These days, it seems like the vagina is the most pampered body part. There’s vaginal steaming, which claims to “cleanse” your nether regions. If you search “yoni egg” — a device inserted inside the vagina — on Etsy, there are more than 1,800 results. In fact, taking care of your vagina is so trendy, you can even buy Moon Juice Holy Yoni Adaptogenic Oil at Urban Outfitters for the low, low price of $48.
In a quest to get to the bottom of this trend, I started researching some products. I wanted to know: Is the product necessary? If it isn’t necessary, does it feel like a legitimate indulgence? And, finally, is it worth the price?
Read on to find out more about the latest products for your vagina.
This is the product that awoke my newfound curiosity for vagina-related products. I’ve passively followed Moon Juice’s rise for a few years, mainly through Instagram. It’s in the business of self-described “intelligent self-care,” with plant-based options including skincare, adaptogens — a fancy word for herbal supplements — and a 15-day supply of hair vitamins for $60. In 2017, the New York Times Magazine ran an article about the company’s founder with the title: “How Amanda Chantal Bacon Perfected the Celebrity Wellness Business: Deciphering the rise of a lifestyle guru who sells self-absorption as the ultimate luxury product.”
You get the picture.
The Holy Yoni oil — I’m a diehard feminist, but seriously, that name is a little much — claims to “improve skin elasticity” with ingredients such as Bulgarian rose oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and Schisandra — translation: magnolia — berry extract. It recommends applying three drops for “passion, pleasure, and daily maintenance!” While it does seem to work as a moisturizer, I don’t think it’s worth the $48, especially since you can purchase sweet almond oil on its own for a fraction of the price.
I’m all about a nice long soak in the tub, so I was a little more open to the idea of this product. Plus, at $6.25 for three bath bombs, the price is right. It’s made with orange peel oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and rosemary oil. That all sounds pleasant, right? Plus, this claims to be recommended by gynecologists, as it’s dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, pH-balanced, paraben-free, glycerin-free, and alcohol-free. To be honest, if I’m going to put something that close to my nether regions, it needs to meet all of that criteria.
I’m not sure if these bath bombs do anything in terms of my “flora” — a less scary term for vaginal bacteria — but it definitely gets the job done if you want to ease your menstrual cramps. Who knows if it’s the hot water of a bath or the essential oils, but something seems to be working.
I’ve heard a lot about vaginal steaming from a family member who swears by it; she has a fistula resulting from a surgery that went awry a few years ago, and she claims it’s the only thing that really brings her comfort. I had a slight bias going into this review, but honestly, it surpassed my already high expectations. First of all, the ingredients are fantastic and straightforward: motherwort, mugwort, basil, rosemary, calendula, chamomile, lavender, and roses. Plus, it’s all organic. However, I’m not sure if a vaginal steam does everything the product description claims, such as “detoxification of the womb, body, and mind.” Still, I can get down with a nice, relaxing steam, especially if it’s relatively inexpensive, like this one.
I think the hardest part about vaginal steaming is the setup. Unless you want to splurge on your own steam set, you can do it with a regular kitchen pot. Just make sure not to scare your partner or roommate if they happen to walk into your makeshift setup.
Don’t worry; this isn’t a douche. Rather, it’s an external wash for your bits. Yes, it feels good. Still, I feel like this product is in a similar vein with some of the other products I reviewed. Sure, it’s got great ingredients — tea tree oil, cranberry, lavender, chamomile, and more — but I’m just not sure if it’s necessary. I’ve gone my entire life without needing a separate product to wash my vagina in the shower, and I don’t really think I need to start now. For me, part of getting older means simplifying my life, and that includes the amount of products in my shower. Long story short, not worth the price.
Also, as a queer woman, I need to mention something. Not all women have vaginas, and not all people who have vaginas describe themselves with the gendered term of “feminine.” Maybe a review of products for vaginas isn’t the place to start that dialogue, but honestly, it’s been bothering me. Rant over.
I had to save this one for last. I mean, just look at that name; you get it, right? Also, it’s a vulva charcoal mask. In terms of all things extra, this is the most extra of them all. For $25, this mask allegedly “soothes, detoxifies, brightens and moisturizes the vulva with the help of infrared activated charcoal to boost lymphatic drainage to rejuvenate the skin.”
Now, let’s dissect that sentence. First of all, detoxing your body is a myth. Secondly, I Googled “what is infrared activated charcoal,” and all that came up was a long list of scientific studies with big words like “spectroscopy,” which literally has something to do with electromagnetic radiation. Now, I didn’t spend a ton of time researching this, but I feel like maybe infrared activated charcoal isn’t really a thing? Finally, lymphatic drainage is a trendy phrase, and its validity is widely debated.
With all of that in mind, this vulva mask — just typing those words makes me shudder — seems ridiculously unnecessary, especially at that price. Maybe it’s the anti-capitalist feminist in me, but I can’t help but wonder: Are all of these products just another way for companies to make money off of our insecurities?
I might just have to ponder that question in my tub with a bath bomb.