Like many others, when I see a glycerin-free label on the a product, I trust that information is correct.
Since this is a water-based lube, seeing water listed first was not a surprise. But, seeing glycerin listed as the second most prevalent ingredient was a bit of a shock, especially since the words “glycerin free,” appear directly underneath the listed ingredients.
Knowing that many companies use the exact same label design and text for a lot of their products, I suspected this was a quality control or proofing error on the part of MD Science Lab, LLC, the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida manufacturers of Swiss Navy. So, in order to clarify my new discovery, I went on a Swiss Navy hunt in our expansive warehouse.
I examined seven varieties of Swiss Navy lubricant, six flavored and one original. Being that all of these test subjects were water-based, I was checking for this very same glycerin mislabeling issue. The FDA is known to recall products for the same such mislabeling, but these seem to have slipped through the cracks.
The ingredients for three of the flavored lubricants from Swiss Navy Passion Fruit, Strawberry Kiwi and Pina Colada are listed as: Water, Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Saccharin, Potassium Acesulfame, Diazolidinyl Urea, Flavor, Citric Acid, PEG 8, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate. All three of these bottles clearly state: glycerin free.
On the other hand, Swiss Navy Original, Chocolate Bliss, and Very Wild Cherry all contain glycerin as well, but a glycerin-free label is not included on their packaging. Fair enough. That just leaves one more bottle to investigate: Swiss Navy Candy Cane. In place of glycerin, this lone lube contains cellulose gum instead. Since this flavor is labeled as glycerin-free, and it contains no glycerin, morally and technically, this lube is in the clear as well.
Glycerin is not typically found in oil or silicone-based lubricants as its main function in water-based lubes is as a thickener and sweetener. Glycerin is made from sugar alcohol and is found in many sugar-free candies and gums. This is why flavored lubes contain so much glycerin–to make it more palatable and tasty. It is considered to have a low toxicity, which differs from being completely non-toxic.
But what’s so wrong with a little glycerin, you ask? Well, it can trigger an allergic reaction in the vagina or lead to a female yeast infection. Some companies, like ID, makers of the amazing ID Millennium lube, claim that glycerin is not a sugar and therefore cannot cause a yeast infection. I have also heard of people becomes itchy or getting a rash from lubes containing glycerin. I mean, it ain’t poison, but since it can cause issues during its intended use, it’s incredibly important to label this ingredient correctly.
My natural reaction to flavored lubricants containing glycerine is one of cringing hesitation, due to prior instances of using them and then getting a raging yeast infection afterwards. Aside from an STD, that’s one of the the least sexy side effect you can get, especially since yeast infections are contagious and the medication can destroy the integrity of latex condoms.
Competitors such as Wet Fun Flavors also use glycerin in their tasty formulas, but they do not label their lube as being glycerin-free. But, since the Swiss Navy Flavored Lube bottles are 4 oz/118 ml, which is 0.5 ounces more than Fun Flavors, and they are priced one dollar cheaper than Wet. They also taste much more natural and pleasant than Wet Fun Flavors, last longer and are insanely slippery as well. Both brands of lube are fully compatible with latex and non-latex condoms and all adult toys.
So, if you can look past the major labeling mistake, and you have no objections to glycerin, Swiss Navy Flavored Lubricants are premium water-based lubes that offer significantly more bang for your buck. But, if the label bothers you, reach out and let us know, because as of this morning, we’ve made the manufacturer aware of this quality control problem are awaiting a reply to this mislabeling concern.