lady, it’s (effing) cold outside…
When it comes to seasonal skin changes, i.e. winter skin, we tend to focus on the face. It’s true, our faces are exposed to environmental conditions more than other parts of our body. This is especially real if you love winter sports — chapped lips, windburned cheeks, and heightened sun exposure are a few side effects from slaying the slopes.
but, does winter affect our vulvas?
Typically, the vulva is not exposed because we’re layering our clothes — think underwear, tights, thermals, pants, etc. That glorious region down south is also moister than other areas of our body, due to the proximity of the vagina. Dryer conditions can also be beneficial because less moisture = less potential for yeast infections. Not to mention, many of us let go of strict grooming rituals, so less razor burn, ingrown hairs, and bumps. Another reason to celebrate those winter months!
hold the phone! the one winter woe that can affect our intimate skin is DRYNESS.
Dry skin decreases the protective abilities of our skin, from head-to-vulva-to-toes. When skin and intimate skin become dryer due to less moisture in the air, skin can become more sensitive and prone to irritation like itchiness, redness, dermatitis, and general discomfort. And we all know when you’re not comfortable down there, you’re basically not comfortable anywhere.
more deets on vulvovaginal winter woes:
Dryness is compounded by hormone changes like periods, pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause or (holiday) stress. And by medical conditions like hypothyroid (I definitely know this firsthand), diabetes, cancer and cancer treatment like chemotherapy, and more.
Lifestyle factors like smoking, too much alcohol, or even lack of sex can cause intimate dryness. Fact: winter holiday-ing likely means more alcohol for many ladies.
Winter usually equals more colds and cold medications can affect vulva (external skin) and vaginal (internal canal) dryness. Antibiotics can also kill good bacteria leading to other problems like yeast infections, and can throw off intimate skin pH.
If you do shave or wax in the winter, dryness makes intimate skin more sensitive and painful.
Cold weather can leave dry skin more susceptible to rubbing and chafing.
And finally, harsh personal care that is not made specifically for our lady gardens can make things worse! In fact, Dr. Sherry Ross, Gyno to the stars says it best,“Vagina friendly washes carefully clean the vulva, remove odor-causing bacteria and are balanced for a woman’s natural pH. Cleaning the outside of the vagina or the vulva, clitoris, and vaginal opening every day with a vagina friendly wash is so important…”
from us to you. winter tips for your lady bits:
Shameless but heartfelt plug: for external intimate skin feminine dryness, use our Rejuvenating Botanical Oil every single day. Our special moisturizing and soothing blend of botanical oils targets dry skin with essential fatty acids that help the skin retain optimal hydration levels. It’s also non-comedogenic and Dermatologist tested.
A diet high in fatty acids (think salmon or a good supplement like OMG! Omega the Great by Hum Nutrition) may also help keep the vulva and vagina (internal canal) more lubricated.Foods with isoflavones (fruits, veggies and nuts) can help declining estrogen levels.
Avoid wiping too harshly. When we’re on our periods, intimate skin is even more sensitive and we also tend to wipe more. Use pH friendly and biodegradable wipes for a gentler experience.
Make sure you wear comfortable cotton underwear to avoid chafing while allowing the area to breathe properly.
If you love to jacuzzi in the winter like we do, just make sure you wash the chlorine off your lady parts with warm water or a vulva-friendly cleanser, and also make sure you rinse the chlorine off your suit too, letting it dry completely.
feeling “off” down below? always let your gyno know:
If what you’re experiencing is more irritating than typical dry skin — you’re not alone! It’s definitely a good time to see your Gyno or favorite femme care expert to rule out an STD or any other sensitive skin situation.
Feeling fine down there? We couldn’t be happier for you! Just think of us as your VFF (Vulva/Vaginal friends forever) dropping more knowledge about lady parts so you stay in the know.
and now that you know, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…