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When did 'down-there' care become so chic?

From hair removal to intimate products via sexual wellness, down-there-care is booming. Rosie Green explores the great new options available

collage of woman and intimate care products
5 April 2024
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Once upon a time, not so long ago, I remember the only time I’d pay any attention to my nether regions was pre-holiday when I’d book a basic wax that removed any stragglers that might show outside of my swimwear.

No longer. Now there is a whole industry dedicated to 'down-there' care.

Let’s take hair removal. Pre-1990 it was simple. A short back and sides with a BIC razor (ouch), a slathering of Veet (I learnt the hard way that you can’t rub it in) or, if you were feeling fancy, a wax at a salon.

Rosie Green smiling in jeans and jumper
Rosie Green's approach to intimate care has shifted

Then in the nineties came the J Sisters who started doing Brazilians (a remove every hair wax) in NYC.

Spurred on by the A-listers' love of it (Gwyneth Paltrow was evangelical) I went for a wax and was in shock for a week.

There were curtained-off cubicles and all around you could hear other women howling with pain. With my torture, sorry treatment, over I looked strange, like a naked mole rat and it annoyingly made me look wider across the hips. My boyfriend at the time was non-plussed. Regrowth wasn’t a joyous experience. 

But it marked a sea change in down there hair expectations. And when I re-entered the dating scene in my mid-forties, I knew I needed to up my game.  

 READ: Ask a life coach: I'm newly single at 52 –how do I begin dating? 

Luckily, the industry has caught up with expectations. Laser hair removal has become more accessible and affordable and the laser treatment I had at the The Phi Clinic with the Alma Soprano Titanium machine has been truly life-enhancing. I no longer have to worry about an impromptu swim.   

It's not just in-clinic treatments that have revolutionised, though. Last year Gillette Venus bought out a range for pubic hair and skin and the specifically designed products mean much better results and much less irritation.

Rosie Green on finding the perfect underwear© Rosie Green
Rosie is thrilled about the advancements in intimate care

The razor is excellent and the shave gel is perfectly designed to deliver the perfect amount of slip and grip. 

Another booming area is intimate care. Always warned off using anything but water down there by my mother, who eyed the offerings in the chemist with suspicion (probably with good reason),  there are now a multitude of beautifully packaged products that make you feel clean, fresh and comfortable without aggravating delicate skin.  

 INSPIRATION: Why women in their 40s are more confident voicing their desires 

Which is great because the truth is, as we get older, we are more susceptible to irritation and infection in that area.

Hormone shifts can cause dryness and sensitivity. This Morning expert Dr. Nighat Arif told me she advocates vaginal moisturising as "it helps prevent dryness, itching and making sex more confirmable."

 RELATED: Why we really need to talk about vaginal health 

And now there is a slew of new carefully formulated products that are not only gentle, but are shelfie worthy too. Check out Mantle, Luna Daily, Gentil and Deodoc. 

yellow packaged body care
Gentil creates chic intimate care products

Lastly, there is the sexual wellness category. Designed to enhance pleasure, they are no longer shrouded in secrecy and shame, but something to be celebrated. Gwyneth’s Goop made sex toys chic and now Sephora have just created a dedicated ‘sex care’ section stocked with cool brands like Maude (whose co-creative director is Dakota Johnson).  

Meanwhile, new range Vella, whose 'Women’s Pleasure Serum' is designed to stoke arousal, is winning awards and being stocked in your local Boots. Finally - fouf care for all!

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Two women out shopping for the day, taking a break and sitting down on a couch in a clothing store together.© Getty

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