Veganuary and Earth Day got you thinking? Good news: there are plenty of alternatives to chemical-laden condoms out there and we’re here to let you know why you should switch to natural condoms. Arm yourself with vital knowledge and suddenly it seems so simple: you just have to know what you’re looking for and which ingredients list no-nos you should be avoiding. Ready to switch to natural condoms or still thinking it over? No worries, we’re here to persuade you with all the info you need on switching to natural condoms and lubricant, too.
What are natural condoms?
Natural condoms are condoms which don’t contain any artificial and unnecessary chemicals.
Why are natural condoms good for you?
Real talk: we’re all pretty sensitive down there, our vaginas have their own ecosystem and we need to ensure that natural balance is protected and nurtured, avoiding unnecessary products, services and ‘treatments’. Learn more about the TikTok vaginal health trends you need to avoid here. Natural condoms and organic condoms can help you maintain your natural flora, while chemicals used by most condom companies can put that natural balance at risk. Not cool.
Can vegans use condoms?
Of course, vegans can use condoms but our plant-based pals need to be aware that just like that wonder serum or those unassuming razors, condoms aren’t automatically vegan - even if it seems like a sure fire vegan win. Years ago, condoms were usually made from lamb intestine and while this is increasingly less common (and popular), there are still some brands out there who manufacture condoms made from lambskin. Keep your eye out for an ingredient called casein, too. This is a protein derived from animals and is used to make condoms smooth - meaning those condoms definitely are not vegan. If you’re a lube user, scan the ingredients for lactoperoxidase: an enzyme derived from dairy.
Can you find natural condoms without spermicide?
Absolutely. It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping at Boots, getting your haul on with XX or picking up condoms with your weekly shop (hi Ocado and Sainsbury’s!), there are plenty of natural condoms without spermicide in the UK, you just have to look!
Which other ingredients should I avoid in condoms?
- Glycerin is a very popular lubricant added to condoms, that when left in the vagina can transform into sugar, which feeds yeast. Legally, condom brands don’t have to state the use of glucose on their packaging or ingredients list, so if you’re experiencing frequent yeast infections and UTIs, listen to your body and switch to natural condoms and lubricant.
- Nitrosamine can trigger tumour growth - although research hasn’t yet found that it can cause cancer. The use of Nitrosamine has even attracted the attention of the WHO (World Health Organisation) who have previously requested that condom brands consider removing this potentially harmful ingredient from their manufacturing process, as it’s actually an unnecessary element.
- Benzocaine is a local anaesthetic. It’s added to condoms to make people with penises last longer as it minimises sensitivity down there. It is also an endocrine disruptor, meaning it messes with the hormone messaging system that regulates some bodily functions like sleep and more relevantly, your sex drive. Unfortunately, the more you’re exposed to this ingredient, the greater the impact on your hormones.
- Spermicides like Nonoxynol. Designed to kill sperm and block the cervix, Nonoxynol also damages healthy cells along the vaginal wall making you more susceptible to STIs, HIV and UTIs as a result.
Which condoms are good for sensitive skin?
Type ‘natural condoms’ into any search engine and you’ll be besieged by condoms of every size, length and err-flavour, purporting to be natural but which condoms are actually gentle on your skin? Well, the best natural condoms for sensitive skin (in our opinion) are HANX. Our condoms are developed by medical professionals to be pH-balanced, are made from natural rubber, cornstarch powder and silicon oil, & we use a vegetable binder extract. Our rubber has been vulcanised from natural rubber latex using sulphur, zinc oxide, accelerators and soap and our chemical input is the bare minimum - the exact level needed to ensure our condoms are safe. As with any rubber products there are traces of nitrosamines in HANX, though these are minimal and we regularly test for the presence of nitrosamines.
Aside from these necessary traces, HANX is free of glycerin (hello UTIs), spermicides, benzocaine (see above), and casein - we’re Vegan Society certified. HANX condoms are also free from parabens, synthetic colorants and fragrances. In fact, our condoms made Marie Claire’s ‘15 best condoms to *add to basket*: shop the brands that can actually make sex better’ feature, with journalist Ally Head stating, “if you ever suffer from UTI's after sex, you'll want to try HANX condoms.”
Can I use natural condoms and lubricant together?
100%, yes. Find out more about vegan, natural and pH-balanced alternatives to chemical free condoms here.