser specifically designed to suit your intimate area; one that supports its physiology and respects your microbiome. 

Intibiome cleansers each have a pH carefully matched to your intimate area’s skin pH needs: for different stages in life and to match your lifestyle. This means they work in harmony with your intimate area microbiome, rather than disrupting it.

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As for cleansing internally? Please don’t! It’s unnecessary and can cause problems.5,7 The vagina is self-cleaning and internal cleansers or douches can disrupt its natural acid balance. If this happens, the vagina’s protective microbiome can’t do its job and bad bacteria can take hold. So steer clear. (If you’d like more information, do talk to your gynaecologist.)

It’s important to keep sex toys clean and hygienic too. 5 If they haven’t been cleaned properly after use, or if you wash them with fragranced detergents, they can cause irritation and upset the vagina’s microbiome.

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Have a look at our range of intimate washes here.


5 Gupta et al: Crosstalk between Vaginal Microbiome and Female Health: A review 2.5.2. Living style and habits Volume 136, November 2019, 103696

7 Dr. Jeff Livingston. Douching: Here is Why Obgyns say “Don’t Do It.” 20

Further reading

NHS website