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No Virginia, You Don’t Need an Activated Charcoal Mask For Your Vulva

Forget lumps of coal...next year everyone's getting one of these.

two l(i)ps

Readers, we live in a wild time. Back in the olden timey days, faux health experts would travel from town to town, peddling their cure-alls and elixirs as the answer to whatever ails you. And while these snake oil salesmen have long since disappeared, they have been replaced with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP website and a myriad of modern “wellness” experts looking to sell you on the Next Big Thing in health. And for some ungodly reason, most of these new “treatments” involve putting stuff on or in your private parts.

This includes such trends as jade vaginal eggs, which were promoted on GOOP as having medicinal benefits. Spoiler alert: they don’t, and GOOP was forced to settle a consumer protection lawsuit for $145,000. GOOP and Gwyneth also encouraged readers to steam their vaginas, and put ground up wasp’s nests in there as well (don’t do this, your vagina is not a terrarium).

Now, there’s an all-new product out there from companies that want you to feel bad about genitals: Two L(i)ps (get it?) is marketing an activated charcoal mask for your vulva:

The product description reads, “The world’s first infrared activated charcoal mask for your vulva. Blackout’s 4-step process soothes, detoxifies, brightens and moisturises the vulva, with the help of infrared activated charcoal to boost lymphatic drainage.”

no gif

(via ReactionGIFs)

And the price? $21 dollars for a single damn mask. Here’s the thing: unless your vulva is robbing a bank or assuming a superhero identity, it doesn’t need a mask. It doesn’t need anything really: the vagina is basically a self-cleaning oven, and douches and “feminine hygiene” potions and lotions are a scam invented by people who want to make money by shaming you for your lady parts. Adding anything down there can upset the delicate balance of good bacteria and lead to irritation, inflammation and possibly even infection.

But how do you know what you can and can’t use on your most delicate parts? Good news, I made you a flow chart:

should you put this in your vagina?

(image: Chelsea Steiner)

If you don’t believe me, take it from Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, an ob-gyn at Yale New Haven, who told Teen Vogue that, “[The mask] is absolutely unnecessary. The less potential irritants women place on their vulvovaginal tissues, the better. The vulvovaginal tissue is the most sensitive tissue in the body — and just about any foreign substance can irritate it.”

In summation, your privates are fine the way they are, and if something doesn’t feel right you should always ask a doctor and never ask Gwyneth Paltrow.

(via Teen Vogue, image: Two L(i)ps)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.