Let’s get one thing straight: Lube is one of the best intimate-care inventions to have been created. But like any product nowadays, you gotta read the label. How do you know if your lube is safe for your vaginal health? Below, we have broken it down into an easy reference list of ingredients we suggest avoiding, whether in personal lubrication or in general other beauty products. Keep in mind, if you wouldn’t put it on your face, it shouldn’t go near your intimate parts!
Here’s a Quick Lube Recap
Lube comes in three basic categories: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. You can read more in-depth about your options in Different Types of Lubes, but in the meantime here’s what you need to know:
- Water-based lubricants are probably the most common type of lube and are often the safest to use. They’re easy to clean up, won’t stain sheets or clothes, and are safe to use with condoms and all types of sex toys. They’re also usually made from ingredients that are non-irritating to the skin. However, water-based lube can dry out more quickly than other types of lube, so you may need to reapply during sex.
- Silicone-based lubes are another popular choice because they’re longer lasting than water-based lubes. They’re also less likely to cause irritation and can be used in water, making them a great choice for shower sex. However, silicone lube can damage silicone sex toys, so it’s important to check the instructions before using it with any toys.
- Oil-based lubes are longer lasting and can make for a good sensual massage, but can damage latex condoms. It’s important to use non-latex condoms if you’re using an oil-based lube. They can also be difficult to clean up and can stain sheets and clothing.
No matter which type of lubricant you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re using one that is safe for your body and sex toys. Water-based lubricant is usually the safest choice, but it’s important to read the ingredients list and make sure it’s a high-quality product.
Lube Ingredients to Avoid
Parabens are used as a preservative in many lubricants, but they have been linked to health concerns such as the disruption of hormone levels and reproductive health issues. It may even potentially increase breast cancer risk.
Glycerin is a humectant (meaning it helps to retain moisture) that shows up in a lot of lubes, especially ones that are flavored or warming. Glycerin has been linked to yeast infections in women as it’s a metabolic byproduct of sugar, which can serve as a food source for microbes.
3. Propylene Glycol
This potentially toxic ingredient may cause some women to experience tissue irritation. Propylene glycol is found in some frequently used over-the-counter lubricants–as well as some types of antifreeze.
No using Vaseline or baby oil as a lube! Petroleum-based ingredients are used in many lubricants as they stay put for longer than other lubes by coating your skin. Petroleum can alter the pH of your vagina to the point where it leads to a higher chance of infections, like bacterial vaginosis. They will also damage condoms.
Nonoxynol-9 can kill both good and bad bacteria in the vaginal microbiome. Whenever your vaginal bacteria get skewed off balance, it can result in an annoying infection, like bacterial vaginosis. Even if it doesn’t lead to an actual infection, the chemical might cause some uncomfortable inflammation and irritation.
6. Chlorhexidine Gluconate
This antibacterial agent can alter bacteria levels in our vagina and throw it off balance, which can lead to infections. Chlorhexidine gluconate can also lead to tissue irritation and inflammation.
This is a numbing agent that is commonly marketed as a lubricant for anal sex. People who experience painful intercourse are more drawn to it. However, with fewer sensations, your body may not recognize signs to stop, which can lead to microtears in tissue and major problems. It can also cause allergic contact dermatitis.
When it comes to intimate care products, it is important to understand the ingredients they contain and choose products that are specifically formulated for sexual activities and free of potentially harmful ingredients. Oomf CBD Lube is a great option for those looking for a high-quality, water-based lubricant. It is made without any potentially harmful ingredients and is enriched with a prebiotic to keep infections at bay. Understanding the ingredients in lubricants and choosing the right product for your needs can help ensure a safe and enjoyable intimate experience.