Yes, you read that correctly. Vajacials, which are indeed facials for your vulva, are gaining popularity at spas and salons across the country. When we first heard about them, to say we had a few questions about the procedure would be an understatement. Are extractions involved? Are they the same thing as yoni steaming? Will they give your vulva that post-facial glow?

But first thing’s first: a vajacial is performed on your vulva, not your vagina. Vajacials focus on the bikini line, pubic mound (the V-shaped area where most of your pubic hair grows), and outer labia, and don’t actually involve anything going into your vagina — the internal canal.

We treat our faces to facials, hair to blowouts, and nails to manicures, so why not add the vajacial to the list? We sat down with Monica Moyet, a licensed esthetician and the owner of Glam Body Sugaring Boutique in Queens, New York, to get some answers to our most pressing questions about the trend.

Vajacial basics and benefits

“As women, our vaginas are kept hidden and covered most of the time. We’re incredibly busy in our everyday lives and tend to neglect this area,” says Moyet. “For example, most women admit to rarely moisturizing [their vaginas]. And we’re so rushed, it’s easy to quickly shave and develop razor bumps or ingrown hairs.”

Beyond the consequences of a haphazard shave, Moyet adds that the skin around the vagina is prone to other problems too. Blackheads build up from sweat, irritation occurs from panty lines, and hormonal changes can even cause hyperpigmentation. “A vajacial is a way to help alleviate all of these issues,” she says. Moyet explains that a vajacial exfoliates dead skin, cleans out pores, and kills bacteria — all while reintroducing moisture back into the skin.

In other words, just as a facial keeps the skin on your face clear and healthy, a vajacial works to care for and improve the skin on your vulva.

What, exactly, to expect
While the exact process may differ at other spas, most vajacials always include a steam, extraction, and a mask. Moyet’s vajacials are combined with sugaring, a hair removal technique that uses a paste made of sugar water and lemon instead of wax. The paste is applied in the natural direction of hair growth (with no strips) for gentle hair removal. After sugaring, Moyet and her team continue the vajacial by following these steps:

1. A tea tree essential oil steam to loosen any blockages, blackheads, bumps, and ingrown hairs from the upper layer of the skin.
2. An extraction of the blockages, ingrowns, bumps, and blackheads from the vulva.
3. A soothing and detoxifying mud mask that further relieves the skin of deep, embedded acne or cysts. The mud mask also relieve any redness that resulted from the extractions or sugaring, and soothes the skin.
4. A high-frequency glass probe (which looks like a wand) zaps remaining bacteria on the skin and prevents future ingrowns. The tool emits an electrical current that produces oxygen and pushes it deep into skin’s pores to kill bacteria.
5. Red light therapy to tighten and tone the skin on the vulva and help lighten pigmentation issues.
6. A brightening skin treatment.

Is the vajacial right for me?
Since the vajacial is a skin treatment, Moyet and her team need direct access to the area — this means the treatment is for anyone who removes their pubic hair, regardless of the amount or method. Keep in mind that a vajacial will only be performed on bare skin where the hair has been removed, so if you only wax your bikini line, your pubic mound and labia will won’t be included.

Moyet adds that men can get vajacials, too. The same process described above is used on the areas where pubic hair is removed.

Of course, it’s always best to check with your gynecologist before trying something new, especially if you’re pregnant.

But before you (and your vagina) sign up, do your homework
“When selecting any beauty service provider, I suggest seeking out a licensed professional who deeply understands skin, especially the delicate, complex vaginal area. Look and ask for client reviews,” advises Moyet. “This is also a very intimate service, so finding a service provider you click with is ideal. If I give you a vajacial, we’re instant friends for life!”

“There are a plethora of benefits both men and women receive from the vajacial, from feeling sexy in the skin you’re in to more confidence when naked,” says Moyet. “You will leave feeling brand new.”

English Taylor is a San Francisco-based women’s health and wellness writer and birth doula. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, Healthline, Refinery29, NYLON, and Modern Fertility. Follow English and her work at https://medium.com/@englishtaylor or on Instagram at @englishtaylor.