I wrote to you before asking for help regarding my face breakout problems (my Dr. recommended Metrolotion and it’s worked like a dream).
Now I’m here to ask an entirely different sort of question. I’ve been looking at this http://www.sweetspotlabs.com/ and wondering about pH balance (particularly in their Balancing Mist) they’re talking about. Surely not everyone can have the same pH balance (vaginal or any other kind)? What IS pH balance? What does it do? (they do a terrible job answering this question on their site) I’m also wondering if the fragrance in something of that nature might be an irritant and not so gentle and safe to use on intimate areas? Thanks!
The Right Brain Replies:
First of all, Sophie, pH is simply a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 where the low numbers (approximately 1 to 6) mean the solution is very acidic like lemon juice or hydrochloric acid. High numbers (about 8 to 14) mean the solution is basic, or alkaline like lye or ammonia. Either very low or very high pH can be damaging to skin and hair. The middle range, around pH 6 to 8 is referred to as “neutral” or “pH balanced.” So yes, everyone can have the same pH balance range.)
Now, here’s where it gets complicated. Certain parts of the body have a specific target pH, so the pH balance of some body parts can be a little bit above or below the neutral region. For example, the natural pH of the vagina is approximately 4 to 4.5. So a product pH balanced for this area should be slightly on the acidic side. (If you want to learn more, here’s a nicely written article on proper vaginal pH.
Based on the ingredients and use directions, the Balancing Mist looks like it’s mainly a fragrance vehicle. But most healthy females shouldn’t have vaginal odor problems, so we’re not really sure why you’d need to use a product like this. If you like the way it smells, you can try it and see if you like it. But if you do have a malodor problem, then you may have a more serious medical condition and we suggest you consult your doctor.
Just in case you’re curious, here are the ingredients in the Balancing Mist product you mentioned:
Aqua (Water), Sodium PCA, Dimethicone Copolyol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Allantoin, Panthenol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Pinus Pumilio (Pine) Bark Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Polysorbate 20, Sea Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance
What do those ingredients do?
Water is just the carrier or solvent for the other ingredients.
Sodium PCA, Dimethicone Copolyol and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice are moisturizing agents.
Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract is an antioxidant and we’re not sure WHY you’d need that on your vagina.
Pine Bark Extract? We have no clue.
Polysorbate 20 is used to help mix in the fragrance.
Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid are used to give the product the right pH.
Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, and Sodium Benzoate are all preservatives to make sure the product doesn’t grow bacteria or mold.
And Fragrance is meant to make you smell good.
Now, aren’t you glad you asked?
The Brains Bottom Line:
Under normal circumstances, you don’t need to worry about the pH of your vagina. There’s nothing wrong with using a product like this unless you’re using it to mask an odor problem that is a signal of a greater medical condition. And yes, fragrances CAN be irritating. Especially to sensitive areas. Let’s assume that the good people at sweetspotlabs tested their fragrances for irritation potential. Ouch!