Pucker Up! These Masks and Scrubs Can Do Wonders for Your Lips

There’s nothing more intimate and romantic than giving your partner a nice, sweet “I love you” kiss. But to be honest, you really should be caring for your kissers even if you and your spouse don’t get to have sexy time often. Giving your lips some TLC also makes your lippie shades more gorgeous than ever! Try these essentials:

Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch


Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch, P148, SM Megamall

You’re already masking your face, so why not work on your lips, too? This hydrogel patch repairs and hydrates puckers to leave them supple and smooth.

Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip 3-Step Kit


Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip 3-Step Kit, P100, Althea Philippines

We’re all about this handy multi-step product, which contains a peeling patch, a moisturizing and anti-aging pack, and thick, gooey honey treatment.

Banila Co. Kiss Therapy Lip Scrub


Banila Co. Kiss Therapy Lip Scrub, P675, Trinoma

The name says it all! Bonus points for the super hygienic packaging, which delivers the grainy sugar formula straight to your lips.

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Sephora Rose Lip Mask


Sephora Rose Lip Mask, P154, Sephora Philippines

Leave this lightweight sheet on your pout for 15 minutes, then remove for instantly nourished and moisturized lips.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, P950, SM Megamall

One of the most popular Korean beauty products of all time! Apply before hitting the sheets and wake up to moist, plump lips. Now, where’s your Song Joong Ki? 😉

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub


Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub, P298, Trinoma

Don’t scare him off with your dry, flaky lips! Slough off dead skin cells with this scrub—your lippie will also apply better when the base is on point.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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‘I Was Unfaithful To My Wife For Years — But Now I’ve Changed’

In his younger years, businessman Samuel Liuson lived life on the fast lane. He was at the top of his game, and, thinking he had it all, took for granted the beautiful relationship he had with his wife. In his own words, the 49-year-old tells us how he went from being a womanizer to a one-woman man:

“When I got married in 1993, life was good,” Sam declares. “I had a beautiful wife, a budding career, and I was young, charismatic and proud. I got into the typical cycle of wining and dining customers, living life in the fast lane, and having a chauvinistic lifestyle.”

Eight years went by and while Sam and his wife were financially blessed, they were unable to have children. Sam’s wife became sad and depressed, and sex became few and infrequent. She started talking to Sam about adoption, but Sam did not feel like raising a child who was not his.

“To cut the long and embarrassing story short, I got involved with an old friend who was in dire straits, and I took advantage of the situation and had a child with her,” Sam admits. “We agreed that she would give me the child because she simply couldn’t raise her with her resources.

“I brought the baby home and lied to my wife, my family, and friends, saying that I happened to have stumbled upon a couple who was putting up their beautiful child for adoption and that I was conveniently at the right place, at the right time. The day I brought my baby home was probably the happiest day for my wife. I thought to myself, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

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The next few years went by peacefully, but Sam’s wife kept following-up on the child’s adoption papers. Finally, because of a guilty conscience and upon the advice of a lawyer-friend, Sam admitted the truth. The marriage went downhill from there. “My wife started talking about separating from me, but because she came from a broken home herself and didn’t want our child to go through what she did, we just continued to live with our situation and pretended to everyone that we were a happy family,” Sam shares.

Twelve years into their marriage, Sam’s wife got pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy, and the baby was born prematurely. But their daughter survived and thrived.

“I wish I could tell you that I learned my lesson and remained faithful after that, but my foolishness didn’t stop. Because I felt I was not getting enough attention, I repeatedly gave in to temptation. I justified to myself that I do it because I wasn’t getting it at home. I knew I was wrong, but I was reckless and too full of myself,” Sam says.

Sam’s turning point came when his wife convinced him to join her church’s weekly service. “At that time, the theme was family life, and the preacher’s message was so good that I found myself going back week after week for more stories, just like a teleserye,” Sam shares. “When the church announced that it was holding a marriage retreat, we both signed up, and the experience was really life-changing.”

