Thursday, 23 February 2017

Review: Organic Machine Lubricants

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Organic Machine is a Johannesburg-based, all natural, vegan manufacturer of beauty and sensual products founded and run by Megan la Mer. I first found out about the company when Minerva linked me to their online store. She thought I would be interested in the company's ethos, and what can I say -- she knows me. While Minerva is not vegan, she is cruelty-free, and we're both constantly cruising for businesses that correspond with our ethical lifestyles. Organic Machine definitely fits this bill.

I was particularly interested in Organic Machine's natural lubes because I'm always looking for healthy, chemical-free alternatives to glycerine-based rubbish. Don't get me wrong -- silicone-based lubricants are great, but they're not compatible with silicone toys. And it's way too difficult to find a good, paraben-free water-based lube for less than R200. Generally, oil-based lubes are a no-no for vulvas, as low-quality mineral oils like those found in baby oil and Vaseline trap bacteria and increase the likelihood of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and other nasty things that will make you have a very bad time. Coconut oil, which has an almost cultish following in the Banting/LCHF community, has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that negate the spawning of nasties in and around your genitalia. It also won't clog your pores like mineral oils will. Magic!

I reached out to Megan and asked if she would be interested in sending us some of the sensual products for review, which she generously did. Like the rest of their range, Organic Machine's sensual accessories are made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients that are even safe enough to eat. They are, however, oil based and are therefore should not be used with latex barriers. Pro tip: oil-based lubricants degrade latex condoms and can cause breakage, so if you are a condom-user, switch to non-latex alternatives like Skyn so that you don't have any bad surprises.

We were lucky enough to receive sample sizes of each of the Organic Machine lubricants (Glide, Peak, and the bonus edible body butter Lickable), as well as a full-sized tub of their massage oil (review pending!) in exchange for our unbiased feedback. Just a heads up: the sample-sized packaging in these photos is not standard retail issue. I included the Love Butter to give an idea of what to expect when you get the real deal.

Glide

Oh Glow Blog Organic Machine sex lube review organic vegan sensual products
Glide is the foundation upon which Peak and Lickable are built. It's made from cold-pressed coconut oil, shea butter, cacao butter, fair-trade cacao powder and vitamin E oil. All the ingredients except the Vitamin E are organic, which made my little hippie heart sing. We got ours in cute little mini-tubs like the ones eye-cream come in, which were perfectly and neatly labelled with all the necessary branding, ingredients, directions, as well as the Beauty Without Cruelty logo. I loved the fact that so much care and attention went into even these unofficial samples.

Glide has a waxy, slightly tan-coloured appearance and a mild, creamy scent that reminds me equally of beauty products and food. I thought it would be hard at room temperature, and presumed I'd need to dig it out of the teensy tub with the back of a spoon, but it was pleasantly easy to remove with the scoop of a finger. Due to the other ingredients it doesn't go quite as rock-solid as coconut oil, maintaining a thick, buttery texture that's easy to spread -- especially once it comes into contact with your body heat.

As this was my first experience with coconut oil lube, I was really surprised at how easily it melted into my skin, providing a slick, lubricated surface for clitoral or vaginal play. It lasted absolutely ages, and had a cushioney texture similar to silicone-based lube -- thick and hardy with no fear of drying out. If you're into rigid toys or are just sensitive in general, you'll really dig the substantial feeling of the lube. The creaminess feels like it creates a protective barrier that soothes, lubricates and shields delicate tissues from harm. The cherry on top is that you can also get a version with glow-in-the-dark branding, to reduce awkward fumbles during low-light encounters! What will they think of next.

Peak


This was actually the first of the lubricants I tried, out of curiosity for the enhanced sensations it advertised. Minerva is a fan of the cool-feeling, tingly lubes I'd never had the chance to try due to my sensitivity to glycerine and general distrust of non-essential ingredients. Peak has the same composition as Glide, but with added organic peppermint oil, which is meant to increase bloodflow and heighten sensitivity. It has the same appearance and consistency as Glide, but smells wonderfully minty and vaguely like Peppermint Crisp.

