If you ask me, our vaginas do not get the TLC they deserve — nor do we talk about it enough. From wearing tight clothes while working out to excess sweating, shaving and sex, we put our precious lady parts through the wringer and often do not know what to do when irritation ensues.
In all seriousness, though, most first reactions when said irritation occurs is to freak out to their doctor (totally normal!) or to slather antifungal cream on the situation and call it a day. And you should definitely see a medical professional if your symptoms are stubborn and debilitating (try not to self-diagnose yourself).
But if your doctor has dubbed you infection-free and you are still struggling with mild or moderate irritation — whether it be from frequent sexual activity, working out, waxing or constricting clothes — then you might just be extra sensitive, in which case, it is about time you get up to snuff on a few natural solutions for these issues.
Why trust my word? It is simple: I have tried it all. And not just because I am a beauty and wellness product junkie — which I am — but because I have a chronic skin condition called ichthyosis that has resulted in irritation in my nether regions for as long as I can remember. It took many years of testing, but I have finally managed to find some seriously impressive, chemical-free fixes that are soothing, safe and effective at calming irritation.
All this to say: If you, too, struggle with a finicky and fragile vagina, you are far from the only one, and you have come to the right place. These are the tried and true best soothing balms and salves for treating an irritated vulva. (Editor’s note: None of these products are for internal use.)
With their millennial-friendly Instagram feed and aesthetically pleasing packaging, Momotaro Apotheca is on a mission to make vaginal wellness more approachable — and so far, they are succeeding. The brand’s hero product has got to be their Multi-Use Salve, which is a thick balm containing powerful plant-based soothing agents like echinacea, tea tree, goldenseal and calendula. When combined, the calming cocktail aids in reducing redness and swelling, while also imparting a subtle cooling effect that provides instant relief. Whenever I feel irritation cropping up, I rub a dime-sized amount on the area, and it works wonders.
Recommended by both gynecologists and dermatologists, Medicine Mama’s VMagic means business. Perfect for those who prefer to steer clear of chemicals and common irritants like artificial fragrances and dyes, it is 100 percent natural and doesn’t contain any traces of synthetic preservatives or parabens. Instead, it relies on a blend of bioactive, antibacterial and skin-protecting ingredients like nourishing avocado oil, beeswax for protection and antibacterial agent propolis for purification — among others — to help calm stubborn symptoms, combat further irritation and bring the vagina back into balance.
Beloved by beauty editors, bloggers and celebs alike, Egyptian Magic has made a name for itself as a skincare cure-all since its conception in 1991. And, get this: The 100-percent-natural formula features just six natural ingredients, including honey, beeswax, olive oil, royal jelly, bee pollen and bee propolis. For those who do not know, bee products like royal jelly and propolis are naturally healing with powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making them amazing for a wide array of skin afflictions. The brand’s unique formulation process brings out the best of each ingredient and doesn’t rely on any additional additives to do its thing. Users swear by it for everything from chapped lips to fading scars to healing burns, but it also happens to do a standup job at soothing vulvar irritation, too. Just a tiny dollop applied to the affected area does the trick in no time.
A good rule of thumb to go by? If it is safe and gentle enough to use on an infant, then it is safe and gentle enough to use on your lady bits. Badger’s nontoxic formula contains no chemicals, fragrances or preservatives, and only uses ultra-soothing ingredients like calendula, chamomile and castor oil to calm and nourish the fragile, easily irritated skin on our vulvas. Even better: It is cruelty-free, certified organic and made right here in the States. Rub a small amount wherever you are experiencing irritation and watch as redness is reduced, itching is abated and relief comes through.
Formulated specifically for those experiencing irritation from external vaginal dryness caused by menopause or hormonal changes, this calming elixir contains natural ingredients like olive fruit oil, Aloe vera, beeswax and avocado oil, all of which work to relieve discomfort and soothe even the driest of skin. It is also free of estrogen, dyes, steroids, or any other pH-altering agents that work against the vagina rather than with it. And unlike other products for dryness or menopause that come in the suppository form, Vulva Harmony is made specifically to calm vulva irritation.