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    Make the Switch to Sustainable Lube

    Have you considered how to have a more sustainable sex life?

    It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a TMI post like why switching to menstrual cups is the best. (Two years later, I’m still going strong and love my Lunette cup.) Why not pick up the convo with lube after a run-in with a chemically-laden tube?

    If you’ve made the switch to organic produce, less-toxic toothpaste or other items, why would you neglect the most intimate parts of your body?

    What’s Lurking Inside your Lube?

    Conventional lubes include chemicals like parabens, benzyl alcohol or citric acid, which have side effects or cancer-causing ingredients. (Hint: avoid any personal products with a variety of the word “Paraben.”) Traditional lubes also contain petrochemicals, derived from petroleum – and chemicals which can also be found in antifreeze. Labels with Nonoxynol-9 can also lead to irritation or inflammation.

    Healthier Lube options

    Although many attest to using coconut oil as a natural alternative to lubes, there are potential downsides. Oils like coconut can break latex condoms and may actually may kill healthy bacteria, so could interrupting the natural self-cleansing process and lead to infections.

    Sustain Natural, founded by Seventh Generation-daughter Meika Hollander, offers a lube which is enriched with organic aloe vera, nourishing your skin while adding a little extra to the bedroom. Additionally, Sustain’s lube is petroleum and paraben free, gluten-free and vegan.

    Sylk is another water-based lube with kiwifruit vine extract out of New Zeland. The kiwi vine extract claims to be similar to the natural lubricant produced by the body. Here are a few other organic brands from Strategist.

    Can you tell the difference?

    One day, I looked over in my partner’s drawer to notice a list of ingredients that were practically hieroglyphics. I was horrified and realized that those chemicals were seeping into my most intimate parts.

    After researching a little more, I learned that conventional lube brands are full of chemicals like methylparaben, glycerin, and other unpronounceable ingredients. So I did what all green ladies do: searched MOMS Organic Market for a better option. In the Fall, I heard Meika Hollander at the Net Impact conference, so decided to give Sustain a try. And casually dropped off the upgraded brand on the nightstand.

    As far as quality or experience, both the conventional lube and natural brand looked and appeared the same. Although it claims it’s fragrance-free, Sustain had a slight advantage with a subtle vanilla smell. However, it’s worth the piece of mind to forgo all the chemicals that are being absorbed in the most intimate of places.

    Want to make the switch? It’s easy: Throw out the chemical-laden lube and replace it with a more organic option. A word to the wise: read the labels to see what condoms it is compatible with. For example, Sustain is compatible with natural rubber latex and polyisoprene, which surprise, Sustain also sells via their website.

    Readers, what other TMI topics should I address? Tell us in the comments.

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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