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Etiquette expert and Co-Founder of Antevorta Laboratories Sara Jane Ho next to The Intimate Wipe, an Origin favorite

Why Etiquette Expert Sara Jane Ho Created the Ultimate Vulva Wipe

We know it will take a village to elevate the standard of care for women and people with vaginal anatomy. From founders and innovators, doctors and patient advocates, our team at Origin is working alongside a community of incredible visionaries who are creating offerings to fill a glaring gap in care. I’m excited to kick off a series to highlight these individuals and their visions so we can all benefit.

For the first installment, I’m excited to introduce you to Sara Jane Ho, co-founder of Antevorta Laboratories. I met Sara earlier this year at a Shabbat dinner, where our mutual and well-meaning friend said, “You two should talk! You’re both in the vagina space!” He followed with, “Sara is the Martha Stewart of China!”

I was immediately intrigued by the wild juxtaposition of a Netflix etiquette expert building a brand in a historically taboo or “hush hush” space, i.e., vaginal care. Sara shared with me her vision for merging the worlds of traditional Chinese medicine, beauty, and entertainment.

I was fascinated – and then I tried Antevorta’s wipes, and wow, I’m hooked! I love feeling fresh, which means I often take two or three quick showers a day. It’s a bit excessive and these wipes are helping me reduce my water consumption and have a quick fix post workout. It’s especially helpful during my period. While I’m mindful that the vagina is self-cleaning and I don’t need specific cleansing products, I feel better knowing that when I want to get an extra cleaning oomph, what I am using is not going to disrupt my natural pH.

Without further adieu, meet Sara & Antevorta. You can also check out her products in Origin’s shop, which is all vetted by our Head of Quality and Education Liz Miracle, PT, MSPT, WCS.

It feels subversive (in an amazing way) for someone who teaches manners to also be talking unabashedly about vaginal care. How did this come to be?

It does seem like a funny juxtaposition, but when I think back to my mission, which is to help women move confidently through the world, it all makes sense.

Everything I have done in my career has been across two realms: bridging east and west, and helping women move confidently through the world. Two years ago my friend Annie and I were thinking about what we could do to bring what makes us healthy and happy to women all over the world, and Antevorta was born.

There are a lot of wipes on the market and a growing number created for the vulva. What are you all doing differently?

We are the first feminine care brand based on traditional Chinese medicine. In TCM, a woman’s health begins with her feminine health, and prevention is the best cure. We source the highest quality herbs to create a daily care hygiene bundle for your most intimate self.

Antevorta’s core ingredient, Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, translated as “five ingredient decoction to eliminate toxin,” is in every product. Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin is an ancient TCM formula that’s been passed down through generations since the Qing dynasty. It’s made up of five herbs: Japanese honeysuckle, wild chrysanthemum flower, dandelion, Chinese violet herb and semiaquilegia root tubers.

There have been multiple studies that have shown it’s a super herb for wound healing. Applying it, especially to the sensitive area that is our vulva, helps with a lot of prevention.

You have such a unique approach to production. Tell us about the history of your factories and the partnership that led to these products.

Our factory is based in Taiwan, which is my cofounder Annie’s home country, and has best preserved traditional Chinese medicinal practices. Herbal wisdom has been passed down within Annie’s family. Her grandfather opened his first TCM clinic in Taiwan in the 1940s, and it’s currently operated by her cousins. We knew from day one of working on Antevorta that ancient TCM formulas—many still used today—would be central to the brand.

When we began ideating on product development, we started with an imaginary customer and began to research her needs. Annie then put herself in the shoes of a TCM doctor, recommending the best ancient formula within the repertoire of her knowledge, and then topped it off with a few additional TCM herbs that have different function-boosting purposes, wrapped in the latest biotech.

We know that the vagina is self-cleaning. How do you balance the body's natural mechanisms with the ingredients in your products?

Our products are for the external vulva and free of harmful ingredients that can mess with your microflora or pH balance, such as alcohol, parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, dyes, sulfates, silicones and mineral oils. Our products were developed with our gynecologist Dr. Alexander Lin who is renowned in his field in both the USA and China.

Which Antevorta product is your personal go to?

My personal favorite is The Intimate Hydrating Cleansing Gel. Your vulva should be cleansed just like any other part of your body, and this wash is both gentle and powerful for delicate cleansing. We put collagen in it, so it’s very, very hydrating!

Have any women's health brands inspired you on this journey?

Instead of brands, we are inspired by women’s needs and use cases. For example, in our customer surveys and focus groups we saw a need to elevate the feminine care category, because existing feminine care brands had an outdated view of femininity — such as roses on the packaging or lavender scents. Your vagina is not supposed to smell like laundry detergent!

We created an intimate wipe that is not embarrassing to be seen in your hand walking down the plane aisle, but is elegant and discreet. Our products provide the care that no one sees, but the confidence everybody notices.

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Carine Carmy Headshot
Carine Carmy

Carine Carmy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Origin.

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