Today, baths are considered the ultimate in self-care. Draw a bath, pour some wine or soothing tea, crank on some Spotify tunes, get in with a good book, and soak for a while. It’s the perfect moment to focus on oneself. The health benefits of taking a bath include improved sleep quality, less muscle tension, and lowered blood pressure.
Using bath bombs, bubble baths, and other methods of spicing up, this indulgent practice is on the rise, especially when the results make for great Instagram photos. But if you’ve heard that soap should be avoided in the vaginal area or if you’ve recently dealt with issues like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, you may wonder what role bath bombs and bubble baths play. After all, when taking a bath, you can only sometimes control the direction of the water to keep it out of your privates.
Does this mean that bath products don’t harm your intimate health? How can you take a bath without becoming sick? This article will help you discover all you need to know about bath bombs and your intimate health.
Bath Bombs: Can They Cause Vaginal Damage?
“Some women may use any bath bomb without trouble,” explains Alyssa Dweck, M.D., ob-gyn and INTIMINA’s sexual and reproductive health specialist. But not everyone will be that fortunate. “Many others are sensitive and will be at a higher risk of vaginal infection, urethral irritation, UTI, or vulvar skin irritation (vulvitis) due to the chemicals,” she explains.
If you didn’t know already, the vagina is a self-cleaning organ that maintains a balanced environment in that area. Bacterial vaginosis (an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina) and yeast infections are made more likely by using external items (such as chemicals, fragrances, and even cleansers) that may easily disrupt your vaginal flora and affect your body’s normal pH. According to the bath bombs encyclopedia, it’s essential to be mindful of the products you use in the vaginal area because of the vulnerability of this delicate ecosystem.
Let’s say you have a history of sensitivity, yeast infections, UTIs, or bacterial vaginosis. If that’s the case, Dr. Dweck advises you to take a closer look at the ingredients in your preferred bath bomb before using it. Dr. Dweck recommends avoiding the following elements:
Parabens and Phthalates: According to Dr. Dweck, endocrine disruptors include parabens and phthalates since they can alter the body’s natural hormone production and regulation. Since endocrine disruptors may cause harm to both humans and the environment, it’s best to steer clear of such chemicals wherever possible.
Intense flavors or colors: These substances may lead to vaginal pain and pH imbalances. The consequence may be discomfort or bacterial vaginosis. They are often referred to as “fragrances,” “Blue 2,” or “Red 4” on ingredient labels.
Glycerin: Sugar may be made from glycerin, a common ingredient in cosmetics. Glycerin is an excellent humectant for dry skin, but it might increase your risk of bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections if used in the area around your vagina. This is because certain bacteria and yeast feed on sugar. (It’s important to check the ingredient list before buying any vaginal lubricant, as many include glycerin.)
Talc: Although some researchers and medical professionals have found no association between talc and ovarian cancer, others have found some connection. Stay far away, just in case.
Glitter: As a result, stay away from glittery bath bombs. It’s challenging to get glitter off anything, including skin, and it can irritate and even scrape delicate vaginal membranes. Ouch.
The Other Things You Should Know
Studying the ingredient list before purchasing is essential because even “clean” and “natural” manufacturers use these compounds. If you need help deciding what to choose, go for something with as few parts as possible to reduce the number of variables that might trigger an adverse reaction.
However, there is some good news: many bath bombs use sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) as a fizzing element, and baking soda baths are sometimes recommended to ease vulvar discomfort. They may even assist in the treatment of yeast infections. If you discover this in a bath bomb, you may be sure it will not cause any problems. However, it does not negate the need to avoid the previously mentioned dangerous compounds.
What are the Healthiest Bath Products?
In place of bath bombs, you can use bubble baths or bath salts, with the latter being the better option. Since bubble baths can alter vaginal flora and lead to issues like UTIs, they are not suggested. Many activities, like having sex with a partner or being sexually active alone, can disrupt your body’s pH balance, so don’t blame bath salts entirely. What makes up an acceptable risk and how vulnerable you feel are vital factors.
If you’re very sensitive or cautious, Dr. Dweck suggests a bath of warm water and fragrance-free Epsom salt. If you want to use scented essential oils in the tub, she advises using a small amount and being mindful of any Addutting a few drops of coconut oil into your hot bath for extra moisture. After a dip in the pool, your skin will feel silky smooth thanks to the protective layer left behind. (Cleaning the tub afterward will reduce the likelihood of a severe slip and fall.)
Dr. Dweck advises patients to discontinue the medicine “if you feel pain or other unwanted consequences.” If irritation occurs immediately, get out of the bath and flush warm water over your vulva. Don’t forget that your gynecologist is your best bet for treating any vaginal issue. They’re much better equipped than the Internet to pinpoint the source of your problems.
There isn’t enough evidence to say that bath bombs destroy intimate health. But it’s essential to know the ingredients in the products you use near your vulva. In sensitive areas, less is more, especially if you have a preexisting tendency for vaginal infections. Bath bombs are fun to use because of their fizzing, glittering, incredibly bright, and very fragrant appearance, but the potential trip to the doctor’s office is not.