For the past nine years, Sam has been faithful to his wife. “I believe my marriage was saved since I became a true follower of Jesus. In the same way that God has forgiven me, my wife and I learned to forgive each other. Once I started obeying His rules and letting Him take control, my life has been joyful, serene, and peaceful. This is also why I am sharing my story — out of gratitude to God.”

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Forget the Lingerie, Moms! Wear These 6 Seductive Scents Instead

Have you ever caught a whiff of someone’s cologne and immediately felt a tingly sensation? It’s not uncommon! Certain smells trigger a strong response because scientists believe that the area of the brain that processes the sense of smell is also the part that helps process emotion.

Science has also proven the link between scent and seduction. And feisty females have been using this fact to their advantage for years. History has shown that many women have used sweet-smelling concoctions to drive men to their knees (Cleopatra, Helen of Troy anyone?).

Ladies, in honor of Valentine’s Day (and the movie Fifty Shades Darker), now is the time to experiment with the power of fragrance in the bedroom. Here is a rundown of the highly sensual scents that are sure to kick the romance up a notch any time.

Vanilla

A photo posted by Ο λ ε ω α (@ambruasina) on May 21, 2016 at 5:11am PDT

Jo Malone London Vanilla and Anise Cologne (P3,490)

Amber Lights Laguna Vanilla Heaven Scented Candle (P599), available at Alabang Town Center

Pop culture has led us to believe that vanilla is plain (Hello, Fifty Shades!), but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, the sweet scent of vanilla is a well-known natural aphrodisiac that induces euphoria and relaxation. So pop on the vanilla scented cologne or light up that vanilla candle for some happy, relaxed, and sexy euphoria on V-Day!

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Musk

Lancome Tresor Midnight Rose Perfume (P3,500), available at Rustan’s


The Body Shop White Musk Smooth Satin Body Lotion (P995)

A no-brainer, the link between sex and musk is as straightforward as it gets. According to science, musk is the most carnal of all fragrance ingredients and conveys strong sexuality and primal attraction. Ahem!

Sandalwood


Khadi Natural Sandalwood Massage Oil (P450)

When used as a massage oil, this light woody aroma is a staple in Tantric sexual rituals for hundreds of years. Sandalwood is said to trigger your second chakra and heighten your sexual response. Hey, the best way to test sandalwood’s potential is slathering it on your skin, and see what kind of reaction it triggers!

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Jasmine

L’Occitane en Provence Jasmin & Bergamote (P3,500)


Diptyque Jasmin Candle (P3,250), available at Rustan’s

This beautifully scented floral scent is an aphrodisiac in more ways than one! Sweet and tantalizing, this beautiful floral note contains indole, an aromatic compound also found in abundance around — wait for it — human genitals. It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

Lavender

Jo Malone London Amber & Lavender Body Creme (P2,800)


The Body Shop French Lavender Massage Oil (P1,195)

It is the scent that Cleopatra is rumored to have used to seduce both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony! And if it worked for her, it’s sure to work for you!

Lily of the valley

Linger Perfume Whiff x Love Marie (P1,650), available at Whiff Perfume

In the early 20th century in France, it was customary for men to show their love by giving bunches of lilies of the valley as tokens of affection. This floral scent is a delicate one that is said to be quite a turn on for men.

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This ‘New’ Facebook Scam Helps Online Criminals Steal Your Identity

A Facebook post that claims all user accounts are currently being hacked has gone viral over the past few days.

The post usually starts with the line “Just giving everyone a fair warning” that tells other users that “hackers” are attempting to copy everyone’s Facebook profiles and pass it as their own.

Here’s a sample of the post.

[facebook:https://www.facebook.com/akema.basil/posts/1486447451396138][/facebook]

There’s actually nothing wrong with being a little paranoid, especially when it comes to security, but there are some inconsistencies in the mentioned warning.

