Ask Grace: Should I Have An Intimate Care Routine?

Hi Grace, 

Last week when I was shopping, I noticed that there’s a whole section for intimate care products, and it made me wonder if I should be using these as part of my bodycare routine? I’ve never used any before, but I also don’t think I even knew these types of products existed. Does my regular shower gel not cut it? I shower regularly but when I get my period I do find myself wishing there was more I could do to feel clean, so I’m curious as to what you’d recommend? 

Shelley, 31 

If there’s anything I’ve learned during my time as a beauty editor, it’s that there’s a product for just about every bodily part, function, and concern possible. That doesn’t mean to say we need to use them by any means, but ultimately intimate care products are an option, and options are empowering – if you want to use these products, it’s your choice. If you don’t, there’s no pressure. And you know what, I’m glad we live in a time where the beauty industry is acknowledging that there’s more to intimate hygiene than what we’ve been conditioned to believe. If you are concerned about something – vaginal odour, hair removal, chafing – there are products you can use and places you can go to easily find information to put your mind at ease. The beauty industry isn’t just lipsticks and face masks, and in my eyes, that’s progress! 

Dermatologists and gynecologists will always advise against using anything overly fragranced near your vulva and vagina, which is why a lot of soaps and body washes shouldn’t really be used in this area. There’s potential for them to cause irritation or upset the pH balance, which can lead to unwanted odour and even infections like thrush and bacterial vaginosis. Products that are specifically designed for this area will have been formulated to be pH balanced, so if you are concerned about odour and do want to use something, they’re your best option.  

If you’re on-the-go or travelling and don’t have time or space for multiple products, wipes offer quick cleansing and conditioning benefits in a single swipe. Again, not just any wipes, but ones formulated with the sensitivity of the intimate area in mind. You mentioned keeping on top of cleanliness when on your period – this would be a great addition to your handbag. 

Essentially, I’d say just think of the area in the same way you do the rest of your body. It’s skin, and at some point, it may need exfoliating or moisturising. Again, there are products for that. You don’t necessarily need to use them on a daily basis, but just as you’d exfoliate your legs before shaving, exfoliation can prevent bumps and more ingrown hairs from forming, and moisturising will help to treat dry patches and prevent chafing.  

I hope this brief intro to the intimate care category has helped you to make some sense of the products available to you and figure out what (if anything) you might want to purchase. We all know that conventional beauty standards are BS, but how you look after your body is your call. 

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