Quim

Feminine care, sexual wellness, self-love, self-care — call it what you will, but a category for products designed specifically for vaginas is continuing to grow, and looking ahead to 2020, is expected to continue to permeate deeper into mainstream beauty.

From organic tampons and boho-chic supplements for vaginal health to fashion vibrators and CBD lubricants, there is no shortage of cheekily designed brands formulated with better-for-your-vagina ingredients.

At the Indie Beauty Expo in New York earlier this month, for instance, several of these brands were on display, including Saalt menstrual cups, Dame Products silicone vibrators in various colorways, and CBD lubricants and “intimate oils” from Quim, a brand described as a “self-care line for humans with vaginas and humans without vaginas who love vaginas.” The number of sexual wellness and women’s health-oriented brands on display at Indie Beauty Expo has tripled year-over-year from 2018, said cofounder Jillian Wright, noting that retailers attending the show have also shown increased interest. Kandice Hansen, beauty buyer at Revolve, noted that Dame’s Fin vibrator quickly became the top-selling item on the site’s beauty and wellness vertical after it launched with the e-tailer in 2018. 

Even mainstream retailers have begun to modernize their vagina-centric assortments. Target has brought on Saalt, and this fall will start to carry Rael, which sells organic cotton period products alongside “cycle-synced” skin care.

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Many of these brands are founded by Millennial women frustrated by what Love Wellness founder Lo Bosworth has referred to as the “degrading experience” of shopping for women’s health products at the drugstore, where the product assortment yields antiquated packaging and outdated ingredient lists.

“Historically, we’ve treated vaginas like trash cans,” said Cyo Ray Nystrom, founder of Quim, which sells in Urban Outfitters and in boutiques across the U.S. “The FDA doesn’t require tampon or condom companies to list all the ingredients in their products.”

After discovering that she was allergic to some ingredients found in common vaginal health products, Nystrom began making her own tea tree suppositories when she was 23. After discovering a CBD vaginal spray that mostly worked but “clearly wasn’t designed for someone with a vagina,” Nystrom developed Quim, which looks chic enough to belong in an upscale beauty boutique.

Nystrom noted that her brand sits at the intersection of many categories — beauty and personal care, cannabis and sex products. But with the lines between beauty and wellness blurring, brands like Quim seem poised to become more ingrained in the beauty market. Said Wright, “I can see [women’s health and sexual wellness] becoming bigger than CBD.”

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