When I tell friends that I offer Intimate Skin Bleaching as one of my state-of-the-art services, I get several reactions: most people don’t know what it is and I need to explain; or I get a disgusted look followed by “why would anyone do THAT?”; or I get the naughty look followed by “Oh, really?” I have been asked to write a blog about it because people are really curious about what this service really entails and also to dispel some myths.
Intimate Skin Bleaching as the term implies, is skin bleaching of intimate areas, namely the vulva (the outer vaginal area) and anus – sometimes the nipples as well, but it really encompasses all areas a person might consider intimate: underarms, under the breasts, and also testicular and groin areas. It has been considered a niche service for the adult entertainment industry and gay community.
The first people to try Intimate Skin Bleaching – specifically anal bleaching – were the women and men in the adult entertainment industry in order to make their private parts look better on camera. With the advent of HD (high definition) TV, the demand for this treatment among this group of people has dramatically increased.
Mainstream Hollywood film stars soon adopted this treatment once nudity became more prevalent in movies. But what caused intimate skin bleaching to go mainstream in society was the introduction of Brazilian waxing. As more people discover Brazilian waxing, the more they need to pay attention to how they look once the hair is removed. Brazilian waxing is a waxing technique where all pubic hair is removed, leaving the area completely hairless. Seeing their pubic skin uncovered for the first time, and noticing the skin’s discoloration (which is common and normal), many women – and sometimes men – feel the need that this area needs to match the color of the rest of their skin.
Identify the cause of discoloration first. Discoloration of the anal and vaginal areas can be caused by aging, hormonal changes from pregnancy, infections and medical conditions such as Contact Dermatitis and Syphilis. A thorough consultation to determine the contraindications is necessary. So if you have this procedure performed and your skincare professional doesn’t do a consultation related specifically to the areas to be bleached, this is probably not the place you want to get this treatment done. Always consult a doctor before requesting a bleaching procedure if you suspect that the discoloration is due to health issues.
The use of G-strings, not only makes the rectal opening more visible, hence the need for some women to bleach the anal area, but the actual use of G-strings causes the anal (and vaginal) area to become darker with the rubbing of the material (usually nylon) against the skin, causing laceration or burning of the skin. So, women who are frequent users of G-strings tend to have darker anal and vaginal areas.
In general, anything that produces heat, inflammation, laceration, and friction may cause hyperpigmentation, also known as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).
How does it work:
Melanin, a chemical naturally produced by our bodies, darkens skin color as a natural protectant from the sun. The more melanin produced, the darker the skin.
In order to achieve lasting lightening, you cannot just whiten or “bleach” the top layer of skin as it will eventually slough off and expose the layers of natural (darker) skin below. Ingredients such as Azelaic Acid, Lactic Acid, Retonic Acid, Salycylic Acid and Pyruvic Acid, gently lighten the skin and reduce the activity of Tyrosinase (the enzyme responsible for skin darkening) in the lower layers of the skin. Soothing anti-oxidant agents such as Vitamin C, Bearberry extract, Licorice extract and Mulberry extract provide a gentle moisturizing treatment to protect, while continuing to lighten the skin. As newer skin comes to the surface, you see a lighter skin tone that blends with the natural skin tone.
NOTE: Bleaching agents temporarily lighten skin color, but exposure to ultra violet rays may re-oxidize the skin, creating a darker appearance than before. This is a simplified reason why most skin bleaching or fading products warn against exposure to sunlight immediately after application.
Don’t settle for the cheapest intimate skin bleaching procedure. Because intimate skin bleaching is rising in popularity, expect a lot of skin care businesses to offer such procedure. Don’t compromise quality with price.
The next thing you need to consider is the ingredient to be used during the intimate skin bleaching procedure. Don’t use products containing hydroquinone. Products that contain hydroquinone are believed to be linked with negative side effects such as liver damage, thyroid problems and cancer. Prolonged use of hydroquinone can thicken collagen fibers, resulting in a spotty skin appearance and can cause a scary skin disease called ochronosis.
Mercury is another toxic ingredient. Most people don’t stop to think about what’s in their skincare products before applying it on their skin. Mercury inhibits the skin’s production of melanin, lightening the skin area where it is applied. While mercury is not permitted in cosmetics made in the United States and Europe, beware of purchases made online (Amazon or eBay) or the origin of the product. Long term mercury use strips skin of its natural pigment. Prolonged exposure can cause cancer, mercury poisoning, liver or kidney failure.
Also consider the risks after your procedure is done. If you are like most people seeking this service, you probably seek this treatment to look good for your sexual partner. Sex comes after intimate skin bleaching. Please be aware that this procedure DOES and WILL make you more susceptible to STDs and HV infection during the course of treatment.
Types of Intimate Skin Bleaching: Laser and Cryogenic Intimate Skin Bleaching are light-based and extreme cold treatments, and are by far the most expensive methods of Intimate Skin Bleaching – but also the easiest way to see instant results. However, it can be painful – with pain ranging from being repeatedly slapped with a rubber band for several minutes at a time to pain that requires local anesthetic for weeks. It can also cause irritation, blistering or peeling, may leave scars and results are not always consistent.
Spa-Based Skin Lightening: Most places offer this treatment for $100-150 and you must purchase a bleaching solution to use at home. The whole in-spa process takes about 20 minutes. Depending on how dark your skin is, you may need to reapply a number of times to see results. Some people recommend treatments for at least eight weeks.
DIY (Do-it-yourself): There are various products in the market that people can use to bleach their intimate areas at home. Most of them are more or less effective, however, beware of their ingredients even if they claim that dangerous ingredients such as hydroquinone are safe. Also beware of products you purchase online. Some of them are not European or American products, which makes you vulnerable to very dangerous ingredients.
How is Intimate Skin Bleaching at Bella Dermis different?
We distinguish ourselves by applying the Three “P’s” that will define your Intimate Skin Bleaching experience: privacy, price, and professionalism.
- Privacy -the anal, testicular and vaginal areas are probably the most private of any area. Because of this, many people shy away from having someone else work with this sensitive region. I treat these areas, and your reactions, with great respect and confidentiality. I never share my clients information or lifestyle choices.
- Price – Spa-based intimate skin bleaching treatments often cost more than $150 per visit, and it’s the norm to visit a spa 6 or 7 times over the course of treatment, not to mention any “maintenance” treatments in the future. We offer a more affordable health-conscious solution to intimate discoloration. I believe that certain services should be easily accessible to everyone.
- Professionalism – While we will never encourage anyone’s self-esteem – even more so women’s – we also understand that for many people, this procedure makes them feel sexier and more confident. Therefore, we provide Intimate Skin Bleaching in a non-judgmental, empathic, professional and confidential manner. As a Certified Sexuality and Health Educator and Certified HIV Test Counselor, I place emphasis on confidentiality, empathy and non-judgment.