15 Products For 'Down There' That Are Actually Harmful

From big to small, tightly tucked to flowering and loose, from purple to red to pink -- ladies, you’ve all got one and before you start stressing about your abnormal size, shape or color, rest assured that all V’s look different and there is no perfect one, despite what the porn industry might have you believe.

Call it what you want to call it – lady bits, vajayjay, fanny, lady parts, hoo-ha or yoni – your V is something to be celebrated! It’s an anatomical object that breathes and births life, that symbolizes sacred femininity, that is wildly powerful, beautiful and strong.

The media might have you believing that you are hosting some seriously explicit content, but girl, there is nothing wrong with what’s going on down there! Au contraire mademoiselle, your V is wonderfully self-sustainable, able to produce fluids that flow to rid your nether regions of dead cells and other harmful bacteria. Your outer folds protect you from nasty infections by keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Yes, your V is a complex and fascinating machine with lots going on! All ladies have their own particular taste and fragrance, and even healthy yonis will have multiple types of bacteria, which contribute to their odor. Your V has a pH balance that self-regulates, but change in discharge and odor might alert you to something else going on.

Feminine hygiene products are a huge market on a global scale and YOU are their target audience. So before you start buying into strange (and harmful) feminine products that have you believing your lady bits are all wrong, consult these 15 products that were made for your "downstairs" but are actually horrible for you.

15 Lady Part Shampoos And Cleansers

Shampoo belongs on your scalp, not on your lady parts. One of the more recent marketing pushes aimed for women is shampoos and cleansers, geared specifically for your V. The shampoos claim to be pH balanced, sensitive skin formulas perfect for southern suds-ing, whether you choose to go au natural or all bare down there. One product called healthyhoohoo boasts its mild cleanser will help "compliment your personal ecosystem." Even if they do claim to be natural, these shampoos can contain chemicals, fragrances and dyes. What these companies fail to recognize is that your girl is wildly adaptable and capable of keeping pH levels in check on its own, thank you very much. That’s not to say that you won’t experience imbalances, which is totally normal! You can be easily influenced by menstruation, intercourse and hormonal fluctuations. Your yoni is a sensitive organism and you can keep your good bacteria levels in check by regular washing, particularly after exercise and intercourse.

14 Oil Based Products

The wetter, the better. No, we’re not talking about your local slip and slide, but the premise is the same. Your V is wonderfully capable of producing natural lubrication when aroused to assist in your lovemaking escapades, but sometimes women also deal with dryness. Lubrication can enhance sensations, pleasure and ensure you have enough fluid for hours of fun. There are a lot of factors that can influence your moisture levels, including your age, where you’re at in your menstrual cycle, your stress levels, your health, and any medications you may be taking. Lubricants are generally oil-based, water-based and silicone-based. Before lubing up, beware that some brands can alter your pH balance down there, resulting in nasty, unwanted infections. Commercial lubricants can contain ingredients that cause irritation, numbing or allergic reactions. Warming lubricants and flavored or fragrant lubes may irritate sensitive skin, and often contain chemicals including antibacterial agents and parabens. Oil-based lubricants can also break down latex condoms, and therefore should not be used together. Bottom line, read labels and do your research before applying anything to your lady bits.

13 Vajazzling

Va-va-what? Vajazzles. No, it’s not a foreign language you are having trouble decrypting. Vajazzling is a contemporary trend and form of body art, where a woman’s down there region is adorned with crystals, glitter and other bling bling. The eye dazzling treatment lasts for a few days to a week. Top off your next bikini wax with a bedazzled look below the belt. On second thought, maybe don’t. The vajazzling process is done by applying adhesive crystals in a pattern, shape or design over top of freshly waxed skin. Your partner will definitely be able to locate you in the bedroom, as you’ll be glitzier than a disco ball, but this bizarre art form poses health risks as well. Because the adhesive stickers are placed overtop of waxed skin, there is potential for moisture and bacteria to get trapped underneath the crystals, which could cause serious infections and irritations in your V region.

12 Tampons

If you’ve been using cotton tampons since you first started regular menstrual cycles, it may be time to reconsider. Research is now highlighting the potential health risks of using tampons, pads and other menstrual products, and we’re not just talking toxic shock syndrome. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. You may be asking how it’s possible that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) allows unsafe, unregulated feminine products to enter mainstream markets, but sadly, they do. Feminine products like tampons and pads often contain unregulated ingredients because companies don’t have to list or disclose ingredients on their labels. Your V is highly absorbent and many cotton tampons can be contaminated with chemicals, carcinogens and pesticides. Ever wonder why your tampons are so pearly white? That’s because many companies use a chlorine bleaching process on cotton used for tampons and pads. Combine this with the huge environmental impact of feminine products, and it may be time to consider alternative, safer and more environmentally sustainable menstrual products. Consider shopping for organic tampons, menstrual cups or reusable pads.

