Many women know just how painful it is to suffer from vaginal dryness.
And as a logical solution one might first think about purchasing a personal lubricant (lube), in order to provide additional lubrication. But not every lube is a good lube. There’s much to know about the ingredients and about how to pick yourself a lube for sensitive skin that won’t burn or cause infections.
In this article we are going to present ingredients, which you should avoid at all costs and give you specific recommendations for finding the perfect lube for sensitive skin.
If you would like to know more about sensitive sexual health topics and lubes in general, we recommend you visit a sexual-health website, titled Lube For Sex. At lubeforsex.com you can find lots of information and data on personal lubricants and sexual wellness. Focus of the website is your sexual wellbeing.
To fully understand why certain lubes just won’t work and might cause certain problems, we should take a look at most common ingredients that are used in personal lubricants.
Finding the perfect lube for sex can indeed be challenging, especially for people who are not into chemistry. This is why we have prepared for you an article with gathered information about specific ingredients that can cause burning sensation, irritation and vaginal infections.
Avoiding the listed ingredients will enable you to pick a lubricant that is safe and ingredient friendly. By the end of this article you will have the knowledge to select a lube that won’t cause burning or any other problems. You will understand what a lube for sensitive skin really is.
Lots of people choose a lube based on the “big label signs” written at the front of the lube. Such as:
- “all natural lube”,
- “lube for sensitive skin”,
- “doctor recommended lube”,
- and many more similar big titles.
While only few people take a look at the back of the bottle, searching and analyzing the ingredients list. Manufactures are deceiving people with those big headlines, and they can practically write anything on the front of the lube bottle.
It is the ingredients you should be focusing on, and we are going to present you with the list of the most common harmful ingredients that can cause burning, itching, irritations, infections, and with the long term use, some of these ingredients may even cause cancer.
Safe personal lubricant or better yet, a lube for sensitive skin, will never contain any of the ingredients below:
- DMDM hydantoin
- diazolidinyl urea
- butylphenyl methylpropional
- propylene glycol
- mineral oil
Glycerin (aka Glycerol)
Glycerin is an ingredient used mainly in water based lubes, to make them last longer.
Glycerin is mainly produced as a byproduct of biodiesel industry. It can also be produced synthetically or it can be produced naturally from vegetable and animal fats.
It does not matter which route of production has been used, since different studies managed to prove that glycerin is the cause for yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. This is because glycerin breaks down to sugars, which act as food to candida species, mainly causing overgrowth of Candida albicans, resulting in yeast infection.
We strongly advise your lube of choice to be glycerin free. Otherwise the chosen lube might not be the best lube for sensitive skin.
Parabens such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, are an effective preservative. The problem with parabens is, that they mimic hormone estrogen.
Mimicking estrogen parabens can be the cause for breast cancer.
2004 study found parabens in breast cancer tumors, with Methylparaben having the highest concentration. However, the 2004 study did not prove that parabens were the cause for the growth of tumors.
Later the 2016 study titled “Methylparaben stimulates tumor initiating cells in ER+ breast cancer models”, has concluded that parabens are indeed the cause for the development of carcinogenic tumors, due to their endocrine disrupting properties.
Since parabens are also irritants, they have no place in a lube for sensitive skin. When choosing a lube for sex, you should most definitely avoid parabens.
It is used in personal lubricants as a preservative. Works as a formaldehyde releaser. Yes, you’ve read that right – formaldehyde.
DMDM hydantoin has antimicrobial properties, making sure your lube doesn’t go bad. However there are natural preservatives that are not in any way harmful, which is what we cannot say about DMDM hydantoin.
DMDM hydantoin is slowly but constantly releasing formaldehyde, to kill every little germ that might get into your lube. But it is also killing everything good in your vagina. It is irritant and in the long run possibly carcinogenic.
Lube for sensitive skin must be free of DMDM hydantoin. This one can hurt vagina and penis. Can cause irritations, rash, dermatitis, and worse.
Similar to DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea works as a formaldehyde releasing agent. I don’t think we should discuss this one any further.
It releases formaldehyde, which is highly poisonous, toxic and carcinogenic, so you should avoid it at all costs.
Also check your current stash of skincare products, cosmetics and beauty care. You might just find some of the listed ingredients there also. It is insane to think that those creams you are wearing through the day may be releasing formaldehyde straight into your lungs.
Butylphenyl Methylpropional (aka Lilial)
Fragrance ingredient. Extremely toxic. Resembles the smell of the Lily Of The Valley. It is so poisonous that its amount has been limited to 0.01% for “rinse off” products, and 0.001% for the “leave on” products.
A lube that won’t burn or cause infections should be without such ingredients, even if the amount of the ingredient is at the lowest possible level. With systematic, repeated use, it can cause serious problems.
Even though it may smell amazing and pure, you must know that this ingredient is in no way natural. It is a synthetic compound which can be produced by several different routes.
Using a lube for sex is much safer when ingredients, such as Lilial, are not present within your lube.
Polyquaternium-15 (or any other Quaternium)
There’s a research available online that studies the effect of using personal lubricants and their correlation to HIV-1 transmission. The study is titled “Identification of Personal Lubricants That Can Cause Rectal Epithelial Cell Damage and Enhance HIV Type 1 Replication in Vitro”
Study finds that certain lubes significantly enhanced replication of HIV-1 and that the common ingredient in those lubes is Polyquaternium-15.
