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Personal Lubricants
How To Choose One That Is Healthy

The best sexual lubricants are toxin free, however, it is difficult to find lubricants that do not have some short comings. There are many common problem ingredients from sugar (which promotes yeast infections in women) to Parbens, which alter estrogen levels, heighten allergic reactions, decrease sperm count, cause problems to fetal development for pregnant women and spurs the development of skin cancer. This does not even tackle if they are condom friendly or safe to use with sex toys.

Read more about parabens in personal lubricants.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

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Lube Education

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Yam Lube

As lubricants are directly absorbed into the body without being filtered through you liver and kidneys like food is, you should be even more careful what you use and that is why we tell you what lubricants are the most pure.

What are the Safest to Use?

The safest bet is to use a waterbased lubricant. The purest waterbased lubricants on the market right now are shown on our lubricant pages.

Waterbased are the best because they are safe to use with condoms, sex toys and are easily washed off. See the healthiest waterbased lubricants on the market today.

Why Are Personal Lubricants Important?

Vaginal dryness may be caused by a variety of factors and does not necessarily indicate a lack of sexual desire. In fact, simple hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, stress, menopause and nutritional factors can inhibit natural vaginal lubrication. Even the use of certain medications can cause vaginal dryness such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, ulcer medications, blood pressure prescriptions and antidepressants. In addition, simply having frequent sexual stimulation can cause lubrication production to slow.

Another desirable time to use personal lubricants is when using sex toys that are porous or those that create frictional drag as it can be quite beneficial to use lubrication in order to prevent discomfort, intense friction and even vaginal tearing. Lubricants with condoms during sexual activity can also reduce the risk of condom breakage. When it comes to goo vaginal health it is important to understand that it is quite normal for a women’s vaginal moisture to vary and it is always a good idea to have a personal lubricant available. Because personal lubricants can prevent itching and keep the vaginal tissue moist some women even opt to use them on a daily basis.

Personal lubricants are essential for anal penetration because the anus and rectum do not provide lubrication to facilitate penetration. Failure to use lubricant for anal penetration can result in both short term and long term damage to the anal and rectal tissue.


Waterbased Lubricant Pros & Cons

Easy Clean Up

Since waterbased lubricants are water-soluble. This makes cleanup a breeze: just a little warm water and the lube will easily wash off the skin.

Compatible with Everything

You can use waterbased lubricants with condoms, when pregnant and with any sex toy made no mater the materials from which it is made.

They Dry Up Quickly

The down side is that it some waterbased lubricants can dry up quickly and may have to be reapplied several times as opposed to other lubricants such as silicone which stay slick for a while. They are easily absorbed into the skin and mucous membranes (which is why you want them to be as pure and nontoxic as possible). There are some waterbased lubricants that are less absorbent than others, but one alternative can be a silicone blend of a waterbased lubricant mixed with silicone.

Silicone Lubricant Issues

Silicone Sex Toys with Silicone Lubricants?

A common myth is that silicone sex toys can never be used with silicone-based lubricants and that silicone sex toys should not come into contact with other silicone sex toys. However, we have not found either of these points to be completely true.

As for 100% silicone sex toys, you will not find such problems unless it is not 100% silicone. It is also fine to use silicone lubes with condoms of just about any kind.

You have to be sure that it is made from 100% silicone, otherwise it may destroy the sex toy and break it down.

The issue is that there are many "silicone" toys on the market are a blend of silicone and other less expensive materials or a lesser grade of silicone called "tin" silicone.

Because sex toys are not regulated by the FDA, manufacturers do not have to list all materials used. One way to tell if a toy that says it's silicone but is only partly silicone is if it emits a chemical smell. 100% silicone toys will not have a smell.

If a toy is silicone mixed with another material there is a chance that using a silicone lubricant will cause the material to break down over time and release chemicals. Also, the only thing that bonds to silicone is silicone; so using silicone lube with lower-quality silicone toys can gum up the surface.

Since sex toys are used on intimate parts you will want to make sure any sex toy you use is a high quality product and as chemical free as possible. We only carry nontoxic sex toys, so anything on our site is something you can trust.

As for lubricants, we recommend glycerin, Paraben free, waterbased lubricant because it is closer to your body chemistry and less likely to cause a reaction. Sliquid H20 is a glycerin, Paraben free waterbased lubricant that emulates your body's own natural lubrication and tends to be less sticky. Because this type of lubricant is waterbased, they dehydrate (dry up), but remember that the slippery ingredients are still there... so a quick dunk of your hand in a glass of water on your bedside table, touch the lubricated area, and you're back in business.

If you decide you prefer a silicone lubricant, we highly recommend Sliquid Silicone Lubricant due to the high quality ingredients and texture. Sliquid also makes a hybrid, Sliquid Silk, that is comprised of a combination of waterbased and silicone ingredients. The Sliquid company has long been ahead of their time regarding research of ingredients and quality and composition of their lubricants. All Sliquid products are hypoallergenic and nontoxic.

