Lube Safety | Using Personal Lubricants Safely
Safe Play With Lubes | How To Use Safe Lubricants
Personal lubricants have generally been regarded as safe products to use. Recent research into the industry has found some alarming things – which may call into question the validity of claims that lubricant is a safe product to use. Alarmingly lubricants, due to the classification within the industry, do not require human testing and are instead tested on animals such as mice. None of the studies however have been shown to conclusively demonstrate a risk to humans though, and as such they continue to be sold. The thing is that some of the experiments have demonstrated that some ingredients in personal lubricants actually cause damage to the cells in the lining of the anus and the vagina which would make the body more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections.
Indeed, a few years a group at John Hopkins published a study which demonstrated that some over the counter lubricants would rely on a factor known as osmolality to be effective. Osmolality refers to a description which measures the concentration of ingredients at a molecular level in a product. Warming and cooling water based lubricants can have exceptionally high osmolality levels, and what was found was that when the researchers exposed the mice test subjects to lubricants with high osmolality immediately followed by a herpes virus, was that the mice were far more susceptible to contracting the virus than they were with lubricants that did not have a high osmolality level. When conducting a epidemiological study on humans recently found that individuals who had regularly used water based lubricants for anal intercourse had a higher occurrence of STI’s than those that didn’t regularly use lubricant. Which is concerning when you take into consideration a Californian study which concluded that 89% of people were using lubrication for anal intercourse.
Part of the issue is in lubricants that are considered to be hyperosmolar – that being a lubricant which has high concentrations of components in comparison to the body’s natural cells. The body is in a constant state of delicate balance, and when things are added to the body the body will try and compensate for the ‘intrusion’. When using lubricants that contain higher amounts than the body is capable of dealing with it results in cells in the vagina or rectum to shrivel up and come off – in a way destroying them. The reduced amount of cells in a particular reason can result in higher rates of infections by reducing the body’s natural defenses. Lubricants that are considered to be hyperosmolar are generally lubricants which contain the ingredients glycerin and propylene glycol – these two ingredients are used to increase the longevity of water based lubricants by preventing them from drying out too quickly.
These ingredients have been used in many products for a considerable amount of time, and the assumption that many companies have made is that they would work well in personal lubricants. Owing to the fact that there is little testing done on the effects of lubricants to the body – this in of itself can be deemed problematic.
Silicone lubricants such as superslyde don’t need these ingredients to help with their longevity and as such can be deemed to be far safer to and for the body in comparison to water based lubricants and other lubricants which use glycerin and propylene glycol. In 2010 and 2011, researchers have attributed high rates of Chlamydia and HIV infections through the use of water based personal lubricants, but owing to the notion that it is not a conclusive study then there is little that can be done.
Uniquely, silicone lubes were not found to cause any tissue damage, nor were they associated with higher risk for STIs due to the absence of the aforementioned chemicals. As a direct result with these findings, SuperSlyde abandoned a years’ worth of research into the creation of a water-based lubricant formulation and instead has chosen to focus exclusively on the continued research and development of silicone lubricant