Want to remove dark circles under the eyes? Use condoms.
This is what more and more Bhutanese women are doing these days. They use condom lubricants for facials and also for weaving purposes.
Karma Dem, who runs a chemist shop here, said women come to her to buy condoms. “They say condoms help remove dark circles under the eyes and even marks on the faces of pregnant women.”
Another pharmacy owner Jharna said: “The women say condoms help improve dry skin and cracks. There is a slight increase in women consumers, maybe because of what they claim to be the cosmetic benefits of the lubricants.”
But doctors aren’t impressed and dismissed the idea. Dermatologist Pema Rinzin said the so-called benefit of condoms was a myth.
“There’s nothing in there that will improve skin condition. It doesn’t make sense. The lubricants used in condoms are just common lubricants. If they did have cosmetic benefits, they would be marketed as such,” Rinzin said.
Another physician said studies show that most condom lubricants contain benzene, a chemical, which is considered toxic if used in very high and concentrated doses.
Bhutanese weavers are also using condoms as a softener for threads.
“I’ve used it during the winter when thread usually gets heavier and hard to work with,” claimed a weaver Thinley.
Phuntsho, an employee of a state-run weaving centre here, said she once used it on her threads, adding that she wouldn’t mind using it again, if someone would give her the condoms.
“I can’t really go and buy them. How can I explain something like that to a pharmacist? They probably wouldn’t believe me.”