A closer look shows that the actual process the supposed perpetrators are doing is not the “hacking” of Facebook accounts, but cloning, which is something comparable to identity theft.

Facebook cloning can be easily done by anyone. All you have to do is grab some screenshots of another person’s profile photo and create a profile using his or her name.

The warning also states that the perpetrators use your cloned account to add your friends to their list. Naturally, they will accept it thinking it’s you with your name and all. They will then proceed to “borrow” money or other items of value from your friends using the cloned profile.

However, this post has been going around since last year and only resurfaced recently. Check the date on this:

[facebook:https://www.facebook.com/MerishaStevenson/posts/1544711209165457][/facebook]

At this point, we’re not really sure if this post is a legit warning or just a hoax, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. To protect your account from cloning, the best thing you could do are the following:

1) PM your friends

Instead of reposting this warning on your wall, write a private message to the friends in your list addressing the issue and stating that you only have one account.

This way, it shows that you are serious in protecting you and your friends’ privacy. You also get to make sure the message is actually seen by your friends and not just scrolled over through a busy news feed.

2) Fix your privacy settings

Keep your posts private, so that they are only accessible to your friends (unless you are promoting something that will benefit more if the public eye sees it).

The last thing you want is making it easy for other people to clone your account with all the extra details like your address, mobile number and other info that could lead into them believing it is you.


3) Avoid accepting friend requests from strangers

Ever get a friend request from a total stranger, someone whose name doesn’t even ring a bell? Don’t add that person because it might be an attempt to get access and steal your personal details so they could pose as you. You’ve been warned.

This story originally appeared on Fhm.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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10 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Baguio’s Panagbenga

Aside from the many restaurants that dot Session Road and the chilly fog that often shrouds the city, Baguio in Benguet is also known for its Panagbenga Festival held every February. This month-long festival showcases the many types of flowers that grow in the City of Pines and celebrates the culture and the history of the Cordilleras.

Before riding a bus all the way to the northern part of Luzon, here are 10 things you should know:

The main event is on February 25 and 26, 2017.
Though the Panagbenga opens on February 1, the Grand Street Parade and Grand Float Parade happens every last weekend of the month. Student groups will dance on the streets of Baguio while donning colorful, flowery costumes on February 25, while floats designed with flowers in full bloom will be on display on February 26.

It used to be called Baguio Flower Festival.
The Panagbenga tradition started when Atty. Damaso E. Bangaoet, Jr. of John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation proposed the idea of having a flower festival in Baguio City. First Lady Amelita M. Ramos opened the First Baguio Flower Festival in February 1996.


Panagbenga is a Kankana-ey term.
It loosely translates to “a season for blossoming, a time for flowering.” The festival name was changed in 1997 upon the suggestion of Ike Picpican, curator of the Saint Louis University Museum.

It takes five to seven hours to travel from Manila to Baguio.
Victory Liner has a first-class option which has no stops and costs P750, while fare in a regular air-conditioned bus costs P450. You can ride from terminals in Cubao, Quezon City, or Pasay City. It is best to leave around midnight to arrive just in time for the sunrise at Mines View Park.


A bed and breakfast is a great accommodation option when in Baguio.
Aside from having lower rates, bed and breakfasts also serve freshly-cooked meals right from the backyard of the homeowners.

You can see more flowers at the local parks.
If the decorations on the floats aren’t enough, you can take a nice walk in the Botanical Garden along Leonard Wood Road. It also features native huts that are typical of dwellings in the mountains. There’s also an amphitheater surrounded with flower gardens behind the well-preserved vacation quarters of General J. Franklin Bell in Camp John Hay (a.k.a. John Hay Air Station).

Ube jam is the best pasalubong.
Get it only from the Good Shepherd Convent along Gibraltar Road until 5 p.m. Lines are often long so better come early.


There are other less tourist-y things to do.
In case you get tired of the crowd attending the Panagbenga Festival, you can take a cab to other destinations around the area. The BenCab Museum in Tuba is seldom full because of its distance from the town proper. Entrance is at P120.

