Does Your Vagina Need a Spa Day?
“All the grooming of the pubic hair, whether it’s shaving, waxing, lasering, can really lead to the ingrown hairs, the blemishes that you can get into the dryness,” says Dr. Ross. “You can loofah the skin after these types of hair-removal processes to prevent the acne and ingrown hair. Certain antibacterial soaps and lotions are also very helpful. Keeping the razor blade clean—you just really have to be mindful of things that are kind of basic to prevent that process. Week after week, year after year, this can cause the dryness and really premature aging of the vulva. I see it all the time, and just because it itches and burns, it doesn’t mean you have a yeast infection.”
As for discoloration, Dr. Ross says it’s pretty hard to avoid and brighten—but that’s OK because discoloration is totally normal! So whether you have ingrown hairs or even a few blemishes, Dr. Ross notes that you can take care of a lot of these issues at home or with your gynecologist, which is why there’s no need to book that trendy vajaycial.
“I’m not a big fan of some of these vulva facials, lasering, rejuvenations, the steam cleaning,” she says. “I think those are more gimmicky, like if you do start from the beginning and you learn the right hygiene habits, and if you learn to moisturize the vulva, you’re not going to have this dehydrated problem of the skin, the more you’re going to really pick and choose some feminine hygiene rituals to prevent the aging and irrigation and dryness that you get because you’re not taking care of it.”
So what can you do to start prepping your vaginal and vulvar areas for their best look and feel? According to Dr. Ross, hydration is overall key to this area: Try using a vulva-sensitive product like a moisturizer to help combat dehydration, and soaking in a warm bath with extra-virgin coconut oil (not a bath bomb, which are known to offset the vagina’s pH balance) will also help pamper your land down under. Dr. Ross also wants you to remember to actually clean this area using a special technique.
“You want to clean the entrance to the vagina, the introitus, and I even take a knuckle or two and I clean the immediate inside of the vagina, but not as important as just doing your daily care,” she says. “You don’t need all those other steaming, cleaning, trips to spas for more fad-like claims of anti-aging. It’s like anything you do consistently, as long as you can. That’s going to give you and yield the best results.”
But no matter what you do, Dr. Ross says the most important thing when caring for your vagina is consistency. She says to practice these cleaning and pampering steps frequently in order to keep your vagina hydrated and healthy.
“I really believe, just like a facial, it’s not really going to change the nature of your face unless you’re doing something consistently,” she says. “Just like any area, because we know the vagina ages, I honestly think it’s consistent with the way you care for the area. Hydrating, avoiding things that are going to irritate are going to be your best go-to. If you’re treating your lady parts correctly, you’re not going to have problems. If you’re treating your vulva and your vagina like your face and if you’re consistent, you’re not going to have these kinds of problems.”
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