Personal Lubricant Testing: Is My Lubricant Safe to Use?

Mar 21, 2014
By M.Turner

Personal lubricants (also known as intimate lubricants) must undergo personal lubricant testing to show that they are safe and effective, before they can be marketed. Here are some of the tests we use at MET to make sure your personal lubricant meets the highest standards.


Personal Lubricant Testing: Compatibility with Condoms
One thing that needs to be tested is compatibility with condoms. This is covered by two American standards: ASTM D7661 - 10 Standard Test Method for Determining Compatibility of Personal Lubricants with Natural Rubber Latex Condoms, and ASTM D 3492 Standard Specifications for Rubber Contraceptives (Male Condoms).

One of the challenges for the compatibility testing is determining exactly what to test. Certainly at least one latex condom should be included, and it is better to test with a lubricated latex condom than a non-lubricated one. It is normal to also test at least one polyurethane and one poly-isoprene brand for compatibility with each lubricant. But again, the question of lubricated or non-lubricated is raised.

The testing in ASTM D 7661 requires 20 repeats of airburst tests and 20 repeats of tensile analysis. Each test is accompanied by control samples, baseline samples and the positive control mineral oil samples. Programs for ensuring compatibility can be expanded significantly. Talk to the scientists at MET to define a compatibility test program for your intimate lubricant or gynaecological gel.


Biocomptibility Testing
Just as important as compatibility with condoms is the compatibility of lubricants with the human body. Biocompatibility is an essential aspect of personal lubricant testing, and is carried out in accordance with ISO 10993 Biological evaluation of medical devices.

Some of the things that need to be tested for are vaginal irritation, sensitisation, cytoxicity, and systemic toxicity. We carry out  biocompatibility testing    for a wide range of medical devices and products.


Shelf Life Testing
Finally, you need to show that both your product and its packaging still perform correctly at the end the shelf life. For this, we will carry out an accelerated ageing program, which simulates the full shelf life of your product in a shortened space of time.

By using ageing ovens, we can age your product by one year in only 6 weeks, and therefore validate shelf life claims. Find out more about this process on our  accelerated ageing testing page.

If you have any questions, or would like find out more about our personal lubricant testing services, don’t hesitate to fill out our  contact form, or reach us on 0845 458 8924.

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