When I was in my twenties, I thought I was busy. College, social life, homework, medical school (That was tough, or so I thought), residency, and then… children.
Nothing prepares you for that time vacuum. Nothing. Nobody could prepare you! It’s a train you have to jump on and experience for yourself. Of course, in the most wonderful gratifying way, children take everything that was once taken for granted and make it a luxury.
It is a rare day that I have showered, my face is exfoliated and hydrated, both upper and lower legs are shaved, hair is blown out, makeup is done and I actually put on something other than yoga pants and a t-shirt. I sometimes dress it up with a cardigan that covers my backside and that, my friends, is a banner day. An exception to the rule of momhood for me.
If anything is going to give way and be eliminated from my “Busy Mom-CEO” morning (especially when I wake up and my bedhead still looks amazing), it’s a shower. I slap myself a high-five and Lume instead. I just bought myself 30 minutes that day… easy.
Whether you have time to shower once a day or once a week, here are six ways you can get that “shower fresh” feeling to last a little longer…
Moisture and hot body parts are the perfect home for bacteria and yeast. If you have skin folds that can hold a pencil (Don’t we all!), a blow dryer on a warm or cool setting is going to be your friend. Microfiber towels do a little better job of getting into all the nooks and crannies and working to dry your skin off more efficiently.
If you have red or irritated skin…
If you are larger breasted or have tummy folds, do you ever notice you itch and have redness in those folds? If you do, you likely have a little yeast growth in those areas.
This itching and redness may mean those dead skin cells need to be exfoliated off.
Here is what I recommend: Get some Hydrocortisone 1% and Clotrimazole. Both are available over the counter at any pharmacy (the generic store brands are fine, too!). Mix together equal parts of those creams and apply sparingly to freshly-showered and well-dried-off skin two times a day, especially at night.
After a few days of that routine, begin using a very thin smear of Lume about two times a week, and see if that controls the odors for you. We hear from women who say that the odor was present every day of their adult lives, and when they began using Lume just once a week, they never had it again!
Everybody is different, so experiment with what will fit in best with your lifestyle.
It’s not that cotton underwear really provides that much moisture wicking protection, it’s that the other alternatives are so horrible by promoting odor and microorganism growth like bacteria and yeast.
Polyester, silky underwear almost always have a cotton lined crotch. This is better since it keeps the man-made fabrics away from direct contact with the odor-causing bodily fluids and bacteria. That said, 100% cotton is best.
Beware of thong underwear. It’s butt floss. Every time you bend over, shift, lean forward, that string moves back and forth and the back is too dirty for the forth. Thongs, if you wear them, are meant to be briefly worn if you want to protect yourself from odor below the belt.
I know this one is a little bit controversial. I am not saying that full bush is bad. It’s fine, but just know that the more hair you have, the more surface area there is for bacteria to thrive and consume sweat, urine residue, menstrual blood, and semen. And all of those create odor.
Grooming is just a suggestion for those looking to minimize odor below the belt.
Your options are trim, shave or wax.
Trimming just an inch will make a big difference. You won’t miss it, and it improves the ability to keep it clean and odor free.
If you are going to shave, just know the first time is the most comfortable, and then you begin to deal with the cycle of razor burn, ingrown hairs, and nicks. I don’t recommend shaving. From my experience, you usually regret it.
Waxing? That is a different story. It lasts longer and, when hair grows back, it is not bristly or itchy.
That said, pubic hair does serve a purpose. You will notice more external wetness and possibly chaffing.
To each her own grooming regime!
This one has to do with anatomy. When blood comes into contact with bacteria that are commonly found in our gastrointestinal tract, odor results. When using a tampon or menstrual cup, you are keeping the blood products of your period anatomically away from those bacteria.
This is not necessarily a function of hygiene – you are only as clean as the moment you step out of the shower. Bacteria keep replicating and doing their thing and, as the day goes on, the bacteria counts go up. It is just the fact of being human.
If you do want to use a pad, a reusable cotton pad or menstrual underwear will hold less odor than the traditional pads with a plastic lining.
This will get all your creases and crevices cleaner than with TP alone.
Get yourself 99% clean with TP, then finish it off with a baby wipe until the last swipe is white. After using a baby wipe, be sure to pat dry with a square of TP (Remember, we want to minimize moisture!).
(Please don’t flush wipes, even if they say they are “flushable”! These wipes are clogging sewers everywhere, and can also clog your own pipes.)
When at home, you can take a squirt bottle with alcohol-free witch hazel and a little lavender oil if you want to feel extra special 😉 Spritz a little on some toilet paper and let that provide you the moisture benefit you need to be confidently clean as a whistle for the final wipe.
It is best to begin with Lume after showering and drying off really well (this is a common theme with us).
The first couple of times you use Lume between your legs, you may notice a warming sensation…that just means it's working its magic.
Once you begin using Lume on a regular basis, you will notice you can use less Lume less often.
Here is what I do: I apply Lume to my underarms every day to every other day. I’ll apply more or less depending on if I plan on showering the next day or not (it's okay to skip a shower!). I always rub it into the hairy part of my pit with fingertips, and what is left over is for my lady parts and bum.
Now that I am primed and have been using Lume for so long, it takes so little, I actually feel like I never smell. Never! It’s like I am bionic, but it wasn’t always this way.