Using vaginal moisturizers and lubrication is something every woman will do in their lifetime, albeit for sexual activity or for personal comfort and moisture. There are many options to choose from, and also certain ingredients that should be avoided when it comes to the quality and type of vaginal moisturizer or lubrication that you use. Learn about which ingredients to avoid and which types of lubrication may be best for you!
When it comes to vaginal moisturizers, many women are using products that have ingredients in them that have been known to cause irritation and issues. It is easy to forego looking over the ingredient label when you are looking at a clear, thin liquid. It would seem like everything is in order upon first glance, but in many cases, there are extra additives and fillers that do more harm than good.
The tissues that make up the vagina are very sensitive and absorbent. This is why irritation happens from simple things like changing laundry detergents, brands of sanitary pads, or even changing brands of lubrication. Anything that is put into the vagina has the potential to be instantly absorbed in to the blood stream.
To demonstrate the absorbency levels of the vagina, an example would be that in some listed case studies, younger females were caught putting alcohol-soaked tampons in to their vaginas while at school to become drunk. Not only did it work, but it left no traces or scent of alcohol on their breath. Doing this did send some of these ladies to the hospital due to alcohol poisoning, as there is no way to monitor how much alcohol is absorbed while the tampon is inserted.
This goes to show that anything you put into the vagina is indeed absorbed in to the blood stream, and why you should pay attention to anything being applied to the area.
Harmful Ingredients to Avoid
If you are using lubrication or vaginal moisturizers for any reason, be sure to check the ingredient label! Here are the things to avoid when it comes to moisturizers and lubrication for our sensitive areas.
- Glycerin is a humectant created to help retain moisture. This is an ingredient in many types of lubrication, especially those with additives and extras for flavor and warming possibilities. Glycerin is a byproduct of sugar, which can act as a food source for the same bacteria that cause irritation and inflammation in the vagina. This can lead to discomfort or even yeast infections.
- Nonoxynol-9 is a spermicide gel or cream, which is used to immobilize the sperm from being able to swim to fertilize the ovum, or egg. This chemical kills the sperm or lowers their chance of being able to reproduce. Nonoxynol-9 also kills good and bad bacteria in the vagina. Whenever you throw off your natural bacterial balance or pH, it can result in discomfort or an infection like bacterial vaginosis. Not everyone who uses spermicidal gels will get an infection. Others may just experience discomfort with some swelling and irritation. If you are sensitive to this chemical, take note that many condoms use spermicidal gel or lubrication as a base for another layer of safety during sexual activity.
- Petroleum-based ingredients like Vaseline or baby oil are NEVER recommended for vaginal moisturizing or lubrication! These things can alter the pH of the vagina so much that some have reported major infection within twenty-four hours of use. These things are too thick to use in this manner, and do not allow the tissues to breathe or properly regenerate cells. While these ingredients do not often show up in lubrication, people do tend to see them in the medicine cabinet and think they can substitute! No way! Don’t do it!
- Propylene Glycol is another humectant barrier and preservative that can cause irritation is you are sensitive. This chemical is also a base for making antifreeze, which makes many question its safety in regard to the human body. The FDA has stated that there is no evidence to suggest it has or causes harm but advises that it is generally safe. As long as you are not imbibing major amounts of lubrication or moisturizer containing this ingredient, it should not cause any severe damage.
- Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives. Certain studies have shown that parabens can act as endocrine disruptors and mimic estrogen in the body, which can upset the delicate balance of hormones in the body. Any imbalance in hormones can trigger abnormal cell growth, and thusly cancer. The FDA and other cancer organizations are still conducting research and studies to find out the real danger from these chemicals.
- Chlorhexidine gluconate is a chemical used in lubrications is an antibacterial agent that can be caustic to the skin. Many people are unaware of the skin issues this chemical can present with. If you are experiencing unknown irritation after acts involving any lubrication containing this ingredient, consider taking a break and testing out a brand that does not have chlorhexidine gluconate in it.
What are the best vaginal moisturizers and lubrications to use?
The best products to use are always the most natural with the safest ingredients for the body. In some cases, using a natural lubricant like aloe vera, coconut oil, or olive oil may be suitable. In other cases, these natural oils have been shown to cause pore blockage and breakouts.
Olive oil can act as a lipid lubricant, which is full of unsaturated fatty acids that can help with skin pliability and flexibility. This type of in-my-kitchen oil does not disrupt the fragile balance of the vagina. Aloe vera is another hydrating skin aide that helps restore balance even after significant burns or injury. Aloe has both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil is also something many women resort to for helping with vaginal dryness. While this is a natural product and can be used, if you begin to notice any sort of discomfort, cease use right away. Never use the same coconut oil container you use for cooking as you do for your own personal lubrication.
We strongly back our Reclaiming Intimacy brand and our use of natural ingredients in our high-quality lubes and moisturizers. We have a wide variety of lubrications, and many can be used as natural skin revivers as well. Reclaiming Intimacy’s Flourish is a natural, water-based personal lubricant that is blended with natural skin softeners like seaweed and carrageenan. Carrageenan has also been shown to lessen the transmission of the human papilloma virus. Sea contains important vitamins that help with skin elasticity and helps to reduce inflammation. Due to the use of Nori algae and seaweed in this special blend, this helps prevent the skin from oxidation, which allows for more moisture to be absorbed.
If you are dealing with issues that leave your vagina and tissues feeling raw and extremely sore, consider trying a thicker lubrication moisturizer like Reclaiming Intimacy’s Satin, which is a silicone-based lubrication barrier that is waterproof and designed to last through the strongest friction. This silicone lubrication is also latex, plastic and rubber compatible, and can be used by women who have and experience vaginal sensitivity.
All of these Reclaiming Intimacy lubrications are free from glycerin and parabens, are hypoallergenic, Vegan, and made in the United States of America.
Because vaginal dryness can be linked to so many causes, conditions, cancers and life-long illnesses, you should always check in with your doctor and let them know of the symptoms you are experiencing. In some cases, a simple hormone adjustment may rectify the problem. In other cases, more active treatment may be needed and a daily moisturizer or insert may be prescribed. It is important to remember that there are many options to help alleviate vaginal dryness and giving up on the cause should not be an option!