People these days love organic things, anything environmentally friendly to make them feel a little better about the way they move about the world. Organic and environment friendliness also tend to be seen as more body-friendly. But is Good Clean Love (GCL) body friendly? Well, I have some opinions on that.
Appearance, Design, and Advertising
Good Clean Love (GCL) is easily recognizable for its lime green bottle and organic-oriented advertising. They advertise 95% organic ingredients, use no petrochemicals, parabins, or glycerin, and are cruelty free and 100% vegan.
GCL uses the same capped lid as many lotions, shampoos, and conditioners, making for easy clean-up of the lid. While GCL advertises their eco-friendliness, I am concerned as to the size of their bottles, which are larger than bottles by Sliquid that contain the same amount of lube. I don’t know much about bottle production, but I feel that their containers could be smaller and therefore more green.
The bottles and sample packets all match as far as ingredient lists, but are inconsistent as far as all of their little certifications. Almost Naked lists that it’s gluten free on the bottle, but the sample packet does not confirm this. The sample packet states it is condom compatible, while the bottle does not (this lube IS condom compatible, I just wish it would say so consistently). The sample packet is also missing an I’m Green Plastic tag, and Oregon Tilth (Organic Certification and Sustainable Agriculture).
As for the Cinnamon Vanilla bottle, it’s actually the same as Guilty Pleasure (from here on out, abbreviated CV/GP), but it took me a while to realize that, as those bottles have vastly different looks. What I find extremely confusing is that the bottle states it’s recommended by medical professionals. Being labeled cinnamon vanilla, I absolutely would not recommend this to patients. While I don’t have a medical degree, I know enough about bodies to not go around recommending scented/flavored things for genital use, as this does not end up well for many people.
Other product information that is missing is a FDA 510(k)-cleared tag on the CV/GP bottle (this is related to medical devices, so why is this missing??), as well as Certified B, Oregon Tilth, and an absence of gluten free assurance. The sample packet does not state the medical professional recommendation (thank god), and is also missing I’m Green Plastic, Oregon Tilth, and an assurance of it’s gluten-free-ness.
One last note on the product info: The website discusses GCL’s products as geared to feminine hygiene and care. While they do have female-specific products, lube is not one of them. Lube is sexless. While I understand that pH plays into some of this, not everyone shares the same pH, so if you’re going to use specific advertising like this, list the pH rather than sex or gender, and maybe offer some pH testers with purchase to ensure a body match. pH test strips are inexpensive, and can be used to spread more body awareness and ensure a good lubricant match.
Normally I would not be super worried about whether readers browsed the ingredients I list, but in this instance I highly recommend you read this section, as I have Opinions and am going to get Snarky and each of these should indicate to you, dear reader, that this area is Important.
Almost Naked and Cinnamon Vanilla/Guilty Pleasure (CV/GP) have the same ingredients lists for each, on each product. I am very confused and concerned about these lubes having matching lists. CV/GP has a scent, and the cause of this scent is left unaccounted for. Where does the scent come from? Why haven’t users been warned about possible irritants or allergens that were used to create the scent?
Another cause for concern is that hydoxyethylcelluose (sic) is listed as an ingredient on the website, but not on any bottle or sample packet. This is not good, and it’s a huge problem when ingredients lists are not consistent, because one different ingredient can change a product completely, and can change a life if used incorrectly or given to the wrong person. I’ve known a person allergic to grass, so it’s not crazy to think that someone could be allergic to hydroxyethylcelluose (also, Google says I’m spelling this incorrectly, it should actually be hydroxyethylcellulose. However, I will keep it spelled this way in order to maintain consistency with GCL’s website).
I will say that I appreciate that GCL uses its website to explain what each of the ingredients is and where it comes from. It saves everyone time on research, and keeps worries at bay about what users are putting into their bodies.
- Organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice (known for healing, soothing, moisturizing properties, creates lube that “perfectly” mimics natural feminine moisture [because all feminine moisture is the same, and because lube is gendered obviously. But not really. Stop doing this, lube companies.])
