Why Are There So Many Types of Lube? Choosing the Best Type of Lube for Your Experience

When shopping for the perfect lube to enhance your intimate moments, you’re bombarded with a maze of options and eye-catching frills.

The sheer abundance of choices can easily leave you feeling overwhelmed, lost in the sea of choices.

It's no wonder many people either forgo using lube altogether or resort to whatever they can scrounge up in their kitchen.

Before you go rummaging through your cupboards, let us guide you through the labyrinth of lubes and simplify the decision-making process. 

By the time you finish reading this article, you'll have a firm grasp on the four different types of lube, when to use them, and how to select the absolute best lube for your unique desires and experiences.  

Table of Contents

types of lubes

With So Many Different Types of Lube Available, Choosing the Best Type of Lube Is Important

You know that introducing lube can unlock a world of pleasure and take your bedroom play to new heights. 

People use lubricant for various reasons including:

  • To help with vaginal dryness
  • To keep sensitive intimate skin moisturized 
  • To get straight to business when there’s no time for foreplay
  • To smooth out a solo session; or
  • To have an all-around better intimate experience

A recent study shows women reported that more than 70% of the time using lube feels better and makes a more enjoyable experience. 

At just about every price point you can find lubes made with different ingredients that offer different experiences, whether it’s for penetrative sex, anal sex, or penial or vaginal masturbation.

Yet with so many available how do you choose the best one for you?

Ultimately what you use is a personal decision, but choosing a lube with the right base can make a big difference.

4 Types of Lube and When To Use Them

#1: Water-Based Lubricant

Water-based lubricants are water-soluble, meaning the lubricant will dissolve in water.

This type of lube contains mostly water, so they are safe to use with any kind of toy or condom without fear of deteriorating the material.

Using water as a base for lubricants allows different brands to make a variety of consistencies that can range from a lotion-type formula to a gel.

While water-based lube is marketed as the most versatile and close to a natural feeling, all it takes is one look at the ingredients list to see they are far from natural.

To achieve a thicker, slippery barrier they add a few other ingredients, most commonly plant-based thickeners like xanthan gum or agar, or synthetic thickeners like cellulose ether or glycerin.

Glycerin is known to break down certain sugar compounds which can increase your risk of yeast and bacterial infections.

The last thing you want to worry about before sex is a yeast or urinary tract infection.

Pros of Water-Based Lubricant

  • It can be used with or without toys.
  • It’s safe to use with condoms.
  • It washes off easily.
  • It won’t stain your sheets or clothes.

Cons of Water-Based Lubricant

  • It can feel too watery.
  • It absorbs quickly and can dry out fast.
  • It can get sticky and require reapplications to maintain slip.
  • Some ingredients can cause yeast and bacterial infections.
  • It’s not compatible to use in the shower, pool, hot tub, or any other type of water play. 

best type of lube

#2: Silicone Lubricant

Silicone lubricant is made from synthetic silicone oil polymers that aren’t absorbed into the body like water-based lubricants, providing longer, wetter lubrication.

This long-lasting wetness means you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to reapply.

Since silicone lube doesn’t wash off easily, you can use silicone lube to slip and slide in the shower, pool, or hot tub until you wash it off with soap.

It’s super slick, which makes it a popular choice among people who enjoy anal sex if you can get past the almost unnatural texture.   

But before you slip a silicone lube in your bedside drawer, be sure that it doesn’t contain Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, or Cyclotetrasiloxane. These three sister substances are commonly found in silicone-based lubricants thanks to their ability to make substances smooth and slippery. 

Though safely used in haircare, skincare, toiletry, and cosmetic products, animal studies have reported vaginal exposure to the chemical trio can cause reproductive harm and uterine cancer. 

While no research has been conducted to determine the long-term effects these substances have on vaginal exposure in women, you may want to take the animal study’s word for it.

If that’s not enough, you should at least avoid silicone lube if you plan to use a silicone toy. 

While safe to use with condoms, silicone lube doesn’t play nicely with other silicone products.

These lubes dissolve the silicone material. The deterioration creates tiny holes in your toy, a perfect breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria.

It’s also important to note silicone lubricant will erode any other barrier prevention made of silicone. So if you’re using a silicone diaphragm, stay away from silicone lube.

Pros of Silicone Lubricant

  • One application will last you a long time.
  • It’s 100% waterproof.
  • It’s more slippery than the other types.
  • It’s safe to use with latex condoms.

Cons of Silicone Lubricant

  • It shouldn’t be used with silicone sex toys or silicone barrier protection.
  • Some additive ingredients may irritate sensitive skin.
  • Some find the slip to feel overly saturated.
  • You need to use soap to wash it off.

