4:46 pm - 02/06/2006

No soap on the vulva, please.

We've been told many times not to use soap on the vulva, but what can you use?
I don't feel like I'm getting myself clean if I just use water. I think that using soap might be causing me a bit of irritation and itching, but I would still like to use something to clean that area, so any suggestions?
sweetseadragon 6th-Feb-2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
I got a bottle of free summer's eve wash a while ago and if I feel super stinky or in need of extra freshening up I'll use it. It's fragrance free or something I don't know. Is glycerin soap bad to use? Because I use that too. Usually I just use water...or if it's during the day I'll use a baby wipe.
aechei 6th-Feb-2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
all of those things are bad. glycerine can cause yeast. baby wipes are drying, usually fragrenced....bad. the vag is self cleaning and should be water only! the only other thing that is ok down there on a regular basis is a little applecider vinigar. its good for the ph and will theoretically get things smelling a little fresher.
sweetseadragon 6th-Feb-2006 10:39 pm (UTC)
I swear by babywipes for many things! I have a hard time believing they're drying. Personal preference and tolerance I suppose.
autumn_sylver 7th-Feb-2006 02:11 am (UTC)
You can get ones with aloe, ones for sensitive skin, and fragrance-free wipes.
I also have a hard time believing that they're drying, since they're made for babies, which they say have very sensitive skin.
sweetseadragon 7th-Feb-2006 02:24 am (UTC)
Ja! Mine are fragrance free :)

We are on the same page.
klemptor 6th-Feb-2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
I've heard a lot of people say that water and friction work well. Personally, I use Summer's Eve Sensitive Feminine Wash. It's very gentle and my occurrences of yeast infections have decreased pretty dramatically since I started using it.
amigone 6th-Feb-2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
I have used soap, body wash, and in a pinch, shampoo to make myself feel clean down there.

I must have a cooter of steel.
nitrite 6th-Feb-2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
me too, i always use liquid and/or bar soap/body wash and shampoo on occasion as well, and i have never had a single problem. incidentally, when i only used water down there (prepubescent and a bit bashful about myself) i would often get extremely itchy and irritated.
amigone 6th-Feb-2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Good, I'm not the only one :P
Giselle Polanco same here2nd-Aug-2013 05:14 am (UTC)
I don't feel that washing with just water is enough, I use Glycerin soap but I just read it's bad so I'm going back to Summers Eve...
rachelectronic 6th-Feb-2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
Nowadays I just use water and feel it does a decent job cleaning up, but before (when i didn't know it was bad for me, but also pre-puberty which might explain it) I used to use soap with no real ill effects.
not_pradagirl 6th-Feb-2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
That brand is my absolute favorite...especially the lavender line. I started using it when I was hospitalized for 2 months and showers were few and far between. Its mild and keeps you fresh.
timmy_horton 7th-Feb-2006 01:57 am (UTC)
I've been wondering about that stuff, but no one here seems to ever mention it.
not_pradagirl 7th-Feb-2006 02:17 am (UTC)
It's an excellent product. I've been using it since April of last year. I originally started out with the hormone harmony(grapefruit for PMS) but switched after trying my moms lavender. She's hooked on it as well. We both have it set up where we get a package every other month so we never have to worry about running out.
1knitkitty 5th-Nov-2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
I know this post is like WAY after the fact, but I just started poking around in this community and now you have me totally curious. I'm wondering if this stuff is worth the price (obviously you think so, but have you tried/compared it to anything else). I'm also wondering: does this stuff make you smell like fragrance x really or is it mostly a fresh feeling/smell. I don't really feel like I need a cover up, but there is something really attractive about getting rid of that sweaty/been sitting in leather seats all day feeling. Also I think the shower gell I use on the rest of me has been giving me some itcy problems. I know that's a lot of information, but I'm eager to hear what you think about it. Thanks!
not_pradagirl 9th-Jan-2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.
I've been using their products now for close to two years and I love it.
The scent isn't overpowering at all. It's just a hint of lavendar or grapefruit or citrus. Their products are non-irritating and if you join the kiss club you get a pretty decent price break on the product and shipping.
I opt for getting it every other month.

My mom, sister and best friend are fans too.
It's a really great product.
Please feel free to ask anymore questions.
xdancethemawayx 6th-Feb-2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
i use johnson and johnson's all over baby wash.

