Side effects & ingredient list explained
Every woman at some point in life wonders if her vagina has a normal smell. That is why lots of women use feminine products like the Summer’s Eve intimate wash, wipes, sprays and cloths to help them “smell nice”. But have you really taken a minute to ask yourself how good or bad these products are for you? Read on to learn what really goes into one of the most popular intimate washes from Summer’s Eve and what possible side effects it could have.
Intimate washes are designed to help keep the vulva clean. However, in the process of washing your vulva, it can happen for a product to get into the super-sensitive vagina. This can cause irritations and infections. Therefore knowing what is in these products is essential to avoid any mishap.
For over forty years Summer’s Eve has produced a variety of cleansing intimate washes. Most have similar ingredients except for differences in fragrances and a few essential oils.
For this article, we picked the 5 in 1 Cleansing Wash for sensitive skin as our sample as it is one of the most popular products from the brand. We shall take a closer look at what is in this product to understand its potential benefits or risk.
- WATER: It serves as a solvent.
- SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE: Serves as a cleansing agent. This ingredient presents risk of skin and vulvar irritations.
- SODIUM CHLORIDE: Commonly known as table salt is used as a viscosity adjuster in cosmetic products.
- LAURYL GLUCOSIDE: Is a sugar-derived surfactant used as a cleanser. It is considered safe to use in cosmetics but may cause slight irritations
- COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE: It is a surfactant that has been associated with irritation and allergic reactions. This could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it.
- POLYQUATERNIUM-7: This is an antistatic agent and a form filler used for its conditioning effect on the skin.
- ALPHA-GLUCAN OLIGOSACCHARIDE: A skin conditioning agent
- LACTIC ACID: Is used as a humectant and ph adjuster.
- SODIUM BENZOATE: Is a preservative in cosmetics considered safe in a restricted dosage.
- DISODIUM EDTA: Is a chelating agent used to neutralize metal ions in a product.
- SODIUM HYDROXIDE: Also called caustic soda is used as a buffering agent and is considered safe in cosmetics at a restricted concentration.
Possible side effects of Summer’s Eve wash
It is possible to experience some side effects after using the Summer’s Eve intimate wash because it contains several ingredients that can cause irritation and allergic reactions.
Allergens like fragrances can irritate both the vulva and vagina and cause and offset the pH of the vagina. This in turn may lead to the growth of yeast leading to infections.
Also, harsh surfactants present in the product can lead to vulvar skin dryness and itching. The most common side effects known include :
- Contact dermatitis
- Itching or burning
- Ph imbalance
- It may worsen pre-existing vaginal infections like bacteriosis vaginosis
- Can cause dryness
Although the cleansing wash is meant for external use on the vulva, products can easily get into the vagina in the process and cause irritations.
The vagina is the muscular canal inside the body through which menstrual flow and childbirth occur. It possesses its own ecosystem which has a self-cleaning ability. As such, women naturally do not need to use cleansing or douching products. With a naturally acidic pH between 3.5 – 4.5, the vagina is able to prevent unhealthy bacteria from growing and causing infections on its own.
Although the brand claims its products are ph-balanced, the vagina is very sensitive by nature, and the introduction of chemicals like fragrances, essential oils, and harsh surfactants like those present in the Summer’s Eve intimate washes can disrupt this ecosystem and cause a ph imbalance. This will increase the chances of developing yeast infections and kill healthy bacteria that make up the vaginal microbiome.
Does Summer’s Eve help with vaginal discharge?
The Summer’s Eve cleansing wash does not contain any active ingredients capable of preventing or treating vaginal discharge. Abnormal vaginal discharge is a sign of possible infection and you should see your doctor for treatment.
Does Summer’s Eve help with vaginal itching?
The brand claims on their website that using their cleansing wash can offer some relief. However, it is best to see a doctor in case of vaginal itching and stop the use of any feminine hygiene products unless your doctor says otherwise.
The Summer’s Eve intimate washes are designed to help reduce the bad smell. Most formulas contain fragrance to this effect. However, you should note that fragrances are not good for such a sensitive part of the body. The vagina has its own natural smell and trying to get it to smell like flowers or fruits is not necessary.
Is Summer’s Eve cleansing wash safe during pregnancy?
Personal hygiene is very important during pregnancy as the body tends to change and you may develop an odor down there. However, it is best to see your gynaecologist before use.
Summer’s Eve vs Vagisil: Which is better?
Vagisil is equally a very popular feminine hygiene brand that produces intimate washes, wipes, and sprays. Known for the odor block technology but not only that, Vagisil also produces itch relief products. Both brands produce very similar products therefore based on who you ask either can be touted as superior. It really boils down to personal preference. However, keep in mind that these products are not the most natural, therefore we would not recommend any of the brands.
Are Summer’s Eve wipes bad for you?
According to the Women’s Voices for the Earth organization, feminine wipes, in general, are not only bad for the earth but equally for women’s health. Wipes contain harmful chemicals such as fragrance, preservatives, sulfates, and parabens that can be harmful. In the case of the Summer’s Eve wipes, they contain not only fragrance but also formaldehyde releasers; a preservative known to cause allergic reactions.
Before choosing a product it is important to know if you trust the brand provides the best solutions for your vaginal health. While the Summer’s Eve cleansing wash is very popular, a look at its ingredient list shows that it is not 100% safe as it has considerable side effects. If you have a sensitive genital area, it is best to steer away from such fragrance-based products.
Does this mean Summer’s Eve is bad? The answer can not be a clear-cut no. Because a lot of reviews from women indicate they enjoy using Summer’s Eve products despite the potential side effects they may have. For safety purposes, it is best to consult with a doctor or pharmacist before use.
Also keep in mind that, research shows that feminine products are more harmful to women not only in physical terms via exposure to potentially harmful products. The feminine products industry thrives on selling the notion that women need vaginal care products because their vaginas are not clean. Which is not true.
At the end of the day, the vagina cleans itself on its own, and while the vulva needs to be washed, using warm water is truly all you need. However, if you want to try a feminine wash, just remember they are meant for external use solely.