The world of vaginal-health products is a veritable wild west - between the harmful chemicals and dodgy marketing ploys it can be difficult to find the care your body needs needs when BV, vaginal dryness or irritation strike.
People with vulvas are made to feel shame about their bodies on the regular and non-binary and trans folks are often excluded from the conversation all together.
Enter: Momotaro Apotheca. A vaginal wellness company born from the founder's personal frustration with persistent infections.
Their tagline reads ‘The vagina is complex, we keep it simple’ and their approach is refreshingly different. Each product is pH balanced to work with your body and every ingredient has been carefully selected to serve a specific purpose.
We are beyond excited to be the first UK-based store to stock Momotaro Apotheca’s range of personal care products.
We caught up with founder, Lindsay Wynn, to find out more about why they created the range and what makes this range of products so special.
Image: Lindsay Wynn
What is the story behind Momotaro Apotheca?
Momotaro was born from personal experience. At 27 years old I experienced a yeast infection that I first treated with over the counter medicine. The products available were all full of chemicals, used generally offensive language and made me feel embarrassed of what I was experiencing. Ultimately the over the counter options would send me into a tailspin of recurrent infections including bacterial vaginosis, UTI’s, and even a kidney infection.
These issues affected not only my physical health but my mental well-being. I knew I needed a different solution. I began to do research on alternative methods and took a deep dive into why this was all we had available to us, and why there was so much shame surrounding these VERY common issues. After turning myself into a vaginal wellness lab rat - I knew I could create a better solution. Now almost 3 years later we have created a line of inclusive, all natural, organic products for these issues as well as general irritation from sex, clothing or exercise.
What is each product designed to do?
Each product was designed to be versatile because we know finding a regimen that works for you is important. Every product is pH balanced, anti-microbial and works with your body to soothe symptoms. But specifically the intended use for each product is as follows:
Salve: Our go to for yeast infections, BV, vaginal dryness, and irritation from sex, clothing and exercise. This product will soothe itching, irritation, etc. Apply anywhere that needs some extra love and protection. This product has single handedly changed my vaginal health by helping fight infection.
Oil for everywhere: This product is great for topical skin irritation. Can be used after a wax, shaving and for ingrown hairs. Anywhere to help unruly hair (hello to a big winter bush lol) and irritated skin (hello shaving that bush). We also add this to a bath in place of fragranced bubble baths and chemical laden soaps.
Hydrosol: Our newest and most versatile product. This water based spray is a must have for after the gym, beach, sauna, I mean really anything. I spray this EVERYWHERE. In my underwear, armpits, all over my body when I don’t want heavy oil based products. It’s refreshing, relaxing and fights bad bacteria (it also has ingredients that help skin regeneration). What more could you want?
Tell us about the ingredients - why is it important that they are all organic?
The ingredients we have chosen in all of our products are highly specific. Every ingredient is actually doing something: soothing, healing, fighting bacteria, etc. We wanted to make sure that those benefits get to our consumer - so being 100% organic is part of that. Furthermore, as a company we strive to set by example and practice what we preach. We want other companies to make sure they are being mindful of bodies and our planet, and as a small company if we can do it - so can the big guys. :)
Who are Momotaro products for?
Favorite question - our products are for LITERALLY EVERYONE. For one, we do not use gendered language (not everyone with a vagina identifies as a woman). We are also mindful to talk about all body parts (people use our products for haemorrhoids and after anal sex too), and while vaginal care is our focus we want to open up conversations around all types of sex, conditions and conversations that have been historically taboo. This can mean new irritation from puberty to vaginal dryness in menopause. We know if we can be honest and vulnerable - it will give agency to other people to do the same.
Do you have any advice for people with vulvas who are stuck in the BV and yeast infection cycle?
Yes! Vaginal care is simpler than you think. We have unfortunately been made to think otherwise and historically have been given products and ideologies that actually hurt more than they help. A few quick easy things I live by:
- Sleep naked! Give your vagina a rest at night away from tight clothes and potential harmful detergents that may live in your underwear.
- Take a probiotic - Our microbiome is connected and our gut health directly affects our vaginal health. A probiotic helps keep the good bacteria balanced and working hard to fight off the bad.
- Pee after sex! Best way to avoid a UTI. A lot of bacteria and bodily fluids can come into contact with your urethra and peeing helps flush it out.
- No soaps or chemicals. PLEASE do not use anything full of harsh synthetic ingredients or fragrances, whether it is in the shower or after. These products often cause more damage and even infection.
- LOVE YOURSELF. You are perfect, you smell perfect, you taste, look and feel perfect. Do not give a single ounce of energy to people or companies who say differently. Vaginas and vulvas are complicated and amazing parts of our body. Let's treat them and ourselves with respect.
Salve, Oil for Everywhere and Hydrosol are available in the Self & More online shop now.
All images courtesy of Momotaro Apotheca.