What is the difference between oil-based, water-based, and silicone-based lubricant?
There are so many lubricants and personal moisturizers on the market! We explain the differences and which ones may work best for your sexual care needs. Remember, choosing a lube is a personal decision. What feels good or works for one couple may not be the same for others.
The most important aspect of choosing a lube is the ingredient list! Do your research and find out if there are any chemicals, toxins, or ingredients you don't want on or in your body. The second aspect of choosing a lube is deciding the purpose for the lube and then how you want it to feel.
Oil-based lubricant is generally thought to feel the most natural and lasts the longest during a good romp session. If it is an all-natural lube, like Chiavare, it is safe for sensitive skin, is edible, and will work great for both vaginal and anal sex. Many fans of oil-base lube love the natural feel and how it supplements the body's lubrication. Translation - it doesn't feel like you've added anything, but it makes sex better. Oil-based lube is mainly for sexual partners who aren't using latex condoms, as oil can destroy latex. Oil-based lubes also feel great for masturbation, massages, and are safe with toys. Some critics of oil-based lube say there is added clean-up with this type of lube. However, we find all lube can be messy and stain if applied in large doses. Oil-based lubricants can also double as daily personal moisturizers because of their long lasting formulas.
A big plus for water-based lubricant that it is generally safe with all condoms. Remember, safe sex is the best sex! Water-based lubricant can also be used with all toys (including silicone toys) and washes easily. Keep in mind that a silicone-based lubricant can't be used on silicone toys as it destroys the material. Water-based lubricants can feel like a liquid or a gel, but some users complain of a "sticky-icky" feeling associated with this lube. Water-based lubricant receives criticism for not lasting very long and being absorbed into the skin too quickly without providing necessary moisture. However, if you're using condoms regularly during sexual activity, this is a great option and usually very affordable.
Silicone-based lubricants have a very specific feel. Some people swear by silicone-based lubricants as they love the silky, silicone feeling - while others say it feels too unnatural and like you've definitely added lube to the mix. Again, lubricant is a personal decision and the best way to decide is to try it out. Silicone-based lube can be compatible with condoms, but be sure to check the label to make sure it's approved. Different lubes use different chemicals and not all are created equal. Silicone-based lube is safe for toys that are not made of silicone and has a similar cleanup to an oil-based lubricant. Unless the product says it is an edible lube, do not to ingest silicone-based lubricant if you're trying to remain chemical free. There are a lot of great options on the market for silicone-based lubricant and they range in price.
Again, choosing a lubricant is a personal decision based on the needs of both partners. The market is packed with so many different options, formulas, and purposes. So in conclusion -- Buy one of each type, try them out, and have fun!
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