By Alana Bynes-Richardson
Artwork by Cindy Nguyen
Alright, it’s that time of year again. Roses are astronomically priced, heart-shaped boxed chocolates are out of stock and there seems to be a million jewelry pieces on sale. You guessed it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And if you forgot, think of this as a reminder!
Traditionally, V-Day is marketed towards couples and women. Buy this for her; she will love this, etc. All to lead up to some grand, romantic date or surprise. Underlying this scheme is the hope that the gifter will get laid. Let’s be honest, V-day used to mean, “what’s the most romantic way I can have sexy time with my partner?” In recent years, while the target has expanded, the premise has not. Sex is on the table for couples, singles and everything in between. But what’s most important is preparing for the day and that includes your vaginal health.
We spoke with Wendy Rose Berry, co-founder and CEO of conditionHER, about the importance of vaginal-health and how to properly care for it. Their health and wellness product is specifically designed to care for the vulva area (the outer part of the vagina), but men can benefit from it too. Discussing the genital area is generally considered “taboo talk.” But, this information is vital, y’all! Not only to be safe on V-Day (and in general) but to feel more confident about your intimate parts, especially during any kind of sexual intercourse. We asked Wendy how she and her partner, Eugenia Marshall, even came up with the product idea. Why shouldn’t women use the numerous oils and exfoliators already out there?
“There are no external products for the vulva area. It started as a joke [creating the brand] but it piqued so much interest for us. conditionHER maintains your pH balance, softens the hair, soothes the skin and helps with chafing. It will help with some more intimate issues, ” replied Wendy. The duo were also very intentional about formulating a product that was cream based. Everything we put on our bodies absorbs in some way and at different rates. However, creams (a mixture of oils and water) produce long-term hydration compared to some oils which are a “quick fix.” “Oils sit. It looks glossy and shiny on top of the skin but that’s not effective. The formula for conditionHER deeply penetrates the skin, making it an effective moisturizer for that particular area,” explained Wendy.
Even so, is moisturizing your intimate area OK? Why do so many doctors advise against it? It’s because store-bought lotions and products are not correctly attending to your needs. However, conditionHER was formulated by a PhD biochemist, cosigned by several different doctors and cleared by the European Unions’ EMA (a more rigorous process than the FDA).
But some doctors are mainly concerned with outside factors. In many cases, problems surrounding your vag or intimate areas are a direct result of what you put in your body.
That is why Wendy put together a 7 Step Basic Care Regimen for your lady parts! Below is a list you should add to your daily health and skin-care routine.
- 1. Keep the area clean. (Do you, boo! If there’s a product out there you’ve been using, keep it. Just make sure it is healthy and works well for your skin.)
- 2. Exfoliate! (This should be done a couple of times a week, especially before your shave/wax/laser day. We don’t want any in-grown hairs or dry patches!)
- Use an exfoliating glove
- Try sugaring
- 3. Moisturize! Here is where conditionHER steps in. Use this DAILY on any sensitive areas after you bathe or shower. (It can be used on your armpits and on your inner thighs to reduce chafing, too!)
- 4. Watch what you put in your body! What’s good to eat for your vag? Here’s a few items…
- Raw cranberries/ cranberry juice with NO sugar added
- Strawberries (great source of Vitamin C and builds collagen)
- Almonds (prevent vaginitis)
- Greek yogurt (say no to yeast infections!)
- Avocados (strengthen vaginal wall and enhance lubrication)
- 5. Recycle your undies EVERY 12 months. (We know that one lacy pair may hold some nostalgic feelings but it also holds so much bacteria!) Also, SMELL your panties. (Be familiar with your scent. You need to know if something changes down there which can be a cause for concern. It’s your body, get used to it!)
- 6. Your Gynecologist is your friend. (Make that appointment, sis! And keep up with it. You might not catch something but they should. That’s why we have doctors.)
- 7. Educate Yourself. Period. (Read up on Vag-Health. There’s no need to be ashamed.)
- Wendy recommends The Queen V by Dr. Jackie Walters for more information.
We know this product is called conditionHER but he or they can use it too. There is always a nosy significant other that discovers a product marketed towards a counterpart and tests it out. And with its attractive labeling, who wouldn’t want to try it out?! “We thought this is vulva care and this is what it’s made for. What we did not account for were the curious husbands, boyfriends and lovers that saw the bottle with the cute woman’s body…they had to know what it did,” said Wendy.
After reading that conditionHER could help prevent in-grown hairs, soften the hair and reduce chafing, guys were hooked. Plus, the lack of a scent was definitely a bonus. However, the way it felt on their skin was the real kicker. Runners were enticed by this moisturizer for chafing. Men who shave found a product that could help with razor burn on their beards and trim pubic hair. Now, Wendy, co-founder Eugenia Marshall and their team are brainstorming ways to attract more customers outside of their target market. “We are not chemists. We are women with vulvas. We are mothers. We just want it [the vagina] to be clean and stay the same.”
To learn more about vaginal-health, check out their FREE virtual Galentine’s event on February 3rd, 2021. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/convHERsationsSheDidThat