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The Lowdown On Lube Ingredients

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

The problem with personal lubricants is two-fold: 1) They don’t work that well. By this, we specifically mean that they lose their slip when subjected to air and friction. Sticky sex and tacky skin, in our opinion, does not make for a pleasant experience. 2) They are made with toxic chemicals.

It follows then that our goal was two-fold as well: 1) Make something naturally slippery – meaning it had to have some super-serious, slip with slide that lasts. 2) Make a safe, sexy, luxurious alternative to toxic lubes.

If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients used in lubricants, you would quickly see that they are made with chemicals, period. Even the “natural” ones. So, rather than analyze each individual chemical used in today’s manufacturing processes, we find greater utility in taking the central, over-arching theme and using it to frame the issue as a whole. That is to say that the female nether region is a complex ecosystem, as noted in Sage Journals,

The vagina is a dynamic and finely tuned ecosystem in which homeostasis depends on mutually beneficial interactions between a human female and her resident microorganisms, an ecosystem that can be thrown off balance by a wide variety of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

In other words, don’t mess with it. Key to this point is that lack of homeostasis in “the vault” can weaken the body’s ability to defend against irregularities, imbalances and infections.

It’s not so much about each individual ingredient as it is about groups of chemicals which are employed to do something. Bear in mind that one function of the product can be produced by the same or similar chemicals that come in many, many different forms, e.g. silicones, preservatives, lubricants, emulsifiers, surfactants, etc…

The real questions are: What are they using to cause slip? What are they using to combat microbial growth? What are they using to emulsify the product? What are they using to make it smell nice, or like nothing at all? (Unscented products actually have “fragrance” in them to make them smell like “nothing.”) We need much better answers to these questions (and by better, we mean different than the answers that exist today).

Here’s why: Our bodies respond to chemicals on various levels. For example,

pH Balance: A healthy, natural vaginal pH ranges between 3.8 – 4.5 for women in their reproductive years. Before puberty and during/after menopause that number ticks up a bit. The problem is that most lubricants have pH levels that go way above 4.5 which can then trigger a cascade of disruptions. Incidentally, the pH in our lube comes in at a solid 5. Furthermore,, If you’re curious about any of your feminine hygiene products, it’s easy to check them yourself with pH strips you can buy on Amazon, for like five bucks.

OsmolalityOsmolality is a term used in the “lube business.” It refers to a product’s ability to pull moisture from your tissues and cells in their never-ending quest to find, and maintain, equilibrium. There is an interactive relationship between your body and your lube. The problem is that lubes typically have high osmolality which means that vaginal tissue, in its ongoing mission to seek balance, tries to keep up with the lubricant by releasing moisture. So, instead of enhancing moisture, they draw natural moisture out of the cells. It’s actually backwards.

As explained on,

“Higher osmolality than normal vaginal secretions can result in vaginal tissue which literally shrivels up because the moisture in those cells is pulled out. This process leads to irritation and a breakdown of the mucous membrane barrier which protects the vagina from infection.” That includes STDs.

Microbiome –The vaginal microbiome is the balance of microorganisms that inhabit the vagina. Harsh chemical ingredients can be toxic to the vaginal microbiome, killing off vital bacteria leading to imbalances that can lead to anything from pain and discomfort to irritation and itching, and infection. Chemicals found in lubes are often also derived from sugar, which can cause overgrown yeast since yeast feeds on sugars and carbs.

Richard A. Cone, a biophysicist at Johns Hopkins University says,

“Manufacturers have been formulating skin care products with these ingredients for many moons, Cone adds, so the firms assumed they’d work just as well in personal lubricants. But skin cells on a person’s arm are a far cry from cells in a woman’s vagina—or in the rectum, for that matter."

On the basis of his own research, Cone believes that “virtually all sex lubricants need to be reformulated.”

And, so yup. That’s what we did. It's called, Slip "N Slide Super Lube.

Now, all that being said, we argue that the practical problem with lubes is that they address moisture, (and do it with harmful chemicals) while realistically, moisture/water is not what good sex needs. Good sex needs slip. So, you may also enjoy reading, “New, Natural, Organic Lube That Put’s the Slip Back Into Sex.”

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