Key Ingredients: Water, aloe vera extract
Best Flavored Lube: Lovehoney Cherry Flavored Lubricant
Why It’s Worth It: Fans of fruity flavors will love the Lovehoney Cherry Flavored Lubricant. This water-based lubricant has a tasty cherry flavor that you’ll want to lick up every drop of, plus, it’s safe to use with condoms.
Editor’s Tip: Is cherry not your favorite flavor? No worries, because Lovehoney also has a strawberry-flavored lube that’ll satisfy your taste buds and your partner.
Key Ingredients: Water, glycerin, natural flavor
pH-Blanaced Formula: Maude Shine
Why It’s Worth It: The Maude Shine lubricant has a pH-balanced formula to enjoy anywhere and everywhere on your body. This paraben- and glycerin-free personal lubricant has a hydrating, sensual feel that’s long-lasting without becoming tacky in the process.
Editor’s Tip: If you want more slip or a water play-friendly lube, Maude has you covered with its silicone-based iteration of its best-selling formula.
Key Ingredients: Aloe vera leaf juice, oat kernel extract, snow mushroom extract, cannabis sativa seed oil
Best Texture: Babeland BabeLube Gel
Why It’s Worth It: The Babeland BabeLube Gel has a slick, slippery gel consistency that can be used on just about any area of your body. This lubricant is also free of gluten and parabens to reduce the potential for skin irritation.
Editor’s Tip: Babeland’s best-selling lube has a digestible, flavorless formula. That means it’s great for oral play, too.
Key Ingredients: Deionized water, ethylhexylglycerin
What is a lube’s purpose?
Portland-based obstetrician-gynecologist Jennifer Lincoln, MD says anyone can benefit from incorporating a personal lubricant into their sex lives. With that being said, Dr. Lincoln also notes that lubes are especially helpful if you have any concerns about vaginal dryness. “People who are in low estrogen states — such as those who are perimenopausal, postmenopausal, or breastfeeding — [can benefit from lubricants] as low estrogen can lead to thinning of the vaginal mucosa and decreased lubrication production,” she says. “It’s also a definite must for anal sex as the rectum does not self-lubricate.”
If you’re a vulva-owner that experiences any painful sensations during sex or masturbation, Dr. Lincoln says that adding a lubricant into the mix can provide some much-needed comfort. “If you have thinner vaginal mucosa, it can make issues like tearing or bleeding less likely as it helps to decrease friction,” she says.”It can be really helpful for people who are in pelvic floor physical therapy for pelvic pain or pain with sex and are using vaginal dilators to help these issues.”
What kind of lubes are there?
TL;DR: Personal lubes are pretty freakin’ great. But it’s worth noting that there are different types of lubes to choose from to satisfy your sexual needs. Below, we tapped the “sexperts” to break down every type of lubricant you should know about, and which situations you should use them in — yeah, you’re welcome.
By now, you’ve probably noticed that there are tons of lubes to choose from, especially when it comes to water-based formulas. According to Dr. Lincoln, many of the best lubricants on the market are water-based because they’re gentle enough for sensitive skin types to use and they won’t break down latex condoms or silicone sex toys. Though they’re the most versatile form of lube, Ohio-based obstetrician-gynecologist Kim Langdon, MD, says that water-based lubes tend to dry quicker, so expect to reapply as needed.
Fans of giving or receiving oral sex will be happy to know that there are quite a few edible, flavored lubes on the market for them to try. Dr. Lincoln says that most water-based flavored lubes are fine to ingest in small amounts, but always be sure to never mix oil-based lubes (which we’ll get to) and ingestion. “Ingesting oil-based lubricant can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,” she says. When in doubt, Dr. Lincoln suggests reading the instructions before use on where these can be used.
Recently, aloe vera-based lubricants have been popping up everywhere, which makes sense, considering the ingredient’s texture. Aloe-based lubes tend to last longer than water-based options, and it’s also worth noting that these lubricants are compatible with silicone toys and latex condoms. “They are in a lot of commercial lubes on the market and if you tolerate them, they are fine to use,” says Dr. Lincoln.