Do Not Use Silicone Lubricants with Jelly Sex Toys

It is the jelly toys that you will find this to be true... the reason for this reaction is that jelly toys are not 100% silicone, and the melting happens because they are made of lesser materials that have additives to make them soft. Those chemical additives, called phthalates, emit from the toys over time, and as this happens, they make each other even softer, seen as "melting".

Do Not Use Silicone Lubricants with Cyberskin Sex Toys

Silicone or any petroleum or oil-based lubricant will destroy CyberSkin.

Use Them In Water & Use Soap For Easy Clean Up!

Silicone lubricants work well in water and are great for sexual activity in the bath tub, shower, etc. However, because they stay on in water, you have to use soap to clean them off.

Cyberskin Lubricants

Only use waterbased lubricants with CyberSkin sex toys! Silicone or any petroleum or oil-based lubricant will destroy CyberSkin.

When Using Condoms

Never use lubricants that contain oils, fat or greases such as petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) baby oils or lotion, hand or body lotions, cooking oils or oily cosmetics like cold cream. They can seriously weaken latex causing a condom to form tin holes and tear easily. Use only water or silicone based lubricants both inside and outside the condom.


Is a mild chemical detergent that kills sperm and has been found to also kill some STD causing organisms. Nonoxynol 9 is a common ingredient in spermicides and lubricant, previously thought to help reduce the risk of HIV infection. Not only have recent studies proven this untrue, they've also discovered that Nonoxynol 9 actually leads to infections, which can help transmit the disease. How ever some men and woman have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to nonoxynol-9 that may irritate the delicate tissues of the vagina or the male urethra. If irritation occurs, you should discontinue use.

Massage Oils & Oil Based Lubricants

Oil based sex lubricants degrade latex and as such condoms or diaphragms become risky protectors against both unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. They're bad for women's vaginal health in a variety of ways so avoid them when practicing safe sex and partaking in vaginal sex.

Lubricant Preservative: Propylene Glycol

There have been concerns among lubricant purists that propylene glycol is the same thing as antifreeze used it automobiles. The truth is that it is not the same thing propylene glycol is a form of mineral oil which is an alcohol produced by fermentation of yeast and carbohydrates; whereas antifreeze is ethylene glycol and is toxic to both animals and humans. The World Health Organization, CFTA (Cosmetic, Fragrance, and Toiletry Association) and the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) list propylene glycol as suitable for use in cosmetics and lubricants and when used properly it is considered safe for human use. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol.

So how did this rumor get spread? Propylene glycol used to be added to or even replaced ethylene glycol to reduce costs as a processing aid as it is an aliphatic alcohol that when used with ethylene glycol lowers the freezing temperature of water. However, it is important to note that the lubricants we carry so not contain ethylene glycol, rather they contain propylene glycol which is considered “generally recognized as safe" for use in food and other products.

It should also be noted that propylene glycol comes in different grades for different uses. When in the form of the industrial grade, propylene glycol is an active ingredient in antifreeze, engine coolants, airplane de-icers, paint, enamel, varnishes, polyurethane materials and solvents and it is when it is in the form of this grade that the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) cites skin, liver and kidney damage that can result from contact. The pharmaceutical grade of propylene glycol is a much less concentrated form and is commonly used as a solvent in oral, topical and injectable drugs as well as in food.

There have been extensive studies on propylene glycol and it has been shown that it does not cause cancer nor does it present a carcinogenic risk with low levels of ingestion. However, it should be noted that some people did find that they had allergic reactions from propylene glycol primarily in the form of skin irritation. If you find that you are sensitive to propylene glycol there are certainly lubricants that do not contain it such as Aloe Cadabra. The real concern comes down to quantity of consumption of propylene glycol. When used in small amounts or used infrequently it most likely will not cause any negative health effects. There are of course alternatives so again should you want to avoid it you can certainly use personal lubricants that do not contain it. See our lubricant section where we always list ingredients so that you can avoid anything you may have a sensitivity to as even all natural plant based lubricants can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Does Glycerin In Lubricants Cause Yeast Infections?

No glycerin (a.k.a.: glycerine or glycerol - tribydric alcohol) does not cause yeast infections, however, lubricants, oils and other items used during sex play that contain sugar may cause them. Glycerin is made from both natural (vegetable and animal) petrochemical feedstocks and is considered nontoxic whether derived from triglycerides or synthesized. It is safe to use with latex condoms and most sex toys. Most people prefer vegetable glycerin and that is why most personal lubricants contain that version of them. However, you can always inquire if you have concerns about which one it is.


Is It Safe To Orally Consume Lubricants

Unless the lubricant it specifically designed for oral sex play such as flavored lubricants, it is always a good idea to first check with the manufacturer to determine if it is safe to consume.


Yam Lube

See our article specifically regarding yam lube to better understand if it works and how.


To learn more, make sure to see our article on
Toxins in Sex Toys

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