What’s the best lubricant for women? Well, Firstly, it’s one that isn’t toxic to your lady bits! It’s time we turn those bedroom eyes toward your intimate-use products, as most of them are chock full of toxic ingredients like parabens, sodium benzoate, glycerin, petrochemicals, and even propylene glycol — a common ingredient in brake fluid!
Why Most Lubes Are Toxic
Recent studies have also shown that many such products — especially personal lubes — can seriously damage the cell lining, potentially enhancing our susceptibility to sexually-transmitted bags o’ fun like gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, genital herpes, hepatitis B, and, of course, HIV. But more on that in a bit.
According to market research firm Iri, Americans plunk down roughly $200 million annually on lube alone, a substance that sort of faces Food and Drug Administration scrutiny but not necessarily in the ways you might expect. That’s because the FDA classifies lube as something “to lubricate a body orifice to facilitate entry of a diagnostic or therapeutic device.” (And if that doesn’t get you all hot and bothered nothing will.)
The problem with classifying lubricants this way, as a de facto medical device, is twofold. First, thanks to the glorious idiosyncrasies of language, such products only face FDA scrutiny if they explicitly portend to be “vaginal lubricants.” Such a stipulation imposes a stipulation that the manufacturer must submit a host of applications (called “510k clearances”) to the FDA. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to prove the product is safe for repeat contact.
“The regulatory environment does not appear to always require lubricant manufacturers to rigorously confirm the vaginal and rectal safety of these products,” says Scott Giebel, an associate with the Population Council’s HIV and AIDS program, “especially if the product does not claim to be intended for sexual use.”
Second, companies that don’t explicitly state their products are intended for vaginal lubrication — even if everybody knows they are — face barely any regulation at all. So, unless people’s junk starts spontaneously bursting into flames after rubbing on some Liquid Sexy Heat, most manufacturers just keep on peddling.
More Toxic Sex
From a toxicity perspective, we know that the best lubricant for women isn’t a toxic one and many intimate-use products currently on the market (most of which come from China, by way of Unregulatedville) contain a host of parabens. Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, and endocrine disruptors have, for some time, been linked to birth defects, reduced sperm count, tumors, immune deficiencies and a seemingly endless list of nasty business, like the “feminization of boys.”
Furthermore, while the U.S. lags behind regulating the toxins we come in contact with, the entire European Union is seeking to ban parabens in any product meant for children under 6 years old. Officials at the World Health Organization, meanwhile, have stated outright that endocrine disruptors can potentially lead to “obesity, infertility or reduced fertility, learning and memory difficulties, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as a variety of other diseases.”
“We don’t have categorical proof that the toxic substances found in (these products) will kill you,” admits Dr. Peter Anton, who recently co-authored an in-depth study on lubricant use. “But if you could easily avoid them why wouldn’t you?
The results of Anton’s study, which was conducted in Baltimore and Los Angeles as part of UCLA’s Microbicide Development Program, also place rather frightening focus on a little-known lubricant property called “hyperosmolarity.”
In layman’s terms, something that is hyperosmolar contains more salts, carbohydrates, and proteins than are normally at home inside the vagina or rectum. This imbalance causes cells to “bleed” water and severely dehydrates the cellular lining. Consequently, the skin can be more susceptible to tears during sex, which fact made the UCLA team conclude that “some lubricant products may increase vulnerability to sexually-transmitted infection.”
A similar study conducted in 2012 by the Microbicide Trials Network came to a similar conclusion — though no one has yet confirmed the full extent of damage hyperosmolar lubricants cause. Cellular toxicity was clearly increased by the use of such lubes, especially in the destruction of lactobacillus (bacteria that maintains a healthy genital tract). But the damage incurred did not “appear to make cells more vulnerable to HIV infection.”
“Much more work needs to be done to explore the safety of lubes,” says MTN’s lead author, Dr. Charlene S. Dezzutti. “This was an early study, and the jury is still out.”
What is The Best Lubricant for Women (and Men)?
