It’s no secret that, for lots of people, lube is a game-changer when it comes to sex. So you’d probably assume that lubes are pretty safe (even good for) your vagina given their myriad other benefits — and most are.
“The traditional and most commonly used lubes are water- or silicone-based which won’t disrupt the vagina’s delicate pH balance, which can cause an infection,” says Dr. Sherry A. Ross, a gynaecologist and author of She-ology and She-ology. The She-quel. Let’s Continue the Conversation.
But — and this is a big but — if the ingredients used to create the scents, warming capabilities, and flavours of some lubes are doing you more harm than good by irritating your sensitive skin down there, you might find you’re better off with a natural alternative.
Now this, of course, opens up a whole new world of uncertainties. With so many lubes on the market claiming to be “natural” and “organic,” it’s hard to tell what those labels actually mean for you and your vag.
Here are the facts: It all comes down to ingredients. The fewer ingredients, the more natural the lube. “In general, both natural and organic lubricants do not contain those extra non-pure additives including synthetic chemicals, dyes, preservatives, artificial fragrances and other toxins,” says Ross.
The notable difference between “natural” and “organic” lubes really comes down to how the ingredients in each are sourced and whether they’ve been certified. Organic lubes are made from certified ingredients while natural ones are not. To be truly organic, a lube’s ingredients won’t have interacted with chemicals such as pesticides, fertilisers, and GMOs.
That said, some natural and organic lubes can still be tricky for your vagina and include ingredients that you’ll want to avoid. Take, petroleum jelly or mineral oil, for example: They can up your risk of developing bacterial vaginosis or other vaginal infections, says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a gynaecologist in New York.
To make sure you’re adding only the safest options to your cart, you’ll want to shop from this expert-approved list of the best natural lubricants. Many of these feature coconut oil, aloe vera, or vitamin E for a silky, slippery texture and none of the potentially icky stuff (plastics, artificial fragrances, and oh, those pesky parabens).
Pro tip: Always test a bit of lube on your wrist to see if it causes any irritation. If it doesn’t, give it a try on your vulva to double-check before using it during sex.
Now, onto the good stuff:
1/ OSKE Aqua Natural Lubricant
OSKE is vegan and free of petroleum, parabens, and glycerin. It’s made from mostly organic materials. Plus, it’s packing aloe vera, water, and xanthan gum extract and it’s completely free of silicone, petroleum, parabens, and fragrance.
2/ Liquid Gold Rooibos Infused Water Based Lubricant
If you feel like your go-to synthetic lube can sometimes feel clumpy after prolonged use or tends to thicken the more you apply, make the switch to Liquid Gold. This water-based lube feels smooth, silky, and slippery to the touch.
3/ Pjur Woman Vegan Water Based Lubricant
This premium lube is made without parabens, paraffins, and glycerins. This PH optimised lube is also free of fragrances, colourings and gluten.
4/Intimate Earth MELT Organic Warming Water-Based Lubricant for Sensitive Skin
This is a great lube if you have sensitive skin — the gentle formula is silky and natural to the touch, and a little goes a long way. While it is paraben-free, it’s not glycerin-free.