14 Best Natural Lubricants That Won’t Irritate Your Vagina, According to Gynecologists
From coconut oil to OTC brands, these lubes are guaranteed to be gentle on sensitive skin.
Article from Prevention Magazine
By Cassie Shortsleeve Feb 19, 2020
But reaching for any random organic or plant-based lube isn’t the solution, either. “I actually caution people against things that report to be manufactured as ‘natural’ because something being organic or natural doesn’t mean that it is hypoallergenic or unscented,” says Kari Braaten, M.D., M.P.H., an OB/GYN at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Just because something has ingredients in it that are plant-based, or non-synthetic, doesn’t mean that they are non-irritating to your skin.”
However, certain products out there are
unscented, organic, flavor-free, and designed with sensitive skin in
mind—and there’s good reason to use them. Natural lube can make sex much more comfortable and enjoyable, especially during and after menopause when a lack of estrogen can cause uncomfortable dryness (or if you’re on hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills, which can also dry you out).
How to choose the best natural lubricant for your vagina
Simple is best: “I generally recommend against lubricants that are scented or claim to create a sensation,” says Dr. Braaten. “Those can be very irritating and can cause rashes and allergic reactions.”
Ace your base: If you plan to use a condom, go for water-based lubricants (which are generally non-irritating) instead of oils. “Oil-based lubricants can degrade latex, causing small holes and making them less effective at preventing pregnancy and STIs,” says Dr. Braaten. There are also silicone-based lubes, which can be a bit more irritating and don’t work well with silicone sex toys.
Be aware of other irritants: In addition to flavors and fragrances, there are a variety of add-ins to steer clear of if you prefer a natural formula, including glycerin, propylene glycol, and petroleum-based ingredients, which may cause irritation, alter the pH of your vagina, and increase your risk of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Certain preservatives, like parabens, are also pretty controversial, since some research shows “they have been shown to disrupt hormone function in the body and act like estrogen,” says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. (The Food and Drug Administration says the investigation into these claims is ongoing, though.)
If you’d prefer to try a natural lubricant, but have no idea where to start, check out the options below—they’re good enough for OB/GYNs.
So if you’d prefer to try a natural lubricant, check out the options below—they’re good enough for OB/GYNs.
With antibacterial properties and no oil to break down the integrity of a condom, your go-to sunburn remedy doubles as a natural form of lube, says Dr. Wider. As with any lube, you just want to avoid perfumes or additives (check the ingredient list to make sure it’s almost 100% aloe vera). With aloe vera, the only way to get 100% is to harvest the plant yourself—but this product gets pretty darn close with 95% organic aloe vera, vitamin E oil, and a few necessary preservatives.