If your lubricant itches or burns, consider it a sign and trash it! Lubricants market size is likely to increase to are about a $219 million market in the U.S. alone, according to market research by the Chicago-based firm SymphonyIRI Group. And when 25,000 Americans were asked about the brands they use, many respondents named KY Jelly. Indeed, some 70 percent use commercial lubricants, while 17 percent opt for petroleum jelly, and 13 percent use oils.

But is KY Jelly safe? How about other mainstream lubricants? That answer: Not really. Since the vagina is a mucous membrane, it secretes and absorbs fluids at a higher rate than skin, as do some of the external portions of the vulva, including the clitoris, clitoral hood, labia minora, and urethra.

Since most mainstream lubricants contain nasty chemicals, they can damage your genitals and upset a woman’s internal pH and beneficial microbes, making her more prone to harmful organisms.

“Women should be aware that there is mounting evidence that some products that are inserted vaginally can cause damage to vaginal tissues, and can increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, chlamydia and HIV,” says Joelle Brown of the University of California, Los Angeles, who was the lead author on a study about personal lubricants.

Johnson & Johnson and Trojan continue to dominate the personal lubricant market. And yet their top selling products, like Johnson & Johnson’s KY Jelly can cause rectal damage and erode vaginal tissue.

Furthermore the  vast majority of lubricants are ” hyper-osmotic products” that cause irritation, inflammation, and epithelial cell damage in vaginal and rectal tissues.

“This is a big deal,” points out Elizabeth Moriarty, Clinical Herbalist and owner of HERBOLOGIE. She is also the master mind behind Curious and our  Superior Cannabinoid Hemp Oil. This damage increases the likelihood of transmission of sexual infection by 50 percent.”

Further, this inflammation and damage to epithelial cells is correlated with a heightened risk of cancer. All water and water/glycerin products are hyperosmotic to varying degrees.

On the other hand, though, can lubricants be beneficial? The answer to that one is decidedly “Yes.” In a recent study by Indiana University, researchers surveyed approximately 2,500 women and found that those who used a lubricant reported higher levels of satisfaction and pleasure. Seventy percent of the women said the lubricant gave more pleasure while 30 percent said it made sex more fun. The ages of these women varied from 18-68.

“The right lubricant is silken to the touch and the slip and glide allows you unbridled pleasure,” says Moriarity.

The key, then, is to avoid lubricants that contain harsh chemicals, particularly petrochemicals that found their start in the automotive industry and have somehow made their way to your private parts. Read labels and examine the ingredients as carefully as you examine the foods you eat.

If you can’t pronounce it, you probably should not put it in or on your body.

Is KY Jelly Safe? 6 Chemicals in KY and Other Lubricants You Want to Avoid

  • Parabens – Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben) are used as synthetic preservatives; however, when used in lubricants they can be absorbed into the body. They disrupt hormones as they mimic estrogen and get concentrated in the breasts and ovaries.
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    “They have been linked to breast cancer and found in tumors.
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    Manufacturers love them because they are cheap and effectively add shelf life to a product.Although the body breaks them down quickly, these chemicals are detected in urine, breast milk, and blood. Women are particularly at risk because they are more heavily exposed to the parabens that are so common in cosmetics.
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  • Petrochemicals – Do you really want to apply crude oil anywhere near your koochie? Petrochemical-based lubricant brands can damage sensitive mucous membranes, and increase the risk of all infections, including sexually transmitted diseases and yeast infections.
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    Lubricants have a range of osmolalities or concentrations of osmotic solutions within a cell. A study conducted at John Hopkins on personal lubricants concluded that brands with a petrochemical base expose the cells to high osmolality, causing damage to vaginal and anal tissues that make them more susceptible to infections.
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    According to the study conducted by Brown at UCLA, 40 percent of the women who used petroleum jelly as a vaginal lubricant had bacterial vaginosis — an infection that can be caused by a number of common bacterial species — compared to 18 percent of women who did not use petroleum jelly.
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  • Glycerin – These products are hyperosmolar and can damage the vaginal lining, increasing the risk of infection and viral transmission. They can also increase the risk of yeast infection.
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    “Many personal lubricants, like KY Jelly, contain glycerin, which breaks down to sugars and promotes yeast infections, and possibly also bacterial vaginosis,” says Weiss.
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  • Phenoxyethanol – Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether. Glycols are a series of chemicals that find their way into all sorts of toxic fuming products including paint, lacquer, and jet fuel.
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    “Phenoxyethanol is used as an anti-bacterial agent in cosmetics as well as a stabilizer in perfume, but at high concentrations, phenoxyethanol can be harmful when absorbed through your skin, causing reproductive damage, and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, can depress the central nervous system in newborns,” explains Laurie Steelsmith a licensed naturopathic physician and HoneyColony Adviser.
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    The breakdown of phenoxyethanol in your body releases phenol, which can adversely affect your immune system. The Environmental Working Group lists phenoxyethanol as a moderate hazard, with possible links to toxicity and skin irritation.
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    “Although it’s found in very low concentrations in some sexual lubricants, you’d do best to keep away from it,” says Steelsmith.