super gentle, ph ballanced and (i believe) soap free

leads_to_sex 6th-Feb-2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Me, too- only I use an off-brand (either Equate or Target's, I can't remember now) version. I actually like that better.
autumn_sylver 7th-Feb-2006 02:07 am (UTC)
That's a great idea. I never thought of that. I think we even have some in the house. I can't really go out and buy anything right now, because I'm unemployed right now, and completely flat broke.
dahliablue 7th-Feb-2006 04:46 am (UTC)
I use that too.
kaelstra 7th-Feb-2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Anything that is heavily fragranced is bad for you. My gyno told me that Dove caused more yeast infections than any other brand.
autumn_sylver 7th-Feb-2006 02:27 am (UTC)
That's interesting, because I get yeast infection-like symptoms a lot, (although they're very mild) and I use dove. I'm not sure if I actually have a yeast infection though. The one time I was diagnosed with one, I didn't have any symptoms, so I really have no way of knowing.
whitelime 7th-Feb-2006 02:36 am (UTC)
You wash your vulva at work? What do you do?
jaleenafied 6th-Feb-2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
i use pure castille soap on my whole body, including the outer labia, but i don't usually try and load it up on my vulva, just whatever suds are present...the closest it ever gets to any openings is when i might use a little to shave my labia. castille soap is gentle and biodegradable, and you can use it for toothpaste if you don't have tastebuds, so i figure it's an ok choice for the woman.
scarsnsouvenirs 6th-Feb-2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
I'm all about Cetaphil. It's incredibly mild, and I also use it to remove eye makeup--it's that gentle (and pure).
orangewrath 6th-Feb-2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! I might use that. I've been having a problem removing this new mascara I've bought recently. I don't really trust anything in any mucus membranes, though! I think I'll give this a try, though.

Yeah, just to add, if it's safe for your eyes, it's usually safe for your vag (not just vulva).
kaelstra 7th-Feb-2006 02:23 am (UTC)
I second this. If you *must* use soap, this is probably the best you can use.
orangewrath 6th-Feb-2006 11:22 pm (UTC)
Soap is ok fine on your labia majoras, not minoras. Depending on your skin, but genital skin is obviously more sensitive, what ever you use for you body is completely fine as long as you rise really, really well. My outter lips are kind of puffy, so I have a crease between them and my thighs, I wash there, too. Just because the VAGINA is self cleaning, doesn't mean the ENTIRE VULVA is. I can perfectly see why you would want to actually cleanse the skin there (like the rest of your body), but like I've said before..there's the misconception we're "dirty down there" and some women get carried away and wash things you're not supposed to, rinse away needed moisture, etc. You need to know what kind of soaps you can use and what kind you can't. I personally suggest a mild soap (Ivory, Dove, try to stay away from Dial..it's anti bacterial), or if you have some sort of body wash or different soap, just suds it up in your hands before and rub your mons and the very, very outside of your labia majoras. Rinse very, very well.

I only use any kind of soap after excerise or heavy sweating, or if I just haven't showered in a few days (which is becoming more, and more frequent, heh). I don't have any problems in feeling clean or anything. But to each their own, and as long as you wash in the right places and with the right soap and rinse really well, I don't see where you'd have a problem.

I highly, highly suggest you DON'T use any Summer Eve's/I Want My Vagina To Smell Non-Pussy-Like, as not only does it support a horrible stigma, you can never trust anything (but lube) IN or THAT CLOSE to your labia minoras. Rubbish.
sunshinesounds 7th-Feb-2006 12:46 am (UTC)
I'd just like to say your icon is marvelous.
orangewrath 7th-Feb-2006 12:52 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I keep getting complimented on it, and I found it here! I completely forgot from who and I don't even know who to give credit to..but yes, it speaks my views almost to a pinpoint. I wouldn't call myself a feminist, but I guess in some ways, this icon is screaming it. I don't mind much, it's pretty hilarious anyway. :D
autumn_sylver 7th-Feb-2006 02:17 am (UTC)
Dove is what I use now, and I think it's causing me irritation. I have itching in the area between the labia minora and majora, and I also have itching on the mons. Sometimes that's the worst.

"I highly, highly suggest you DON'T use any Summer Eve's/I Want My Vagina To Smell Non-Pussy-Like, as not only does it support a horrible stigma, you can never trust anything (but lube) IN or THAT CLOSE to your labia minoras. Rubbish."

Oh, I know. I wasn't going to use that. I've heard about the fragrance thing, as well as the douche thing. I know that the vagina is self cleaning, and you really don't need to do anything to 'help it out'. Also, because the smell of a vagina is a turn on for a guy, so by washing so much and masking your natural scent with flowery crap, you're not helping him (or yourself) any.
quatre_vingts 6th-Feb-2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
I almost never use soap on my vulvua, but if I had to, I'd suggest something as mild and plain as possible. My absolute favorite soap is olive oil based and includes only 3 or 4 ingredients. I buy a Greek version at an import shop, but here's a widely available commercial brand (check health food stores):

