UPDATE: Hey guys, we wanted to address some concerns over this topic. We appreciate and respect everyone’s opinions on this subject and want to express that we do not feel lightening your vulva (what some refer to as their vagina/ lady parts/ VJJ,) is necessary. We are in no way implying that people should be brightening their vulva area, but we did want to address the topic to answer the many comments we received on the blog. The main purpose of this post is to give information on what causes pigmentation in this area, not to lighten the skin but to brighten the discoloration and pigmentation to give a more even skin tone, for those that want to.
We’ve seen a lot of harmful DIYs on the internet, so we hope this post provides the best information on the topic and offers safe advice for those looking to understand this. Since publishing, we’ve added some extra info to this post to clarify the topic and to help you make a more informed decision.
One common question we always get asked whenever we do a DIY brightening hack is, “Can we use it on our lady parts?” To which we always answer that this area is super sensitive, and it should be avoided. But, because so many of you guys have been reaching out, we wanted to give you the full scoop. The thing is, everyone’s vulva (aka the external skin around your vagina) is different, they’re all different colors and shapes, which is totally normal. Some women may find that this area has a different tone that is darker to the skin elsewhere on their body, which is due to pigmentation – again, totally normal, and not something you need to worry about or feel that you should change. However, if having a more even skin tone is something you’re interested in, then we want to provide you with the safest information surrounding this topic.
We had a look online and found tons of ‘DIY vagina lightening hacks,’ so we ran them past dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, to give you some extra information. So, we’re busting myths as to why trying to brighten your lady parts with natural ingredients may not be working and should be avoided, and why this happens in the first place.
Why can the vulva be much darker than other areas of the body?
“The problem with vaginal skin is that it has the highest density of melanocytes (the cells that make pigment) than anywhere in the body. It’s an area where there can be a good amount of friction from walking and exercise,” Dr. Day says.
Does lemon juice, yogurt, coconut oil or egg white work to balance pigmentation on the vulva?
Dr. Day tells us that, “DIY options are really very limited for lightening pigmentation. Lemon juice is one of the better options but really not a good one because I don’t think it will do very much. The idea behind yogurt is that it has lactic acid in, which is a mild exfoliant, but again not in a high enough concentration to make a difference to skin pigment. Egg white won’t do anything but may be helpful as a thickening agent, so the other ingredients don’t run all over the place. Coconut oil is fine to be used, it contains fatty acids and vitamin E that can brighten skin, but it would take years to see results.” Overall, Dr. Day does not recommend trying any DIY procedures and suggests first taking advice from your gynecologist.
What can you do to get a more even tone down there?
It’s easier to avoid the hyperpigmentation (darkening) than it is to treat it, so here are some ideas of how you could improve it:
- Skin chafing and dry skin can lead to friction, which can cause darkening so be aware of your clothing choices and consider a chafe balm.
- Treat infections early. If you’re prone to yeast infections, this can lead to itching, which causes rubbing and therefore leads to darkening.
- Avoid douches: These as well as other treatments can irritate the area.
- See your dermatologist or gynecologist who can advise you.