Ladies and… ladies, welcome to the wonderful, bewildering world of eco-chic
vagina cleaner feminine care products. I Love My Muff offers products that are good for the environment, possibly bad for you, and, as an added bonus, with a host of conflicting positive and negative messages about the acceptability of vaginas!
THE GOOD: The I Love My Muff product line, which launched back in November but recently became available at Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue, is woman-owned, paraben-free, synthetic color and fragrance free, vegan and partially biodegradable. The line does not (currently) include douches or Vajazzle kits (side note: men have recently gotten in on Vajazzling… is that a good thing?).
THE BAD: No matter how body-positive your brand name is, providing a line of products specifically for vagina cleanliness sends the message that vaginas are not clean on their own, that they are a problem for which your products are the convenient solution, that properly “loving” and “caring for” your vagina entails spending $76 on the four-step process of cleaning, purifying, moisturizing and periodically refreshing the coating of essential oils on your labia.
Plus, their ad copy is unbearable. The site proclaims “CLEAN PURE SOFT FRESH” in huge letters, each word a link to a corresponding product (soap, spray, lotion and wipes). The slogan “it’s no longer a whisper, it’s a statement” doesn’t even make grammatical sense, as statements and whispers are not exclusive; I guess loving your muff isn’t quite acceptable enough to be a shout or an assertion yet. It’s also an entirely euphemistic statement - good luck finding the word “vagina” anywhere on the website. These little bottles are only for “muffs”, “sensitive parts” and “down there”. The product descriptions don’t help, as they’re flowery and sometimes nonsensical: one of the soaps promises to “[invoke] a mystical feeling of invigoration reminding you of botanical dew drops suspended in a welcomed breeze.” Besides being annoying, this language also keeps the actual application of the product in the dark - are the products for the vulva only, or are you supposed to apply them on your inner labia, or what? Hopefully the products themselves include more detailed directions, but I kind of doubt it.
As for the products themselves: essential oils and distilled water are a lot safer for your skin than the synthetic chemicals found in most personal care products, but even mild doses of 100% pure essential oils can irritate sensitive areas of skin… like, say, your vagina (just to pull an example out of thin air). “With an irresistable [sic] fusion of vanilla, grapefruit and ylang ylang there’s no telling where it will take you.” Maybe all the way to a urinary tract infection!
THE VERDICT: My rule of thumb is Just Say No (to Vag Spray), but if you are looking for some, it’s probably the friendliest you’ll find anywhere. Unless it’s really part of the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.