Everything You Need to Know About Vaginal Skincare
It’s no surprise that the skincare industry is booming. Whether it’s the latest serum to go viral on TikTok or another new celebrity-backed moisturizer, products that promise younger-looking, clearer, softer, less wrinkled, plumper skin equal big bucks for beauty brands. But lately, another area of the body has been garnering the attention of the biz: the vulva.
Not to be confused with the vagina (the canal inside the body), the vulva is the outer female genital area, including the labia and the clitoris. Intimate-care products (typically marketed to cisgender heterosexual women) have gotten a glossy makeover compared to the potions and powders of the past. These days, cheekily named lotions in chic minimalist packaging are proudly on display next to Byredo fragrances and La Mer serums on vanities. With a slew of self-care-angled products to choose from—everything from sheet masks to scrubs to cleansers—skincare specifically created for these intimate areas appears to be gaining in popularity.
This could be because vaginas have been quietly trending over the past few years. According to Nature.com’s IJIR: Your Sexual Medicine Journal, there was a 73.3 percent increase worldwide in labiaplasty (a surgery that alters the size of your labia) in 2019 compared to 2015. Aside from questioning whether vulvas actually need to be beautified (spoiler alert: they 100 percent do not), we should also be asking: Is vulva-targeted skincare necessary? And are these products a way for women to feel empowered or are they just another marketing gimmick to create more shame and stigma around the female body?