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Lube, PH and Osmolality

Lube, PH and Osmolality

Picking out lube, or sexual lubricant, seems like such a simple task. Find something slippery and party on. Couldn't be easier, right? Actually, like many things sexual health, there is a lot to know. Not all lubricants will work well for you in the moment, and some will have lasting negative impacts like causing infections and irritation. Like, the warming KY jelly I used in high school? Not good.

In this article, I am going to explain two things that are key to determining the best lubricant for you: PH and osmolality. No idea what they are? No problem. That's why we're here.


PH measures the acidity or basicity of solutions. Using lubricants that aren't PH friendly can be detrimental to our vaginas and anuses. The PH of a vagina is around 3.8 to 5.0 (slightly acidic). It is also totally normal for your vaginal PH to fluctuate according to menstrual cycle, aging, health, etc. If you lubricant PH is too low, it may cause a burning sensation. If too high, it may throw off the delicate ecosystem of the vagina and lead to infection, vaginosis, or straight up itchiness. So, for vaginas, you're looking for a lube with a PH of about 4.5.

PH of vulva and anus

Not all holes are the same. In fact, the anus and vagina have different PH levels. Which means if you are engaging in both types of play, it's a good idea to have lubricants suited to each. For anal lubricant, you'll want something around 5.5-7 PH.


Osmolality reflects the size of particles in lubricant in comparison to what it is touching - in this case, vagina or anus. This is really important because due to homeostasis, the vaginal walls will do their best to adjust to the lube's osmolality. Unfortunately, this information isn't always available. 

Think of lube osmolality like Goldilocks: You don't want low osmolality (hypo-osmolality) or high osmoloality (hyper-osmolar), you want iso-osmolar. If it is too high, the cells in your vaginal wall will get sucked dry, and therefore more prone to irritation. Too low, the cells in the vaginal walls will overinflate and rupture. The perfect lubricant is iso-osmolar: or having similar hydration levels to the vagina. 

What does that mean, precisely? You generally want a lubricant with osmolality below 1200MOsm/kg.

What about the lubes we sell at Bonjibon?

Great question! This is one of the best parts of Bonjibon - we take out the guess work for you. Here is the information that is available on the lubricants that we carry! Keep in mind, these lubes are tried and true - know about PH and osmolality but use what works for you. (Did I just rhyme!?)

Good Clean Love - 4.1-4.5PH, Osmolality 250-400mOsm/kg
Uberlube - 4.6PH, Osmolality not tested because doesn't apply to silicone lubricants
Sliquid Organics Natural Lubricant - pH (4.1 – 4.4 pH); Osmolality106 mOsm/kg
Dame Alu - 4.0-5.0pH; Osmolality is <1,800 mOSm
Hathor Sutil Lubricant (Rich) - Ph 6
Hathor Sutil Lubricant (Luxe) 
- PH 4.5
Fuckwater Hybrid - PH not tested in hybrid - many assert the silicone negates the PH.

So, next time you buy a lube, reflect on your last experience: did you feel itchy? Yummy? Dry? And proceed from there. You can adapt what you purchase according to your own body, not the other way around. And don't forget: we are always here to answer questions! Reach out to for help regarding any of our products.

About the writer

Katie Aitken

Katie Aitken (she/her) is the co-founder of Bonjibon. She is a passionate feminist advocate and activist. Katie believes that sexual liberation is an important component of stomping stigma, shifting gender norms, and ultimately changing the status quo. She brings years of experience and devotion to her role as editor-in-chief of the Bonjibon Magazine.

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