It can be cold.
The temperature drops to as low as 10 degrees in December. It’s a bit warmer by February but it won’t hurt to bring a light sweater.

Every year is different.
Because the flowers don’t really last for a long time, you can expect that the float designs are different at every Panagbenga Festival — that means the experience is different each year, too!

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Have You Met Bhutan’s Super Adorable Royal Baby?

A royal baby has gotten quite a lot of attention lately. Nope, it’s not Prince George or Princess Charlotte. Meet Bhutan’s royal baby Dragon Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck! Super pogi in his yellow robe with his chubby cheeks and toy car, he is simply adorable. Let’s not forget that dimple!

The Crown Prince is turning 1 year old on February 5 (today!). In celebration, the Bhutanese royal family released the photo above. It is free to download along with a calendar on the Bhutanese website Yellow, run by the royal media department. Aptly pronounced, the site promises that the photo will “melt your heart!” (The can be used as a wallpaper for laptops, computers and smartphones.)

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He is the son of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. He and his dad share the same birth month (dad’s birthday is on February 21).

The young prince has already been featured on the calendar last year. Here he is last September being his adorable self.


According to the BBC, “Queen Jetsun Pema often shares personal images of her family on Facebook.” Here are some from her page.

[facebook:https://www.facebook.com/QueenJetsun/posts/1182032888511404][/facebook]

More please!

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These Lemons Reveal What Breast Cancer Is Really Like

With all the flak that social media gets, there’s one good thing that’s come out of it—we’re more connected now than we’ve ever been. We’re also more aware of what’s going on around the world, whether we want to be or not. Just as there are people who embrace it, there are still those who believe it’s too much noise.

We’re sure that at some point, you’ve probably noticed games, chain statuses, and other social media strategies on your feed; for instance, people have changed their profile pictures to show support for various causes, especially in relation to cancer.

It’s undoubtedly a heartfelt gesture. But some argue that it’s not enough, even going so far as saying that it’s actually irresponsible. Erin Smith Chieze, who suffers from breast cancer, posted this Facebook photo:

[facebook:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154886141978894&set=a.118071123893.124938.577163893&type=3&theater][/facebook]

She wrote, “In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer. I tried to feel for a tumor, but my tumor was non-palpable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 days later and with stage 4 the following month. A heart did nothing for awareness. I knew what breast cancer was. I knew all about self exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease. We need to give REAL information, not cute hearts. Without having seen a picture randomly with real information, I wouldn’t have known what to look for. Do us a favor, stop playing games with my life and start truly helping people.”

The photo is part of a campaign called Know Your Lemons. It’s driven by the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization.

Some have argued that any awareness is good for the cause, and while we agree, we also need to be better about laying down all the facts and making sure people have all the right information.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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8 Essential Feng Shui Tips To Keep In Mind

Many of us are familiar with Chinese astrology, animal signs, and few must-dos to help keep the home safe and prosperous every year. After a challenging 2016, some might be wondering what 2017 has in store for us. If you believe in Feng Shui, notable expert Marites Allen shares some tips that can keep the home bright and positive. Take note of the reminders below if you’re redecorating or renovating:

1. Do not place the kitchen below the bedroom.

Recently moved into a new space or building your dream home? Make sure your bedroom is not situated directly above the kitchen. In Feng Shui, the bedroom is the most important part of the home. Since sleep is key to a good life, you need to have a place meant for rest after each day. The kitchen has a lot of fire energy associated with it, it’s best not to locate it below the bedroom as it signifies burning your luck away. You may consider having the kitchen toward the back of the house, away from the active areas.

2. Do not locate the bathroom in the southwest direction.
You might have read before that the home has different sectors. To identify these parts, stand in the middle of your house with a compass. The southwest sector is for marriage and romance. If you place a bathroom in the said sector, your prospects for love and marriage will be flushed away. Those who can’t work on renovation projects or have a choice on the location of the bathroom can counter the bad energy with Feng Shui cures and charms.

