Can I use coconut oil as a personal lubricant?
As a gynaecologist, Dr Raelia Lew says no, please don’t. Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts, the fruit of the coconut palm. You won’t find it in a pharmacy but you can buy it in a supermarket in the food section. Until recently (enter Lovers), it has been very hard to find a great lube, despite the longstanding great need.
Women are inventive and if you can try using a natural substance as lube, we probably have.
What is in coconut oil?
Rare in the plant kingdom, this natural product is made of almost 100% fat, and mostly saturated fat. It has some great properties including antioxidant effects as it contains Vitamin E when you eat it as a food.
Coconut oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties making it an interesting ingredient to consider in a personal lubricant.
However, in its whole form, the balance of components is wrong, making natural coconut oil unsuitable and not recommended for use as a lube.
Why not use whole coconut oil as a lube?
Flora disturbance is more common in women who use coconut oil as lube.
Despite known antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, (actually because of them) coconut oil is highly likely to disturb your vaginal flora, increasing a woman’s likelihood of sustaining a vaginal bacterial infection such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast imbalance or infection (the most common being vaginal candidiasis or thrush). This is because coconut oil indiscriminately kills “good bacteria” like lactobacilli as well as bad. Killing our protective bacteria (the good guys), coconut oil can disturb the delicate balance of the vaginal microbiome.
Coconut oil has a natural pH higher (more alkaline) than our natural vaginal pH.
Most raw coconut oils test at pH around 7. This is not nearly acidic enough for the vaginal environment whose natural pH is 4.5.
For lube to be protective or at least have a neutral effect on our body’s protective good bacteria, the pH of your lube formulation must match the natural ideal vaginal pH.
All Lovers formulae are optimally balanced with pH 4.5
Coconut oil is fatty and greasy: not a great texture for lube
The texture of raw coconut oil is not optimal for a delicate lubricant as it is fatty and greasy. Coconut oil residue is hard to wash away and can stain underwear and bed sheets permanently.
Coconut oil degrades condoms and sex toys
Whole coconut oil is also unsuitable for use with condoms or use with toys as it degrade them. It’s associated both with a higher risk of contraceptive failure and of contracting a sexually transmitted infection from a sexual partner.
Coconut oil can cause serious allergic reaction
Coconut oil has been known to elicit an allergic reaction in some people when topically applied which can be local or systemic in nature.
Why has Lovers used coconut oil as an ingredient in Real Love?
Lovers has taken the good and left the bad. Coconut oil is one component of our Real Love formulation. Unlike whole, pure coconut oil, Real Love has been formulated at the ideal pH for vulval and vaginal application. Unlike coconut oil, Real Love texture is luxurious, not fatty, providing the ideal amount of slip without any hint of grease or stain. Unlike coconut oil, Real Love is formulated to harmoniously coexist and sustain natural vaginal bacterial balance. We have taken the benefits and left the vices to create your perfect personal lubricant solution.
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