Two Lips is making a case for multipurpose skincare and bringing taboo topics out into the light
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Vaginal care isn’t a novel concept, but it’s one riddled with misconceptions and misinformation. Beauty is an industry privy to these fascinations, but fads (or scams, depending how you perceive them) like vag-cleansing yoni eggs and douching with water and vinegar have clouded the perception of intimate care.
The vagina is a built-in self-cleaning oven. With natural secretions, it’s able to keep itself nice and clean—no expensive jade spheres or sour sprays necessary. But this isn’t necessarily the case for the external genitalia. While the inside of the body has its own hygiene secrets, according to entrepreneur and lifestyle guru Cynthia Chua, everything on the outside needs just as much attention as we give our faces.
“If you look at the market, you’ll find about ten thousand masks for your face,” says Cynthia. “But none for your vulva.” This epiphany was what inspired her to create Two Lips. A luxury line of intimate skincare, Two Lips products are formulated for us on the face, body and vulva.
I’m no stranger to down-there care, but I’ll admit the idea of using the same product literally all over my body was an eyebrow-raiser. After all, beauty Instagram constantly makes jabs at men’s everything-in-one products. The apprehensions are understandable, but it all makes sense in the big picture. Cynthia, Two Lips’ founder, also founded Strip, the prolific waxing salon. And who better to address full body concerns—from face to underarms to intimates—than an establishment that already understands them?
While Two Lips first casted ripples locally in 2019, the brand’s latest line is particularly interesting. Two Lips’ Prebiotic collection reminds us that the skin gets hungry too. Instead of overstripping and starving the microorganisms that protect us against environmental stressors, the five products in the Prebiotic line feed them. The skin is kept balanced, our defensive barrier fortified.
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Rinse (P2500), the first step in the routine, is a gentle and slightly acidic cleanser. Performing within a pH range of 4 to 6, Rinse was formulated according to the optimum pH value of the vulva (between 3.8 to 4.5) and face (4.5 to 5.5). Frankincense Olibanum lends an earthy, almost relaxingly medicinal scent which has earned Rinse a permanent spot on my shower ledge.
Scrubbs (P3150), a gel exfoliator, sloughs off dirt and dead skin cells as it hydrates. The konjac jelly beads and olive stone powder are fine enough not to be abrasive, the feeling akin to small sugar particles as they lift nasties off the skin. Unlike the physical exfoliators of yore (looking at you, St. Ives), Scrubbs is gentle and hydrating enough to use even in sensitive areas like the armpits or the intimates a week post-wax.
Juice (P3600), a personal favorite, is a skin-defending body balm that can deliver a kiss of moisture to even the driest knees, roughest elbows or the most cracked heels. Thanks to the squalane and plant-derived trehalose, this stuff feels wildly thick and silky upon application, but dries light-as-air.
On the body, I try to use Sleepover (P4500) sparingly. This has proved to be quite the challenge, considering how good it feels applied on the skin. It’s an overnight mask that repairs, plumps and nourishes while you sleep—supposedly for up to 72 hours. I haven’t tried keeping Sleepover on that long yet (showers are frequent in this white hot climate, after all), but I can attest to Sleepover’s double punch of moisture showing through the morning after.
Suncare meets skincare in Screen (P3150). Screen is a pore-refining sunscreen with niacinamide, antioxidants and SPF 50 PA+++. Despite the promise of sun protection, Screen is lightweight enough to use on the face, the body and the delicate bikini area. The idea of slathering sunscreen on your intimates may seem strange when most of us haven’t seen the ocean in a year. But when the quarantine lifts and the beach comes a-calling, count on Screen’s versatile formulation to shine through.
Groundbreaking as Two Lips might seem, when Cynthia discusses these innovations, she speaks so matter-of-factly it’s almost as if what they’re doing isn’t all that trailblazing. The vulva discussion should be a no-brainer. Why don’t we talk about intimate care just as much as our facial cleansers or lotions or dry brushes? She recognizes, “It’s still a very taboo subject in Asia,” but not without quipping, “But I like tackling taboo subjects. All of us have one, so why can’t we talk about it?”
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver