Are bath bombs bad for your vagina?
Let’s dive in!
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There’s nothing better than having a nice warm bath at the end of a long day. In addition to relaxation and self-care, baths promote a ton of health benefits like better sleep, muscle relief, and improved blood pressure. And adding a bath bomb or soak helps take your at-home spa to the next level for relaxation but unfortunately, it may irritate your area down there - and that’s not relaxing at all.
Why do bath bombs irritate?
One very important thing to note is that your vagina is self-cleaning so there is no need to clean your vagina with douches or otherwise. Your vulva (the skin on the outside of your vagina) on the other hand could use some gentle cleaning.
When the bomb (or whatever your bath product of choice is) is used in the bath, the ingredients interact with your vulva. Your vulva is more sensitive and super absorbent, which means the area is prone to bacteria, irritation, and potential infection..
Because of the synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances that many of these products use, bath bombs are often the culprit of UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections), dreaded bladder infections, BV (bacterial vaginosis), and yeast infections because they can disturb the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria in your vaginal environment, throwing off the pH levels.
While some women can use any bath products without any issues, unfortunately for many women, using these products can irritate the vulva, causing irritation, redness, and/or itching. If you are already more prone to vaginal infection, urethral irritation, and UTI or vulvar skin irritation (vulvitis), then it’s likely that you may have a reaction to bath products.
What to avoid
If baths are your jam and you can’t go without them, here are a few things to look out for and avoid when it comes to your self-care soak:
- Artificial fragrance or dyes: These chemicals can lead to irritation and pH imbalances. Be wary of labels like "fragrance” or “Blue 4".
- Parabens and phthalates: These are known as endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with your hormonal functions. Plus many endocrine disruptors are also hazardous for the environment.
- Glycerin: While glycerin is great to seal in moisture for dry skin (thanks Vaseline), glycerin near your vagina can lead to an increased risk of BV or yeast infections as bacteria and yeast tend to feed off of sugar, leading to yeast overgrowth.
- Glitter: Glitter is extremely hard to clean off and may scratch the skin of your vagina which will quickly turn bath time into a not-so-fun time. Leave glitter to the makeup pros on Euphoria.
One good thing is that many bath bombs use sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) for the fizzing effect, and baking soda baths are known to soothe itching and may even help manage yeast infections. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the beauty industry is notoriously under-regulated. Many brands claim to be "clean" and "natural" but still produce products with harmful ingredients, so always check the ingredients of any beauty products before buying.
As we mentioned, while your vagina is self-cleaning, your vulva could use some daily love. Use feminine washes with plant-based ingredients to cleanse your vulva gently every day.
Vagina friendly products
The good news is that you don’t have to forgo this part of your self-care routine because there are vaginal-friendly bath products on the market that don’t upset your muff. Here are five of our faves:
It's important to pay attention to the ingredients in the products you use around your vulva. When it comes to sensitive areas, you can never be too careful.