11 Thongs

Thong style underwear was trendy even before Sisqó’s hit “Thong Song” in 2000, but what he failed to mention in his R&B lyrics is that thongs (and G string style underwear in particular) can put you at risk for some nasty health issues. Many fabrics you see in racy underwear and lingerie are made of non-breathable materials and ladies, you need to breathe! Cotton fabric is always best for breathability to ensure that moisture is not trapped in your bottom drawers. Infection and irritation are more likely to occur when you sport such undies, including irritation of the external skin, and yeast infections and bacterial infections. Think about it; there is nothing but a small band of material between your lady parts and your outer garments, and materials like denim or Lycra trap moisture. Your thong fabric is also likely to move around, which can spread colonic bacteria to your urethra. Classic cotton undies in a boyshort or bikini style is always best for your V health. If you must avoid those panty lines, by all means, wear thongs, just don’t get caught in the trap of always sporting the thong style.

10 V Deodorant

Deodorant belongs under your armpits, not below your belly button. Sure, like all women, you might notice an odor down there, but that’s perfectly healthy and normal. All women omit a unique smell depending on their health and genetic make-up. The natural balance of good and bad bacteria helps keep your V healthy, and foul or unusual odors can clue you in to when something might be going on down there. Vaginal deodorant can be found in drugstores neatly packaged as freshness powders, sprays and suppositories. These feminine hygiene products exclaim to make your hoo-ha smell like a sandy Caribbean Island, but what they neglect to mention is the myriad of chemicals found in them. Your V is highly sensitive, and masking your scent with chemical sprays disrupts the natural pH balance. Get to know and love your personal fragrance (it’s called pheromones, girl) and trust that someone will be attracted to you, exactly how you are, including how you smell!

9 V Mints

Your V does have lips, but that doesn’t mean you need a breath check or mint for down there! If you’ve ever been self-conscious about your smell and taste, you’re like many other women who fear their lady parts might taste bad. That doesn’t mean you need to race to your local drugstore to pick up these mint flavoured pills. These products claim to decrease self-consciousness and increase pleasure and enjoyment during stimulation, but how are you going to be able to relax and enjoy yourself if you’ve contracted a bacterial infection? The V mint is made of (surprise!) sugar and when placed up your nether regions, is a recipe for disaster. If you thought you noticed an offensive odor before, it’s bound to get worse after these peppermint lozenges. Instead of pill popping, openly communicate with your partner about your fears and insecurities. Perhaps your flavor and scent have nothing to do with his hesitation to engage in oral play.

8 Rubber Or Soft Plastic Toys

If you’re feeling adventurous, whether taking a solo or partnered romp, naughty toys can be a wonderful way to mix things up in the bedroom. Toys come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and are made for men and women. Safe toys should have a smooth surface and be made of an unbreakable material. As they are being inserted into your precious lady bits, you want to ensure these stimulating tools can be thoroughly washed and cleaned. The dangers of such novelty items include tearing or ripping your V if small scratches, nicks or holes develop on these toys. Toys are not regulated by the FDA and therefore, many contain mystery materials and chemicals which could pose serious health threats. Many soft rubber toys are made using the ingredient phthalates, which are chemical rubber softeners, and carcinogenic to humans. When you compare the risks to the potential pleasure, it just isn't worth it!

7 Douches

If you’re in need of a French lesson, you’re better off asking your Parisian or Quebecois friend than consulting a douche from your local supermarket. Don’t be led astray by the exotic sound of this French word, which is marketed towards women as cleansing, refreshing, vaginal cleansing products. This deep cleaning method contains antiseptics and fragrances and uses a tube to spray a vinegar-like concoction upwards into your lady parts. Some women use douches to rid themselves of unpleasant odors and to feel fresher down there. Having odor is normal and each woman has her own unique scent. However, strong odors can be a telltale sign of infection, so always monitor your scent closely. While you celebrate healthy V flora, you should probably steer clear of douches, which are notoriously known for causing infections, complications, and potentially dangerous and life threatening diseases like pelvic inflammatory disease and cervical cancer. It is isn’t advisable to be a douche, nor is it advisable to douche.

