Osmolality and pH Properties of Some Commercial Lubricants

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Like other feminine care products, there is a very specific route of exposure to these products as they are applied directly to the vagina. Recent research indicates that many lubricants on the market can have longer term detrimental effects on vaginal tissue. In fact, there is growing consensus among scientists that the vast majority of lubricants need to be reformulated to be safer than they are now. In 2012, the World Health Organization issued an Advisory Note highlighting their concerns about the pH and osmolalities of lubricants, which included testing results of currently marketed lubricants.  These concerns, were complemented by the work of several other researchers shortly after.

These lists include brand names of lubricants and the pH levels and osmolalities of each product. The WHO recommends using a lubricant with a pH of 4.5 and an osmolality below 1200 mOsm/kg.
Table [1]. Table [2]. Table [3].

For more information on osmolality and pH properties in lubricants, read the fact sheet, “Slippery Slope: Potential Hazards of Lubricants for Women”

Table 1.

Data in Table 1:
World Health Organization (2012) Use and procurement of additional lubricants for male and female condoms: WHO/UNFPA/FHI360 Advisory note. Department of Reproductive Health and Research. 2012. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/76580/1/WHO_RHR_12.33_eng.pdf

Lubricant Manufacturer Osmolality
(mOsm/kg)
pH
KY Jelly Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA 2007 4.55
KY Warming Jelly Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA ND 4.50-6.50
KY Tingling Jelly Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA 5047 3.61
KY Sensual Silk Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA 5467 3.39
KY Sensual Silk Warming Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA ND 5.00-7.00
KY Sensual Silk Tingling Ultragel Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA 5381 3.36
KY Natural Feeling Liquid Johnson & Johnson, Langhorne, PA, USA 4523 3.86
Wet Original Gel Lubricant Trigg Laboratories, Valencia, PA, USA 3679 5.9
Wet Light Trigg Laboratories, Valencia, PA, USA 3946 6.02
Wet Warming Trigg Laboratories, Valencia, PA, USA ND 6.0-7.5
Durex Play Soothing Ssl international, London, United Kingdom 1373 4.2
Durex Play Warmer Ssl international, London, United Kingdom ND 4
Durex Play Pina Colada Ssl international, London, United Kingdom ND 4.29
Durex Play More Ssl international, London, United Kingdom 1332 4.49
ID Glide Westridge Laboratories Inc, Santa Ana, CA USA 2901 5.2
ID Juicy Lube Cherry Westridge Laboratories Inc, Santa Ana, CA USA 3030 5.35
ID Pleasure Westridge Laboratories Inc, Santa Ana, CA USA 2898 5.26
ID Sensation Westridge Laboratories Inc, Santa Ana, CA USA ND 5.95-6.5
Astroglide Liquid BioFilm Inc, Vista, CA, USA 8064 4.44
Astroglide Gel BioFilm Inc, Vista, CA, USA 2299 4.3
Astroglide Warming Liquid BioFilm Inc, Vista, CA, USA ND 6.45-6.73
Astroglide Glyceryn & Paraben-Free Liquid BioFilm Inc, Vista, CA, USA 4806 4.54
Astroglide Strawberry BioFilm Inc, Vista, CA, USA ND 5.35
Astroglide Silken Secret BioFilm Inc, Vista, CA, USA 6121 4.73
Lifestyles Liquid (with Aloe & Vit. E) Ansell Limited, Richmond, Victoria, Australia 4229 6.3
Lifestyles Excite Sensual Gel Ansell Limited, Richmond, Victoria, Australia 3728 7.2
Lifestyles Warm Lovin’ Ansell Limited, Richmond, Victoria, Australia ND 5.24
Maximus Bedywise Limited, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom 6415 6.05
Babelube Babeland, Seattle, WA USA 19 6.78
Elbow Grease Thin Gel B. Cumming Company Inc, Sun Valley, CA, USA 2977 5.77
Slippery Stuff Gel Wallace O’Farrell Inc, Puyallup, WA, USA 13 6.89
O’My Natural Lubricant O’My Products Inc, Vancouver, BC, Canada 4348 5.46
Liquid Silk Bedywise Limited, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom 3167 5.26
Probe Personal Lubricant Darvryan Laboratories Inc, Portland, OR, USA 341 7.67
Anal Lube Original Formula California Exotic Novelties Inc, Chino, CA, USA 3456 5.77
ForPlay Gel-Plus Trimensa Pharmaceuticals, Newbury Park, CA, USA 9177 6.58
Gun Oil H20 Empowered Products Inc, Las Vegas, NV, USA 3955 5.61
Duane Reade Lubricating Jelly Duane Reade Inc, New York, NY, USA 737 4.79
Moist Again Vaginal Moisturizing Gel Lake Consumer Products Inc, Jackson, WI, USA 187 5.68
Replens Lil’ Drug Store Products Inc, Cedar Rapids, IA, USA 1491 2.98
FemGlide Cooper Surgical Inc, Puyallup, WA, USA 15 6.13

Table 2.

Data in Table 2:
Cunha AR, Machado RM, Palmeira-de-Oliveira A, Martinez-de-Oliveira J, das Neves J, and Palmeira-de-Oliveira R (2014) Characterization of Commercially Available Vaginal Lubricants: A Safety Perspective. Pharmaceutics No. 6, pp. 530-542; 2014. Available at: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/6/3/530

pH and osmolality values of tested products. Results are presented as the mean ± SD (n = 2-3)

(a) Desirable pH values are around normal vaginal values (3.5-4.5); (b) desirable and acceptable values are 380 and 1200 m0sm/kg, respectively, as recommended by the WHO.

Product pH (a) Osmolality (mOsm/kg) (b)
Fillergyn® 4.5 ± 0.1 991 ± 6
Geliofil® Classic 3.8 ± 0.1 3,582 ± 11
GelSea® 5.7 ± 0.1 3,797 ± 16
Ginix® 5.0 ± 0.1 989 ± 9
Ginix® Plus 5.0 ± 0.1 977 ± 8
Hyalo Gyn® 4.8 ± 0.1 1,336 ± 7
K-Y® Jelly 3.5 ± 0.2 3,361 ± 13
Phyto Soya® 4.6 ± 0.1 1,226 ± 6
RepHresh® 3.0 ± 0.1 1,439 ± 6
Replens® 3.0 ± 0.1 1,177 ± 5
Velastisa® Intim VG 3.7 ± 0.1 1,151 ± 7
Vidermina® 4.9 ± 0.1 3,707 ± 16
Universal Placebo 4.4 ± 0.1 298 ± 2

Table 3.

Data in Table 3:
Dezzutti CS, Brown ER, Moncla B, Russo J, Cost M, Wang L, Uranker K, Kunjara Na Ayudhya RP, Pryke K, Pickett J, Leblanc MA and Rohan LC. (2012)   Is wetter better? An evaluation of over-the-counter personal lubricants for safety and anti-HIV-1 activity.  PLoS One.7(11):e48328.  2012.  Available at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0048328

Lubricant Osmolality
(mOsm/kg)
pH
Astroglide 6113 4.0
Elbow Grease 3865 5.7
Good Clean Love 269 4.8
Gynol II* 1406 4.7
OD Glide Ultra long-lasting 3150 5.2
KY Jelly 2510 4.5
PRE 502 7.3
Replens 1875 2.9
Slippery Stuff 26 6.8
Sliquid Organic 106 6.8
Boy Butter H20 1307 7.4
Boy Butter original NA NA
FC 2 lubricant NA NA
Wet Platinum NA NA