quatre_vingts 6th-Feb-2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
orangewrath 7th-Feb-2006 12:56 am (UTC)
I was in Hannafords last weekend, and in their health food section..they have Kiss My Face products! I even explained to my mom (who's actually going through menopause right now, so she doesn't have her period much, but it's worth a preach) the health benefits of using their pads. I explained the whole commerical bleach/chemicals in her Kotex brand. I, of course, still use them..but I want her to know that there are other options out there. I want to spring Insteads on her during my next cycle! :D
autumn_sylver 7th-Feb-2006 02:20 am (UTC)
Since it's olive oil based, do you think that using plain olive oil or mineral oil would work? I have both of those in the house and as I said in an earlier comment, I'm unemployed right now, and completely flat broke, so suggestions for anything I might already have around the house would be great.
friedwang 10th-Feb-2006 06:34 am (UTC)
olive oil is more for moisturizing than cleansing and mineral oil is just generally bad for you. i'd suggest using castor oil diluted with 25-50% olive oil or jojoba oil and washing it away with a warm, wet washcloth
ncsu_lady 6th-Feb-2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
I use oil of olay face wash, it doesnt actually contain soap products. I rarely wash inside though with actual soapish products, just water, on a regular basis.
willucry4me 6th-Feb-2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
I am allergic to just about everything and regular soap causes me irritation and itching just about anywhere...

I feel like i do need to clean up with soap sometimes, and i use dove baby soap (the unscented kind). That hasn't caused any problems yet.
_birkenstock 7th-Feb-2006 12:05 am (UTC)
Apparently I have a vagina of steel too. I've only ever used soap to wash my vagina in my adult years. My mom makes soap so I've been using that for the past 10 years. My mom just uses soap as well. Neither of us have ever had ANY problems.

I don't think of my vagina as dirty, or smelly or anything like that but when I tried using just water (on advice from this community) I felt like I wasn't clean.

You should try using a soap that has all natural ingredients! I'm sure I would get irritated too if I used Irish Spring on my vagina.
xorangejuice 7th-Feb-2006 12:18 am (UTC)
This may sound like a wierd way to clean but I always feel the cleanest if I scoot myself under the tap with warm water running and kind of use my fingers to get everything clean. This works out well because it's also my favorite way to orgasm lol
orangewrath 7th-Feb-2006 12:57 am (UTC)
essive 7th-Feb-2006 10:02 am (UTC)
Me too! Squeaky clean and a happy date with Ms. Faucet at the same time.

I don't know if I'd suggest it to everyone, but it works spectacularly well for me, if only because I'm very flexible and have a hypersensitive vagina (no, really, all you have to do is think about it funny and I get a yeast infection).
avaseoficicles 27th-Jan-2007 06:55 am (UTC)
oh! me too.
uncreative 7th-Feb-2006 01:26 am (UTC)
I use Lactacyd. It doesn't contain soap or perfume, and is mild enough to remove eye-makeup with. My mom uses it too (I think it's the most popular intimate cleanser in my country), and when I was little she urged me to use it in the shower in stead of regular soap, since it is so kind to skin.

Only thing is, I'm not sure if it's available in the US. But even if it isn't, I'm sure you could find something similar. Another link.
princess_kessie 7th-Feb-2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Gaahhh! Am I the only one who is *not* gentle with their vulva?

I *did* use soap as a younger woman, but continued irritation encouraged me to find a soap-free alternative. I swapped to Olay bodywash (okay, I guess), but then received a sample of Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash - and have never looked back. I use a mesh body puff and the Dove all over - including my vulva. I am careful not to let it get into my vag, though. Afterwards I feel really clean (I rinse very well) and I don't get any irritation. I have naturally very sensitive skin all over my body, but this stuff is actually incredibly gentle. I too, do not feel clean with just water. Never have. I don't know if you guys in the US get the same product, or if the stuff ^up there^ is peculiar to Australia.

Oh, and I only get a YI after antibiotics, and only get irritation if hubby doesn't want to use a condom (I am allergic to his semen!!!). I cannot remember the last time I had a UTI - it has to be more than 15 years ago. And no, I don't pee after sex (unless we don't use a condom) I clean up, and generally fall asleep. Perhaps I am just one of the lucky ones, but UTI's seem to be less prevalent here - or at least it seems that way. Very few of my female friends have ever had a UTI - some have *never* had one.

We're just lucky, I guess.

shes_unreal 7th-Feb-2006 05:51 am (UTC)
I use soap on my vulva. When I'm washing with my body wash I'll squeeze some suds onto my hand and use it to clean "the area"

I think as long as you don't get it in your vagina you should be okay.

Of course I have a lot of pubic hair so I'm mostly cleaning it and not getting so much soap in my vulva I guess.
peiceofme 7th-Feb-2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
i know that so many people seem to say that using soap is bad. this is complete bullshit. i think that girls have gotten the whole "the vagina is self-cleansing" thing confused. the inside of your vagina is self cleansing, but the outside is not. we clean everypart of our bodies, why wouldn't we clean out vaginas?? just don't use anti bacterial soap, don't use anything with too much fragrance. i use dove, olay or baby soap. just make sure not to get any soap into the opening, and you'll be fine.
Bittenhoney 14th-Apr-2014 03:05 am (UTC)
When I was younger I could use anything and never had issues. Dove sensitive bar soap is good, or Olay unscented. Sometimes even Summer's Eve can be irritating, and it's rather messy in the shower since they recommend not using a pouf or washcloth with it.
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