Vaginal bleaching. There's two words you don't hear used together very often.
Even as our society grows more comfortable with the idea of beauty treatments for private parts - for example, bikini waxes are no longer taboo - the topic of vaginal bleaching is still relegated to whispers between girlfriends and assumed to be the domain of porn stars and strippers. Just like bikini waxes used to be.
There are, however, a pretty large number of us who aren't thrilled with the hue of our most intimate regions and we aren't afraid to do something about it! Yes, we know that the color of our vag has nothing to do with our self worth. Yes, we understand that most men do not care what hue our privates are.
But hey, we want to lighten things up a bit 'cause that's what we want - and instead of politicizing vaginal bleaching and getting caught up in the nitty gritty of what this says about our self esteem, we just want to know how to go about doing it in the safest, least painless way possible.
If that sounds like you - follow along for everything you need to know about vaginal bleaching and how to do it without harming your precious lady bits!
What is Vaginal Bleaching Anyway?
One huge downside to making any topic taboo is that it creates room for misinformation and misunderstanding to dominate. And, unfortunately, that tends to be the case when it comes to matters of vaginal bleaching.
So the very first thing you need to know is what vaginal bleaching is and is not. What it most definitely is not: it does not involve bleach, as in the traditional bleach you would use to scrub your bathtub or whiten your clothes.
What it is: vaginal bleaching is simply a term that refers to lightening the pigmentation of your vaginal skin, specially the vulva, which can become discolored due to a number of things like:
- Rubbing and chafing due to tight clothing and underwear
- Excess sweating and irritation
- Hormonal changes caused by age and childbirth
Whatever the reason, there's just no need to live with a vaginal color that you aren't happy about. Just like you wouldn't embrace dark spots appearing on your face as simply "a part of you," there's no reason to accept hyperpigmentation on your vulva, especially if you don't feel comfortable with it.
And especially since there are a number of ways to gently and safely lighten your vagina. Here's a roundup of your options when it comes to vaginal bleaching - as well as a guide on how to lighten your private area!
Natural Home Remedies for Vaginal Lightening
If the thought of vaginal lightening still scares the bejeezus out of you, you'll want to choose an option that eases you into the process. The easiest and most gentle way to gradually lighten your private area is to reach for natural ingredients that gradually exfoliate your vaginal skin to smooth away dead skin cells and speed up cell turnover.
If exfoliating your vajayjay sounds crazy, just keep in mind that vaginal skin is essentially skin and it can also benefit from a mild exfoliation. The key word here is: mild. You never want to use the same level of exfoliation on your delicate vaginal skin as you would on tougher skin like your knees and elbows.
Lucky for you, there are a number of natural exfoliants that you can use safely on your vagina that will help lighten your vulva area over time. The best home remedies to brighten up your vagina? Here are a few ingredients you can use for at home vaginal lightening...
- Yogurt. This creamy, lovely stuff contains lactic acid to speed up cell turnover and reveal newer, brighter skin. Plus, not only is it gentle enough to use on your fragile vaginal skin but it can also be helpful for the vaginal ecosphere, helping to prevent vaginal yeast and bacteria infections. Win win.
- Fruit enzymes. A number of fruits contains enzymes that serve as natural exfoliators - but you need to keep in mind that not all of them are appropriate for your vagina. Lemons and other citrus fruits, for example, are too harsh to use as a vaginal lightener. Papaya can also be a bit much for sensitive skin and also should be avoided by anyone with latex allergies. Pumpkin, on the other hand, has exfoliating enzymes as well as antioxidants and fatty acids. It's non-irritating as well, making it a good pick for gentle vaginal exfoliation.
- Activated charcoal and honey. Activated charcoal is a deep, deep-reaching cleanser that draws out impurities and gunk from deep within your pores. Mixed with honey, it forms a great, simple mask that helps lighten vaginal skin. Extra perk? It's been shown to effectively treat the malodor and secretion of bacterial vaginosis without negatively affecting normal vaginal bacterial flora.
- Pearl powder. Want to lighten and seriously pamper your vajayjay? Try pearl powder - it contains a unique protein known as conchiolin, which gives pearls that luminous shine they're prized for and boosts collagen production, speed up exfoliation of dead skin cells, encourages skin cell turnover and even has antioxidant properties that slow down melanin production.
As you can see, this isn't a long list. That's 'cause there may be a ton of natural skin lightening remedies out there but most of them are inappropriate to use on delicate vaginal skin. Not only can using harsh remedies - no matter how "natural" - can be really irritating for the vaginal skin, but it can mess with the pH of your vaginal area and lead to unwanted side effects like yeast infections.
And ain't nobody got time for that. So be wary of doing things that rubbing lemon juice or using baking soda down there!
Also, keep in mind that as great as these natural home remedies for vaginal lightening are, you'll want to go in with tempered expectations. These natural remedies are mostly only capable of exfoliation, which produces only a slight lightening and brightening but cannot actually whiten your vagina since they have no ability to block the melanin that causes the skin darkening.
So when you're ready to actually lighten the vagina by a shade or more, you'll want to move onto vaginal lightening creams that contain melanin inhibitors...
Vaginal Bleaching Creams
The above natural skin lighteners are great for subtly lightening and brightening your skin but if you're looking to whiten your vagina much lighter than it is now, you'll need an ingredient that effectively inhibits melanin production.
Enter melanin inhibitors. These guys are the true lightening, whitening agents. They go to work inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme and interfering with the melanin production process. Over time, your skin stops producing as much melanin. Result = a lighter vagina.
