Feminine Washes with Colorants of Concern



Note: This list is not exhaustive. The following ingredients are compiled by information available as of Jan 2019. The following tables compare ingredients from 2017 and 2019 to highlight vaginal washes that have removed harmful colorants. Of note, since 2017, both Summer’s Eve and Up & Up have reformulated and no longer use dyes in their washes. Formulations are subject to change.
Feminine Washes

Women’s Voices’ research identified several “feminine” wash products 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 vaginal 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 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 personal 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 the vagina – one of the most sensitive and absorbent parts of the body.

The good news is — in response to increasing public health concerns — companies are starting to voluntarily remove these dyes from their products. Unfortunately, this is not universal or regulated.

D&C Red No. 33 can be found in the following washes:

Product Name Colorant present 2017 Colorant present 2019
CVS Feminine Wash – Sensitive Skin YES YES
CVS Odor Block Cleansing Wash YES YES
Vagisil Feminine Wash – pH balance YES YES
Vagisil Feminine Wash – Odor Block YES YES
Equate Feminine Wash YES YES
Equate Feminine Wash Sensitive Skin Care YES YES
Equate pH Balance Feminine Wash- light scent YES YES
Equate Orchard Splash Feminine Wash YES YES
Benzal Odor Block Wash YES YES
SweetSpot Labs Gentle Feminine Wash Geranium Lavender YES


Intimos Strawberry Feminine Wash YES YES
Summer’s Eve Simply Sensitive Cleansing Wash YES


Summer’s Eve Island Splash Cleansing Wash YES


Up & Up Feminine Wash For Sensitive Skin YES


Up & Up Feminine Wash pH Balance YES


Ext. D&C Violet No. 2 can be found in the following washes:

Product Name Colorant present 2017 Colorant present 2019
Up & Up Feminine Wash – Soft Petal Scent YES


Lagicam Feminine Wash Sensitive YES YES
Summer’s Eve Delicate Blossom Cleansing Wash YES


CVS Health Gentle Flower Cleansing Wash YES YES
Equate Petal Feminine Wash YES YES

FD&C Yellow No. 5 can be found in the following washes:

Product Name Colorant present 2017 Colorant present 2019
Lemisol Plus Refreshing Cleansing Solution YES YES
Lemisol Plus Feminine Wash Gentle Daily Cleanser Original YES YES
Summer’s Eve Target Exclusive Aloe Love Cleansing Wash YES


Summer’s Eve Morning Paradise Cleansing Wash YES



Related information:

– Open Letter to Summer’s Eve From Organizations Says Harmful Chemicals are Unacceptable
– Chem Fatale Report: Potential Health Effects of Toxic Chemicals in Feminine Care Products
– Osmolality and pH Properties of Some Commercial Lubricants