The health-related reason why French women are wearing cold gel packs in their undies.

We all want to emulate the effortless beauty of French women. A slightly messily-applied lipstick, a black turtleneck, or forgoing hair-brushing for a day can easily do the trick.

But cold putting gel packs on your lady parts?

Yes, yes this is a thing French women really do. And I’m skeptical.

It’s known as a bain dérivatif, and apparently it’s your key to (literal) Frenchwoman cool.

It’s based on the reasoning that thanks to snug jeans, prolonged sitting, and hot weather, our intimate areas are often inflamed past the point of normal body temperature (98 degrees Fahrenheit), which can lead to bloating, insomnia, and even acne.

The solution, if you listen to the French (apparently Marion Cotillard is an avid practicer), is to sit in a cool, shallow bath for one half-hour per day. Or simply insert a cooling gel back into your underwear to regulate temperature.

Sounds totally reasonable and not at all insane, right? Right.

…Rock’n’roll #rocknrolllefilm @guillaumecanetofficiel ????????????

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According to the ‘My Little Paris’ newsletter from Go French Yourselfbains dérivatifs, also known as “cold water therapy”, are a cooling technique that’s been used by Europeans since the 19th century. French naturopath France Guillain then re-popularized them among modern French women in the early 2000s.

Natural therapies site Soignez-Vous explains further:

“The excesses of our digestion create overloads and that they tend to go to the periphery, towards the extremities such as the hands, the feet, the head, but also under the skinjoint action of friction and cold water on the [extremities] elimination regions has the effect of reversing these overloads to the intestine.

Cooling packs are an alternative if you don’t feel up to running a bath every single day.


If you decide to try it out for yourself, don’t just go shoving an ice pack from your freezer in down there. There are specific brands dedicated to the manufacturing of these pouches, designed with a protective cloth layer to protect your lady bits from frostbite.

I apologize for the terrible image that probably just flashed through your mind. If this is what it takes to be a French woman, I’m not quite sure I’m up for it.

H/t: My Little Paris 

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