Glycerin is NOT a Sugar! The Sticky Situation of Glycerin in Lubes

Kim Airs

Okay, I know I might get crucified for this blog. For the majority of my 20 years in this wacky business since opening Grand Opening!, I, and most likely you, have been preaching from the pulpit that glycerin is a sugar and should be avoided in lubricants. Well, my friends, time for a little hard core science to prove to you that glycerin is NOT a sugar! Hang with me on this one: it will change your mind and thinking, too.

Many people have the belief that glycerin, a major ingredient in many lubricants, can cause or exacerbate yeast infections. This simply is not true. The popular belief is that yeast feeds on sugar, and that’s what glycerin is. But here’s the truth: Glycerin in and of itself is NOT a sugar but a sugar ALCOHOL and does NOT contain the components of a sugar that actively feed yeast or other bacteria. Again, it is a sugar alcohol and has the chemical make up similar to both of those.

You know, I don’t throw italics in my blogs that often so you know when I do, I really want you to pay attention.

Okay, back to science. According to Wikipedia, Glycerol (or glycerineglycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity and click on the link here if you want to read a lot of chemical compounding mumbo-jumbo about the actual make up of glycerin and polyols. Ah, chemistry… see, you shouldn’t have slept through it in high school.

Glycerin is constantly being confused with sugar because it has a sweet taste and because it is used as a sweetener in many different low-carb and dietary foods. During metabolization, which is what the body does to break down food in its digestive system, glycerin can be converted to glucose by the LIVER. HOWEVER, glycerin cannot be converted to glucose in the vagina because the last time I checked, my liver was not attached to my vagina in any way, shape, or form! For yeast to thrive, they need a sugar such as glucose, NOT an alcohol as glycerin is. Keep following me here…

So that’s basically what is going on. DIGESTED glycerin WILL change into a sugar in the body when it’s digested through the system so that’s why someone who is diabetic, for example, needs to be careful with their glycerin intake. But when you’re gonna smear lube around your girly bits, toys, or on his giblets, before and during your ins and outs, you have NOTHING to worry about. Glycerin based lube will NOT go through the metabolization process and will NOT turn into that pesky sugar everyone falsely blames on reoccurring yeast infections.

But let’s step back a moment to look at what a yeast infection is… sure, it could be the scourge of your local baker when a yeast infection churns its way into the sourdough, but when it comes to women, this is what it is and this is what it does:

First of all, yeast infections don’t happen as often as you’d think! The vagina is an incredibly complex eco-system, a place where heaven and earth come together, a place of mystery and power, a deep, dark pleasure cave that can topple governments… I’m getting ahead of myself and romanticizing vaginas. Glad I own one.

Back to science: Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans, which are, in extremely small amounts, usually part of a woman’s vaginal makeup (VAGINAL MAKEUP! There’s a market for that, I’m sure!) and inside the honey walls o’ pleasure, there’s also a few bacteria hanging around for good measure, too. Like a bad weed, sometimes the yeast can go galloping through your vag faster than Paul Revere shouting “The yeasties are coming! The yeasties are coming!” And the culprits can be things like a change in the in the vaginal environment such as injury (that can be caused by not using enough lube! Yep!), sexual transmission, HIV, douching, underwear, what you EAT, drugs, birth control pills (or other hormonal imbalances) and additional common causes. For example, taking oft-prescribed antibiotics can kill off bacteria but antibiotics may also kill off the cells in the vagina that normally keep the balance between bacteria and yeast at bay so when the bacteria’s away, the yeast will play. Whew!

What kind of panties are you wearing, little girl with the yeast infection? Those sexy satiny ones are probably not the best choice and even when they look smokin’ hot, your crotch definitely begs for cotton which breathes a lot more. Yep, cotton. Yeasties love vaginas as much as heat seeking body missles do so try to keep your snatch happy and just moist enough to keep the walls from sticking to each other. Gosh! What a delicate balancing act we have!

But wait! There’s more! Deodorant soaps will zap your natural moisture (and naturally occurring bacteria) as will commercially available douches. Speaking of which, a woman’s vag scent is an exotic blend of juices that is to be pleasured and enjoyed, not masked with “Summer Daisy Field” scent, no matter what they say.

I feel another blog coming on… so I’ll get back to the sugar/yeast infection thing.

Blast panels are tests where labs inoculate molecules such as glycerin with bacteria and yeast and it is often shown in these tests that glycerin and glycerin based lubes have a reverse effect on yeast almost to an anti-microbial classification. Yep, you read right. The OPPOSITE effect! Glycerin has to be bonded to several other molecules to become a complete sugar capable of feeding yeast which is what happens when you DIGEST glycerin and not introduce it into the tender cavity known as a vagina.

Okay, here’s another example of what I’m sayin’.  Glad you’ve made it this far with all this hard science. There won’t be a quiz and I’ll give you an A when you’re done reading.

Many OTC (over the counter) yeast infection remedies and even homeopathic ones contain the inactive ingredient of glycerin to keep them slippery when sliding in for medicinal use. Glycerin in these products allow the medicine to be evenly dispersed within the vagina and if glycerin CAUSES yeast infections, do you really think it would be an ingredient in these products? Go figure.

We have a lot of work to do to undo the belief that glycerin is a sugar, so I am relying on each and every one of you to go out there and tell your friends, co-workers, and especially customers, that they have nothing to worry about in the glycerin/yeast infection department. You have hard, undeniable science behind you to support you so get the story straight and use more lube!  

And now for the JOTBs (I know I forgot them last time and since you've read this far down, you deserve a few of them)...

Once a woman was checking out at her neighborhood supermarket and found herself with a handsome young man bagging her groceries. He offered to take her groceries to her car and while they were in the parking lot, she leaned over and whispered in his ear “I have an itchy pussy…” He looked at her and replied “I’m sorry Ma’am. You’ll have to point it out. All those small Japanese cars look the same.”


Once there were three old women sitting on a park bench when they were approached by a male flasher. He exposed himself and the first woman looked at it and had a stroke. The second woman looked at it and had a stroke, too. The third woman looked at it and refused to touch it.


Once there was a newly married couple that were going to undress each other for the first time on their wedding night. As the groom took off his socks, his bride noticed his toes were all curled up. “Agh!” she cried. “Polio!” “No,” he responded, “TOE-lio.”

Then he dropped his pants and there were red spots all around his knees. “MEASLES!” she cried. “No,” he returned. “KNEE-sles.”

Then it came time to take off his underwear and she took one look and said, “I know. SMALL COX.”

On that note... happy science and see ya again soon!