Natural lubrication can be a serious problem for many women and couples.
Vaginal dryness is not an uncommon problem, and there are specific treatments focused to curing such problem. One of the most common solutions is going for a personal lubricant (aka lube for sex) with which you can achieve an additional lubrication and make sexual act less painful, and more enjoyable.
But as with anything in this complex world, there are good and bad solutions, and there are specifics that everyone should know before going for a purchase. This is the purpose of this article. This article will present the different types of lube, more precisely the 4 basic types of personal lubricants, which everyone should be familiar with, before buying one.
1) Basic types of personal lubricants
There are 4 basic types of personal lubricants, and each has its own properties and specifics. For a certain use one might be more beneficial than the other, and vice-versa. Knowing the basic types of personal lubricants is the first thing you should know before purchasing one for yourself.
So, which are the types of personal lubricants (lubes)? Here’s the quick peak:
- Water-Based Lubes
- Silicone-Based Lubes
- Oil-Based Lubes
- Petroleum-Based Lubes (aka Petroleum Jelly)
1.1) Water-Based Lubes
Water based lubes are considered to be “the safest choice” because the majority of the lube composition is, you’ve guessed it, water. Water is harmless and cannot pose any threat to your private parts – or so it is thought.
After in-depth analysis of certain water based lubes, we have determined that this type of lube, can also contain harmful ingredients that are added into the mix and that you should be very careful, when choosing such lube – you should know the dangerous lube ingredients to avoid. Example of such ingredients: DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Glycerin (Glycerol), Parabens, Flavors, etc.
FYI: One of the most healthy & medicinal water-based lube, can be made of fresh Aloe Vera gel.
In general here are the PRO’s of WATER BASED lubes:
- They can be used with all materials (latex, silicone, toys, condoms …).
- They are still quite safe to begin with.
- They are absorbed by the skin, so if you pick a healthy lube, it will work medicinal to your body.
- Some of water-based lubes will not stain sheets at all.
- If you pick ingredient friendly water-based lube, you do not need to rinse it off after usage.
And the CON’s of WATER BASED lubes:
- This type of lube has faster absorption, so it will dry-out quicker than other types.
- Because you will need to reapply it, you will use more, which makes it more expensive.
- Lower quality water-based lubes, will become sticky and messy.
1.2) Silicone-Based Lubes
In comparison to water-based, silicone-based lubes are considered to be much more long-lasting, providing more glide with lesser amount for a longer period of time. Well then, why would anyone go for a water-based if silicone are so good?
Even the silicone lubes, have their own disadvantages, which we are going to learn about soon enough. One of the main disadvantages being, that silicone cannot be absorbed into the skin (as fast) and will therefore stay in your vagina for a longer period of time. This can lead to vaginal infections if you are prone to them – bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, etc.
While the 2nd largest downfall of a silicone lube is that it can’t be used with other silicone materials (mainly toys). Silicone lube will degrade silicone toys, and can also brake through polyurethane condoms. That’s why you have to be careful what type of lube you are using, or you may end up facing an unplanned pregnancy.
In general here are the PRO’s of SILICONE BASED lubes:
- Silicone based lubes are long lasting.
- They will come as inexpensive, because a little goes a long way (small amount needed per sexual session).
- Stable – they will not change structure after some time of use
Here are the CON’s of SILICONE BASED lubes:
- Cannot be used with silicone toys.
- Cannot be used with polyurethane condoms.
- Hard to rinse off (skin and other materials).
- Could promote vaginal infections for people prone to them, since they stay inside vagina for quite a while after usage.
1.3) Oil-Based Lubes
Under this category we include all lubes that are based on oils. The oil can be of different source – coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, etc.
As with previous two categories, oils are specific, and can provide for great sexual experience while on the other hand, this type of lube has its own disadvantages.
Oil are great, as they work as natural preservative. You do not need to add additional preservative into oil based lube, for it will not expire. It works as antimicrobial and doesn’t go bad. This feature allows oil-based lube to maintain its 100% natural formula, thus providing most benefits for one’s skin.
For a fact, it is proven that cold-pressed virgin coconut oil can be great for keeping natural vaginal flora, thus preventing vaginal infections. Besides having skincare benefits, coconut oil is also great for hair, teeth, and works well on one’s digestion, making it completely edible.
While there are also downsides, such as oils being incompatible with latex material and condoms. Oil will break a condom, therefore it is essential to avoid this type of lube if you are planning on having safe sex.
Here are the PRO’s of OIL BASED lubes:
- These lubes carry lots of medicinal value when cold-pressed and pure.
- Oils do not dry out and will provide long-lasting experience.
- Oils can be absorbed into skin, which works beneficial to one’s skin.
- They are completely edible and good for digestion.
And the CON’s of OIL BASED lubes:
- Can’t be used with latex.
- Can’t be used with condoms.
- Can be hard to clean out of your sheets and clothes if you stain them.
1.4) Petroleum-Based Lubes
The last type of lube in our article titled 4 Basic Types Of Personal Lubricants, are the petroleum-based lubes. This is the only type of lube, we recommend to stay away from.
You should avoid a lube if it contains any kind of petroleum ingredients. Such ingredients are: petroleum, petrolatum, paraffinum liquidum, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, etc. – If you see any of the mentioned names on the ingredient label of your lube, we advise you to reconsider its usage.
Petroleum-based lubes are derived from crude oil, the same ingredient used to produce diesel. Petroleum being the byproduct of oil industry, has to be severely refined and purified to become useful as a skincare product.
There are however tons of sources claiming that refining process, does not purify mineral oil from all impurities and that in many cases, there has been discovery of PAH’s contaminants in this type of lube. PAH’s are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (carcinogenic), and based on scientific data there’s a high level of contamination concern for products containing petroleum.
Another disadvantage is that, petroleum type of lube works as a skin barrier, making impermeable layer on top of skin, preventing skin to breathe. Our skin has to breathe to excrete bad stuff out and to absorb good stuff in. This process is denied when using petroleum-based lubes. Basically all garbage stays inside, while nothing good can’t enter.
And thirdly, the production process of such type of lube is extremely non-ecofriendly and can be considered direct threat to the environment.
Here are the PRO’s of PETROLEUM BASED lubes:
- Long lasting.
And the CON’s of PETROLEUM BASED lubes:
- Bad for skin (works as an impermeable skin barrier).
- Bad for health (may be contaminated with PAH’s).
- Bad for the environment.
- Hard to rinse off and hard to clean.
- Associated with burning sensations and vaginal infections
2) Types of lube – Conclusions about types of personal lubricants
In order to find your favorite lube, you should learn the ingredients and also make your own tests, to determine which type of lube feels best for you. You can find lots of research and information on different types of lubes and ingredients at lubeforsex.com website.
A recent published article questions the safety of glycerin, a popular ingredient in water-based lubes. It has been connected to yeast infections, but just how many scientific studies actually confirm that?
If you are searching for an ingredient friendly lube, that has tons of positive reviews and contain natural ingredients only, we advise you to take a peek at Aloe Cadabra Lube. Aloe Cadabra is a water-based lube, made specifically for people with sensitive skin. It has no parabens, no glycerin and no harmful ingredients that can be found in other water-based lubes. It is a doctor recommended lube, which will not only offer safe, but also fantastic and enjoyable experience.
You might not find your perfect lube with your first purchase, but we believe that with quality information and research, we can help you find it faster. We care about your purchase and your ingredients, and we make ingredient analysis for you.
We will publish a lot more articles focused on health and safety of personal lubricants (lubes), and thus help you gather true and relevant information, essential for improving your sexual experience.