This article was written by Kelli Acciardo and provided by our partners at Prevention.
Lube can be a lifesaver in the bedroom. But if you pick the wrong one, it can be seriously harmful to your health. Many of the bestselling varieties contain some of the same ingredients that are also used in antifreeze, brake fluid, and even oven cleaner, says Wendy Strgar, founder of Good Clean Love, a sexual health company that also makes lube.
And those chemicals might throw off the natural salt balance and pH in the vagina, putting you at a higher risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis. (And if you’ve ever had BV, you know that no mind-blowing orgasm is worth getting it for.)
Luckily, not all lubes are created equal, and there are plenty of natural—and effective—alternatives. “The best lubricants are those that are iso-osmotic, which means they match the healthy conditions of the vagina—they don’t add or subtract any water from the tissue cells or disrupt the healthy bacteria,” says Strgar. (Heal your whole body with Rodale’s 12-day liver detox for total body health!)