Did you see the recent FDA alert for Diethylene glycol contamination, found in glycerin? Maybe not, but what if we told you that Diethylene glycol is a widely-used solvent, found in things like anti-freeze? We’d rather not go there.
YES/AH!YES avoid glycerin in their lube because:
- it’s a known mucus membrane irritant
- it can easily feed thrush/candida albicans
Glycerin is used to increase your lubricant’s osmolality (an important aspect of all things lube). YES®/AH!YES WB lube is the only lubricant that matches both natural vaginal pH and vaginal osmolality. Which makes it really safe, as well as super-exciting.
Note, glycerin is widely used in skincare, and can be very beneficial. But it’s an irritant for the mucosa (the moist inner lining of some organs and cavities in your body). The vagina is, ideally, moist, by nature. So we don’t want anything irritating near it/on it/around it.
Grapefruit seed extract (citrus seed extract/citrus grandis)
On the topic of irritants, watch out for grapefruit seed extract in your lube. Some products do include it, and this ingredient – while really beneficial in many supplements, remedies and products – has been shown in research to irritate certain mucosal areas.
These synthetic preservatives are probably pretty familiar ‘to-avoid’ ingredients. Parabens (i.e methylparaben) mimic estrogen – making them a classic endocrine disruptor (definitely to be avoided) and have been linked to breast cancer.
The FDA investigation on parabens is ‘ongoing’, but for now, we’d rather not. And you really shouldn’t be seeing them in a gynecologist-recommended lubricant.
This is a solvent for ingredients within the lubricant, meaning it can pull other chemicals into the mucosa, which may not otherwise be there. But, it’s a petrochemical (yep), derived from petroleum, and more suited to things like antifreeze than your vagina, and sensuous sex.
Another preservative, and naturally-occurring solvent. Allergic reactions to benzyl alcohol are common, although it is largely marked as safe for use in skin products, but at higher concentration it can be an irritant for our mucous membranes. YES WB/AH! YES WB water-based lube doesn’t contain skin irritants.
This amino acid has been known to trigger Herpes outbreaks (less than ideal), but many intimate health products do include it. Why? Because it’s said to intensify arousal, improving blood-flow to your vagina. We say, there are other ways. Other ways include Kegels (pelvic floor exercises), regular exercise (20 minutes a day will do it), and good hydration. Simple. And no Herpes.
Petroleum bi-products (make sure you know what to look for)
These can come in the form of:
- mineral oil (liquidum paraffinum)
- petrolatum (petroleum jelly)
- paraffin oil (lamp oil or premium kerosine)
- paraffin wax.
Lamp oil … just, no. Surely?
YES/AH! YES products will never (ever) contain any of these, and a gynecologist-recommended lubricant shouldn’t. They ‘coat’ our tissues, preventing normal functioning – we’ve all had a little tub of petroleum jelly knocking about as a super-thick (and sticky) lip balm, haven’t we? Plus, the EU has restricted petrolatum use in cosmetics, due to contamination concerns.
Known for its numbing effects, benzocaine is used in some lubes to help with painful sex and anal play. But pain is never ok, during sex. If it hurts, you may be on your way to an injury. And if that’s the case, you need to stop, regroup and listen to your body.
And by the way, a quick search on this one will show lots of products which contain most of the to-avoid ingredients above.
Benzocaine. It doesn’t sound sexy, does it? Best avoid.
Silicone oils (again, know what to look for)
These can be listed as a a few things, like:
- dimethicone copolyol
Silicone is a hot topic right now because of its side effects when used in breast implants. Any hint of toxicity just doesn’t belong near your vagina. We’re sure you’ll agree.