Based on the data from ewg.org Polyquaternium-15 is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful to organ system toxicity.
We recommend that when you see a word “quaternium” written on the ingredient list, that you should stay far away from that lube. An ingredient-friendly lube will not carry such compound. Safe lube that won’t burn or cause infections, should be “quaternium-free”.
Basically works as anesthetic, locally numbing the body parts you apply it to.
What on earth is anesthetic doing in a lube for sex?
Benzocaine is added with the purpose to reduce penetration pain. Benzocaine is added to those lubes that are made especially with anal penetration in mind. Therefore, you can find this substance in many anal lubes.
It numbs the parts of your body, but it is also proven to be harmful to human body.
When your body is in pain, it sends signals to your brain. If you block these signals, you aren’t doing any favor to yourself. Besides, when using this for vaginal sex you won’t feel any pleasure either. You will feel nothing down there and probably wake up in pain, with some sort of vaginal infection.
Benzocaine is for that reason on this list of harmful ingredients to avoid, when selecting your personal lubricant for sensitive skin.
EDTA (Tetrasodium, Disodium and other EDTA’s)
Would you use something on your private parts if you knew that cyanide and formaldehyde were used for the creation process?
Nothing else to add here – Cyanide and formaldehyde. EDTA is a synthetic ingredient, which is used as chelating agent, but the process of synthetisation is very health concerning.
A lube for sensitive skin should definitely be without any form of EDTA, let it be Tetrasodium EDTA or Disodium EDTA. These can both cause problems and irritations to your vaginal area.
If you search for Tetrasodium EDTA at pubchem.com, you can see this compound marked as “corrosive” and “irritant”. A quality lube for sex, must be free of all forms of EDTA’s. Otherwise you might face very problematic complications, since you are using a lube with harmful ingredients that can burn, irritate, itch and cause infections.
Propylene glycol is a popular ingredient in water-based lubes. While being an effective humectant (carries a function to keep things moist), it is however connected to allergic contact dermatitis and classified as skin irritant.
Using such compound on your private parts, will not end well. Some people can feel the burning sensation after its first use, while others will begin to feel its negative effects after a longer period of repeated usage. It is the question of how sensitive skin you have down there.
Ingredient-friendly lube that won’t burn or cause infections, has to be without propylene glycol. When picking a lube, search the ingredient list and pay attention if there’s propylene glycol listed. To pick the best lube for sensitive skin, eliminate this compound from your choice of a personal lubricant.
Mineral Oil (Petroleum)
Byproduct of an oil industry, made from severely refined crude oil. There’s high concern of contamination with PAH’s (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Mineral oil and crude oil derived compounds (Petrolatum, Paraffin, Petroleum Jelly …), are the ingredients that should be kept away from your private parts.
Study titled “Intravaginal Practices and Risk of Bacterial Vaginosis and Candidiasis Infection Among a Cohort of Women in the United States” showed that women using Petroleum-based lubes were 2.2 times more likely to develop bacterial vaginosis.
Most dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene (DBA), which are both carcinogens and of which traces can sometimes be found in petroleum-based lubes.
Besides all dangers to human health via dermal contact, there’s also a big environmental issue of producing mineral oil, which presents an additional reason to avoid such ingredient in your lube and skincare products.
An ingredient-friendly lube, shouldn’t have any ingredient that originates from crude oil.
If there were real natural flavors used in lubes, this might not be as problematic. The truth is that the flavors used in lube for sex are usually artificial and with plenty of sugars added.
We have already learned when talking about the toxicity of glycerin, that sugars act as a feeding source to Candida albicans, and non-albicans Candida, thus promoting Candida overgrowth.
People prone to yeast infections should definitely stay away from flavored lubes. I know that you may be in love with that vanilla scent and taste of your personal lubricant, but trust us, it is not worth it.
The cleanest and the healthiest lubes, come as tasteless and natural.
Flavors are also an element which may cause your lube to become sticky. A lube for sensitive skin, an Ingredient-friendly lube that won’t burn or cause infections, should be tasteless without any fragrance, odor or artificial flavors added to it.
Recommended lubes that won’t burn or cause infections
As a final act we would like to recommend few of our top picks in the department of ingredient-friendly lubes, which will not cause any sort of burning sensation, itching, irritation of infection.
There’s a very low chance that you should be unsatisfied with any of these lubes, since they are of the highest quality, and adored by thousands of people around the world. For more information about each of these personal lubricants, you can visit lubeforsex.com and take an in-depth look at each of them.
- Water-based ingredient friendly lube #1: ALOE CADABRA (Natural)
- Water-based ingredient friendly lube #2: ISABEL FAY
- Silicone-based ingredient friendly lube: PENCHANT PREMIUM
- Oil-based ingredient friendly lube: Shea Moisture COCONUT OIL
Thank you for reading our article and we hope it helps you pick the best lube for sensitive skin. We believe that this list can make your select a lube that won’t burn or cause infections, and provide you with the best and safest sexual experience.