When it comes to feminine hygiene and intimate care, your V-zone refers to the area of skin that begins under your belly button where your pubic hair growth starts and ends between your thighs (but not inside the vagina).

The skin on your V-zone requires special care because, just like your face, it’s a delicate area that needs to be kept scrupulously but sensitively clean. The impact of factors like sweating, grooming and discharge on this part of your body means that hygiene and cleanliness are extremely important.

A major part of your V-zone is the vulva (or external genitals), which encompasses the protective folds of the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris and the vaginal opening. There are also sebaceous glands and pubic hair. These are areas where sweat and discharge can accumulate.

Of course, the inner part of your V-zone is meant to be wet. The discharge we produce naturally keeps it moist, clean and at the correct pH level to protect the good bacteria, which keep the intimate area healthy.

But while moisture is normal, a regular hygienic routine is essential to prevent odours, as unhealthy bacteria can soon accumulate. What’s more, moisture from sweat may cause rashes, itching and bacterial or fungal infections. So using an intimate wash regularly is vital.

V-zones can vary when it comes to the amount of pubic hair you have, the size and shape of your vulva, and the amount of sweat and discharge you produce. And depending on your grooming preferences – to wax or not to wax – the type of irritations you are prone to can vary too.

Throughout a woman’s life there are a number of factors that can affect the health of her V-zone. Being sexually active, using certain contraceptives, giving birth and the menopause can all make a woman prone to different kinds of irritations, infections and abnormal discharges.

These include thrush, a yeast infection that causes itchiness and soreness around the labia, and unusual discharge that’s thick and white or thin and watery. It has a number of causes, including stress, poor diet and using the same sanitary towel or tampon for too long. Another common infection is bacterial vaginosis, with symptoms including a thin, greyish discharge and unpleasant smell. While it’s not an STI, it is often triggered by sexual activity.

To protect the V-zone from infections and keep the area clean and comfortable, follow these tips for daily intimate care. Avoid using regular scented soaps and body washes, but wash twice a day using an intimate soap. Wipe yourself clean after each toilet visit using intimate wipes. Keep your pubic hair trimmed or wax the whole area. And wear a panty liner every day, like Bodyform  Normal liners with ProSkin Formula, to keep the area fresh and clean.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important too. By limiting your intake of yeast and sugar and drinking plenty of water, you’ll not only reduce your chances of getting thrush and other V-zone infections, you’ll feel great.