Most people have read the story about how I started Good Clean Love. More than 15 years ago, I found that the personal lubricant choices I had at the time made me sick. My body’s reactions were negative – and I had children and a family that I needed to focus on. As a result, I was looking for a product that was natural – like all the other personal care I was accustomed to shopping for – and there weren’t any choices.
It took years of experimenting in my kitchen and finding a laboratory that would work with me to develop a vaginal health product that would keep my vagina healthy. Today, we produce what has become one of the best-selling organic lubes on the market.
Years later, when sitting in my office wondering how I would keep the production and operation going, I was handed a letter from the local chapter of HIV Alliance, to whom we had donated several thousand Good Clean Love lubricant samples. In addition to saying “thanks,” the writer shared with me what would come to define my understanding of lubricant. Although it took more years to understand and articulate it, the letter shared news that our Almost Naked personal lubricant had the same osmolality as human tissue.
At that time, I was unclear on what that meant, but wasn’t surprised when I read that it closely resembled human secretions. I had already experienced, like many of our customers using Almost Naked lubricant, that it felt like taking 10 years off the clock – easing vaginal dryness and odor. The lubricant felt "like me", or at least how I used to feel before nursing four kids across 10 years.
In 2012, the contents of that letter about personal lubricant osmolality showed up in an NIH-funded study where our lubricant was found to be one of the safest products in the study. The study can be found here.
Ironically the study was intended not to study personal lubricants, but to invent a (vaginal) buffer gel that would prevent the increasing incidence of HIV and other serious STIs. Although the research project didn’t accomplish this task, gathering data on 5,000 women showed the incidence of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and how this most common genital infection heightened the risks of HIV and STIs. One of the primary researchers, Dr. Cone, said " all sexual lubricants should be reformulated…” So, I called him.
I was determined to understand osmolality and why it is so important. So I called Dr. Cone, marking my first step in scientific education when it came to the work of formulating lubricants. Prior to this, I just knew I didn’t want any ingredients that I wouldn’t have in my kitchen, and the best alternatives for preservative effectiveness. I am a minor statistic on this most common of genital infections – two in five women have BV and 84% of the time they don’t know they have it. “Smelly vagina” is one of the most expensive keyword searches you can buy on the web.
Talking to Dr. Cone began my education and a friendship that resulted in the beautiful idea of bio-matching our personal intimacy products to existing healthy vaginal ecosystems.
I have been forging this path of creating vaginal care products that do no harm, and using bio-mimicry to even nudge our bodies back to their natural, healthy state for years. We were even awarded a patent on the idea of Bio Matched vaginal gels.
This year we may actually be able to begin a clinical trial to see whether bio-matched products can really help women find their way back to wholeness, supporting vaginal sex and pH-balance while easing bacterial vaginosis symptoms. We continue to work on new Bio Match products targeting a world of sexual wellness.
Today I never leave home without Restore vaginal gel or our Balance vaginal wash, and I am gratified each and every time we hear from one of our customers about how Bio Match is the first thing that ever worked for them.