Introduction: The use in intimate hygiene of active substances plays an important role in maintaining the balance of the vaginal ecosystem. The most medically based cleansers are promoted to doctors through a classic medical information, even if classified as cosmetics. The present paper assessed the reliability of the pharmacological, microbiological and clinical claims both on the active principles of Salvia officinalis, Thymus vulgaris, Camomilla recutita and Calendula officinalis extracts, contained in the most used hygiene product line.
Methods: The experimental activity was studied on the inhibition of microbes’ adhesion to human vaginal epithelial cells, morphostructural damages to germ cells, inhibition of microbial biofilms, and anti-inflammatory tests. The clinical data were collected according to the use recommendation as daily intimate cleanser, uid or bid for four weeks: salvia (SD - Saugella Dermoliquido) in fertile age women, thymus (SA – S. Attiva) in pregnancy, breastfeeding and risk of vulvovaginal infection, chamomile (SP – S. Poligyn) in postmenopausal women, calendula (SG – S. Girl) in pre-adolescent girls prone to vaginal irritations. At baseline and after 4-week treatment, vaginal pH, signs/symptoms, and sexual activity were evaluated.
Results: The experimental data showed the antibacterial, antimycotic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of the natural principles contained in the four extracts. The clinical studies evidenced the significant reduction of genital signs and symptoms (itching, burning, erythema, edema, vaginal dryness, dyspareunia) and the improvement of sexual female disorder.
Conclusions: Correct intimate hygiene improves quality of woman’s life and can prevent minor vulvo-vaginal pathologies. The cleanser selection should be tailored on the age and physiopathological condition of the woman. The claims of efficacy and safety that supports the recommendation of the use in daily practice of the Saugella line products containing Salvia, Thymus, Chamomile, and Calendula extracts are consistent and reliable.