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  • Propylene Glycol – Propylene glycol is used as a humectant, solvent, and preservative in food and tobacco products. It is also a major ingredient in the “e-liquid” used in electronic cigarettes. And since it can lower the freezing point of water, it’s also used as an aircraft de-icing fluid. Astroglide, a common over-the-counter lubricant, contains this ingredient.
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    Not surprisingly, propylene glycol may cause burning or tissue irritation in some women. Women need their mucous lining to fight off infections. If that barrier gets compromised, all bets are off.
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  • Fragrance – This innocuous word is a code name for at least 500 chemicals that mimic natural scents! Some of the most common chemicals in perfumes are ethanol, acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, a-pinene, acetone, benzyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, linalool, a-terpinene, methylene chloride, styrene oxide, dimenthyl sulphate, a-terpineol, camphor, and limonene.water based, is ky jelly safe, is ky jelly water based, ky jelly side effects
    Why let mainstream brands poison us? Some of these chemicals cause irritability, bloating, joint aches, and burning or itching.
Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.

Find out more about Maryam…. Submit your story or essay to Buzzworthy Blogs.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Lube is a battlefield: Household alternatives and other lube questions

  2. John Q

    This feels stupid to say. But I was with my partner. 69ing. We were trying anal for the first time. So as I was on my back and she was on top reversed. I had the idea of using lube and my finger to loosen her up. Long story short, the lube came out fast and right down/up my nose. It burned a little. And some went down my throat. I’ve been sick for two days. Should I be worried and seek medical attention?

  3. ohplease

    @nsmartinworld I love how the MRA losers always ride on the accomplishments of other men as if they had anything to do with it. Mr whathisface decided that the claims were weak without providing any evidence to back it up. Clearly he’s not one of the superior men he things he is. Also living on the things that women have produced would be quite easy, especially considering the whole giving birth thing. Thank you for the information author, I will continue to look at the potential harmful effects of lubricants and make an informed decision in the future.

  4. cojonius

    This stuff works great, but it tastes terrible and makes my toast soggy

  5. @nsmartinworld

    An irritation is not the same as a claim that something is harmful in general. My gut is irritated by walnuts, ergo walnuts are hazardous to everyone? There is nothing that can be put into a vagina that won’t irritate some woman.

    I really think the best thing would be for you to agree to never appropriate any of the products of male culture. Live on the things that women have invented and produced.

    That might be a problem, because as Camille Paglia has said, “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.”

  6. Jennifer

    Ummm….women don’t actually need science to confirm an ingredient/chemical has irritated our vagina. How about you Martin? Has your vagina ever been irritated by an FDA approved product?

  7. @nsmartinworld

    Sorry, fascist snowflake, but you don’t regulate who comments on any topic. This is about science, not bullshit activism. The science is unsupportable. But you wouldn’t know since you are undoubtedly without any science background, unless astrology counts.

    The idea that byproducts of “petrochemicals” are unhealthy is a laughable misunderstanding of science, and total hooey.

  8. Jennifer

    You are wrong for 2 reasons; Her claims are supported very well- with FACTS. Your post however has zero value. It is just random words and you are not qualified or welcome to comment on vaginas. The second reason you are wrong is in your use of the word “activist.” Activists are valuable and superior to sheeple so using the word as an insult is nonsensical.

  9. @nsmartinworld

    Some pretty weakly supported claims, as one expects from an “activist.”

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