The V-zone is the new T-zone, with brands offering everything from moisturisers to mists to clean, hydrate and beautify down below. Experts say we can all benefit from a little more love in the region. Here’s how to keep things simple.
The key thing to understand is that the skin down there is different from the skin on your face because it has fewer sebaceous glands (those that produce oil). Still it can benefit from a wash-exfoliate-moisturise regimen. All bikini-specific brands popping up are dermatologist and gynaecologist tested to ensure efficacy and safety, making it the best argument for bikini-zone beautifiers.
(Also read: 5 Fun Facts About Bikinis You Didn’t Know)
Regular soap should be a no-go in your vagina, since pH maintenance is paramount.
Try: Lactacyd Feminine Hygiene Protecting Daily Feminine Wash ($13.90, Guardian). It’s formulated to support the vagina’s slightly acidic natural pH range of 3.8 to 4.5.
If you’re planning to shave your bikini area, you’ll exfoliate next. Getting rid of dead skin cells will help reduce the bumps and hyper pigmentation that shaving can cause.
Try: Perfect V Gentle Exfoliator ($47, theperfectv.com). It uses an alpha hydroxy acid buffered with jojoba oil.
A hydrating formula can help soothe skin; some formulas also come with the effect of brightening. Make sure any oils and lotions you apply are absorbed before getting dressed and avoid applying them before a workout to prevent irritation.
Try: Vagisil Daily Moisturising Fluid ($16.90, Guardian), which soothes skin with chamomile, aloe vera and vitamin E.
Try: Two Lips Blackout Mask ($110 for five sheets, Strip) moisturises and brightens your vulva.
Hyperpigmentation and ingrown hairs, the biggest bikini-line banes are usually caused by hair removal. The skin reacts to shaving or waxing by “inflating” – each follicle creates a bubble to try to protect the hair. If you commonly get ingrown hairs, waxing is the worst choice of hair removal. When the hair gets removed, the regrown strand can come in at an angle and lead to an ingrown. Laser hair removal done by professionals, in this case, will be your best bet.
Try: Gillette Venus Spa Women’s Razor ($17.40, Guardian) that comes with three blades for a close shave and moisture bars for a smooth glide.
(Also read: 5 Shaving Myths to Stop Believing)
A version of this story first appeared in Shape’s November 2018 issue.