Marta Camkiran is an aesthetician at Haven Spa in New York City. She's worked in the beauty industry for nearly two decades and helped create Haven Spa's Peach Smoothie treatment, colloquially known as the vagina facial (or "vajacial"). The following story was told to Mi-Anne Chan and edited for length and clarity.
When I was 16, I came to New York from Poland to visit my father. I ended up staying and finished high school here, then went to Queensborough Community College to study computer science. After a few years, I realised I didn't see myself behind a desk, so I decided to go to beauty school.
After I graduated, I found a job listing about a salon opening and went in for an interview, where I was asked me to do a full leg and bikini wax. I'd never done both at once, but I finished in 40 minutes and got the job.
A few years later, I went to Haven Spa, where I've been for 14 years and specialize in waxing. Many places just wax and don't remove ingrown hairs, but when I do Brazillians, I usually remove ingrowns on my clients if I see them. I thought that since we treat acne with facials, why not do the same for the skin down there? So, the Haven founders and I created a special vagina facial for our clients.
The Peach Smoothie Is Born
We named it the Peach Smoothie because we didn't want to just call it a vajacial; Peach Smoothie is sexy and kind of feminine. We don't just remove ingrown hairs during the treatment. First, we prepare the skin by cleansing and exfoliating with a green tea lactic acid peel to help with discolouration and scarring. Then, I use a lancet to pull out ingrown hairs, which doesn't create any damage around the skin. I follow up with a soothing, hydrating, or anti-inflammatory mask that caters to my client's individual skin needs. It's really like a facial — but for your vagina!
I can work around trimmed, shaved, or waxed hair, but if you have a lot of inflammation or ingrowns, then it's better to come a few days after waxing. We've been doing the Peach Smoothie since 2004, but it's gotten very popular in the last few years. Now, I do around 100 per month! When I was young, I never thought I'd give Brazilians and vagina facials for a living, but I really love what I do.
Life's A Party
I do a lot of vagina facial parties. Once, we had these four beautiful ladies come up from North Carolina. They didn't have many ingrowns, but they wanted waxing and the experience of a vajacial. We also had some ladies come in for a bachelorette party who wanted vajacials and our Baby's Bottom butt facial. The treatment has become so popular in the last couple of years, because if you wax, shave, or do anything to that area, you'll inevitably get bumps. Now you can take care of them.
Tricks Of The Trade
Try not to self-operate! The worst thing you can do to an ingrown hair is sit on the toilet and dig with tweezers. If you use tweezers to pick them out, you'll destroy so much tissue around the hair. It'll become inflamed and leave a big bump. It's a big no-no.
If you have a blackhead, you can lightly squeeze it out with a tissue after showering. If it doesn't come out in a few squeezes, then stop and try again in a few days.
To prevent ingrowns in the first place, cleanse and exfoliate. You should also condition and hydrate your vulva. We put lotion on your legs and arms and boobs, but we forget about our bikini line!
Up Close & Personal
Vaginas tend to be a very delicate topic for most people. Women won't talk to just anybody about it, but they open up to me. Sometimes when I do a treatment or a wax, women tell me about their insecurities. It's harder to open up to an OB/GYN about your ingrowns that hurt like hell, but they come in and show me every detail and I advise them. It's my job to do aesthetic things.
People tell me crazy things. For example, a lot of women ask me if they're fat in areas because their boyfriends commented on it. I actually get a lot of boyfriends and husbands who buy their partners waxing sessions and I always say, 'They better take you out to a nice dinner after this!' I even had one woman who came in from outside of New York City who wanted a vajacial for discolouration. She started telling me about her vaginal rejuvenation and wanted to see what I thought. People ask me all sorts of things about the shape of their hair or how their bikini line looks. I did over 3,400 treatments (waxing, vajacials, or otherwise) last year, so I've seen it all.
A lot of women feel so much more confident after getting the Peach Smoothie treatment. Oftentimes, they wonder aloud if they look good. I'm not saying they weren't confident to begin with, but some women just want to hear, Yes, you have the most beautiful bikini area! Every woman is beautiful and I want to make them feel that way, too.