Intimate lubricants do not fall under the definition of cosmetics under EU regulation, so despite being ‘leave on’ products, theoretically you may still find isothiazolinone preservatives in them. For instance, at the UK Love Honey adult website, several of the products on sale contain MI, such as the Tickle Her Pink Clitoral Stimulating Gel.
I’m uncertain whether lubricants are or aren’t classified as cosmetics in the US and Australia, but as the isothiazolinones are permitted in all types of products anyway in these countries, they could crop up there too.
Here is a safe selection, first from the US, then UK and Australia.
All Liquid products are free from MI and MCI. “We strive to make sure that we use only the safest and most natural ingredients for our products,” they told me, “which all can be found listed on each product’s bottle and on the product page on our website”. There is a huge selection of products, including a water-and-silicone ‘hybrid’ product. Preservation looks very gentle — potassium sorbate and citric acid, for example — which may mean the product has a shorter lifespan than some others when opened (but I’ve not checked this).
Good Clean Love
Products confirmed MI/MCI-free. Very natural ingredients, and use botanicals such as aloe, carrageenan, agar and xanthan gum, plus gentle preservation systems (eg potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate).
Products confirmed MI/MCI-free. Small collection of two, including an oil-based ‘edible’ lubricant, made with vegetable, argan and olive oils, which I presume is not suitable for use with latex condoms. The second is a water-based glycerin lubricant, with aloe and xanthan and some plant oils, plus phenoxyethanol as a preservative.
A selection of almost a dozen products, including an oil-based lubricant (which has no need of preservation), some silicone lubricants (which are also not preserved), and water/glycerin blends (which are preserved with parabens). The ‘Natural Feel’ lube uses aloe, xylitol, water, and phenoxyethanol as preservative. Such a diverse group of products that there should be something for all tastes and requirements. Ingredients very clearly declared on individual product pages. No response to query asking for MI/MCI-free confirmation, but all look safe to me.
Told us “None of our Slippery Stuff brand lubricants contain [isothiazolinone] ingredients” and that many of the products have proven useful to those with other allergies too. Ingredients are listed under individual products on their site. They have a silicone based lubricant, but others are water-based and use preservatives — one uses parabens, but another phenoxyethanol, and another phenoxyethanol / ethylhexylglycerin, all of which rarely cause allergies.
We were told this is “entirely free of methylisothiazolinone (MI) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)”. The product is water-free therefore does not require preservation. It’s a bio-static silicone blend, containing silicone compounds (such as dimethicone and cyclomethicone) and a small amount of vitamin E to improve the finish and offer a smoother sensation. It is free from all other ingredients. The manufacturers say: “Uberlube is a personal lubricant intended to moisturize and lubricate, to enhance the ease and comfort of intimate sexual activity and supplement the body’s natural lubrication.” It’s compatible with natural rubber latex and polyisoprene condoms but not polyurethane. It may interact with other forms of silicone, including hard plastic silicone. Not recommended when trying to conceive. Also said to be useful for anti-chafing (ie for running / swimming).
Liquid Silk / Maximus
These have been recommended by an MI-allergic user, and full ingredients are provided on their webpage. Both products seem very highly and safely preserved, albeit with preservatives not normally associated with allergies, such as parabens, phenoxyethanol and a few others — which of course aren’t isothiazolinones — so I expect these products will have a long shelf-life. Interestingly, both these formulations are described as bio-static, which means that if they’re exposed to bacteria, they don’t facilitate their spreading.
A nice selection of natural and organic aloe-based lubricants, including some unusual flavours. The ingredients for the plain unscented version gives aloe, vitamin E, xanthan gum, citric acid, vanilla and some gentle food-grade preservatives. They are free from parabens, silicones and glycerin. The flavoured versions look very similar, with the addition of the flavour (eg “organic pina colada flavor”), although it’s not clear what they actually are or are sourced from.
Yes Yes Yes
Full range of assorted organic intimate lubricants, with a very strict natural ingredient policy.
This looks to be a safe mix of water, glycerin, plant extracts and very natural preservatives.
As per the US versions above, it seems.
Their Intimacy Oil is not for use with latex condoms, but is a very low-allergen blend of coconut, sunflower and hemp oils.
As the UK version, this looks to be a safe mix of water, glycerin, plant extracts and very natural preservatives.
Products look to be as those available in the US (above).
Their Evolve Personal Organic Lubricant looks safe — water, aloe, gums, gentle preservatives, argan oil, with some additional oils for the ‘flavoured’ varieties.
Awaiting Confirmation … but probably safe
Sent an enquiry via Facebook and told to call US-only customer services number, so couldn’t follow up, but I invited them to email me ingredients. Those ingredients are not provided on their website that I can see. I imagine this brand is safe too, and will update when I find out for sure. They have not yet replied.
Some Pjur brand lubricants contain isothiazolinones, but am sure there are other brands out there.