FDA Issues Warning Against 'Virginity Soap'
In late July 2022, posts promoting a product that can supposedly tighten a woman’s vagina and even treat skin conditions started going around social media. Besides restoring a woman’s virginity, the so-called “Bar Bilat Virginity Soap by GSkin” also claims to cure skin infections and things like psoriasis, an-an, and alipunga.
But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public warning against purchasing and using the unauthorized cosmetic product.
According to the FDA, the product has no valid Certificate of Product Notification (CPN) as of 21 July 2022, which means its “manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising, or sponsorship” is illegal.
Screenshot of Bar Bilat Virginity Soap
The agency said that, since the product did not go through its notification process, it cannot guarantee the product’s quality and safety and that it may even pose health risks to consumers.
“Potential hazards may come from ingredients that are not allowed to be part of a cosmetic product or from the contamination of heavy metals,” the FDA said. “The use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result to adverse reactions including, but not limited to, skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and organ failure.”
In a fact check report by news wire agency Agence France Presse (AFP), Jean Enriquez, executive director for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, said the advertisements were spreading “false medical claims” for the “sake of profit.”
“[These adverts] are false not only in terms of claims in relation to our bodies but also from a women's rights framework which condemns discrimination based on sex,” she said. “[They] aggravate the idea that women are inferior to men and that their esteem and happiness depends on acceptability to these patriarchal standards. It is long due for women, and also men, to reject these norms.”
The AFP report also quoted Dr. Marianne Austria, an obstetrician-gynecologist from St. Clare's Medical Center, who said, "The tightening of the vagina or the vaginal canal up to this time cannot be addressed by using soaps or ointments, even if they are botox-based.
“The skin down there is sensitive so I advise against using such a soap, especially since the FDA has issued a warning against it," she added.
The FDA warned the public not to purchase the product and issued a reminder to check if a product is notified or registered with the FDA through the FDA Verification Portal.