Have you heard about the latest trend in skin treatments? It's not so much about what the treatments do as where the treatments go: Not on your face, not on your hands, not on your toes... these new beauty products are all about your vagina. While I'm all about self-care and indulging in a hot bubble bath, with some nice tea and even a facial mask — keyword, facial — I'm just not so sure I'm ready for vagina sheet masks, not to mention the other luminizing, moisturizing products out there for lady parts. Is there really something to this fad, or is it just another marketing ploy to get us women to spend even more money than we already do on beauty products?
I'll happily drop my hard earned money at Sephora every time I need a new mascara, bronzer or concealer, as I'm sure most of us girls do. Hey, we're all trying to achieve a flawless appearance, right? But vagina masks? Do we really need to beautify our vaginas as well as all the other areas of our bodies that we're pressured to perfect? The website for one of these brands uses the slogan "Love Your V" to market their product. Well, I already love my V, but there are certainly women who struggle with this issue. These products could be helpful for some, and I'm not even saying I won't try anything once — well, almost anything. So I checked in with expert Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, an OB/GYN at Yale University, to see if these products are worth the money (and more importantly safe). The items in question include a vulva sheet mask, vagina LIPstick (yup!), and various other exfoliators (ouch!), wipes, sprays, and so on... like this highlighter, Shades of V "Very V Luminizer" ($43, The Perfect V).
"The vulva and vagina are the most sensitive tissue in the body." She says she sees women in her office all the time but especially after Christmas when women are trying out their new beauty products, particularly bubble baths or other potential vulva and vaginal irritants. Dr. Minkin says, her patients get something that resembles a yeast infection that doesn't respond to over the counter treatment but is actually a skin irritation to a new bubblebath or soap. Still, these products are getting more and more popular; this "Blackout" activated charcoal vulva sheet mask from Two L(i)ps ($25, Two L(i)ps) is actually sold out worldwide, but you can pre-order now!
It's no surprise that there are potential dangers to developing an irritation whenever you try a new beauty product. So I asked if these products were worth the investment, and if they could truly be potentially helpful to women. Dr. Minkin says that while many "can occasionally end up with a mild imbalance in their pH in their vaginas," there are products that can help correct those imbalances. She explains, "if you do notice a bit of an odor, it's fine to use something like an over the counter product called RepHresh, which will help rebalance the pH and make the environment more acidic."
"But in general," she adds, "that's about as aggressive as you need to be on caring for the vulva and the vagina. You don't need any other hygiene type products in that area."
When asked if there were any risks to using these types of below-the-belt treatments, Dr. Minkin stated, "the risks certainly outweigh any potential gain... there are far better ways to spend your money than on any of these vulvar beauty products." If the experts aren't on board (even calling some of these products "ridiculous"), then I think it's safe to say you should do some serious research before you buy.
Still, while this product is a hard sell for me, I can see what the appeal would be to some women. Just proceed with caution, because you don't want to wind up in your doctors office with an irritated lady. Not only is that a drag because of the discomfort, but seriously, talk about a wasted couple of hours. I mean, who has time for that?