Willow — Why I Wanted to Hate on Feminine Oil but Couldn’t

10.15.2018 Life
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The first time I saw “feminine oil” at a store, I balked at how LA it seemed. Women are supposed to start rubbing oil on their vulvas now? What’s next: steaming our vaginas? (Oh wait. Yup, that’s a thing now, too). I’m all for experimenting with weird wellness trends, but after a certain point it starts to feel excessive. I mean, in terms of feminine care, isn’t the vagina a self-cleaning rockstar? Who are we to mess with that? Not to mention, who has the time?

Or so I reasoned. But perhaps it was unfair of me to dismiss feminine oil as needless and excessive so soon. Not long after seeing it in the store, I read an interview on Into the Gloss in which Emma Watson herself endorsed it: “I use Fur Oil,” she tells us. “I’ll use it anywhere from the ends of my hair to my eyebrows to my pubic hair. It’s an amazing all-purpose product.”

If Emma Watson uses feminine oil, then who am I to knock it? Plus, her description makes it sound almost luxurious — or at the very least, like part of a normal, wholesome self-care routine.

Still, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I was introduced to Willow Feminine Oil that I became aware and convinced of its powerful effects. As the newest oil to this small, niche market, Willow sets itself apart in that it claims to balance pH levels and hormones, soothe irritation, and repair and nourish the skin. In other words, it promises a whole lot more than smooth skin and hair. In fact, its creator, women’s health specialist Nicole Granato, believes there’s nothing else like it.

“I can’t think of another product like Willow that encourages women to take care of their vaginal health not from a sexual standpoint, but as a means of connecting with oneself,” she explains. “The only time we really think about our vaginas is when we’re having sex or when we’re on our period, but as women, it’s our center point.”

For Granato, all wellness begins with the vagina. In her work as a women’s health specialist, she has helped numerous women reverse their PCOS diagnoses, transition off birth control, and become pregnant after losing hope — all through holistic means and an intuitive understanding of what women’s bodies need. “The more connected we are to ourselves and our bodies, the better off we are,” she tells me. “Body care is self-care.”

It is this belief that inspired Granato to create Willow in the first place. As she recalls, “I was rubbing cream on my body one night and as I skimmed over my vagina, I thought, ‘Why am I not taking care of this essential part of me?’” Afterward, she started using one of her face oils “down there,” and was amazed at how taken care of and connected to herself she felt.

It was just a matter of time before she formulated her own oil. In creating Willow, the entrepreneur handpicked each ingredient for specific antiviral and antibacterial properties, based on the benefits she had seen in her own practice and because of the research she’d done on the individual oils. Willow’s main essential oil is Meadowfoam Seed Oil. Unlike other oils, Meadowfoam penetrates deep into the epidermis, which helps all the other hormone-balancing essential oils better absorb into the skin — as opposed to just sitting on the skin or being rubbed off on clothing.

Perhaps the best thing though, is that there’s no right or wrong way to use it. “I recommend women take a dropful of the oil in their palm after getting out of the shower and just rubbing it over the uterus, down on the labia, around anywhere,” Granato suggests. It can even be used on one’s face and hair!

And so, although I dismissed feminine oil at first as being “too LA,” I now have to admit that it’s become a top-shelf staple in my wellness routine. The ironic thing is, it’s precisely living in a place like Los Angeles — where it’s a constant challenge to remain connected to oneself — that makes it so appealing. However it’s used, Willow is about feeling good and confident through self-love and self-care, connecting to oneself in order to better connect with others.

Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

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