The Very V Luminizer claims to add "instant radiance" to your lady parts. Here's what an ob-gyn thinks.

July 27, 2017

Highlight, soften, and illuminate—that's what a new cream promises to do for your lady parts. Yep, Very V Luminizer is makeup for your vulva.

According to Scandinavian brand The Perfect V, the product prevents dark spots, renews and improves the skin, and leaves the whole area looking glowy and fresh. A small drop creates "instant radiance."

The company told Health that the Very V Luminzer had been tested by a gynecologist and a dermatologist, and that the Luminizer is intended for use on the bikini area only. But San Francisco-based ob-gyn Jennifer Gunter, MD, is wary of this highlighter for down there. In a recent blog post she raised a host of concerns about the company's claims, and what ingredients might be in the product.

“The biggest health risk is irritation or allergic reaction,” Dr. Gunter told Health via email. Since the skin on the vulva is more sensitive than on other parts of the body, it’s common for women to experience adverse reactions, like contact dermatitis, from topical agents. Dr. Gunter points out that some skin-lightening products contain substances like mercury or steroids, which—shocker—aren’t appropriate for cosmetic use. “As the ingredient list is unknown, there could be other concerns,” she says. 

If you’re prone to vulvar dryness and looking for a moisturizer, Dr. Gunter suggests instead trying a mild soap, coconut oil, or a product with hyaluronic acid (like Vagisil) for healthy hydration. And if you're concerned about dark patches or other skin changes in your bikini area, talk to a vulvar specialist, she urges.

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In the age of vagina glitter capsules and jade eggs, The Perfect V argues that its line of products for your "V" is empowering: “We mean to communicate a feeling—not a specific look,” CEO Avonda Urben wrote in an email to Health. “Every woman’s V is perfect and she should feel great about it.”

But Dr. Gunter begs to differ about the message behind the Very V Luminizer. As she put it in her blog post, "insinuating that vulvas need extra prettiness is not a very empowering message. At all."

Instead it suggests women should feel insecure about yet another body party, she argues."Stay clear from anything with a suggestion of skin whitening/brightening/dark spot prevention for your vulva," she writes. "The perfect vulva is the one you have."