3. Do not place the kitchen or bathroom in the northwest sector.
The northwest sector represents the male energy of the household, which includes the ability to produce wealth and income. Having the kitchen or bathroom in this sectoy might burn or flush away wealth.

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4. Avoid having cactus plants at home.


Plants help balance the flow of energy at home — except cactus. It’s best not to have cacti that have a lot of thorns at home as these are considered poison arrows (sha qi). If you’d still want to keep a few, place them in the bathroom, provided that the walls in the area have no gaps. Since the bathroom is considered as a reservoir of bad chi, the cactus can help neutralize it.

5. Do not sleep with a beam above your head.
The head represents the ‘heaven energy’ and sleeping under a beam may give you a subtle feeling of unease and it seems like it presses you down. The size and shape of the beam, as well as the height of the ceiling, can all have a role on how much discomfort you feel. Relocate your bed and rethink the layout of your bedroom to be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

6. Avoid combining two single beds to create one huge bed.
To help couples avoid separation problems, refrain from combining two single beds to create one bed as it signifies the lack of cohesion. Try to invest in a solid, wood bed with a headboard to contain the energy as you sleep.

7. Do not locate the main door facing the main road.


If your door faces a T- or Y-junction road, chances are the chi (universal energy) is rushing too strongly from the road toward the house, thereby affecting the overall energy of the home. You can neutralize it with a complex bagua mirror.

8. Discover ways on how you can work with mirrors.
A mirror facing the bed depletes your personal energy and might contribute to lack of sleep as it doubles and bounces all sorts of energy. It is also believed that mirrors disrupt the tranquility needed in the bedroom for better sleep. Instead of putting them up in the bedroom, you can have mirrors in the dining area. Putting these reflective surfaces across the dining table seem to signify that food and blessings on the table will multiply and double up.

This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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This Is How I Learned That Everyone Is a Version of Their Father

In the new book, Letters to My Children, 35 parents, from showbiz actors to athletes to politicians, write to their kids to impart wisdom, affirm their love, and share words of encouragement on how to embrace the future. It is probably one of the few times you’ll see these public figures at their most joyful, hopeful, and, yes, vulnerable.

One of the letters featured is by Brian Adrian H. Borleo, who describes himself this way: When not dumping more content on the Internet, he stays home and enjoys the company of his three rambunctious children.

Brian tells his kids about the biggest challenge he’s ever faced — parenting, through the tales of four generations of fathers. This is his letter in full.

To my children,

I first thought of writing you this letter when I first learned I was clinically obese. I was a hundred pounds overweight. As I write this, I’m 120 pounds over. I’m not proud of it, but I vowed to myself that I will do something about it. I want to see you all grow up. I want to give my daughters—that’s you, Ate and Bunso—away at the altar. But just in case something happens, and I’m no longer around to tell you these stories by the time you’re old enough to understand it—well, I’m a writer, and writers write.

There are a lot of things I could teach you. But probably it’s best that I share with you how I chose to tackle the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my life: parenting.

So here goes.

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“Efren, sa panget mong iyan, kung hindi ka mag-aaral, ang mapapangasawa mo, panget din. Ang magiging anak ninyo ASWANG!”

Your lolo, my father considers that to be the greatest lesson/threat your great grandpa (my lolo) ever gave him. Your lolo wasn’t an exceptional student, but he was someone you would call “marunong.” He was both book and street smart, but around his senior year in high school, he was letting his affinity with the streets take hold of him. He was spending more time at the pool table than the classroom, hence that threat.

With that in mind, your grandpa devoted more time for school, went to college, graduated from a state university, passed the board exam for his chosen profession, got married to an equally-educated woman, got a job, and had three non-monster kids, whom he could afford to buy a house for and send to reputable schools. And, although he might never say it, he was able to achieve all that because of your lelong.