#3: Oil-Based Lubricant 

There are two types of oil-based lubricants: natural oils, which we’ll get into in the section below, and synthetic oils.

The long-lasting, spreadable, silky feeling of an oil-based lubricant is nice for external activities like massages, penial masturbation, and anal play.

However, synthetic oils aren’t absorbed well and if used internally, can trap bacteria inside the body, creating an optimum environment for infections and reactions. 

Especially for people with vaginas, that means oil-based lubes are best kept for external use. 

Still, if you want to up your skin-to-skin foreplay, oil-based lubes warm up with the body temperature giving you a natural thermal effect without the harsh chemicals.

But when it comes to latex-barrier-protected sex, any type of oil-based lube can be a nightmare. 

One study found when latex condoms were used along with mineral oil lube, it weakened the latex in as little as 60 seconds. 

Pros of Oil-Based Lubricant

  • It moisturizes the skin.
  • It’s long-lasting.
  • It works well for penis masturbation.
  • It can double as a massage oil.

Cons of Oil-Based Lubricant

  • It can stain sheets or clothing.
  • It can break down condoms and other latex barrier methods of protection.
  • It’s associated with an increased risk of Candida and shouldn’t be used internally.

types of lube

#4: Natural Lubricants

Whether you have sensitivities or ethical reasons to be concerned about what goes in and on your body, natural lubricants are the way to go. 

For a lubricant to be considered natural, it should be made with all-natural ingredients.

Not sure if your lube is natural? 

If the ingredient list is small and you can find them all in your local grocery store, it’s natural.   

If you’re looking for a lubricant that lasts longer, moisturizes your skin, and leaves you feeling good about what’s going into your body, choose Chiavaye.

With only six all-natural, vegan, hypoallergenic ingredients our personal moisturizer is pH balanced and completely free of chemicals, gluten, hormones, and fragrances.

Pros of Natural Lubricants

  • It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
  • It’s safe for sensitive skin.
  • It lasts longer than water-based lubes.
  • It’s vegan.
  • It can be used with silicone toys.

Cons of Natural Lubricants

  • Even natural oils can still break down latex condoms.
  • The oils may stain your sheets or clothes.

types of lubes

How To Choose the Best Type of Lube

The type of lube you choose will be a personal decision, likely based on the activity you plan to use it for.

But when given the option to use an all-natural product that offers the same results as most other lubricants on the market, why choose something else with potentially harmful side effects?

We understand you probably take cost and reviews into consideration.

Lucky for you, Chiavaye products are affordable and have a 4.8-star review.

different types of lube

What To Avoid When Choosing Lube

Now that you’re educated on the types of lube and have a better idea of when (and when not) to use them, you can consider all the bells and whistles they try to entice you with and what to avoid.

The best approach to choosing a lube is to keep it simple.

Avoid lubes that contain:

  • Colors
  • Flavors
  • Warming/cooling sensations
  • Tingling features; and 
  • Scents

Often these lubes are riddled with artificial flavors, citric acid, and other additives that you can’t pronounce to keep them smelling and tasting good. 

These harsh chemicals can be toxic to the vaginal tissue and its microbiome.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that vaginal lubricants maintain a pH of 4.5, but many lubes containing these substances do not.

Exposure can lead to discomfort, irritation, and increased risk of infection from even short-term exposure.

Also, steer clear of using lotions that are not intended for intimate use as lubrication.

types of lubes

Chiavaye: Pure & Natural Vegan Lube to Spice Up Your Sex Life

At Chiavaye, we understand that your skin is a filter, not a barrier, especially your sensitive and highly absorbent vaginal skin.

That’s why we carefully tested and selected our ingredients to deliver a personal moisturizer that is respectful to your most delicate skin. 

We’ve harnessed the full spectrum of benefits and nourishment from our six ingredients:

  • Coconut oil delivers deep nourishment and hydration along with anti-bacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Almond oil locks the moisture in and acts as a hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory, and mild pain reliever.
  • Vitamin E antioxidants remove free radicals that damage cell structure and promote blood circulation and cell regeneration.
  • Grapeseed oil has antimicrobial, antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory properties that relieve dry, itchy skin and hemorrhoids. 
  • Sunflower seed oil acts as a moisturizing barrier for friction and can boost healing. 
  • Evening primrose oil can reduce inflammation and help treat endometriosis and symptoms of menopause.  

Our all-natural, vegan, hypoallergenic, and pH-balanced lubricant is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Chemical-free
  • Hormone-free; and
  • Fragrance-free

You won’t find artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers. 

Six ingredients, nothing else.

Find out why the Chiavaye personal moisturizer keeps so many vaginas happy.

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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