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Conversations: The ABCs of Feminine Care with Two Lips’ Cynthia Chua

It's 2020, v-care is out on the table for discussion. Here, we start from the basics.

The private parts. No one ever talks about them – out of sight, out of mind. There are the mandatory sex ed lessons in school and “the talk” your parents are due to have with you but even then, the lady bits hardly come up in conversation. Holding a mirror down there to take a look at your hehe was the stuff you saw in coming of age flicks. It was the movies, right? Not something that anyone had to do in real life because the nether regions take care of themselves?

The misconceptions surrounding v-care are aplenty. But it’s 2020 – we’re no longer skirting around the topic. The vulva is a part of your skin and it requires equal attention and care that you offer every other part of your body. After all, it does go through quite the trauma what with the shaving and waxing. Even if you’ve gone 20 or 30 something years of your life believing otherwise, it’s never too late to kickstart a skincare routine down there.

If you’re new to all of this and have no idea where to even start, fret not, you’re at the right place. We dove into ABCs of feminine care with Cynthia Chua, the founder of the world’s first luxury feminine care range, Two Lips.

Who better to dish the facts than Chua, who has opened the door to honest conversations about feminine care with the conception of Two Lips in 2018. Here, she debunks common myths about feminine care and gives us the lowdown on Two Lips’ latest prebiotic range.

Even though it might be 2020, there are still many women who shy away from vulva care. What would you say might be the biggest misconception about vulva care?

Cynthia Chua: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that the vagina is self-cleaning while the vulva is not, or, that vulva care is not necessary. The skin on the vulva is just like the skin on the rest of our body that needs a proper skincare routine as perspiration or dirt can accumulate within the folds of our skin.  I hope with our continued efforts to break down taboos and advocate the importance of vulva care, we would eventually be more open and comfortable having these conversations. 

Vulva care and vagina care are two separate things. Can you go into the details of how one varies from the other?

Firstly they are two different parts of the female sexual anatomy. The vagina is the internal muscular canal, while the vulva is the external part which includes the skin of the pubic area.

 The vagina is naturally self-cleaning. But unlike the vagina, the vulva is not self-cleaning and therefore requires vulva care products to provide targeted solutions such as cleanse, soothe and hydration. However, do keep in mind that vulva care products should only be applied onto the skin area avoiding the vaginal opening.

Why would you say it is important that women care for their vulva?

For me it’s all about the concept of self-love, and self-care, the idea of taking better care of ourselves holistically from head to toe. The skin around our vulva is often neglected and we tend to only pay attention to the area when we experience symptoms like itch, dryness and more. So why wait till such issues arise? Our skin is the only defence barrier against the outside world so it is important to treat skin all around from our face to vulva with the TLC it truly deserves.

Is there a certain age at which women should start?

No, there isn’t. The earlier you start, the more resilience you build for your skin.

There’s an entire range of feminine care products that we see on the shelves but where’s a good place to start?

Would it be a biased statement to say TWO L(I)PS is a good place to start? I’d say always ascertain your personal skin needs, goals and lifestyle. A cleanser, exfoliator, moisturiser are a must for any part of the body, and SPF for any part that is exposed to the sun. 

What would a vulva care routine entail?

A vulva care routine is no different from your everyday skincare routine. Our latest prebiotic range features a cleanser, exfoliator, two types of moisturisers and lastly a sunscreen which is perfect for the delicate areas around the bikini line.

Our cleanser comes in a larger 200ml size as I made this to be suitable for both the body and the vulva, making it perfect for the time-starved modern women’s needs so one does not have to switch products just for the vulva area, as most traditional products encourage. 

When shopping for feminine products, what should women be looking out for?

With the vulva being such a delicate area, I would recommend looking out for products that are dermatologically and gynaecology tested and made without potentially harmful ingredients like sulphates and parabens. Products that fall between the pH levels of 4 and 6 are ideal for the skin on our body, which is why I ensured we formulated our prebiotics range to sit within these magic numbers to work harmoniously and beneficially with the skin. 

What would you say are the benefits of vulva care? When would one start noticing a difference?

I’d say you’ll reap the same benefits of any skincare regimen – you should see happy and glowing skin. With diligent use, you should expect to see the health of your skin slowly improving. 

What inspired the new prebiotic range that you’ve conceived at Two Lips?

I wanted to create bioavailable products with the health of the skin’s delicate microbiome in mind. This is why I formulated a range of prebiotic products that are suitable for the vulva and face, one that would restore and rebalance all skin to its healthiest state.

How would you say the prebiotic range varies from Two Lips existing lineup of products?

Our prebiotic range works as the foundation of a vulva care regime whereas the rest of our products are targeted solutions formulated for specific concerns one might have. This ranges from dull skin, to blemishes, ingrowths, dryness and more and work complementary to our prebiotic range. 

Can you take us through the key ingredients employed in the prebiotic range and the benefits it brings to vulva care?

Our range is specifically formulated with a prebiotic complex. We’ve included the beneficial prebiotic strains of inulin, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide and saccharide isomerate, all of which work synergistically to maintain and support the beneficial bacteria found on the skin, keeping each unique microbiome healthy and balanced. 

What would you tell anyone who might be apprehensive about starting their vulva care journey?

I would remind them to love their vulva more, that the skin around the vulva is as important as skin anywhere on the body, and an important area not to be neglected. 

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