While we wait for the jury, how do we know if a lube is hyperosmolar before we buy it? The answer, aside from building personal laboratories in our basements, is we really don’t. Water-based lubes tend to be the biggest culprits, but merely being water-based doesn’t mean a lube is inherently bad for you. In fact, most medical professionals recommend water-based lubes because they clean up easily and are safe on latex.
Silicone-based products, meanwhile, can be a drippy mess and can also damage any toys you bring to the party, while petroleum products not only eat away at rubber and latex, but also trap myriad bacteria that can potentially lead to infection.
Now that you’ve trashed your KY Jelly with it’s parabens and preservatives, what can you replace it with? One solution is Curious, made with the highest grade of organic botanicals available. What makes it the best lubricant for women? It’s combination of ingredients! Each ingredient is carefully chosen to keep the delicate pH balance of the vagina intact while boosting intimate pleasure. Curious is the only lubricant on the market to include an array of potent medicinal plants that rejuvenate, nourish, and support intimate tissues while improving sexual pleasure.
The ingredients include:
Coconut (Cocos nucifera) fruit oil extract
Coconut fruit extract is an excellent ingredient for a personal lubricant because it is silky and non-greasy, but it also helps to hydrate the delicate vaginal tissues. It decreases water loss through the mucosal membranes, which helps soothe and protect inflamed and dry tissues. Studies show Coconut fruit extract is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and an antioxidant.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) seed oil
Punicic acid, a valuable Omega 5 fatty acid, is abundant in pomegranate oil. It’s high in antioxidants and promotes collagen and elastin production. It reduces tissue inflammation and aids in cellular repair, supporting healthy cell turnover for a healthy vagina. Pomegranate oil is one of the main ways that Curious helps maintain healthy vaginal pH.
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) extract
Most of us know the antioxidant richness of green tea, but did you know it works topically as well? Studies indicate that topical green tea may be helpful in treating cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. There is substantial research support for use of topical green tea.
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil, Organic
Jojoba oil has been used in skin care for centuries, due to it’s similarity to human sebum. Research indicates that it stimulates collagen synthesis and can greatly accelerate the wound closure. Jojoba oil is another ingredient that helps reduce inflammation (often caused by other lubricants) and reduces scar formation.
Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis) extract
The fatty acids in elderberry extract helps balance the vaginal microbiome by banishing yeast and E. coli, which are responsible for many vaginal conditions and the vast majority of urinary tract infections. Elderberry serves to also protect the shelf life of the best lubricant for women—Curious.
Olive (Olea europaea) squalane
Squalene is an amazing ingredient for both it’s sensual feel and its wound healing and regenerative qualities. Our squalane is derived from olive oil and is used to treat skin disorders such as seborrheia, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) extract
Damiana is an herb often used to boost libido in both women and men and is an amazing aphrodisiac and anti-anxiolytic. Damiana was traditionally used in Mayan medicine to increase clitoral sensitivity, and as a treatment for anorgasmia in women. This herb also stimulates sexual behavior in sluggish or impotent men.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) extract
Gotu Kola is an herb specifically used against inflammatory tissue disorders. Gotu Kola is especially effective for those who struggle with dry, atrophied tissue due to autoimmune diseases. Gotu Kola has been used traditionally to increase sexual capacity and desire. A recent study also indicates it has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used topically to banish free radicals.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extract phospholipids
This extract is a nutritious powerhoue for the skin. The zinc in Shiitake extract alone helps boost the immune system and the antioxidant properties can be used against cancerous lesions, tumors, and some cancers.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) extract phospholipids
Chamomile (yes like the tea) can be used topically to treat anal-genital irritation, specifically hemorrhoids, vaginal membranes, and episiotomy. It reduces irritation and inflammation of mucous membranes associated with abrasions and wounds.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) sterols
This ingredient contributes additional sterols to those already present in the pomegranate oil, and is deeply hydrating.
Best Lubricant For Women? Something natural of course!
If you’re looking for the best lubricant for women, something that won’t cause infection, pH imbalance, or dryness but will help improve sexual function and pleasure, Curious is the lube for you.