Is aloe vera a good personal lubricant?

Kristin’s question: I know this isn’t actually a beauty question, but I can’t seem to find any good information on this topic. It turns out I can’t use “personal lubricants” with glycerin because they give me yeast infections. I’d prefer to stay away from parabens as well, just as a precaution. One option appears to be an aloe vera gel based lubricant. I believe aloe is mostly water, so it seems safe on that count. But is there any other reason why it might be unsafe to use?

Sarah Bellum says:

Before I answer your question, Kristen, I have a question of my own for Lefty and Righty: Why do I always get stuck answering questions like this??? First it was intimate shaving and Go Commando panty-free patches, then it was enhancement creams, now it’s personal lubricants. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find appropriate pictures for these posts?? And meanwhile, Righty gets to blog about goat poop! It’s not fair!! Ok, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’ll continue..

Why did you single out glycerin as the problem? As far as I can tell, there’s nothing unique about glycerin that would make it promote yeast infections. Maybe a better question to ask is: what does cause yeast infections?

Causes of yeast infections

There are many factors that contribute to candidiasis including:

  • Antibiotic treatments
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hot weather or non-ventilating clothing, which increase moisture and warmth, fostering fungal growth
  • Repeated intercourse over a short period of time
  • Stress
  • Suppressed immune system (including HIV)
  • High carbohydrate intake, especially refined sugars and alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Irritants such as soaps, powders, new detergents and other products

Could it be that you’ve been using a glycerine based product that contains another ingredient that’s upsetting your system? Maybe a preservative? You could try another glycerin based lube with different ingredients. Or, try a silicone based product that’s free of glycerin. That way you could tell for sure if glycerin is causing the problem. To help you in your quest, we present the carousel of love lubricants. Click at your own risk.

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Not so pure aloe vera

If you do insist on looking for an aloe based product, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Most of the 100% pure products I’ve seen have other ingredients. Here are a few quick examples:

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Gel

Aloe Vera Gel, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer 940, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea

GNC Aloe Vera SKin Gel

Water, Glycerin, Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Jason Natural Cosmetics Aloe Vera 98%, Moisturizing Gel

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Gel (Aloe Vera), Aqua (Purified Water), Glycerin (Vege), Allantoin, Polysorbate 20, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Potassium Carbomer, Arginine, Menthol (Natural), Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Essential Oil Blend

Aubrey Organics 100% Aloe Vera

Organic Aloe Vera, Aloe Vera Oil, Aubrey’s Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C and E).

So chose your aloe carefully!

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Before you jump to aloe products that aren’t designed for intimate use, you should be sure that glycerin is causing the problem. And in conclusion I say that Lefty has to answer the next “intimate” question we get!

What do YOU think? Any nightmare stories about yeast infections to share with the rest of the Beauty Brains community. Or any lubricant tips for Kristin? Or better yet, any “intimate” questions for Lefty?