6 Hair Removal Cream

Depilatory creams are products that break down and melt your hair away. If you’ve ever applied these magical lotions, you know how easy, fast and painless the process can be. Just apply the cream on the designated region, wait five minutes, wipe and voila! You have smooth and hair free skin, and it’s so much cheaper than waxing! Sure, it’s a relatively effortless process, but not without risks. Hair removal creams contain harsh chemicals that break down the hair fiber (which may sounds great) but what about the fact that these chemicals are being applied to your skin?! Hair removal creams can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions and chemical burns. Yikes! These products may also contain toxins that irritate the skin for months, long after your hair has returned. Considering how sensitive your bikini area is, you are better off sticking to old fashioned shaving or waxing, and as far away from those icky chemicals as possible.

5 Wipes For Your Lady Parts

Wipes are meant to make you feel refreshed and clean, not riddle you with potentially hazardous chemicals, carcinogens and toxins. Despite the fact that feminine wipes, washes and sprays are cosmetics for women and considered health products, they can be dangerous, especially when applied to the most absorbent part of the female body (you’ve got it right, we’re talking about your lady bits)! The area around your V is highly sensitive and absorbent, and by cleansing yourself with feminine wipes, you actually do more damage than good. Ingredients in these wipes can include bleaches, chemical preservatives, parabens and other yucky synthetic concoctions. Your genitalia does a wonderful job of cleaning itself, and over washing (and using such products) can cause irritation and infections. You’re safer and better off using a washcloth with mild, natural, unscented soap and warm water to clean your girl. You and your V will thank you!

4 Dyes For Hair Down There

Have you ever felt bored, discouraged and in need of a drastic change? To hell with getting a new piercing, tattoo or dying your hair, why not dye your V? Yes, you read that correctly- you can now sport a rainbow coloured V thanks to pubic hair dye kits. It doesn’t take a mathematician to calculate that hair dye added to your nether regions is a recipe for disaster. Sure, pink hair may make you feel like the belle of the ball, but your lady region is highly sensitive and applying dye down there can (not surprisingly) cause burning and irritation due to the chemicals found in these hair dye products. These dyes come in contact with your hairs and naturally, your skin in that area. It could take the smallest amount of dye accidentally dripping onto your vulva to cause serious pain, irritations and infections. So you’ve always wanted to try blue, green or pink locks? That’s absolutely fine, but it’s advisable you keep the dyes for the luscious locks of hair upon your head, and not south of the border.

3 Scented Protection

You may love the smell of cherry, strawberry, watermelon and banana, but these flavors are best left in their natural fruit form, not as a flavored coating on your protection. It’s great you’re using protection (keep it up!) but next time you’re selecting your latex of choice, steer clear of any and all scented protection. Flavoring can be found on condoms in a wide range of tastes from chocolate to mint to fruit, and as enticing as these flavors may sound, they are not worth the risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. The flavored coating found on such condoms is considered safe for human consumption, yet the artificial flavoring found on them, contains sugars and other chemicals. Yes, flavored protection does decrease your risk of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, but you expose yourself to other health risks. You’re better off keeping your fruit cravings to the kitchen!

2 Tightening Kits

Do you want to feel like the first time again? Well, that may take some exercise, meditation and perhaps a new partner. Alternatively, there are V tightening kits on the market which claim to tighten, tone and firm up your weathered lady bits (not to mention increase your sex life and improve your low libido). Ladies naturally become looser over time due to intercourse, age, child birth and physical health. What is unnatural is the array of creams, gels, herbs and sprays available to women, and the harmful ingredients and chemicals found in some of these feminine products. When comparing the risks of more invasive procedures like V tightening surgeries, perhaps these tightening creams don’t seem half bad, but they can still cause infections, allergic reactions and other complications. If you’re looking to tone up, there are more natural alternatives, like Kegels, an exercise which involves relaxing and tightening the muscles of your V.

1 V Bleaching

The word bleach is cringe-worthy enough as it is, but combined with your V? Double cringe! While the "bleaching" term is slightly misleading, these creams and lighteners are intimate whitening kits used to lighten (or brighten) the color of your hoo-ha. These products have the effect of changing your vulva/labia coloring from a darker hue to a lighter shade (now that’s powerful stuff). Because who doesn’t want a perfectly pink V? Seriously though, these intimate skin whitening products can contain some dangerously harmful ingredients and carcinogenic like hydroquinone, mercury and steroids. These chemicals can cause irritation, allergies, early aging of your V, and can put you at risk for more serious health repercussions like cancer. Even if you find a natural V bleaching kit, you’re still applying a lotion to an extremely sensitive area of the skin. Every girl’s lady parts look a little different, so learn to embrace and celebrate your natural coloration.

More in Horoscope