Searching the “best” lubricant can be overwhelming. There are so many different types and brands that it can be daunting to find exactly what you’re looking for (or maybe you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for). To make things even more difficult, not all lubricants are created equal and some contain ingredients that we generally want to avoid using down there.
Let’s talk a little more in detail about lubricants and some of the brands we recommend to our patients.
Water based lubricant is a great option for people with sensitive skin and is safe for all areas of the body. It can be used with condoms, dilators, pelvic wands, and sex toys. Some can be thicker and more bulky or thinner and more natural feeling depending on your preference. Water based lubricants can also have moisturizing properties and are absorbed by the skin, which may require re-application. They are also relatively inexpensive, widely available, and non-staining.
If you want a water based lubricant that is non-drying (aka doesn’t pull moisture out of the vaginal tissue) look for a lubricant with an osmolality number <290 mOsm/kg. You can usually find osmolality information in the product info section.
Some Water Based Lubricants we recommend are:
Ah! YES WB
Good Clean Love (Almost Naked, Bio-Nude, Liquid)
Slippery Stuff (FDA approved for latex condoms)
Sliquid & T-Lube
Silicone based lubricants tend to be more slippery than water based lubricants since they are not absorbed by the skin. Silicone lubricants sit on top of the skin and mucus membrane to provide a longer lasting glide. They typically require less re-application but will need to be washed off of the skin. Silicone lubricants may also stain clothing or sheets so watch out!
One important thing to note about silicone lubricants is that they are NOT compatible with silicone toys, dilators, wands, etc. Silicone lubricants can break down the rubber and surfaces of those products, which makes them unsafe for use.
Some Silicone Based Lubricants we recommend are:
UberLube (FDA approved on latex condoms)
Femani Touch (FDA approved on latex condoms)
Hybrid lubricants are a mixture of water-based and silicone. They contain properties of both the water and silicone based lubricants which some people like. Hybrid lubricants are typically moisturizing and longer lasting. Some have a cloudy appearance, which is a normal characteristic.
Oil based lubricants are excellent for external use and massage. They are widely available since they are natural oils and easily found around your home (ex- coconut oil, olive oil, etc.). These lubricants will stain clothing and sheets so be careful. Oil based lubricants are not compatible with condoms (they can break down the latex and cause small holes to form), silicon toys, or silicon products such as pelvic wands and dilators. Oil based lubricants may also carry a greater risk of infection due to changing the natural microbiome.
Some Oil Based Lubricants we recommend are:
Ah! Yes OB
CBD lubricants are the newest on the market. The anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of some CBD oils have made them popular choices for some people. However, since CBD has only become widely used in the past few years more research needs to be conducted to understand the benefits and potential risks. It is also not regulated by the FDA and treated like a dietary supplement so the doses can vary from one product to the next. Lastly, not all CBD lubricants are safe to use with condoms.
GoLove (CBD infused and water based)
Lubricant ingredients to avoid
Menthol: Lubricants that contain menthol are often advertised as “cooling” or “sensation enhancing”. Menthol is an alcohol that can cause skin irritation and discomfort.
Capsaicin: This is sometimes advertised as “warming” or “arousal enhancing”. Capsaicin can trigger a pain reaction from nerves that lasts longer than the intimate experience.
Chlorhexidine: Is a preservative sometimes included in lubricants that destroys normal and more importantly protective genital bacteria. It is important to maintain normal pH to maintain health and prevent infection.
Other common ingredients to avoid are parabens, sulfates, glycerin, petroleum, & fragrance. These ingredients can cause irritation and increase chances of yeast infection in some women.
If you are unsure how your body will respond to a new product, it can be helpful to test the lubricant by using a small amount externally before using it internally.
In conclusion, it may take a few tries to find the right product that works with your body. However once you do, lubricants are a simple way to enhance your sex life and decrease discomfort. So go give that bottle a good squirt & lube up!