Water with close-up image of bubbles

Do we really need feminine washes?

If the vagina is self-cleaning then why would I need a feminine wash?

There’s a growing conversation surrounding the feeling that personal care companies are responsible for making women feel they need to use cleansing and perfumed products for intimate areas. It feels as though the ‘feminine hygiene’ industry has worked hard to increase women’s fears about being ‘clean’. As we produce an intimate foaming wash, YES CLEANSE, we feel that it is important to join in with this conversation to explain why we created this product and why we feel that YES CLEANSE safely fulfills an important purpose.

Why did we create an intimate foam wash?

An intimate wash was number one on the list of products that our customers asked for. This suggested that many women do prefer to use more than just water to wash with, and so we worked to formulate a certified organic, plant-based, unperfumed gentle EXTERNAL cleanser that does not contain concerning ingredients and skin irritants. Just like our other water-based products, YES CLEANSE has been carefully developed to ensure that it matches the vaginal pH to protect the intimate environment.

YES Cleanse and YES Cleanse Rose

But if the vagina is self-cleaning then why would I need a feminine wash?

First of all, it’s important to differentiate the vagina from the vulva. The vagina is often used as the term of choice for women’s genitalia, but vulva is actually the correct term to use to describe all of the external sex organs. The vulva includes the pubic mound, labia majora and minora, clitoris, urethra and vagina. Whereas, the vagina is a muscular canal that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening. The vagina is designed to clean itself inside the body with natural vaginal secretions (also known as discharge). If you wash the vagina internally, you can risk aggravating issues such as infections, dryness or odour by upsetting the pH balance of the vagina, particularly if using perfumed soaps or washes. YES CLEANSE is not designed for internal use. Rather, the product is simply designed to keep the outer genitalia (the vulva) fresh and clean without disturbing the pH or using chemically burdened products. This is what makes it a great alternative to soap or other less natural intimate washes, should you wish to use more than water to wash with. Another benefit is that it can freshen the vulva without the need for a wet wipe, which makes it a much more environmentally friendly choice. Alix Fox, BBC presenter, writer and sex education expert agrees; 

Screenshot of a social media review

Occasions when women might want to use more than just water to wash their vulval area could include after sex, playing sports or during menstruation. According to the NHS website it is important to keep the perineal area between the vagina and anus clean, especially during your period suggesting that ‘during your period, washing more than once a day may be helpful’. Other instances may also include if a woman is experiencing certain conditions such as stress incontinence, faecal incontinence or Lichen Sclerosus and similar vulval dermatological conditions. Washing can be difficult for those living with Lichen Sclerosus, and using soap on and around the affected skin should be avoided.


We create products that are designed to enhance rather than compromise intimate health and this extends to the entire YES range YES CLEANSE comes in two varieties which includes Unfragranced and Rose. In YES CLEANSE Rose, we use the tiniest amount of Rosa Damascena flower oil possible to create a gentle, natural scent. This ingredient is certified organic, which means that it has been through rigorous examination by The Soil Association. To buy or find out more information on our CLEANSE intimate washes, visit the Cleanse product page here.