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Your Grooming Guide to Self-Care Down There
by Myeisha Essex
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March 5, 2020

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Your Grooming Guide to Self-Care Down There

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It’s a new day for vaginas, ladies! Long gone are the days of not knowing what’s in your feminine hygiene products, or wishing more brands were catering to your down-there beauty and skincare needs. From plant-based feminine care products to calming ointments, exfoliators, and beautifully-scented natural oils for your private parts, today’s industry is booming way beyond hair removal. The wellness trend has officially made its way to the “lady” aisle.

This new wave of products has opened the door for many women to find solutions for issues that were once taboo to talk about, such as menstruation, odor, or in Beatrice Dixon’s case, an ongoing stint of bacterial vaginosis. According to Mayo Clinic, bacterial vaginosis can affect women of any age and is a “type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance.”

Women need healthy and effective feminine care. It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Dixon, 37, is the founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Company, a 100 percent natural feminine line that’s changing the intimate care game. “I created the brand out of my very own personal necessity,” the Atlanta-based entrepreneur shared with BlackLove.com. “I had an eight-month bout with BV and was tired of the roller coaster ride of going to the OB-GYN and getting antibiotics, and then my cycle would come, and the BV would come right back.”

The Honey Pot Company is available at major retail stores, including Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods, and offers a plant-based, chemical-free feminine care system that cleanses, protects, and balances your vagina. Powered by herbs and made by women, products include feminine wipes, menstrual pads, and washes for sensitive and normal skin types, along with a mommy-to-be line, panty spray, and water-based lubricant.

 

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The company’s creation was extremely personal for Dixon. “I had a dream with an ancestor, and she gave me a list of ingredients that would help alleviate the issues I was having,” she said of what inspired the company’s launch in 2014. “I woke up, made the formula, and within a few days, all of my symptoms vanished. I knew if what I created could heal me, it could heal other women too. Women need healthy and effective feminine care. It’s not a luxury,” she adds. “It’s a necessity.”

Honestly, have you ever wondered what ingredients and chemicals are in your feminine hygiene products, like tampons? The answer may be challenging to find. This is because the Food and Drug Administration regulates tampons as medical devices, so manufacturers are not required to disclose a full list of ingredients on their label. Instead, many menstrual product makers provide a suggested list, stating their products “may” contain ingredients like cotton, rayon, polyester, glyphosate, dioxin, chlorine, or a possible combination.

Related: Passion Projects: From Corporate Communications to Creative Entrepreneur

“It’s the last industry to go green when it should have been the first,” Dixon pointed out. “One of the main reasons so many ‘care down there’ companies are launching is due to the increased frustration of women, who are tired of being served toxic, harmful products that only mask symptoms. On the back-end, it can cause more severe issues. Most of these new ‘care down there’ brands are female-owned and operated because the reality is women know what women need when it comes to their feminine wellness.”

Beatrice Dixon is just one Black woman making a dent in the organic and natural feminine care market. Wendy Berry is another fearless black woman boss who is also making strides in this industry. As the co-founder and CEO of conditionHER, she is passionate about helping her sister-friends “keep it right!”

 

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“I think as a society, we’re hyper-sensitive to what we’re putting in and on our bodies,” the 43-year-old Los Angeles native explained. “People are looking for natural products that fit their desire to live a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, the topic of intimate skincare is new, and we’ve found that most don’t have an intimate skincare regimen, nor do they know that products like conditionHER exist. While we’re not the first intimate skincare brand to hit the US market, there’s still a lack of awareness around this product category.”

Although other products tend to focus on hair removal and feminine hygiene, conditionHER is a daily-use lady parts lotion. Whether you’re bare or prefer hair, this moisturizing cream softens pubic hair, keeps your intimate area pH balanced, fights ingrown hairs, and helps alleviate skin irritation after waxing, lasering, shaving, or sugaring.

Related: From Employee to Entrepreneur: Charreah K. Jackson Talks Leaving Her 9-to-5 and Becoming the CEO of Her Life

According to Berry, who launched the brand in June 2019 along with COO Eugenia Marshall after years of research and clinical tests, the idea stemmed from a joke on a girls’ trip in 2013. “It was a classic girl’s night out, and after several drinks, the topic of bare vs. hair down there made its way to the table,” Berry recalls. “The conversation took all types of hilarious twists and turns, but the question that got us going was, ‘Have you ever used your regular hair conditioner on your pubic hair to soften it?'”

“There were mixed responses, but I answered ‘yes’ because it’s something I’d done in my teenage years,” she shared. “I spent hours going through forums where women were discussing intimate issues. What I found was that women were indeed looking for ways to soften the hair in their intimate area, but they didn’t know how to do it safely. As I read through the responses, I noticed that everyone offering solutions suggested that regular hair conditioner was worth a try, even though they cautioned that they weren’t sure it was safe and [guess what] it’s not.”

As a phenomenal Black woman, remember, nobody can do you like you!

Product safety is a rising concern for many women, including Fllowerbox founder Oslyn Cummings-Cave. After battling unexplained infertility for years, she was on a personal mission to find and create all-natural products for her lady parts. “I was in the process of researching what I can do to increase my chances of getting pregnant,” she said. In her research, she found the things you consume, including food and possible toxins absorbed through the skin, can have a direct impact on fertility.

“That’s when it all began. I changed how I ate, started working out, and had an entirely new outlook on life,” the Columbia, Maryland native shared. “With the rising number of environmental concerns and women being more conscious of what goes into their bodies, we’ve seen an increased interest in organic and natural products. Chemical exposure has been linked to rising rates in breast cancer, asthma, reproductive problems, and other health issues.”

 

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With this new outlook came the launch of her natural oil brand last year. FllowerBox, created to support, empower, and provide women with natural products to enhance their natural scent. Cummings-Cave said her company is all for boosting confidence in how women feel about their bodies’ smell and sexuality.

Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs today. We’re also the only racial or ethnic group with more business owners than our male counterparts, according to the Federal Reserve. As a business owner, Wendy Berry insists that finding a support system in other female entrepreneurs proved to be rewarding in many ways. “Can you imagine the looks we received when we sought out investors (mostly men) for a lady parts lotion? We had to get the product here with our own money and some help from a couple of angel investors,” she shared.

“Now that it’s here, the investor inquiries are coming in! As a phenomenal Black woman, remember, nobody can do you like you!” she excitedly proclaimed.

For more information on the brands mentioned above, including product info and where to shop, follow @TheHoneyPotCo, @conditionher, and @fllowerbox on social.

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