Come July, Singapore’s Spa Esprit Group, the personal grooming specialists behind Strip, will be launching a new range of skin care products for the vulva.
Yes, you read right. The vulva.
TWO L(IP)S aims to put the vulva front and centre of a women's cleansing and maintenance regime, offering 15 carefully curated products.
And it wasn't that long ago (2015, to be precise) when actress Gwyneth Paltrow raved about the benefits of vaginal steaming on her now infamous lifestyle website Goop. She recommended the V-steam, a non-scientifically proven process of sitting over a hot pot of water filled with wormwood and mugwort that will, in her own words, “cleanse your uterus”.
“It is an energetic release - not just a steam douche - that balances female hormone levels”, she said.
Early last year, Goop put forth another suggestion. This time it required putting a jade egg - yes, a solid object about the size of a golf ball - in your you-know-where, and keeping it there all day or while you're sleeping.
“The strictly guarded secret of Chinese royalty in antiquity - queens and concubines used them to stay in shape for emperors - jade eggs were said to harness the power of energy work and crystal healing” read the article.
Traditional secrets unveiled or just a bunch of Hollywood hooey? You decide.
But there’s no denying that in recent years, vagina beautification and self-care has come out come out of the fusty shadows and into the beauty limelight.
Here are some of the procedures available right now.
The V-steam is Paltrow’s Americanised version of a centuries-old practice that claims to boast a range of health benefits. Previously more common on the Asian subcontinent, the steaming of female genitalia over a pot of herb-infused boiling water is supposedly known for its curative effects on health and fertility.
Detoxifying the womb after childbirth, tightening the vaginal opening, improving blood circulation to the pelvic area, minimising odour, correcting digestive disorders, fighting infections, regulating menstrual cycles, reducing stress and aiding fertility are just some of its alleged healing powers.
It is not clear exactly where vaginal steaming originated from, but the ancient Greeks, Mayans, Koreans and Indonesians were all known to practise some form of vaginal cleansing using steam. The traditional ritual is known as “chai-yok” on Korea, “bajo” in Central and South America and “ganggang” in Indonesia and in several of Singapore’s Javanese spas. Doctors, however, have warned that steaming one’s nether regions could even lead to unpleasant side effects.
The combination of words says it all: The "vajacial" is, yes, a facial for your vagina.
A deep cleansing and exfoliating treatment designed specifically to treat the skin around the area, it aims to free your lady bits from ingrown hairs, prevent future ones from forming, and brighten up the area that usually never, ever sees the sun.
This non-invasive treatment is available in several Singapore salons but varies in procedure from place to place. The process generally starts with a wash, followed by a deep cleanse. Then an exfoliating scrub is applied to help open the pores for extracting any ingrown hairs, followed by a peel to penetrate the hair follicle at a deeper level and kill whatever bacteria that may cause infection.
A healing mask is then applied to calm the skin and reduce any irritation. The entire process which takes less than an hour ends with a moisturising cream.
A painless procedure, it is also said to help increase tightness and elasticity, exactly like your regular facial.
NON-SURGICAL VAGINA TIGHTENING
This alternative to vaginoplasty - a surgical procedure designed to tighten up a vagina that's become slack or loose from vaginal childbirth or ageing - is offered in Singapore at gynaecology/obstetrics clinics.
The procedure claims to help with laxity using radio-frequency waves or laser to stimulate the body’s natural collagen (the protein responsible for keeping the skin elastic) rebuilding processes.
A thumb-sized device tip is inserted into the opening and the frequencies or lasers are directed to mould the collagen and fibrous tissues in the vaginal wall to tighten both internally and externally.
No anaesthesia is needed, and the process is said to last no more than 30 minutes.
The Rosebud Vajuvenation treatment at Spa Esprit’s Strip claims to “tighten, lift and firm the labia" using a combination of radio frequency, vacuum suction and "heat energy”.
Another non-surgical option available in Singapore is plumping up the labia with hyaluronic acid fillers, commonly used on the face to fill the wrinkles. These fillers are not without their disadvantages to your feminine bits though, cautions aestheticsjournal.com. Infection, haematoma and labial asymmetry caused by lumping and drifting of the product are among the complications doctors have encountered, along with patients complaining of pain, nerve paralysis, bleeding and loss of sensation during sex.