First, let’s break down the bits to two parts: the vulva and the vagina. And it’s fairly simple, just know the vulva is everything outside, the vagina is inside.
Secondly, the vagina doesn’t require much of our time for this post because, really, it doesn’t need you. It cleans itself. That’s all you have to remember. Don’t wash inside. Never, ever.
To quote the Barefoot Contessa, “How easy is that?”
Now, on to the vulva, which does need you. Keep in mind that this area of your body is very thin skinned, and the thinner the skin, the more absorbent it is. That’s why it’s in your best interest to avoid harmful ingredients, like parabens, sulfates, and fragrances. These toxins lurk in lots o’ beauty products and have been linked to everything from rashes to cancer. And while small amounts of these toxins won’t land you in a hospital bed, they do build up in your body over time. So, why risk it when you don’t have to?
And you really don’t have to. That’s because when it comes to washing your outside bits, glorious H2O does the trick. Water won’t mess with the pH balance that’s so important in maintaining harmony “down there.” But, if you do prefer a cleanser, use a mild wash that is pH balanced. Also, read ingredients carefully. Shopper-facing labels don’t always tell the full story of what’s hidden on the back. And if you’re unsure what some of those tongue twister terms mean, check out a past post, “Detoxify Your Daily Routine,” where we lay it all out.)
When it comes to washing your vulva, there are some nooks and crannies to consider, or the more medical terms would be the labia majora and the outside of the labia minora. A soft washcloth with warm water gets the job done. Just be gentle—we’re not scrubbing a dirty pan—and always remember to wash front to back. Even better, just use your fingers. With your pointer and middle finger in a “v” shape, gently glide the fingers front to back outside the labia minora, which should safely reach the vulva bits while avoiding the vagina.
And that’s it! We won’t quote the Contessa a second time, but you get the idea.
We hope you find these tips helpful in keeping your hoohoo happy and balanced.