But it's not quite as simple as finding a melanin inhibitor and rubbing it on your vagina. Here's what you need to know about vaginal lighteners to get the best, safest results:
- Synergy. The best way to get the full benefits of melanin inhibitors is to look for a vaginal bleaching cream or lotion that combines a few potent melanin inhibiting ingredients, allowing you to benefit from the synergistic effect of several different ingredients working together.
- Exfoliants included. Even better if the vaginal lightening cream contains gentle, natural exfoliants to help slough off dead skin cells and help the skin lightening ingredients penetrate deeper.
- Moisture matters. Even the gentlest skin lightening agents can irritate sensitive skin so make sure the vaginal bleaching cream you choose contains plenty of hydrating, soothing, nourishing ingredients as well.
- Intended for intimate areas. There are tons of lightening lotions and fade creams out there - but the majority of them are not formulated to be appropriate for highly delicate, sensitive skin like your nipples or vaginal area. So make sure you go with a vaginal lightening cream that is intended for the intimate regions!
- Hydroquinone or not. Hydroquinone is one of the most well-known, effective skin lightening agents on the market but it can also cause redness, stinging, and dryness - not exactly the sort of thing you want happening to your sensitive vaginal skin. For this reason, we'd suggest skipping hydroquinone and going with all natural melanin inhibitors since they're gentler on your skin.
The exception to the skip-hydroquinone rule is when it comes to the crease where your vaginal area meets your inner thighs. The skin there is not as fragile and hydroquinone could be an appropriate option for that area, as long as you stick to the guidelines on using hydroquinone safely.
Okay, now that you know what to look for in a good vaginal bleaching cream, here's a quick look at some of the best ones on the market...
Intimate Area Lightening Gel
This is probably our favorite natural vaginal lightening cream as of now, thanks to the fact that it's super gentle while containing the most effective medley of natural skin lightening ingredients like Kojic Acid, Licorice Extract, Mulberry Extract, and Bearberry Extract - all of which inhibit tyrosinase activity to lighten and brighten vaginal color.
It also contains a potent combination of chemical exfoliants like lactic acid and glycolic acid, which helps even out blotchy and uneven vaginal discoloration. The downside is that the higher concentration of glycolic acid can be a bit harsh, especially if your vagina has never been exfoliated before. So start small and use sparingly until your vaginal skin gets used to it.
Quick tip: Something as simple as olive oil or Vitamin E oil is a great way to keep your vagina moisturized!
Pink Privates Intimate Lightening Cream
If your vulvar skin is sensitive and easily irritated, you'll want to go with something that contains simpler, more nourishing ingredients.
Pink Privates lives up to its name, gently but effectively transitioning your privates into a lighter, pinker color. This one's perfect for sensitive areas like the vajayjay since it's gentle enough and has a great combination of super nourishing, hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil and hyaluronic acid to nurture sensitive vaginal skin.
To actually lighten the vagina, Pink Privates uses Alpha Arbutin, a botanical and naturally-occurring, safer derivative of hydroquinone that blocks melanin activity to gradually lighten the skin.
Lactacyd Whitening Daily Feminine Wash
This one obviously isn't a cream - it's a vaginal wash, which means it can be used alongside with any vaginal bleaching cream you choose to speed up results.
It works well enough on its own as well, with melanin inhibitors like Pachynhizus Erosus Root Extract as well as gentle exfoliants like Lactic Acid, but combined with a potent vaginal lightening cream - it forms part of a tag team for quicker, lighter results.
Vaginal Lightening Laser Treatments
The last option for those who want a quick solution and have the funds to afford it is laser vaginal bleaching treatments, aka intimate area laser resurfacing. This is not the sort of thing you want to have done at a spa or neighborhood salon - it's best you seek out a qualified and experienced medical professional.
Laser vaginal bleaching is exactly what it sounds like: the procedure uses a special laser to remove the melanin layer (aka, darker colored tissues) in the vaginal area, resulting in a lighter vagina.
Each treatment session is pretty short - just 10 to 15 minutes - but you'll typically need 3 or more sessions, depending on how much vaginal lightening you seek. The biggest perk of vaginal laser lightening is that you're able to lighten the vagina fairly quickly and without much effort on your part.
The downside, of course, is that the procedure is pricey and can cost several hundred dollars per session. Considering you'll most likely need to have several sessions, the costs can add up quick.
Tips on Safe Vaginal Bleaching
Now that you know the options you have for lightening your vagina, here are a few tips to keep in mind!
- External only. No matter what you're using - be it a vaginal bleaching cream or a home remedy - please apply it only to the labia majora. We have two sets of "lips" down there - the larger, fleshier and hair-covered labia majora that forms the external part and the smaller, smooth labia minora that tucker insider those. Stick to lightening only the external area as getting even the gentlest creams on your inner lips (and inside the vagina) can cause unnecessary irritation and upset vaginal pH balance.
- Be patient. No vaginal bleaching creams produce instant results. Not even laser treatments do. Keep in mind that it took awhile for the darker melanin formation to happen and it'll also take time for it to gradually fade.
- Maintenance matter. Nothing in life is really permanent. In the same way that you wouldn't exfoliate your face once and expect the results to last - one you get the color you want, expect to maintain it. That doesn't mean you have use a lightening cream every day forever, but it may mean that you'll work it into your weekly schedule or use it every other day to maintain results.