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Should I wash my cup with soap ?

The cleaning of the menstrual cup during the cycle is an aspect not to be overlooked, and which often raises questions.

Because if it is advisable to simply rinse it with water, some people are tempted to wash their menstrual cup with soap or with an intimate cleanser.

It is however important to choose carefully the product used, both for the material of the cup but also for intimate health, taking into account 2 essential elements: the PH and the composition.

pH, an important aspect when choosing a menstrual cup cleaner.

What is pH?

The pH (Hydrogen potential) measures the acidity of a medium or the alkalinity of a medium.
What is called the physiological pH of an area is its normal pH. The value of this physiological pH is different on the face, hands, vulva, vagina … and this value is often a fork.

To keep the pH of each zone at its optimal value, you need a suitable product.

Here is a graph which summarizes some physiological pH of the body:

The skin has a physiological pH between 4 and 7.
The external intimate mucous membranes have a physiological pH between 5 and 8.
The internal intimate mucous membranes (vagina), have a physiological pH between 4 and 4.5 and are close to 6 during menstruation.
The vulvovaginal pH is therefore acidic. Often, intimate hygiene products are noted with the mention “physiological pH” without further details. But use a product made for cleaning the external mucosa (with a neutral pH of 7 or 8) to clean your cup (which will end up on your internal mucous membrane, acidic ), is not necessarily suitable , because it is not the same use.

Why is it important to choose a product with the right pH?

The vulvovaginal pH is naturally acidic because the majority of harmful microorganisms do not survive a low pH: this pH protects.

Obviously, some of these organizations have adapted.

Here are the people responsible for the most common vulvovaginal infections and the environments they like:

     

  • Candida, especially Candida albicans, are the fungi responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. They like very acidic pH, lower than 4.
  •  

  • Gardnerella, bacteria responsible for vulvitis and vaginitis, like pH around 5.
  •  

  • Trichomonas, parasites that cause vaginal infections, like pHs around 6.

The picture would not be complete without addressing the “good bacteria”, whose role is to protect the vagina from bad bacteria: first, Lactobacilli. It is essential to pamper these gendarmes du vagina , because healthy Lactobacilli are a barrier to some of the bad bacteria. For them to multiply optimally, they need a pH between 5.5 and 6.

The good news is that by using a menstrual cup, they are not assaulted like tampons!

So to clean the menstrual cup, the ideal is to use a cleanser which respects both the optimal growth pH of Lactobacilli, but which is neither too acidic nor too alkaline. In short, a pH between 5 and 6 represents the optimal target value.

What is the pH of the main intimate cleansers?

Here is an overview based on the information we found (not always easily) on the main existing cleaners (obviously, this graph is not exhaustive):

Saugella Dermoliquide : pH 3,5 | Hydralin Apaisa, Lactacyd : pH 5,2
Cavaillès Soin de toilette intime Extra Doux, Intima Gel Extra Doux, mousse culottée Luneale : pH 5,5
Saforelle : pH 8 | Hydralin GYN, Myleuca Solution lavante : pH 8,5
Classic Soap : pH around 9
For commercial cleaners, the pH is very different from product to product. To clean the menstrual cup, it is possible to turn to products between 5.2 and 5.5 pH.

But don’t just take pH into account. Composition matters just as much.

The composition of intimate cleansers, decryption.

To clean the menstrual cup, just looking at the pH is not enough: we must also pay attention to the composition of the product, controversial or potentially dangerous chemicals, etc. Because the vaginal mucosa is extremely porous to certain components . So we observed everything in detail.

For this, we based ourselves on the app QuelCosmétic du UFC Que Choisir – which analyzes toxic substances in cosmetics – and on The Truth about Cosmetics – LVSC, an independent site, which is more “harsh” with some substances that UFC What To Choose.

For each product, we have indicated the link to the UFC sheet where you will find the full composition and information on the hazardous components identified. We could not do the same with LVSC because there is not one sheet per product.

We only analyzed products from the pH 5.2 and 5.5 groups. But you can do the exercise for others if you want.
Spoiler (in case you are bored reading everything): you will quickly understand why Luneale created La Mousse Culottée.

Hydralin Quotidien

Bayer – Monsanto as Aspro, Bepanthen, Berocca, Euphytose…

“UFC que Choisir” classment : AAA..

Unwanted components according to LVSC : PEG, Laureth and Disodium edta.

This product is essentially chemical.

Lactacyd

Oméga Pharma as Bi-Oil, Eau Precieuse, Sanodiane, ni-Quitin…

“UFC que Choisir” classment : DDD because of Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone and de Methylchloroisothiazolinone.

Unwanted components according to LVSC : Disodium Laureth Sulfate, Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3-Dioxane and PEG.

This product is essentially chemical.

Intima

RB, as Clearasil, Durex, CillitBang, Calgon…:

“UFC que Choisir” classment : AAA.

Unwanted components according to LVSC : Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium EDTA and CI16035 dye.

This product is essentially chemical.

Cavaillès Extra Doux

Groupe Bolton, as Somatoline, Sanogyl, WC Net, Saupiquet…:

“UFC que Choisir” classment : DCC because of Triclosan.

Unwanted components according to LVSC : PEG, Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Disodium edta and DMDM Hydantoin.

This product is essentially chemical.

Mousse Culottée Luneale

Teolab, as Luneale.

“UFC que Choisir” classment : AAA.

Unwanted components according to LVSC : none.

This product is 98% natural with 10% organic components.

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