Tried & tested: Natural solutions for sexual wellness

These certified organic, vegan formulas address unwanted discomfort associated with yeast infections and other irritation.

Hair & Beauty

Let's get real - we don't talk about yeast infections enough, yet research shows that 138 million women suffer with recurrent thrush worldwide. That's a lot of itching and discomfort that is, more often than not, swept under the rug. Unfortunately, this means that many women may be struggling with their vaginal health without support, which can be frustrating, especially if you've never had a yeast infection before, or keep getting them but don't know why.

However, discourse around intimate female health is improving, albeit slowly, with brands like Momotaro Apotheca making self care for sexual wellness more accessible.

Their products are certified organic and cruelty free, and centre around vulvovaginal care to help with the symptoms of conditions such as yeast and bacterial infections, and general irritation. We reviewed two of their products to find out whether they're safe and effective for proactive sexual self care.

Tonic Oil For Everywhere (£37) comes in a generous 55ml glass bottle (panet-friendly, noted) with a pipette applicator. It's simple and chic - you might even get away with having it on your desk, a must if you're prone to getting yeast infection symptoms throughout the working day.

The tonic comprises a wide range of oils, including jojoba, cedarwood virginia and sweet orange. However, the most prominent in terms of scent is the tea tree oil, which is known for being antibacterial and antifungal. I'm not a huge fan of the tea tree oil scent, but knowing it's there in the formula puts my mind at ease somewhat.

As with any new product, I tested the tonic on an inconspicuous area of skin first. It absorbed into my skin well and caused no irritation. I found that a little goes a long way, with one drop being enough to serve a palm-sized area.

Although I didn't have a yeast infection while testing, I used the product to sooth irritation around the groin area while wearing gym clothing, and put a few drops in a bath for a reinvigorating and de-stressing evening wash. I can see myself using it in the bath in future, as well as using it to soothe shaving rashes, as it seemed to work well for this.

Meanwhile, the Salve (£35) is a glass tub of just that - salve - to use on your vulva. The formula, which starts as a solid and melts into a balm when worked into the skin, contains healing ingredients including tea tree (again), echinacea and calendula.

All you need is a penny-sized amount to relieve symptoms like itching and inflammation. As with any product that doesn't come with an applicator to prevent contamination, I used a spatula or a cotton bud to remove the product from the pot. This makes sure bacteria doesn't get transferred back into the pot, which is especially important when treating any infection.

I found this to be very soothing on my skin, perhaps even moreso than the tonic, so if you're very sensitive, I would recommend choosing the Salve!

Overall, I'm pleased to have come across Momotaro as a brand, and can't wait to see more brands addressing the taboos of female health.

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