Feminine Washes with Colorants of Concern

Feminine Washes Women’s Voices’ research identified several feminine wash products currently on the market that contain the colorants FD&C Red No. 33, Ext Violet #2 and Yellow #5. The FDA has recognized use restrictions on these colorants. Specifically:

  • D&C Red No. 33 and Ext Violet #2 are colorants that are not authorized for use in products which come into contact with mucous membranes.
  • The use of Yellow #5 requires a specific safety warning regarding allergic reactions when used in drugs that are applied vaginally.

So WHY are these chemicals ending up in products made specifically for vaginal use? Four words: For External Use Only.

While most feminine wash products have the words “For external use only” on their labels, it’s undeniable that even manufacturers expect both the internal and external use of their products. For example, many feminine wash brands make claims such as ‘pH balanced’ or ‘helps maintain a healthy pH balance’. A product could only affect vaginal pH if it is applied to internal vaginal tissue.

The fact that manufacturers are putting chemicals like these colorants into feminine care products, further illustrates the need for greater research, attention and scrutiny from the FDA regarding chemicals used in products that come in contact with one of the most sensitive and absorbent parts of a woman’s body.

D&C Red No. 33 can be found in the following feminine care products:

  1. CVS Feminine Wash – Sensitive Skin
  2. Vagisil Feminine Wash
  3. Equate Feminine Wash
  4. SweetSpot Labs Gentle Feminine Wash Geranium Lavender
  5. TopCare Feminine Wash, Sensitive Skin, Hypo-Allergenic
  6. Intimos Strawberry Feminine Wash (Ref. 1026)
  7. Up & Up Feminine Wash Odor Block Protection

Ext. D&C Violet No. 2 can be found in the following feminine care products:

  1. Up & Up Feminine Wash – Soft Petal Scent
  2. Natureplex Bella Flore Feminine Wash

FD&C Yellow No. 5 can be found in the following feminine care products:

  1. Lemisol Plus Refreshing Cleansing Solution
  2. SweetSpot Labs Gentle Feminine Wash Citrus Galbanum
  3. SweetSpot Labs Gentle Wash Basil Grapefruit

All three colorants, D&C Red No. 33, Ext. D&C Violet No. 2, and FD&C Yellow No.5 can be found in the following feminine care product:

  1. Summer’s Eve Delicate Blossom Cleansing Wash