We’re all about making our lives a little easier these days. And there’s one thing that can help make sex a lot easier, whether it’s with a partner or solo: The best natural lube. “I use a lubricant for the simple reason of making sex better,” says Cindy Barshop, founder of VSPOT, a sexual health spa. “Even when your mind, body and soul are completely in tune, feeling the cool extra moisture can be arousing and can cause your body to produce even more lubrication. Needless to say, it can also be a lifesaver for those times when your body just isn’t doing what your mind wants it to.”
It’s important to remember that not all lubes are created equal. When you think about where you’re applying it, it’s best to steer clear of any icky or questionable ingredients. “The best part about using a clean lube is that you can be guilt-free without the paranoia that you are causing any harm to yourself,” Barshop says. “Being able to focus on just enjoying the sex is absolutely the best part.”
If you’re anything like us, purchasing something like lube can a be little unnerving. Nobody wants to ask a store clerk at CVS a question, and if you’re shopping online, product descriptions can be hardly helpful at best. For that reason, we consulted Barshop to get her expert advice. For answers to our most frequently asked questions, as well as some of our top picks for the best natural lube, take a look below.
How do you know if lube is right for you?
“Knowing if lube is right for you depends on the reason you want to use it,” Barshop says. “If the reason you are looking for a lubricant is that you or your partner’s body isn’t naturally producing enough lubrication regularly, then the first thing you should do is see a doctor. Birth control and other hormonal changes can affect your body’s ability to produce lubrication at the rate you may be used to.”
However, as Barshop points out, there are more mundane reasons for wanting to try the best natural lube. “If the reason you want to try a lube is for occasional dryness, or to enhance the great sex you’re already having, the right one is probably an organic water-based lube, something with natural ingredients that works with and not against a woman’s pH balance.”
What is the best way to use lube?
“The best way to use an organic water-based lube is however you want,” Barshop says. “One that is safe and clean is good to go however you want to use it. A little or a lot applied directly to the vulva, toy, anus and/or penis before or during intercourse is safe and effective.”
And it’s not that Barshop (or SPY, for that matter) is inherently opposed to silicone or oil-based lubes. But rather that they come with more constraints. “I don’t want to snub oil- and silicone-based lubes because there are some great ones out there,” she says. “Oil- and silicone-based lubes can be fun, but you have to make sure you aren’t using a toy or latex condoms because those substances can cause them to degrade. Oil-based lubes also have the potential to throw off the vagina’s natural pH, leading to infections.”
What should you consider when shopping for natural lube?
“What I look for in a lube is a natural feel and texture that isn’t too sticky,” Barshop says. “I rub it on my fingertips first and try out the slip. If it feels smooth and not too slippery, then I might have a winner. Next, I would see how it dries to make sure there is no residue or stickiness and to make sure that it doesn’t dry too quickly. Last but not least is taste. If it’s an organic, clean lube it should be edible, it should taste . . . well, good.”
But while getting through the checklist outlined above will you do just fine, Barshop has a few more worthwhile qualities to consider in the best natural lube. “Other things come into play too, like how convenient the bottle is. A big squeeze bottle is quick, efficient and my personal go-to. Some people prefer a pump but sometimes a pump can get slippery. And I would avoid a jar at all costs.”
What natural ingredients should you look for in a lube?
“The first ingredient that should be in your water-based lube is aloe,” Barshop says. “Aloe vera is an amazing plant that has endless uses. The aloe found inside has antibacterial properties and is naturally water-based. It provides an organic feeling and slip, and should be the main ingredient. When it comes to an oil-based lube, look for an organic coconut oil base. [Look for other] organic ingredients like quinoa, hemp, flax, green tea and oat extracts.”
Which ingredients should be avoided?
“I want to make sure that the lube I choose is made without parabens, glycerin and petrochemicals right off the bat,” Barshop says. “Synthetic dyes and fragrances are also a no for me because those ingredients can irritate the vagina’s natural systems and cause infections.”
If you’re ready to give the best natural lube a try, start with one of the options below!