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Formula Anatomy Deciphered—Feminine Hygiene Products
By: Luigi Rigano, PhD, Studio Rigano Industrial Consulting Laboratories
Posted: December 13, 2012
The term hygiene here is defined as actions or behaviors that maintain the health and well-being of the body. The word hygiene comes from the Greek term hugieinē technē, which means “the healthful art” and “having a vigorous life.” When personal care products are formulated to maintain the hygiene of the external genital area, specifically the female genitalia, they must have distinctive characteristics. These products must address the female genitalia’s complex anatomy, physiological elements and role in body metabolism and reproductive functions.
The vaginal channel, which is open to the environment through the external genital organs, is characterized by a distinctive and complex equilibrium, variable in cyclic phases during a woman’s life. This multitasking area’s uniqueness has led it to be referred to as the vaginal ecosystem.1 Its equilibrium is determined by three fundamental elements: glycogen in the vaginal epithelium tissue;2 the activity of saprophyte bacterial species;3 and the presence of lactic acid. Among the many species that colonize the human body, Lactobacillus doderlein has a positive influence for the vaginal area, as it produces lactic acid in normal, healthy conditions.3 The presence of lactic acid determines local acidic pH values, more acidic than in any other epidermal district.