By Libby Sage
There’s no better accessory for your sex toys than a high-quality lube. Lube is also a great way to spice things up in bed, ease pain during intimacy, and make sex last longer. This simple guide will help you buy the best lube for you by walking through five harmful ingredients to avoid.
There are a few reasons to choose a body-safe, water-soluble lube. For one, although oil-based lubricants are great for massages, they break down condoms and render them ineffective. Silicone-based lubes may be good for extra slip, but they aren’t compatible with sex toys and will actually degrade the silicone over time. And while it might be tempting to use a little spit, saliva contains bacteria that throws off the delicate balance of vaginal flora. If you plan to use a condom or other products, then a water-soluble, all-natural lube is the choice for you.
The Five Worst Ingredients in Personal Lubricants
It might be tempting to grab lube at your grocery store, but think again. Popular commercial lubes contain a host of dangerous ingredients that compromise your sexual well being, not limited to:
- Parabens. The paraben-free craze isn’t just hype. Buying lubes with chemicals linked to cancer is a risk not worth taking.
- Humectants. Humectants like glycerin and propolyene glycol are hyper-osmotic, or extremely dehydrating. This means vaginal and rectal irritation, vaginal infection (UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, candida) and an increased chance of contracting STIs.
- Petrochemicals. You wouldn’t put gas in your body, so why use lubes derived from crude oil? Like humectants, petrochemicals such as benzoic acid and benzene make lubes hyper-osmotic and harmful.
- Microbicides. The anti-bacterial properties of microbicides might seem like a good thing, but they irritate the skin. Alcohol and surfactants destroy good bacteria in the vagina and make you vulnerable to STIs.
- Fragrance. This common allergen is easily absorbed by mucous membranes lining the vagina and rectum. Mainly composed of petrochemicas, fragrance is a hormone disruptor, an irritant, and a mood killer.
How to Choose the Best Lube for You
Ready to treat yourself to a water-based lube, but don’t know where to start? Evaluating your needs is a good jumping off point. Do you want a lube that relieves pelvic pain or do you need a fix for persistent dryness? Not all lubes are created equal, but to help you decide:
- For extra hydration, maude Organic Shine Lubricant is a great choice. The aloe vera base is body-safe while extending the lube’s longevity. This lube doesn’t damage condoms and works well with larger sex toys.
- Smooth Operator Intimate Serum contains CBD to soothe tension while increasing blood flow, which could help make orgasms more attainable for PCOS and endometriosis sufferers. This lube isn’t sex toy-friendly, but it won’t break down latex.
- If you’re allergy-prone, pick an all-natural lubes that can be paired with sex toys and condoms, like Sliquid Natural Lubricant. Hypoallergenic ingredients provide long-lasting lubrication without irritation.
Whether you want to enhance sex with your partner or make masturbation even more fun, stock your nightstand with a bottle of lube. Remember the golden rule: always stick with body-safe ingredients. Your sexual health comes first and your body (and toy collection!) will thank you.