The texture is identical to Glide, melting easily and spreading a wonderfully refreshing coolness wherever applied. The first time I tried it was mid session, and something about the thickness was incredibly soothing to the slightly aggravated tissues. Immediately after the initial cooling feeling, the tingles started -- sort of like the feeling you get when you chew minty gum. I wouldn't say it increased my sensitivity in terms of orgasmic capability, but the tingles were interesting to focus on. Imagine it as a mindfulness aid, bringing your awareness to your clitoris or glans or wherever you choose to place it and allowing you to really concentrate on and appreciate those body parts. This is probably my favourite of the three, and I plan to invest in a full-sized tub the next time I need to stock up on lube. 
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Lickable


Initially, I thought Lickable was Organic Machine's alternative to flavoured lube, but was informed that it's actually an edible body butter. Close enough? Anyway, the website advises you to "apply to 4 parts of your body, tell your partner there are 5, they must find them.” Sounds like a fun game! It certainly smells awesome; a sweet, cocoa-y foodish smell that isn't exactly like chocolate, but very similar. The basic formula is almost the same as the lubricants, with the addition of organic grapefruit oil which I presume adds the slightly sweeter scent.

The first thing I did was scoop up a little bit of the caramel-coloured paste onto my fingernail and taste it. It sort of tastes like ... well, like the echo of chocolate. It's not delicious by any stretch, only vaguely pleasant. It is almost sweetish, and almost chocolatey, but also not really. The texture straight from the tub is a little waxy, but obviously it also melts incredibly easily and loses this somewhat unpleasant mouth-feel when licked off skin instead. To be honest, I won't be using this as a flavoured body butter in my own moisturising shenanigans, but founder Megan told me that some of her clients use it as lip balm. Perfect solution!

Final thoughts


I loved trying out all these different varieties of cruelty-free, natural lubricants that are locally handmade with a lot of care and attention to detail by the founder herself. They impressed me at every turn, even maintaining their consistency when I left them stranded in my bag in a hot car. Currently, my only internal toy is the Pure Wand, and I prefer whatever lubricant used with it to provide the long-lasting cushioning effect that Organic Machine does so well. I've only used it vaginally, but I can see why Organic Machine describes it as being good for anal use. The long-lasting thickness would really be helpful in sticking around to protect the sensitive areas from any strain caused by enthusiastic play.

And what about Minerva? She also got sample-sized mini-tubs of each lubricant, but found that they didn't quite work for her personal tastes. It seemed that she disliked everything I actively loved about these lubricants, proving that even besties can disagree on perfectly viable products. While she loved the scent and texture of Glide, comparing it to a really good moisturiser, she disliked the creaminess of the consistency. As a lass who'd previously only used water-based lubricants, she favours a little extra slipperiness but doesn't care for the thicker, more textured feel. While body cleanup for me was just a thorough wipe, she felt the need to actually wash the oily residue off her skin. Ironically, this soft, moisturised feeling left by the natural oils was one of the aspects that was attractive to me!

The one thing we agreed on was Lickable, which she compared to tasting like a cocoa-butter moisturiser -- not overly flavourful and rather meh for eating. She also enjoys the sensations provided by Peak, but it still wasn't enough to make her an oil-based convert, as she still had to add some regular water-based lube to make the sensations more tolerable. However, it's not all bad! She loves the cute packaging, the way the products smell, and the brand's commitment to ethical, natural, cruelty-free products.

Personally, I would recommend this lube to anyone looking for a thick, hardy, non-silicone lube that won't hurt your body. Even though it wasn't Minerva's cup of tea, she would happily recommend it to those who want an ethical, body-safe, organic lube for those who don't mind a bit of residue.

You can purchase Glide, Peak and Lickable directly from the Organic Machine website, or from one of their stockists.
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