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Published July 2016
Why are Osmolality and pH important?
Osmolality – defined by The Yes Yes Company Ltd (with thanks to Smitten Kitten too)
Osmolality, a more formal definition, is the measure of dissolved particles per unit of water in a solution or plasma (also called the concentration). The osmolality of a lubricant is important because the epithelial (outer) layer of skin is constantly trying to maintain an equilibrium of osmolality (remember Osmosis from school biology lessons?) between the skin cells and the lubricant on the outside wall of that cell.
Osmosis is the process where water moves back and forth across cell membranes in response to the concentration of chemicals in the liquid (here we mean lubricant) on the outside of the cell. Osmosis tries to balance the concentration on both sides.
When a lubricant has a higher osmolality than human cells or bodily fluids (like blood) it is calledhyper-osmotic. When tissues are in contact with ahyper-osmoticlubricant they try to dilute the lubricant by releasing water. This can cause the cell to die as it becomes super concentrated and no longer able to function. The net result is the layer of cells break down and the body’s barrier to infection is compromised
Sohyper-osmoticlubricants can irritate the skin, cause the barrier layer of skin to be damaged and dehydrated and leave a mucous membrane (anal or vaginal) more susceptible to bacterial infections or STI contraction
When a lubricant has a lower osmolality than human cells or bodily fluids (like blood) it is calledhypo-osmotic. When tissues are in contact with ahypo-osmoticlubricant they try to pull water from the lubricant into the cell. This means that a slightly hypo-osmotic lubricant would rehydrate dry tissues, but an extremely hypo-osmotic lubricant could cause these cells to burst.
Therefore in our view:
APerfect Anal Lubricant’sosmolality would be iso-osmotic, meaning it would have identical osmotic pressure, or its concentration would be identical, to the tissues to which it is applied
APerfect Vaginal Lubricant’sosmolality would be hypo to iso-osmotic, meaning it would have similar osmotic pressure, or its concentration would be similar, to the tissues to which it is applied
APerfect Vaginal Moisturiser’sosmolality would be iso-osmotic, meaning it would have identical osmotic pressure, to vaginal tissues as it can be present in the vagina for extended periods, like 1-2 days.
APerfect Sperm Friendly Lubricant’sosmolality would be iso-osmotic with semen, which is slightly higher than typical human tissues.
An iso-osmotic lubricant, to most human tissues, would have an osmolality of 270-310 mOsm/kg as this encompasses the osmolality of human plasma.
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