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June 15, 2010 7:22 AM   Subscribe

Will beer soap disrupt my girl parts?

I bought some beer soap from a soapmaker. The beer used in it is Guinness. Is this safe for me to use on my parts? Could yeast transfer and cause an infection? (I am not especially prone)

I realize this question is a bit rediculous, but hopefully someone with soap science or beer science knowledge can assure me that I'll be fine.
posted by WeekendJen to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)

Best answer: Guinness beer is pasteurized and filtered, so I doubt there's any living yeast still in it. You should be fine.
posted by King Bee at 7:41 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: Additionally, soap making is generally very hot so that the soap can be poured into a mold. The actual amount of real beer in the bar is probably negligible and the heat would probably kill any beer bugs.

Furthermore, I go easy on my girl parts. Really, they get warm water and a hand wash. I don't think I get soap on up in there. Seems to work for me and I've had no complaints.
posted by amanda at 7:44 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: I've made beer (also Guinness) soap several times, and have used it on my girl parts with no problems at all. The beer is mixed with lye as part of the soap-making process. The lye kills the yeast in the beer. You'll be fine and so will your hoohah. It's a good question though!
posted by iconomy at 7:50 AM on June 15, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all, I now feel safe washing with my soap.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:10 AM on June 15, 2010

Would the yeast in beer even cause a yeast infection? Same animal (saccharomyces cerivisae)?
posted by sagwalla at 9:06 AM on June 15, 2010

IANAD, but my understanding as a health educator and sufferer of yeast infections is that you don't need to worry about yeast from the outside getting in, but rather the yeast (Candida albicans) that already lives in your body in a reasonable, non-irritating quantity finding something to feed on and then growing out of control. That something is often sugar, so avoiding soaps and personal intimacy products that contain sugar is a good idea. Yeast overgrowth can also be triggered by hormonal changes (some women get yeast infections just before their periods, and some get them while on hormonal birth control pills), antibiotics, a weakened immune system, or simply keeping the area warm and moist for too long by, say, wearing underwear that doesn't "breathe" or staying in wet or sweaty clothes for too long.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:04 AM on June 15, 2010

Response by poster: Hmmm, rhiannonstone, that makes sense because I suppose if you introduced more yeast than your body could support with its naturally occuring "yeast-food" then the excess yeast would "starve" and die. Clearly, I'm no scientist, never thought of that angle.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:11 AM on June 15, 2010

Technically you're not supposed to wash down there with more than water (and maybe a very gentle soap). It's "self-cleaning" and otherwise you can mess up the PH.

Just to let you know that your question might not even be necessary.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:56 PM on June 15, 2010

If it's a mild soap without fragrances or other irritants, it's probably no more harmful to your body than whatever you're using now. I have no knowledge of soapmaking, but presumably a professional soapmaker produces product with a consistent PH level.

I've never found a need to use soap on my vulva (medical advice) and haven't had any yeast infections.
posted by thatdawnperson at 4:02 PM on June 15, 2010

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