What’s Not In Überlube
By: Michael Krychman MD
How do many women actually choose a lubricant? Usually under cover of night, walking slowly and carefully to the intimacy product aisle. A woman does not hesitate, she does not stop to look at the wide array of products, does not read price tags or look at any specifics on the label but just grabs the first bottle at eye level.
Women need to be empowered and educated to fight for their own sexual health. They must be methodical and read labels carefully. Not all vaginal products are created equal. Here are some helpful hints that will help educated women choose a product that is right for them and right for their bodies.
Parabens are common preservatives often added to cosmetics including both moisturizers and lubricants. They are known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statement indicated that parabens in the concentrations found in cosmetics and other dermatologic products posed no logical or carcinogenic health risk to the consumer. Long term studies are needed and, despite the fact that they likely pose no serious medical or cancer risk, most women have opted for pure, natural products without parabens.
Glycerin is widely used in medical, pharmaceutical and personal care products and often found in lubricants. Typically added to promote lubrication and improve texture and may act as a humectant. In others it can cause dryness. Some women note that this predisposes to an imbalance of the vagina and makes it easier to get yeast infections.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate
SLS causes lathery foaminess in personal washes, shampoos, and bubble bath. It is mainly used in laundry detergents. Can be harsh towards the vaginal and vulvar area and disrupt the natural moisture.
Fragrances, dyes, colors, flavors, warming agents, bactericides and spermicides all can potentially be harmful to the delicate vulvar tissues. Women with sensitive skin and or menopausal changes in their vaginal and or vulvar area should tread cautiously.
Take time to read the labeling of products you will be putting in your vagina. Treat your vagina and vulva with high quality products. Education is power.