Lube 101 Definitions

Kegal Weights

A weighted ball, wedge, ring, or other device that is held in the vagina or on the penis during Kegel exercises.

Kegel weights can help pelvic muscles develop, allowing for stronger orgasms, reduced urinary incontinence, and various other benefits. The exercises are not typically performed for sexual stimulation, although some people use Kegel weights during sex or masturbation.

Kegels

An exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. It is named for gynecologist Arnold Kegel, who developed and promoted the technique.

Kegels have a number of health benefits for both sexes; women can reduce the chances of urinary incontinence while getting a “tighter” feel through the improved musculature. Some women report more intense orgasms after performing Kegels for several weeks. Physicians often recommend the exercises to pregnant women prior to childbirth.

Men can also reduce urinary incontinence, and the exercises can restore normal erectile function for some men (however, as erectile function has numerous causes, Kegel exercises will not provide this benefit in every case).

To perform the exercises, men and women contract their pelvic floor muscles, hold the new position for several seconds, and relax. Pelvic weights and other toning devices (such as Ben Wa balls) can support muscle development.

Kojic Acid

A chemical produced by some species of fungi. It is used in some cosmetic products as a skin lightener.

Kojic acid is considered safe, and it has gained popularity as an alternative to hydroquinone (another skin lightening substance recently identified as a probably carcinogen). As is the case with any depigmentation product, kojic acid can make the skin sensitive to sunlight. It may also act as a mild antifungal and antibacterial agent.

Keratin

A protein commonly found in human hair, fingernails, and toenails.

Some products include keratin to support healthier skin and hair. Keratin may improve skin elasticity, and it has a waterproofing effect when applied topically. It is also commonly used in hair-straightening treatments.

Keratin is a natural substance that should not cause negative side effects when applied directly to the skin. It is a safe ingredient in personal lubricants and cosmetics.

Kiwi Fruit Extract

A substance extracted from the flesh of the kiwi fruit and commonly used in cosmetics and lubricants. It contains a number of beneficial chemicals including beta-carotene (the chemical precursor to vitamin A), and it may support healthy skin. It also has a pleasant aroma and taste.

While kiwi fruit extract is considered safe, it may cause a serious allergic reaction in some users. It contains actinidain, and people who are allergic to latex are especially susceptible to kiwifruit allergies. Common side effects include skin irritation, rash, and soreness; users should immediately contact their physicians if these symptoms occur.