First popping onto the beauty-meets-wellness scene in 2018, vagina masks — or the more technically correct 'vulva masks' — recently sprang back onto the radar after a popular Australian influencer launched one as part of a line of intimate 'skincare for down there'. Think of it as a sheet mask for downstairs.
Billed as an opportunity for "self-pampering" that offers "assistance with texture, blemishes and rough skin caused by hair removal and ageing" the masks retail for $25 each and feature a number of ingredients you'll find in many standard skincare products, such as pineapple fruit extract, willow bark extract and probiotics.
But do you really need a vagina mask? And would it actually help with 'wrinkles' and 'blemishes'?
According to Brisbane-based gynaecologist and fertility specialist Dr. Devini Ameratunga, vaginal masks may do more harm than good.
"The vagina and vulva are a very sensitive area and, in general, least is best in terms of irritants and topical products," Dr. Ameratunga tells marie claire.
"We know this because the vagina has a self-cleaning mechanism and because vulval and vaginal irritation is not an uncommon problem that we see in medicine.
"Due to the sensitive nature and also due to the fact that irritation can occur from physical means (underwear, intercourse, shaving and waxing), as well as hormonal changes (for example, menopause), gynaecologists often advise not to use any products in the region unless prescribed specifically for a condition. Once irritation occurs, the symptoms can be difficult to treat and annoying."
Besides the fact that such a product really just adds an unnecessary step to your beauty routine, it's also not likely to be effective given its topical nature, Dr. Ameratunga emphasises.
"Every woman's anatomy is very different. Wrinkles and discoloration may occur naturally with time due to age (rather than sun damage for instance that we would see on our face) but it is very unlikely that a topical product would make any positive difference to the appearance of wrinkles in that region," she adds.
"I would be very cautious about applying products that could change the pH, irritate and may cause harm on balance. If there are symptoms of anything unusual of course see your GP or gynaecologist for a review."