When you flip through a women’s magazine, it seems as if every advertiser wants you to believe that you’re naturally unsanityar unless you are properly perfumed and doused in various soaps and lotions. The opposite is usually true, though: Too much perfume and soap can actually cause damage to your skin, vaginal area and hair.
Skip the Douche
The word “douche” means to shower or wash in French. When a woman douches her vaginal area, she infuses the passage with commercial preparations or the traditional mixture of water and vinegar or baking soda or iodine, according to Women’s Health. If you think placing vinegar or iodine inside one of the more sensitive parts of your body is a bad idea, you are right. Douching strips the vaginal area of the good bacteria and can lead to yeast and bacterial infections. Douching may spread any infection you do have to other areas, such as your urinary tract or ovaries.
Keeping “Down There” Clean
All you need to do to keep the vaginal area clean is to wash it externally with water and a mild soap while you shower. You don’t need feminine perfumes or scented maxipads or tampons: Those products can cause an allergic reaction. After you use the toilet, wipe from the front to the back so that you do not spread bacteria to your urethra, which can cause a urinary tract infection. You should always pee after sex to remove any bacteria from the urethra, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Go Easy on the Shampoo
You don’t need to wash your hair every day. A daily shampoo can actually make your hair more dull, since shampoo strips hair of its natural oils. Try shampooing every other day and see if you notice a difference in your hair’s shine and feel.
Good oral hygiene is important at any stage of life, especially during pregnancy. Changes in your hormone levels while you are pregnant, coupled with poor oral hygiene, can put you at greater risk for gingivitis. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. It’s safe to go see your dentist for a checkup or to take care of any problems even during pregnancy, according to Women’s Health. Pregnant or not, maintain a program of daily flossing and brushing as well as regular checkups to avoid decay and gum disease.
Wear underwear, including bras, only once before you wash them. Oil from your skin accumulates on the bra’s fabric, which can cause it to stretch, according to “Women’s Health Magazine.” The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends using a mild detergent to launder your underwear, so that you do not increase your risk of irritation and infection in that area. Wearing 100 percent cotton underwear helps to prevent the incidence of yeast and other bacterial infections.