The name is blunt: Sex Oil from Toronto-based Province Apothecary doesn't hide behind any vague adjectives or cute lingo. It's as clear as the oil's list of ingredients, which blends coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, evening primrose oil, GMO-free vitamin E and rosemary leaf extract. Sex Oil thus distinguishes itself from commercial lubricants available on the market—many of which contain preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrances or colors and more. It's not only a concern for those who have sensitive skin, but recent studies show that synthetic chemicals in lubricants could potentially increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections, and even cause damage to cells.
"I started making sex oil because I suffer from so many allergies and I wanted to find something fun for the bedroom that would be a wonderful massage oil and more, and wasn't full of irritants or synthetic chemicals," Province Apothecary founder Julie Clark tells CH. "So I started playing around with oils; I actually started using this blend as a summer body oil before bringing it into the bedroom." (Clark still uses the Sex Oil as a light body oil after the shower or beach.)
A Halifax, Nova Scotia native who spent some time in NYC and moved to Toronto almost four years ago, Clark says the Canadian weather has had a huge impact on her creating Province Apothecary. "Because it is so dry and cold, I started making an oil cleanser, a face balm and products like the clay mask versatile—you can use them with different ingredients in the summer and the winter to help your skin. My focus was also trying to find and use Canadian raw materials." This includes not just honey and beeswax from the farmers market but also First Nations sweet grass and sage, and even Nova Scotia algae.
"Sex oil is totally out of the blue for a line but it goes with my philosophy of pure, natural, non-toxic, non-irritating products," she says. "It's for other sensitive individuals that can't use shea butter, glycerin, harsh preservatives, overpowering fragrance and any toxic ingredients. We are using it on the most delicate parts of our body and therefore want the most gentle product ever."
After pouring some of the Sex Oil onto our hands, we immediately noticed that there was no fragrance. The consistency of the blended product isn't as thick as olive oil; while adding perceptible smoothness to the skin and decreasing friction, the Sex Oil dries into a satin—not greasy—finish. It's a light but strong moisturizer that can be used on any part of the body (it kept our hands hydrated the rest of the day), and doesn't need to be washed off. It's important to note that oils can weaken latex condoms and cause them to break, but can be safely used with condoms made from plastic or lambskin.
Clark is a certified aromatherapist and holistic health practitioner who knows her stuff—be sure to check out her entire range range of products, from the Healing Eczema Balm to roll-on fragrances made from therapeutic essential oils. Clark also donates a percentage of her sales to support two different organizations, the Canadian Organic Growers and the Canadian Honey Council—aka the farmers and the bees.
Sex Oil is available from Province Apothecary's online shop; a 60ml bottle retails for $18, and 120ml for $28.
Product photos by Nara Shin, Province Apothecary studio images courtesy of Anabela Piersol