Should You Use Skincare Down There?

Doctors say: No need to douche as the vagina is self-cleaning. But these products are for the outer area – the vulva – which gets dry.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Doctors say: No need to douche as the vagina is self-cleaning. But these products are for the outer area – the vulva – which gets dry.

The growing trend in beauty isn’t about products for the face. It’s skincare for the vulva, which is part of a woman’s external genital organs. Such products are said to brighten, tighten and soften the area. It’s skincare for the South.

The vulva is not the vagina. The latter is inside the body, and doctors stress there’s no need to wash it. Dr Chua Yang, a gynaecologist from A Clinic For Women, says douching should only be an exception – when you have a vaginal infection. “When you douche frequently, the flora of good bacteria in the vagina may get wiped out, letting bad bacteria get a foothold, and making the vagina susceptible to infection.”

From a medical standpoint, Dr Chua says the vulva is like your skin – clean it regularly with water and unperfumed soap; it already has its own natural protection. “There are no specific benefits in using any special products for your vulva,” she says.

Why would you want to use vulva care then? Everything from self-care (don’t neglect this important intimate area) to self-confidence. At least, that’s what the brands that offer such products say. 

Among them is homegrown brand Two Lips, the world’s first luxury intimate care range. It’s the brainchild of Spa Esprit Group founder Cynthia Chua, and launched in August 2018 with Blackout, an activated-charcoal mask. It now has a blemish fighter, brightener and serums – all for the vulva. 

Chua says: “Vulva care is a part of a holistic care regime, just like a face skincare ritual. I wanted to open up conversations about it and help women be completely confident. 

“Having never found a specialised range of intimate care products that proved effective, I was inspired to create my own.” 

Chua and her team worked with a chemist to formulate the products, which the brand says are made without sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals and artificial fragrances. It’s said to be gentle enough for sensitive skin. 

According to the brand, the vulva is so sensitive that even wearing pants that are too tight, or being on your period (with all its accompanying hormonal changes), can cause irritation. The products are there to soothe, treat and pamper the area.

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SCO Ace Cream ($90.95, from Strip salons and brightens skin on the face and vulva.

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Fur Oil (US$46 or S$64, from smooths out pubic hair and clears pores to reduce ingrown hair.

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Strip Ice Cream Moisturiser ($56, from Strip salons and calms skin after IPL or waxing.

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Two Lips Pout, ($180, from Strip salons and is a moisturising serum you can use on your vulva and face.