Mucous membranes are the moist layer of semi-permeable tissue lining the mouth, nose, eyes, vagina, tip of the penis and gastro-intestinal tract. Because they do not have the protective layer (Stratum corneum) found on the surface of the outer skin, mucous membranes can be damaged, irritated and penetrated by synthetic chemicals much more easily. Most old style lubricants are primarily made of synthetic chemicals, some with known or suspected safety issues, such as skin irritants, penetration enhancers or oestrogen mimicking properties. A few lubricant manufacturers do not even declare their ingredients; have a look next time you are shopping.
The ingredients used in all YES products are selected with the needs of the mucous membranes in mind. The criteria that ingredients have to meet to be used in a YES product include:
1. Certified and guaranteed purity and quality – organically produced wherever possible, as this ensures product integrity and no hidden chemicals carried over from the production processes, such as the recent FDA alert for Diethylene glycol (anti-freeze) in glycerin (1). All our ingredients occur in nature, contain no genetically modified ingredients and are not tested on animals.
2. A solid pedigree of safety and performance – for example, flax has been cultivated by man for over 6000 years and the ancient Greeks and Romans used it to heal, moisturise and nourish skin (2).
3. No known skin or mucosal irritants:
(a) No Menthol / Peppermint oil – skin irritants and can damage mucous membranes (3, 4)
(b) No Grapefruit seed extract – see below in sections 7 & 8
(c) No Glycerin – is a mucus membrane irritant, feeds Thrush at concentration below 5% and in higher concentrations damages the mucous membranes (5, 6, 15). See section 9 below
4. No natural or synthetic products that have health issues or concerns:
(a) No Parabens – Parabens, i.e. Methylparaben, are a range of synthetic preservatives that mimic estrogen and are potentially linked to breast cancer (7)
(b) No Glycerin – A sugar alcohol that feeds Candida albicans in certain conditions and so causes a bout of Thrush in women (15) see section 9 below
(c) No Propylene glycol – a penetration enhancer used in cosmetics, as well as lubricants, to “pull” other chemicals into the skin (8, 9)
(d) No L-Arginine – an amino acid that can initiate a Herpes outbreak in people with genital Herpes (10)
(e) No Petroleum by-products such as Mineral Oil (Liquidum Paraffinum), Petrolatum (petroleum jelly), Paraffin oil (lamp oil or premium Kerosine) or Paraffin wax. Two concerns, firstly they coat the skin preventing its normal functions (11) and secondly they are potentially contaminated with impurities linked to cancer or other significant health problems. The EU has restricted the use of Petrolatum in cosmetic manufacture (12)
(f) No Silicone oils such as Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone or Dimethicone Copolyol. Much like Petroleum by-products they coat the skin, not allowing it to breathe. There is so much breast implant (these were / are Silicone oils) side effect information and controversy that we recommend you search for “silicone toxicity” in Google and take a view yourself.
5. Only plant based ingredients unless there is no effective or safe natural option
6. Preservation and product cleanliness are critical. We tested all commercially available natural and “natural” preservation systems and found that none were secure, reliable and safe enough to meet our criteria. For instance Grapefruit seed extract is a known eye irritant at low concentrations (13). We finally chose a combination of natural and synthetically produced preservatives for YES water based to deliver the performance required. Even the synthetically produced ingredients are naturally occurring. If you know of a natural preservation system that works, please let us know (in the 3+ years we have been asking – nobody has suggested an alternative)
7. Grapefruit Seed Extract (also called Citrus seed extract and Citrus grandis). Independent research (FDA) has shown that Grapefruit Seed Extract’s antimicrobial properties are exclusively due to adulterants: undeclared synthetic chemicals; commercially available preservatives and disinfectants such as Methylparaben. Some of which are classified as poisons (14). YES products will never contain Grapefruit Seed Extract.
8. Glycerin (also called Glycerine or Glycerol) is a miracle molecule. Glycerin is an integral part of metabolism for almost all life. It has multiple functions on and in the body and is very beneficial for skin (stratum corneum). But glycerin is an irritant on the mucosa and, for example, this property is used to relieve constipation by irritating the rectum: glycerin suppositories. At low concentrations, (15) glycerin is a nutrient for Thrush, and at higher concentrations it damages the mucus membranes.
YES WB water based ingredients:
Organic Aloe Vera, a renowned skin food; organic Flax extract which is particularly beneficial for the mucous membranes and three synergistic plant based gums – Guar, Locust Bean and Xanthan, all of which contribute to the deep velvety texture. Food and cosmetic quality preservatives are included and citric acid to buffer the pH.
YES OB plant-oil based ingredients:
Two rich organic butters – Cocoa butter and Shea butter – more skin food, which impart smoothness and body; two fine emollient oils – sweet almond oil and sunflower oil, both organic, which confer a silky texture and skin moisturising benefits; a little white organic bees wax, and lastly some Vitamin E which as well as benefiting the skin, acts as a preservative.
International Patent Pending
© The Yes Yes Company Ltd 2011
1. FDA Import Alert IA5502, www.fda.gov
2. Flax: Ancient Herb and Modern Medicine By William J. Haggerty, Ph.D., HerbalGram, 1999; 45:51-57
3. A consumer’s dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter
4. Cosmetics Unmasked, Dr. Stephen & Gina Antczak
5. A consumer’s dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter
6. View any MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Glycerol / Glycerine / Glycerin
7. Cosmetic chemicals found in breast tumours, 12 January 2004 www.NewScientist.com
8. Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep, Ingredient Report: Propylene glycol, www.ewg.org
9. Cosmetics Unmasked, Dr. Stephen & Gina Antczak
10. The herpes prevention and treatment website, www.herpes.com
11. Toxic Chemical Ingredients in Cosmetics Directory, www.health-report.co.uk/ingredients-directory.htm
12. Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep, Ingredient Report: Petrolatum www.ewg.org
13. The website of a company selling Grapefruit seed extract www.biochemresearch.com/citricidal.htm
14. Independent research findings: Grapefruit Seed Extract www.yesyesyes.org/GSE
15. Preservative free and self preserving Cosmetics and drugs, Kabara & Orth