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What's the Deal With Glycol in Lubricants?

What's the Deal With Glycol in Lubricants?

If you're prone to yeast infections, and you're a fan of using personal lubricant, then you probably found my Lube Quiz very helpful. It showed you which lubes contain glycerin and which don't, but I recently noticed another ingredient in some water-based products that I thought you should know about — propylene glycol.

To find out if this is something to avoid,


Propylene glycol is a faintly sweet and colorless, clear, viscous liquid that's derived from natural gas. Sounds sexy, doesn't it? It can be found in many products including moisturizers, toothpaste, mouthwash, and medications, in addition to many edibles such as cake mix, salad dressing, and fat-free ice cream. The ingredient is identified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) because of its low oral toxicity (meaning it won't badly harm you if ingested), although it may irritate your eyes, and some may experience a burning sensation from contact on their skin.

KY products such as Yours+Mine and Astroglide contain propylene glycol, so if you've noticed irritation from using these products, this ingredient may be the culprit. If you want a propylene glycol-free lube, try Sliquid H20, Pjur Woman Bodyglide, Slippery Stuff, or Good Clean Love.

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