Last time we started taking a deeper look the formulations of my range of products. We had a look at Rosey rain, one of my favourite products. This week I will be talking about the lubricants ingredients, which are my “must have”. Lubricants become necessary in menopausal age, as it is pretty common to suffer from vaginal dryness. To be honest, I have always used them extensively as part of my sex life, and were one of the reasons why I decided to do my personal range of products.
Lubricants out there are full of nasty ingredients, parabens and many harmful chemicals.
I would not dare putting them on and in my vagina. So, I did two different type of lubricants, one oil based and the other one water based. Because oil based lubricants are usually not compatible with condom use, I decided to do both options and include a water based one.
MOTION LOTION, OIL BASED
Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil is used in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products, as an emollient. It is known to provide benefits such as decreasing inflammation, replenishing skin’s barrier, and improving some conditions such as hair loss. Helianthus annuus seed oil is a non-volatile oil pressed from the seeds of sunflower. It can be extracted in two ways, by using chemical solvents (i.e., hexane), or expeller pressing (i.e., squeezed directly from sunflower seeds by crushing them). Of course I prefer the second method. Sunflower seed oil is constituted by a mixture of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, approximately 59% linoleic acid, 30% oleic acid, 6% stearic acid, and also 5% palmitic acid. The oil also contains quite big quantities of vitamin E. Sunflower seed oil primarily functions in cosmetics and personal care products, is as an emollient, which is why it is often added to creams, lotions, and hair care products. Being an emollient, sunflower seed oil works with the function to soften and soothe the skin and it can also act as an occlusive agent. The function of occlusive agent is form a protective film on the surface of skin immediately after application. This film helps in preventing evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture and therefore increases skin hydration by causing a build-up of water in the uppermost layer of skin, the stratum corneum. The fatty acids present in sunflower seed oil help restoring the skin’s natural barrier function. A study published in 2013 examined the effects of sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier and found that it preserved stratum corneum integrity, without causing erythema, and improved hydration in the volunteers. The stratum corneum is composed of corneocytes (dead skin cells) that are held together by a lipid barrier. In addition to fatty acids, the barrier consists of ceramides and cholesterol. A deficiency in these essential lipids can lead easily to a weak or damaged barrier, which can subsequently allow harmful things (allergens, bacteria, and irritants) to penetrate the skin. This could give rise to symptoms like dryness, itching, and irritation, and may at the end lead to the development of some skin conditions. Using ingredients that replenish the skin’s barrier, such as sunflower seed oil, can help to prevent these problems. This action against dryness and the protection it gives is one of the reason why it has been chosen as ingredient for my lubricant. Moreover, sunflower seed oil provides anti-inflammatory effects thanks to its high composition of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid gives hydration to the skin and improves elasticity. These anti-inflammatory properties make sunflower seed oil an excellent ingredient for those with symptoms of dry, flaky, or irritated skin.
Butyrospermum parkii butter (Shea Butter) is derived from the seeds of the African Shea Tree. It is also known as Shea butter. Shea butter acts as a skin conditioning agent and thickness (viscosity) increasing agent. It also has a function as dermal “conditioner”. Firstly, it helps retain moisture by decreasing the loss of water forming a barrier on skin’s surface. Secondly, it also works by reducing the appearance of patches and dry flakes on the skin. Usually this ingredient is preferred as moisturizer because of its content of unsaponifiable fats, meaning that, it does not turn into soap when in the presence of a potent alkali, therefore retaining its moisturizing capability, unlike other fats. In addition, the moisturizers in shea butter are very similar to those produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin. In fact, because its structure and function resembles that of the lipid content of skin, shea butter is considered to be a Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). As an NMF, it helps keep the structure of the epidermis intact, and also keeps bacteria out in an efficient way and facilitates skin’s healing process, preventing in this way dermal irritation and skin regeneration. It is also known to works as an anti-inflammatory, helping to soothe itchy, irritated or sunburnt skin. You can find butyrospermum parkii in many cosmetic products such as body lotion, facial moisturizer, hair balm, lipstick, bar soap, eye cream, sunscreen and hand cream. And Lubricant!
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (known also as Sweet Almond) acts as a lubricant on skin surface, giving the skin a soft and smooth appearance. When used in shampoos, it gives a nice sheen to the hair and acts as an oil and water emulsifier. Sweet Almond Oil is usually obtained by expressing oil from the ripe seed kernels of Prunus amygdalus dulcis. It mainly consists of triglycerides, oleic and linoleic. The use of almond derivatives began with the ancient Hindus, who was used to employ a paste made of crushed almonds as a body cleanser. Today, almond products are widely used in cosmetics and also personal care products.
Theobroma Cocoa Seed Butter, also called Cocoa Butter, is the fatty part obtained from the seeds of Theobroma cacoa. It is also the fat that is often used in chocolate. Cocoa Butter is used in the formulation of bath products, fragrances, cleansing products, depilatories, eye and facial makeup, hair conditioners, skin care products and sun tan products. It is basically found everywhere. Cocoa Butter is able to protect temporarily injured or exposed skin from harmful or annoying stimuli and may provide relief to the skin. Even Cocoa Butter slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface, therefore it is a good moisturising agent.
Licorice derives from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. It tends to be used for its distinct and pleasant flavour and can often be found in candies and other food products. Licorice root is very popular in traditional Chinese medicine as it has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It is in fact used to treat a range of conditions. It is very good for vaginal dryness as it is an emollient that can soothe and soften your skin. It is also a demulcent, which can definitely help with vaginal dryness as it cells produce mucus. Therefore, it works very well in lubricants.
Camellia sinensis is the tea plant. Plants from these species are used to produce white tea, green tea, oolong and black tea. It has anti-carcinogenic properties. It contains polyphenolic antioxidants, which play a pivotal role in the prevention of cell damage. It has a soothing and moisturizing effect.
All those ingredients together will guarantee a moisturising and hydrating effect, while protecting your vagina.