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Intimate washing lotions for women fail the “Ökotest” test

Even though gynecologists usually recommend washing the sensitive intimate area with water only, many women turn to special cleansing lotions for that extra fresh feeling. These are supposed to be particularly mild and gentle to the vaginal flora, but is that really true? “Ökotest” tested 20 such intimate cleansing lotions – with sobering results.

The worst mistake women can make in intimate hygiene is to treat the sensitive vaginal environment with conventional shower gel. This upsets the natural pH value, which can result in fungal infections. Special intimate wash lotions therefore rely on a slightly acidic pH value – corresponding to that of the vaginal flora – and thus aim to cleanse particularly gently and avoid irritation. "Ökotest" however, now found out: Really mild and sensitive are only the fewest products. To be more precise: Only two of the 20 products tested scored "very good". All other intimate wash lotions in the test contain at least one problem substance, which we criticize", so the conclusion from the "Ökotest"-report 9/2021. Three lotions receive from the experts even the seal "ungenügend" – under it two pharmacy products.

Substances of concern in intimate wash lotions

Particularly in the case of care products intended for such sensitive areas of skin as the intimate area, one would expect thoroughly harmless ingredients. Especially in view of the fact that manufacturers advertise particularly mild formulations. But the reality is quite different: "Ökotest" found ingredients that "can irritate the mucous membranes or skin, cause allergies or accumulate in fatty tissue" as well as Lilial in some of the products tested. This is a synthetic fragrance that is suspected of endangering fertility. A real no-go, especially in the vaginal area.

Only three out of 20 lotions fragrance-free

Fragrances have no place in intimate cleansing lotions anyway; the risk of irritation in the sensitive vaginal environment is too great. This makes it all the more worrying that only three out of 20 lotions in the test are fragrance-free. It is also advisable to take a closer look at the detergent substances: Thus, the surfactant Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is considered irritating to the skin – but is also contained in some of the intimate wash lotions. According to "Ökotest" sugar surfactants are better. The only ray of hope in the test: The ph values indicated on the packaging agree with the results of the product check. But nevertheless the result shows completely clearly: Intimwaschlotionen should leave woman better in the drugstore shelf – except the Gynäkologe guesses something else.


  • Ökotest (9/2021): Intimate wash lotions in the test: Very few are particularly mild (retrieved on 26.08.2021)