An emerging trend in vaginal skin care is launching new product lines, so we examine whether it really does your body good.
At that moment, I swore I was the only woman in the world who didn’t pay enough attention to my groin’s beauty. Was I the only one who didn’t know that pube oil existed? Am I the only who’s basically been ignoring the area for almost 25 years?!
Semi-ashamed and burning with curiosity, I looked into it a bit more to decide if I, too, should start investing in specialty private-part potions. I discovered a few things all women should know.
The popularity of vaginal skin care is growing… but it’s not exactly new.
Turns out the origin of vulva-based beauty actually goes back further than you’d expect. As grooming is a natural urge in humans, it’s natural to want to extend that downstairs, too. Take the French, for instance. The bidet originated in France in the 17th century, and their preference for vagina-targeted wipes has been part of beauty culture for years.
And according to Avonda Urben, founder of vaginal skin care line The Perfect V, apparently Scandinavian women are super into groin care, too, and a skincare line like theirs is totally overdue.
I had no idea. While my girlfriends and I normally gab about mascara and facials, we never talk about enhancing our lady parts (minus the occasional bikini wax). Perhaps because there are no “vaginal skin care” shelves next to facial serums and shampoos in the beauty aisles, but talking about oiling my pubes would just make me uncomfortable.
UNLESS, maybe if I was doing it for necessary hygienic reasons (because good hygiene is always something you want to flaunt to your friends), I’d broach the topic.
So what’s the deal?
Are vaginal skincare products necessary or just a luxurious splurge?
Here’s the quick answer: unless there are specific medical issues (odor, itchiness, or pain, for example), your vagina is fine the way it is.
But (and it’s a big but), there ARE reasons you might want to give it some focused TLC.
Like maybe you’re not using vagina-friendly ingredients in the shower, or applying them in the right place.
“The skin type in areas such as the vagina and buttock are different than the rest of the body,” explains Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, OB/GYN, adding that private areas are very sensitive and can absorb chemicals from products if they’re used incorrectly.
Richardson says to stay away, foremost, from products with fragrance.
“The wrong products can destroy the normal vaginal flora and increase the risk of infections,” she says. “In addition, when the vaginal area is disturbed it can cause vaginal dryness, pain with intercourse, and increase the risk of STIs.”
Richardson says to look for products that are fragrance-free, non-hormonal and rejuvenate vaginal tissues from any dryness issues.
Another key aspect of safe care down there is where you’re putting product.
“Despite being targeted towards the genitals, these creams should be applied on the outside only,” Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, warns.
In other words, don’t slather your pube oils on your labia (and err, the inside part).
There’s another reason why the vulva may need some extra-special care: discomfort. It’s a sensitive area, and like other bodily places, surrounding skin can be prone to dryness (and resultant itchiness and discomfort) and breakouts. Plus, pubic grooming can result in ingrown hairs during regrowth.
So, if you do want to tackle these issues, which brands can help you go about it?
Well, there are two brands really at the fore of healthy, safe, and (importantly) pleasant to use pubic care: FUR and The Perfect V.
FUR’s standout product is of course their Emma Watson-approved oil, an all-natural blend designed to work on all hairs, but particularly suited to the dry, frizzy stuff. It’s deeply conditioning (more so than a typical “hair oil”) and certainly does make pubic hair softer and sleeker.
But it also has extra, vulva-focused benefits. It’s antimicrobial, antiseptic, and designed to reduce inflammation, making it ideal for preventing and treating ingrown hairs.
“FUR is gynecologically and dermatologically tested to ensure that they are safe to use on the most sensitive areas,” says Sara Jane Emmons, community manager at FUR.
It’s also fast-absorbing, meaning getting dressed post-shower won’t turn into an oily nightmare.
Personally, I’ve been loving Fur Oil. Post-shower, I massage in a few drops, and things have gone from “mad professor” to “Afghan hound.” I also like to put it on my eyebrows, in my eternal quest to become Frida Kahlo.
The Perfect V offers a more extensive range of beauty products for the pubic triangle.
The “Very V” beauty cream is essentially a pubic-centric moisturizer that prevents ingrown hairs and gentle exfoliates the pores.
Their serum is designed to be a more “treatment-y” version of a typical moisturizer. As well as boosting skin hydration, it also gives a temporary tightening and smoothing effect.
And perhaps the most innovative of the bunch is the “Luminizer.” Essentially a makeup product for the pubic area, this gives both smoothing hydration and a hint of non-sparkly glow. It also helps boost the tone of skin over time, apparently, with vitamin E, antioxidants and elderflower extract.
While committing to an entire skincare regimen for only my V felt a little excessive, I really enjoyed these products.
Maybe it’s psychological (as, let’s face it, many things are with beauty) but taking a bit of time on something superficial makes me feel calmer, happier, and hotter. Plus, they are all gentle, soft, and nicely formulated, which obviously helps.
So it seems like these products aren’t just for vanity. They’re really to keep you safe and comfortable. Beauty (notably extra-glossy pubic hair) happens to be a bonus.
After considering the safety of my lady parts, I think I might be more open to vaginal skin care. Really, it kind of makes sense. Most of the “beauty maintenance” done in this area tends to err on the side of harsh. Giving it some care once in a while might not be so extra after all.
And if the side effect is that it looks better (more evenly toned pubic skin and shiny pubic hair), I still might not brag about it to my friends but it’s certainly something I wouldn’t mind having.
Plus, now when someone complains about their post-wax redness or post-shave ingrown hairs, I’ll have some very personal advice to dispense. Can’t wait for that conversation.