I’m tired of the ridiculous stigma attached to discussing this subject and deeply concerned that the worlds biggest, most trusted brand of lubricant is KY Jelly – a toxic petroleum cocktail – with a whopping 52% market share. I recently wrote an article for Coco Eco Magazine that discusses this very subject, with the aim of bringing the topic out of the bedroom and into the open! The following will be a little wordy but well worth the read, and for those of you who at the end of reading are compelled to make some changes, there are now brilliant alternatives such as Yes Organic Personal Lubricant (UK Soil Association certified), that utilize plant polymers, not silicone or glycerin, delivering all the superior performance of a conventional lube, without any harmful addtitives.Conventional lubricants (and some natural ones), contain a multitude of ingredients that are… surprise, surprise… harmful for you. Most of these ingredients are various forms of petrochemicals such as propylene glycol (often used in car batteries as anti-freeze), synthetic preservatives (such as the family of parabens, which have been found in cancerous breast tissue and are known endocrine disruptors encouraging an over-abundance of estrogen), glycerine (which not only is drying over time causing skin to potentially become even more absorbent to harmful ingredients, but it’s also a sugar, therefore can feed candida, or thrush, bacteria), and sodium hydroxide (which is very harsh and irritating to skin). Even grapeseed oil can be an irritant for some.
We all know that up to 60% of what is applied to skin can be absorbed, but this becomes critical to understand when using personal lubricant, and this is why: There are parts of the body and skin, known as mucus membranes, that contain semi-permeable tissue. These are the cavities such as your nose, mouth, vaginal, and anal areas that are external to environments, but also directly link to internal organs. When you apply anything to these sensitive, highly absorbent skin surfaces, the ingredients are absorbed directly and effectively into your body.
Compelling cause for concern, but even more so is the effect these chemicals can have on your fertility or for couples trying to conceive. A common misconception is that a lubricant does not impair sperm function if it doesn’t contain spermicide, however, most conventional personal lubricants tend to alter the normal pH balance of the vagina and cervical mucus, providing a hostile environment in which sperm can survive. Data from the World Health Organization shows that the optimum pH value for sperm motility and survival in cervical mucus is between 7.0 and 8.5. By contrast, most lubricants tend to have pH values below 7.0 and sometimes even as low as 3.5. What this means is that particularly in oil-based lubricants where the formula is viscous or syrupy, sperm is prevented from reaching the uterus and gets trapped in the overly acidic environment of the vagina, where they die. Even in conventional, water-based lubes, ingredients such as glycerine and propylene glycol can cause irreversible damage to sperm.
Lubricants should facilitate your pleasure, without masking your skin and senses, but besides the cornucopia of harmful chemicals outlined above, what is often also found in conventional lubricants is a barrage of artificial colors and flavors. Fun for some but again, most of these synthetic colors & flavors are produced synthetically from toxic chemicals. As if that weren’t enough, most are also tested on animals.
So, next time you feel like reaching for that little tube of helpful glide, think about the above, toss your KY or conventional lube into the trash where it belongs, and get yourself a healthy alternative like Yes (the only lube that’s certified organic using plant polymers) or Firefly.