We’ve all experienced days that things just don’t feel right “down there”. Sometimes there are legit health reasons to see your gynecologist and sometimes we just feel the need to take care for other reasons. Cleanliness is a personal choice and if you’ve ever visited the drug store for over-the-counter products for the vaginal area (why are they always located at the bottom of the shelves?) and what’s there? Not a lot of options especially if you’re looking for products that are free of synthetics.
“I suffered enormously from gynecological issues in my early twenties and it was frightening and enraging to realize how ill-suited and sometimes even harmful mainstream, women’s intimate care products were and continue to be, ” said Sina. “We’ve seen more and healthier innovation come out of packaged foods than we have for women’s intimate care products. I learned the hard way about the importance of specific and good-quality products for our sensitive parts. Every woman should have a tailored care regiment because I don’t want women to suffer as I did.”
We had a chance to ask Sina more about her new line…
The line is made up of natural ingredients. Can you tell us about what are some of the most beneficial for the vaginal area and what they do?
We include potent and easily-recognizable ingredients in our intimate line of products. In our Rose & Yogurt Intimate cleanser, yogurt extract is rich in probiotics, which we know is important for maintaining a healthy pH and levels of ‘good’ bacteria. Tea tree oil is a wonderful antifungal and antimicrobial and helps minimize odour. Cranberry is full of antioxidants and acidic compounds which contributes to the acidity of our cleanser. Rose and lavender oil can help minimize excessive levels of yeast (Candida albicans). Aloe leaf juice provides soothing moisture to dry skin. We use super-nourishing and healing cold-pressed carrot seed oil and sea buckthorn oil in our Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve which is perfect for delicate and parched areas like the vulva, perineum and in between bum cheeks.
pH balance for the area – how does it get imbalanced in the place and why is it important to keep the balance?
Quick science lesson: pH refers to the ‘potential of hydrogen’ in a solution and measures how acidic (pH <7) or basic (pH >7) a solution is relative to the benchmark of distilled water which is perfectly neutral at pH 7. Specific pH levels in different areas of our bodies allow our organs to properly do the work they’re supposed to. For e.g., our stomach acid is extremely acidic which allows this organ to digest our food. Perhaps surprisingly, our vagina’s pH naturally lies between 3.5-4.8; squarely in the acidic range. The vagina itself is incredible at self-cleaning and self-maintaining its optimum pH level with sophisticated management of its bacteria:yeast ratio. Imbalances can happen with illness, taking antibiotics or hormonal birth control, and poor diets. The cosmetic products we use can contribute to imbalances as well. Most soaps and body washes that we use down there are too alkaline, with a pH upward of 8 (and it doesn’t help that they’re saturated with fragrance and dyes)! Soap that isn’t within your vagina’s natural pH can disrupt the natural balance of yeast and bacteria (called the biome). Stinks, messes, dryness and irritation are all signs of an unhappy vagina. It’s really important to note here that the vagina itself (i.e. the orifice) is a self-cleaning organ and you should never use product inside the vagina unless prescribed. It’s the external bits like the vulva (which encompasses the labia majora and minora), perineum and in between bum cheeks that require cleansing and moisturizing. Using a cleansing + moisturizing duo like our slightly acidic, soap-free and gentle Rose Yogurt Intimate Cleanser with our plant-based Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve helps balance your pH and that means a happy, healthy lady garden for you!
What we consume – does that impact our vaginal health?
Absolutely. I know this first-hand due to my experience with chronic, never-ending yeast infections! It’s a shame that allopathic and naturopathic medicine continue to remain at odds with each other regarding vaginal and vulvular health but a diet high in refined sugars is the #1 culprit of disrupted vaginal health. Yeast love sugar and the more you feed it, the more they multiply. My naturopath told me years ago that by the time you see an outward and recurring manifestation of excessive yeast in the form of a vaginal yeast infection or thrush, you’ve got a systemic issue with yeast.
What do you wish people would know about vaginal cleanliness?
I wish more people knew that in the same way they wash and care for the facial skin differently from their body and vice-versa, we need to do the same for our intimate bits. The vagina self-cleans but the vulva doesn’t and its many folds and crevices hold dirt, oil, sweat, lint, hair and vaginal discharge as you go about your day. It’s very important to properly clean and moisturize your lady bits with the right products!
What should we know about vaginal dryness?
The first thing to remember is not to insert product into the vagina unless you’ve been prescribed it by a doctor of medicine or naturopathy. Vulvular dryness is very common and can be the result of chafing (hello, tights and thongs!), working out, hormonal changes, sitting all day, etc. When you’re reaching for a moisturizer for down there, make sure there’s no silicone, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, or artificial dyes and fragrances. The simpler and more natural, the better. I really love our Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve because it’s rich and buttery with great ingredients, melts instantly into the skin without leaving an oily residue and it’s preservative-free.
Where you can find more info or to purchase visit www.buffwaxspot.com