Finding the best feminine wipes involves looking for an all-natural, unmedicated, hypoallergenic and pH-balanced product. Soothing ingredients and the durability and feel of the wipe also are considerations. Whether the wipe is flushable comes into purchase decisions, as well.
Feminine wipes are designed to cleanse a woman's genital area, particularly during the menstrual cycle. The potential of hydrogen (pH) level of a woman's vagina and surrounding tissues ranges from 3.8 to 4.5, meaning the genital area is naturally acidic. A good wipe is pH-balanced so that use of the wipe does not disturb this acidity. This is good for feminine health because the acidity of the vagina and surrounding tissues is related directly to bacteria levels; altering vaginal pH can result in issues such as bacterial vaginosis and unpleasant odor.
For the same reason a woman should pick pH-balanced feminine wipes, she also should choose wipes that are non-disinfectant. The disinfectants in the wipes can be too harsh for the sensitive genital skin, causing irritation. A medicated wipe generally is not necessary for general, everyday use, but women may use them under a doctor's advice to get rid of bad bacteria and unwanted discharge from infection.
Manufacturers sometimes use various chemicals on feminine wipes aside from disinfectants. These can be everything from fragrances to substances that prevent discoloration. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions, rashes and redness, as well as disruption of the bacterial and pH balance of the genital area. Looking for wipes that are organic or which are labeled as chemical-free can ward off problems.
In looking at the ingredients of a feminine wipe, it is acceptable to select a wipe with all-natural substances designed to soothe. For example, aloe and Vitamin E are found on some wipes to provide some lubrication and reduce irritation. These additives should not make the wipe feel greasy.
Consumers should look at the size and durability of the feminine wipes. Smaller wipes are convenient for slipping into a purse or pocket, but they will not cleanse as much skin as a larger wipe can. They can be better for petite women. Regardless of size, the wipe should be thick and strong enough to handle the physical stress of cleansing. They also should be soft enough that they do not cause excessive friction.
Lastly, a woman who needs feminine wipes should see whether the wipes are flushable. Some, similar to other feminine products and baby wipes, are not designed to be put in the toilet because they don't break down easily and therefore clog pipes and septic systems. Biodegradable wipes can be used in the same manner as toilet paper and should not cause a plumbing problem when used appropriately.