That’s what it takes to be a parent. You have to have the guts to tell your kid if he’s f****ng up. Sure, you’ll rain out praises here and there, but you’ll have to be mean sometimes. Especially if you don’t want your kid to be the neighborhood’s tambay, or worse, someone’s bitch at the city jail.

Some people would call what your lelong said cruel. But in his defense, he was never given the chance to be a tender, loving dad. Being cruelly honest was the kind of parenting he experienced form his own dad.

Your great-great-grandfather was a machinist and caretaker at a hacienda in Nueva Ecija. He was only able to finish high school but was brave enough to start a family—he and your great-great-grandmother had seven kids.

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Actually, bravery was his best trait. During the World War II, he joined the local guerilla forces fighting against the Japanese. He rose through the ranks, becoming captain and joining the United States Army Forces in the Far East. He was known to make tough decisions, often doing so to strike a point. For instance, upon learning that one of his cousins provided information to the Japanese—the proper terms for such spies/traitors was “makapili”—he ordered his cousin’s beheading.

A few years after he left his family to fight, his oldest son, your lelong, who was then only 13 years old, followed him to the mountains. And so the latter part of your lelong‘s so-called formative years were spent hiding from enemies, stalking enemies, getting shot at, and the occasional killing. Perhaps only those who grew up in totally bad-ass places—like the ghettos in Hollywood movies—would understand how disturbing this could be for a young mind. Your lelong‘s father, however, refused to make war easier for his kid. Instead of requesting for his son to be assigned to his command, he allowed his son to be stationed two provinces away from him. The message was clear, “Magpakalalake ka.

The lesson didn’t stop there. A couple of years after the war ended, your lelong was charged with rape by the family of his then girlfriend, with whom he eloped. Although his father was by then employed as the bodyguard/aide-de-camp of President Manuel Roxas, he chose not to use whatever clout he had to protect his son.

Hinayaan niya ako makulong para raw magtanda ako,” recalled your lelong to me once.

After getting out of jail, your lelong briefly went to college, got married, had four kids, and chose the profession he grew up knowing. He became a policeman.

———————–

The typical Pinoy grandfather is hip, wise, generous, and will condone anything an apo does.

In short, they’re cool.

When I hit puberty and began exploring other forms of entertainment, lolo and I had a routine “viewing” sessions. He was staying at our place at the time. Coming home from school one day, I heard a loud moan from my room’s window. When I got to my room, I saw my lolo watching one of my videos. “Hindi mo sinabing may bago ka pala,” he said after I barged in.

On women, he had this to say: “Bago mo galawin, siguraduhin mo munang may pruweba ka na magkasintahan kayo.” When I scoffed at him, he reminded me of the tattoo in his back, which he got when he was imprisoned: a topless woman, below her is the phrase, “Taksil ka, Nene.”

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What You Need To Know About Vaginal Acne

When it comes to acne, no one is spared. Even people with the tightest faces and smallest pores sprout zits at the most inconvenient times. Whether it’s during puberty or adulthood, acne is a part of life — and if you get them in your vagina, that’s normal, too.

Most people think vulvar acne (actual term) happens because of a shaving mishap or ingrown hair, but actually, you can get them just by working out. Extreme sweating, especially during exercises that cause a lot of friction down there, combined with tight clothing, can cause pimples.

Unlike ingrown hair, vulvar acne “can be more uncomfortable and cause distress if you have it. The bumps contain more fluid, or sebum, too,” shares Dr. Catherine Goodstein.

If they look more like blackheads, it might be hidradenitis suppurativa: “There seems to be a genetic predisposition to forming these lesions, and obesity is a risk factor. In addition, there is believed to be a hormonal component to these, as patients with this disorder seem to do better when their hormones are regulated by birth control pills.”

Unlike the acne on your face though, experts suggest you leave it alone and not aggravate it with creams and other treatments. A warm soak will do the trick. As with all things related to your vagina, it’s always best to consult your gynecologist.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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