The Best Lubes For People With Sensitive Skin
Lubricant is meant to decrease friction and increase pleasure during sex. One of the last things you want your lubricant to do is cause vaginal or vulvar irritation and discomfort — like burning, itching, redness, or rashes. Yet if you have particularly sensitive skin, you may have unfortunately dealt with this issue in the past. Perhaps the fear of this happening has even stopped you from using lube entirely.
"Lubricants can have many different chemical bases and added chemicals — which for some function as irritations — and problems certainly can occur," confirms Felice Gersh, MD, an ob-gyn and founder of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine. Not all lubricants are created equal, though. That's why Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine, does not recommend purchasing a large, economy size of any product without doing your research. "You never know which product might have a small amount of an additive," Dr. Minkin tells POPSUGAR. Fortunately, there are many products out there designed with sensitive skin and vaginal health in mind — you just need to know what to look for and which ingredients to avoid when shopping.
Dr. Gersh says it's best to avoid formulas that are made with chemical fragrances, parabens, cyclomethicone (a type of silicone), and chlorhexidine gluconate, which she explains is a disinfectant that can kill lactobacillus strains (the bacteria that help maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome). Instead, Dr. Gersh says to consider water- or oil-based formulas made with ingredients like organic aloe vera or organic coconut oil.
Above all, she stresses to always make sure your lubricant is compatible with your contraceptive method. For example, according to Planned Parenthood, lubricants that have oil in them can damage latex condoms, causing them to break. If you are using a sex toy, you also want to make sure the lube you are using is compatible with the sex toy material, as silicone-based lubricants can deteriorate sex toys made out of silicone. Fortunately, many lubricants note their condom and sex-toy compatibility on their packaging or online product descriptions. It can also be helpful to skin test the lubricant on a small section of nearby skin before using it on genitals to see how your skin will react. Remember: everyone is different when it comes to ingredient sensitivities. If you have any questions about what types of lubricant and lubricant ingredients are safe for you to use, reach out to your doctor for personalized advice. But to get you started, we rounded up nine lubricants for people with sensitive skin ahead.
—Additional reporting by Taylor Andrews and Alexis Jones
Überlube Silicone Lubricant
Überlube Silicon Lube ($20)
Not only was this lube shouted out by Dr. Minkin, it's completely free of animal products, parabens, alcohol, gluten, glycerin, scents, and flavors, and it also can be used with condoms and in water. "It's silicone-based, no fragrance, and non-sticky," adds Dorothy Bestoyong, DO, ob-gyn. Just don't pair it with a sex toy made out of silicone as this interaction can cause the material to break down.
Good Clean Love Almost Naked Organic Personal Lubricant
According to the brand, Good Clean Love is the top-selling organic lubricant in the United States — plus it gets Dr. Minkin's stamp of approval. The water-based formula is made with 95 percent organic aloe vera and is free of potentially irritating ingredients like fragrance, parabens, and glycerin. One customer says, "It feels silky and doesn't leave a sticky feeling later."
Lola Personal Lubricant
Lola Personal Lubricant ($14)
This water-based lubricant is hypoallergenic and pH balanced to help maintain a healthy vaginal environment. It's also made without ingredients like fragrance, parabens, synthetic flavor, petrochemicals, glycerin, and synthetic colorants. "Chemically minimal and highly effective. It has the perfect consistency and does not irritate sensitive skin," one reviewer wrote. And because it's water-based, feel free to pair this with any sex toy for all the fun.
Good Clean Love BioNude® Ultra Sensitive Personal Lubricant
This lubricant was designed with the most sensitive of skin types in mind. It's water-based and fragrance free, plus it "closely mimics the body's natural lubrication," Dr. Bestoyong says.
Maude Shine Organic Personal Lubricant
This aloe-based, non-sticky lubricant got a shout-out from Dr. Bestoyong for its hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formula. This lube is also compatible with latex condoms and pH balanced. Among its 697 reviews on the website, it holds a 4.9 rating, with customers stating it is very "long lasting."
Woo More Play Coconut Love Oil
Made with all-natural ingredients like organic coconut oil, beeswax, and vanilla essence for flavor, the brand notes that this lube can be used as a massage oil, too. "This coconut oil feels great on the skin no irritation at all. It's pretty easy to wash off the oil residue ,the smell is not bad either nice and coconutty would recommend," one reviewer said. Per the website, you can "pour, rub, massage, finger, grind, throw, or foot for all we care. Just go enjoy the f*** out of yourself."
Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant
Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant ($15, originally $22)
Dr. Minkin calls out Replens as a favorite brand for her patients — for both its personal lubricant, shown here, and long-lasting vaginal moisturizer. The lubricant in particular is unscented and paraben- and estrogen-free. "It's long lasting and doesn't give me any issues with infections. I love the smooth silky feel," one reviewer stated. It's also said to be incredibly useful for those in perimenopause or menopause, per reviews, helping to significantly improve vaginal dryness. "This slip and slide lube only needs a few drops and it is hard to bathe away. I'm post menopausal, post partial hysterectomy, this helps greatly," one user stated.
Dame Aloe Lube
Dame Aloe Lube ($17)
This organic and aloe-vera-based lubricant from women-founded a company is packaged in a beautiful blue bottle with very little branding, so it blends right into your nightstand decor. Formulated with organic plant extracts, shoppers note that it isn't sticky and doesn't dry out quickly. "So great for sensitive skin people. On my second bottle and will keep reordering," one reviewer stated.
Sliquid Organics Natural Gel
Sliquid Organics Natural Gel ($11 for a two-ounce bottle)
This hypoallergenic lubricant is free of a ton of controversial ingredients, like parabens, sulfates, fragrance, and glycerin. It's made with 95 percent organic ingredients and available in four different sizes, including a single-use-packet option. "A nice texture and no irritation on my vulva or vagina! The gel is easier to apply without dripping that some runnier formulas, and even stays put long enough to use in the shower (outside of the main flow of water of course, but some lubes we've tried vanish with the smallest of sprays)," one reviewer raved.