- Xanthan gum (natural plant-based thickener and stabilizer)
- Agar (called Agar Agar on the website. Natural thickener derived from seaweed, provides extra glide)
- Lactic acid (helps maintain optimal pH, promotes healthy lactobacilli balance)
- Potassium sorbate
- Sodium benzoate (potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate are both preservatives, making up less than .5% of GCL formulations. Food-grade formula, approved by Whole Foods and rated on EWG’s Skin Deep Database)
- Natural flavor (derived from certified organic plants)
- Hydroxyethylcelluose (?) (derived from cellulose, used as thickening agent)
Taste and Smell
Almost Naked and CV/GP are nearly identical in taste and consistency. Each has a taste that is almost flavorless, and kind of reminds me of lettuce. I don’t love this taste, but I don’t hate it. It’s not something I would want to use with a blow job, but I could deal with it. Each has a Jell-O-like texture that holds its shape well, so one doesn’t have lube dripping absolutely everywhere.
The only real difference here is their scents, which aren’t even vastly different. Almost Naked has a light, sugary-sweet scent, while CV/GP has a heavier, warm, cinnamon vanilla scent. Another thing I noticed is that, side-by-side, CV/GP has the slightest yellow tint as compared to Almost Naked. However, this is barely noticeable even in the best lighting (and, once again, why is none of this stuff accounted for by their ingredients list??).
I am confused as to why CV/GP doesn’t have a cinnamon vanilla taste as well as the scent. Most lubes (with this one being the exception) are labeled this way to inform users of their tastes, while this is simply scented. Either way, I was wary of having it anywhere near my genitals. Rule of thumb says scented things should not go in sensitive areas, and flavored lubricants should absolutely not be used in the genitals due to the ingredients (???) used to add the flavors.
Because of my apprehension concerning CV/GP, I tested it on my outer genitalia, but did not use it in my vagina. I simply cannot advocate for putting scented/flavored things in the vagina. Testing it on my outer genitalia allowed me to test the feel and whether or not there is a warming or cooling or other sensation, while allowing me to keep within the safety and comfort of my personal boundaries. I did not feel anything of note. It didn’t sting, or feel warm, or feel like much of anything (which is a good thing. Lube doesn’t need to be fancy; leave that to the stimulants).
In use with various dildos, I felt some sting from the Almost Naked lubricant. Not overwhelmingly painful, but not something I like to feel. It did not sting during every testing, but it was a sensation that came up often enough to make me not want to use this lube. Others have reported stinging sensations from time-to-time, and Lilly states it could have to do with vaginal pH (see above). CV/GP may sting a bit with internal use, similar to Almost Naked, but I cannot (will not) confirm this.
I also noticed the slightest cooling sensation during some use of Almost Naked. My guess is that it could be related to the leaf juice. The sensation is nothing compared to that of lubricants designed to create cooling sensations.
When using with my partner’s penis, Almost Naked left in a hurry. I applied the lube, and turned away for a quick second to grab a tissue off the nightstand for my hand. By then, the lube had already dried. In using with dildos, I found that GCL’s gel formulation sticks around, while other lubes, when inserted into my vagina, seem to blend with my own secretions. When I showered one morning after using Almost Naked with a dildo the night before, a large gloop of lube came out, similar to when semen leaves my body. It’s nothing I’m particularly concerned about, but is something very different from my typical lube experience.
Once again, allow me to reiterate: CONSISTENCY IS KEY. The inconsistency in labeling drives me up the wall, especially when it comes to ingredients and medical clearance. If someone got a small sample packet from a business, but doesn’t have technological access, they could potentially be missing out on really important information like unlisted ingredients, and this is not good.
As for the lube itself, it’s not something I’ll be using again. I never know when Almost Naked is going to sting, and I can’t use it with my partner, as it absorbs almost immediately. As for CV/GP, I will not put a scented or flavored lube (or anything else scented or flavored, for that matter) in my vagina.
This article is part of my #SlidingIntoSummer series! Good Clean Love Almost Naked is available for $10 for 1.5oz. or $15 for 4oz. from Luvoqa. Cinnamon Vanilla/Guilty Pleasure is $10 for 1.5oz or $15.99 for 4oz. Sample sizes may be available at your local sex shop or pharmacy. I bought this lube, and based this article on my personal experiences.